Little Saigon Selfie, 2019

How to Increase Your Self-Confidence

Self-confidence is self-faith:

What is ‘Self-Confidence’?


  • Self +
  • Confidence = (Con+fidence) -> (with + faith)

So self-confidence is just having self-faith (fides) in yourself.

What is ‘Faith’?

When studying the etymology of the word ‘faith’ (fides), the best words I like include:

to command, trust, persuade.

Thus an individual who has self-confidence (self-faith) is an individual who can determine their own lives. They can command the direction of their own lives, they have trust in themselves (whether they are ‘right’ or ‘wrong’), and they can persuade themselves that they’re on the right path.

Why do we have low self-confidence?

I believe society creates individuals with low self-esteem. Why? If an individual has a high self-estimate of themselves, it will make the herd (masses) feel bad about themselves. Thus, modern utilitarian-christian-judeo morality teaches us:

WE are all equal. If you strive to become MORE than equal — you are an evil person and should be brought down immediately.

Or like how the Chinese say:

“The nail that sticks out the most must be hammered in the hardest.”

To be frank– almost ALL societies think this way. Society only functions when individuals cooperate with one another, and society/culture/races tend to remain when individuals put the collective above themselves. Technically it is impossible to have a society full of individuals — we need some herd-like members.

At least the fortunate thing about America is that we are the most individualistic society that has existed. But still, American morality/ethics is highly tinged with Christian-Judeo-Quaker morality, which actually discourages us from being unique, stellar, and socially aberrant.

But let us not get too caught up on theories. Let us move onto the practical:

How can I become more self-confident in myself?

1. Delete social media

Ricoh selfie

The best thing I did for my personal creativity and productivity was to delete my Instagram. To be frank, I probably took a personal hit (financially, fame, etc) — but to me, it was worth it.

Why? Social media fucks up our self-confidence and our own self-esteem. Why? With social media, we end up ‘quantifying’ our own self-worth by numbers (how many likes, followers, comments) we get. Thus, we are inherently comparing ourselves with others (we feel envy and jealousy towards others who have MORE likes and followers than us, somehow suckering ourselves into thinking that having more likes/followers will somehow make us happier in life).

And how does social media exist? It exploits our most base human instincts (the desire for distinction, power, social influence) — and it waves these little hearts (likes) like a carrot-and-stick.

I think the notion of social media has incredible power — yet, the way it is setup right now fucks up the self-esteem of individuals and artists. Thus, I started ARS — the first double-blind photography platform (to encourage constructive critique), for all of us photographers to thrive together.

If you are always using social media to judge your self-esteem, your self-confidence, and your self-faith; you will never reach the highest zenith (height) of your own self-confidence.

Thus the practical suggestions are:

  1. Delete your Instagram (or uninstall it from your phone a month)
  2. Keep using Facebook messenger (but stop consuming the news feed). I encourage installing the Facebook News Feed Eradicator. I also encourage you to delete the Facebook app from your phone.
  3. Use other browser plugins to delete metrics, numbers, and other silly things: Facebook Demetricator, Shutup Comments Plugin (disable comments), and essentially be super-suspicious of any social media platform that bombards you with likes, followers, and little red notifications.
  4. Don’t use any social media for a month, and see whether it improves your self-confidence, keeps your self-confidence the same, or whether it actually lowers your self-confidence. I would probably say it will increase your self-esteem.

2. Get physically stronger

Selfie. Hanoi, 2016
Hanoi, 2016

What I discovered for myself:

As I become physically stronger (can lift heavier weights), I gain MORE self-confidence.

I think this applies to all human beings (women, men, any gender). If you are able to increase your ‘one rep max’ of deadlift, squats, and dumbbell press over time, you’re going to feel more self-confident! You’re going to have more of those self-confidence boosting hormones (serotonin, positive endorphins, etc) during your daily gym visits, which you can channel into your creative work, or your everyday living.

The strange thing is that most people say: “I don’t have time to go to the gym!” But we have time to eat, we have the time to watch Netflix — why don’t we have time to go to the gym?

I think what people mean to say is:

I don’t like going to the gym.

Many people don’t like going to the gym because they engage in physical exercise which isn’t fun. Thus to me the secret is discover a physical activity or workout which is fun and enjoyable to you!

For myself, I never ‘force’ myself to go to the gym when I don’t want to. I genuinely LOVE going to the gym, because I have tons of FUN when lifting heavy weights, I love chatting strangers, and I love using the hot sauna afterwards. I also love going to the gym, because it gives me a massive boost of mood-enhancing hormones, which feels good to me.

Everyone is different, but I do encourage you to experiment with powerlifting (deadlift, squat, dumbbell press instead of benchpress). When I go to the gym, my workout never lasts for longer than 30 minutes (I only do one exercise per visit), and my simple goal is to increase my ‘one rep max’ (the maximum weight you can lift for one repetition for a given exercise) every visit.

Or do a different type of workout; just experiment, and have fun with it!

3. Remove negative people from your life

One negative person can fuck up the mood of 100 people. Thus, keep your distance away from negative people like they are infected with leprosy. Don’t let negative, pessimistic, or nihilist people hold you back.

Prioritize yourself, your own self-development, and your own self-health. You must focus on building up your own self-confidence and faith in yourself; ruthlessly cut out anyone from your life who you consider a leech, or negative energy.


Zen sand curve

Life is too short to have low self-confidence and self-faith in yourself.

With self-faith and self-confidence, you can do ANYTHING! The question is simply:

  1. How bad do I want it?
  2. How much effort and hustle am I willing to invest to achieve it?
  3. How many hours am I willing to put in?

You can do anything and everything you want. Just stay self-focused on yourself, your own epic life goals, and never let anyone hold you back (especially not yourself!)




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