In the past, confidence was not my strong suit.
Somewhere along the line I lost my mojo. But everyone wants their mojo, so we look for ways to at least feel that we’ve retrieved it.
That’s what I did.
In my late twenties I read a book you may have heard of called The Art of the Deal, written by a guy you may have heard of 😉
Note: This is not about politics, I’m simply recounting a story that can help anyone—whatever your beliefs.
I have never before or since felt such a surge of confidence from reading a book as I felt while reading this one.
Father and Son
It had something to do with the relationship Donald Trump had with his father, and how his father trusted young Donald with decision-making in his real estate business.
I have reflected since then on my own relationship with my father, which was distant, and likely explains much of why I have not had the same level of confidence of Donald Trump.
Whatever you may think of the man, the confidence he developed because of the confidence his father placed in him, is a key component—I would say the key component—of the belief a young man develops in himself.
This is important with girls too, though the relationship between father and son is a special one.
Looking for Confidence in All the Wrong Places
So I began to read other books in the hopes of getting my “confidence fix,” but I was never able to recreate the same level of confidence I got from Art of the Deal. It’s kind of like the cocaine addict never being able to reproduce the original high.
I unconsciously sought out mentors to guide me toward confidence. And “mentors” are everywhere—from friends, to movie icons, to sports stars, to gurus of various kinds.
We look for “champions” to vicariously live through. A young man looks for the “tough guy” to emulate—the cool guy—the James Dean rebel who does things “my way.”
The thing about choosing mentors, is that we ask of them more than we should. They can teach us how to drive a nail, or throw a ball, or even give us some advice about girls, careers, and so on.
But one thing a mentor cant’ be is US.
Finding Our Own Way
After spending a lifetime seeking direction and confidence from outside sources, it’s clear that the most that any outside source can provide are clues as to how to find our way back to our true self.
We cannot live through the source… Well, we can, but it will not be authentic. Let me put it this way: we cannot live through the source and maintain true inner satisfaction.
Am I against books and mentors? No. But I am against books and mentors taking the place of our God-given intuition. This has been all-too-common in my life, and in the lives of most people.
We must reject living this kind of life, and if we ourselves are mentors, be willing to let people go whose inner growth is being stunted under our mentorship, no matter what we may lose in the process. This demonstrates true love for them.
This is the path to true confidence, and to finding out who WE are. In this outer-directed world, it’s the only path I know of that brings true independence.
Patrick Rooney is the Founder of OldSchoolUs.com. Its focus is natural health and independent living. Patrick is the author of GREEK PHYSIQUE: The Simple, Satisfying Way to Sculpt Your Body—Even if You’re Old, Weak, or Broken Down; and is also the creator of Greek Yoga™ and the Greek Yoga for Beginners video. He offers health and fitness consulting in-person in Middle Tennessee and worldwide via phone, Zoom, and Skype. To reach Patrick, email him at [email protected].