I lift weights three times a week.
I’ve watched every episode of “Quantum Leap.”
I’m a successful copywriter.
I play in a pop punk band.
It’s taken me a long time to get to this point, but I finally feel like I’ve found a balance between being a confident, successful guy and being a complete dork.
I remember feeling super dweeby for watching “The X-Files” and playing “Magic: The Gathering” in my teens. In high school, I wouldn’t dare let my fellow lacrosse teammates know that I read “Star Wars” novels or let my girlfriends find out that I knew all the lyrics to Wham’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.”
Now that I’m an adult, I realize that it’s possible to do typically normal “dude” things (e.g. work out, flirt, pursue a real career) and still do mega dorky things like have NES parties with my friends.
Here’s what I’ve figured out: You’re only truly confident when you’re totally at peace with who you are, when you’re not afraid to be yourself in front of others.
I know several dudes who wouldn’t be caught dead reading a comic book, listening to a certain band, liking a certain kind of TV show, etc. Sure, everyone has their preferences in pop culture, but it seems that some guys are simply afraid to like certain things because of what they think these things will say about their personality.
I know a dude who’s in amazing shape, dates beautiful girls, has a successful business, and owns every season of “Star Trek.” I know guys who can lift crazy amounts of weight and read comic books like they’re 14-years-old.
Liking what you like and not being afraid of what anyone thinks is the mark of a truly confident man. The weak-minded, zero-confidence man hides behind machismo and stereotypes.
Listen, I know some people just don’t like dorky stuff. I’m not saying you’re a close-minded prick for not being into Dungeons and Dragon or listening to Rush. Hell, even I can’t take that level of nerdiness. What I am saying is that you should have the confidence to like what you like without being worried about what your friends, coworkers, family, or girlfriend thinks.
Going to the other extreme, however, isn’t a good idea. If you’re living in your mom’s basement and haven’t been on a date or worked a day in the last two years because you’re too busy playing “World of Warcraft,” it’s time for a reality check.
If you can manage to live a semi-normal life and still pursue your dorky pastimes, good for you. If you spend two hours a day reading cyberpunk novels but still manage to go to work, date, and stay in shape, keep up the good work.
You’re only as confident as you think you are. Don’t hide behind a veil of macho bullshit. If you’re a successful guy who just happens to collect Indiana Jones memorabilia, more power to you.
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