Taking the Stage

If sociality was a machine, then confidence is the grease that gets the gears going. Someone who works well with people worked hard to get to that point. It isn’t easy to be among a new group of people and know exactly what to say and do to avoid committing social suicide. Most people are only interested in first impressions so you have to make those initial opportunities count. No one gives chances to those who don’t take chances.

I prefer to be around people instead of being lonesome. I’m not always comfortable around people, but that isn’t due to lack of desire. It’s not that I’m an introvert. I’m just lousy at being an extrovert. It’s easier to be confident in something you’re good at.

Confidence can be ranked in stages. Check below to see where you rank.

Stage 0

Actively avoiding people is a sad state to be in. Wanting to do everything alone is not too unusual, but going out of our way to be alone seems crazy. Indefinite “me” time doesn’t help anyone. This stage can be referred to as the antisocial level. It is pure opposition to human interaction.

Stage 1

Woody Allen said eighty percent of success is showing up. The first step in putting ourselves out there is being there. Think of this stage as simply attendance. It takes the smallest amount of confidence to stand among a group of people and just listen. Being comfortable enough to be around people is a good start.

Stage 2

Just because you’re part of a group doesn’t mean you’re a participant. This stage involves action. The minimum amount of interaction one can offer is talking. We are truly comfortable when we can express ourselves freely to others. Human society wouldn’t function if there weren’t enough people with this level of confidence.

Stage 3

Leaders are found on this stage. Every human interaction would be awkward if everyone expected everyone else to be the one to start the ball rolling. Someone has to make the first move. Unfortunately, not everyone possesses the confidence to take the spotlight. Leaders provide necessary structure for human interaction. They initiate conversations, follow up on future interactions, and move relationships forward to new levels. In short, they get stuff done.

Final Curtain

Think about where you are on the confidence meter. Do you take risks or play it safe? Do you stay in familiar environments or do you explore new locations? Confidence is about being comfortable with ourselves in various settings. It is also about being willing to redefine ourselves. I became the boy who talks to pretty girls at parties. I chose to be the guy who takes the microphone to speak to the crowd. I’m now the man who writes about being diagnosed with autism. Who are you?

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