Confidence is a weird thing for us Neurodivergent types. We spend our childhoods being told that we’re doing everything wrong. Then we become either timid, or rebellious teens, and whichever we choose that’s wrong too. Then we’re anxious adults desperately pretending to be whomever it is that everyone is expecting us to be. And then some bastard tells us that the secret to confidence is to “just be yourself.”
A lot of people who know me would tell you that I must have overcome that because I’m very confident now. It’s not true. I haven’t felt genuine confidence since I was three years old. I was a very confident toddler but it was all wasted then. When you’re three it doesn’t really count as confidence, it’s just being bossy.
What I do know is to fake confidence. I worked out a while ago that most people can’t tell the difference between real confidence and fake confidence. Fake confidence is easier than it seems too. At least 80% of fake confidence is deciding not to fear looking like an idiot. A further 10% is knowing how to step back from mistakes that make you look like an idiot in a graceful enough way that people forget what mistake you made. The rest of it is mostly just being simultaneously loud and polite.
Of course there’s the other kind of confidence – the confidence in something. So how would I rate my confidence in, say, my writing? Simultaneously very high and rock bottom. My default belief about my own writing is somehow both that I’m a genius and I should be a millionaire and winner of all the literary prizes, and also that I’m the worst kind of hack and I’m lucky that anyone reads anything I write.
It’s probably my neurodivergence again.