Because building self-confidence is such a deeply personal endeavor, it can be tempting to think that we’re the only ones out there struggling, hustling and working our asses off to become more confident and self-assured.
But I’ve got good news for you, fellas: you’re not alone. Not by a long shot.
In my Profiles in Confidence series I chat with writers, bloggers and ordinary guys like you and I, who have generously agreed to share their own stories, struggles, secrets and tips on how they’ve used self-improvement to strengthen their self-confidence.
Each interview will provide you with two things: a chance to learn from their struggles, and a reminder that you’re not the only guy out there working to improve himself.
First up is Keith Lai, founder of FitMole.org, a fitness hub dedicated to simplifying fitness and making it possible for everyone to build a lean and muscular body that they’re proud of.
Interview with Keith Lai
Founder of FitMole
On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being extremely low self-esteem and 10 being a Tony Robbins-level of confidence and self-worth) how would you rate your self-confidence right now?
Seven. I’m far from perfect.
On the same scale of 1 to 10, what would you say your lowest number was? Where and when did your self-confidence bottom out?
One. I wouldn’t say it bottomed out at any specific point in my life. For pretty much my entire childhood, I was pretty shy and introverted. And that carried on throughout grade school and even parts of college.
I honestly don’t remember the exact time and place, but sometime when I was 19 or 20, I just had enough with my life and knew I wanted something else out of it. I basically didn’t want to feel like a loser.
How did you get from where you were then to where you are now? What was that journey like for you?
I started getting into business and online marketing and also built my blog, Fitmole.
I believe building a business is one of the greatest developments of character and confidence. Not the act of making money (which is great), but the act of building something from nothing, cultivating the skills necessary to do so, and calling it your own.
As I got more into business and entrepreneurship, it completely changed the way I view the world and society. A lot of entrepreneurship is tied to self-development as well, so I got into that too.
During this period, when you were in the process of going from your lowest level of confidence to your current level, what pitfalls or fears did you face?
Fear is the 1,000-ft brick wall that stops nearly all men from reaching their hopes and dreams. And fear never really goes away 100%, as much as some self-development gurus want you to believe.
For me, it’s just doing whatever it is I need to do and honestly using death as a motivator. Because as much as we may want to believe it, nothing we do (that includes me, you, and anyone reading) is likely going to matter in 200 years.
So as long as you’re not doing anything illegal or morally wrong, just jump and do what you have to. Whatever you fear, I guarantee it’s not going to be as bad as you think.
How did you overcome them?
I’ll let you know when I find out 🙂
If you could go back and make the journey again, what would you do differently?
Read more. Not blogs, Facebook posts, or motivational Instagram crap. But actual physical books that you hold in your hand. And not books on “101 best ways to gain more confidence,” but books on philosophy and autobiographies.
Also, meditate more. Daily (or at least almost daily) meditation has been one of the best decisions I made in my life.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to build self-confidence, but is starting from a pretty low point?
Don’t try to become someone you’re not. Every guy on the planet has at least one thing they are good at. Identify what that is and put your focus and energy into that.
More Profiles in Confidence:
- Embracing Discomfort and Connecting Clothes to Confidence, with Tanner Guzy of Masculine Style
- Grooming Yourself to Be Great, with Khoi Nguyen of The Gentleman Within
- Defining Your Goals & Mastering Self-Efficacy, with Myke Macapinlac of Social Confidence Mastery
- Controlling What You Can & Giving Yourself a Reason to Feel Confident, with Brock McGoff of The Modest Man
- Getting Out of Your Own Head and Becoming Your Best Self with Kyle Ingham of The Distilled Man
Irreverent Gent founder Dave Bowden is a men’s style specialist, an Amazon bestselling author, an unrepentant introvert, a (patient, if long-suffering) Toronto sports fan and the husband of a wonderful (and fortunately much more patient) wife.