If you’re like most men, this ideal man you want to be is far from who you are today. He’s got some of the same components as you, but he’s an entirely unrecognizable guy.
This ideal guy isn’t so different from you, and reaching this ideal self isn’t an impossibility. He’s just you with a healthy dose of confidence.
Confidence sets apart the world movers from the mediocrity of the world – the risk-takers from the trembling masses, content to hunker in their safe corners until the storms of life pass them by.
It drives men to do mad things and explore the bounds of their abilities. Confidence is what turns burger flippers into CEOs.
Confidence is essential for men to possess in any successful relationship or dating. It allows men to feel comfortable with themselves and their decisions and approach new situations with self-assurance.
When it comes to dating, confidence can be attractive to potential partners and help men feel more at ease when navigating the sometimes-awkward world of romance. In a relationship, confidence is essential for maintaining a healthy dynamic and for being able to communicate effectively and openly with one’s partner.
Men need to remember, however, that confidence doesn’t mean being arrogant or cocky. It’s about having a healthy level of self-esteem and self-assurance and being able to express oneself authentically and openly.
Throughout my ten-plus years as a men’s coach, I’ve seen a lack of confidence as the weight that drags so many men under in this lake of mediocrity.
The Importance of Self-Confidence For Men
Self-confidence is a word used so frequently and with such casualness that its true meaning is at risk of being lost. It’s a scapegoat for emotional issues, and social failure in life and is increasingly used as a personality trait in the modern world of ordinariness and acquiescence to mediocrity.
“I’m just not a confident person” is a line delivered with a shy smile, shoulders shrug, and resultant nods from those within earshot. Self-confidence is seen as some prized gift from the gods whose presence is dwindling in humankind.
You either have it or you don’t. You’re either destined for charismatic greatness and world-changing self-belief or fated to join the masses of nice guys in the ever-overflowing lake of mediocrity and submission to norms. That’s what the world tells you, and that’s what you’ll believe if you don’t intentionally choose otherwise.
Self-confidence is so much more than meets the eye. Self-confidence is developed, not gifted at birth–it’s a weapon to be forged, honed, and wielded in the world.
To understand the complexity of this word and the true depth of its importance, you must look at its roots.
The word “confidence” comes from the Latin words “con,” meaning “with,” and “fido,” meaning “trust.” Confidence on its own essentially means “with trust.” However, the essential part of “self-confidence” lies in the word “self” – with trust in oneself.
What are we without belief in our “self”? What are we without trust in our “self”? What is the human experience without understanding the importance of one’s “self”?
Self-confidence is forming your values, understanding why you deem them important, believing yourself capable of living up to them, and recognizing that adherence to these values gives you importance as a human being.
The Best Books on Building Confidence For Men
Here are ten of the best books for building confidence. As you read through this list, pay attention to those “self” words and just how crucial they are in your journey to self-confidence (self-esteem, self-worth, self-love, self-improvement, etc.).
These ten books, written by ten masterminds of the self-development world, have equipped millions with unstoppable self-confidence, helping them quell negative self-talk, build self-esteem, and take immediate control of their lives.
1. The Confidence Gap: A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-doubt
If you’ve ever felt that you passed up a big opportunity due to a lack of self-confidence or low self-esteem, The Confidence Gap by Russ Harris is for you.
Harris insists that the average person passes up so many life-changing opportunities (dates, public speaking, leadership roles, etc.) due to self-confidence issues. This book is a practical guide to overcoming yourself and making the most of your chances in life.
Using his extensive background in medicine and psychotherapy, Harris helps readers understand and accept their fears before using mindfulness techniques and CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) to help them overcome them.
Rather than wading around in the philosophical ambiguity that so many books of this genre tend to, The Confidence Gap provides clear advice and practical solutions to issues like shyness, negative thinking patterns, and low self-esteem.
2. The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem
Standing strong as one of the cornerstones of the self-improvement world, Nathaniel Branden’s The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem can be found on almost every list relating to happiness, fulfillment, and confidence.
An esteemed psychotherapist and brilliant man, Branden takes a clinical approach to confidence, diving into research studies and findings to offer invaluable insight into psychological health, fostering positive relationships, and maximizing personal happiness.
If you’re looking to gain a deeper understanding of your self-worth and where your value comes from, The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem is undoubtedly one of the best self-confidence books to start with.
3. The Power of Self-Confidence
A mastermind salesman and revered business guru, Brian Tracy knows a bit about the importance of overcoming self-doubt and growing self-esteem.
In The Power of Self-Confidence, Tracy emphasizes the close relationship between success (whether in business, relationships, or life in general) and a positive view of oneself.
This book teaches its readers how to overcome negative thoughts, live in agreement with their values, set clear goals, and build self-esteem and confidence.
Whether looking for a practical guidebook for your business career or simply trying to conquer fear and live life fully in every way, this book is for you.
4. Ten Days to Self-Esteem
So much of what we are and how we see the world is shaped in our minds.
In Ten Days to Self-Esteem, David Burns helps readers untangle their insides and healthily view themselves. Specifically, this book will help you recognize faulty thinking patterns that lead to undeserved blame and resultant negative self-talk (or even self-hatred).
After reading this book, you will have a much easier time objectively viewing yourself as a person, recognizing where you need to improve, and moving forward positively.
If you struggle with self-doubt and feel disappointed in yourself or your past failures, Ten Days to Self-Esteem will undoubtedly be an invaluable read.
5. Awaken the Giant Within
Tony Robbins. Need I say more?
Unless you’re new to the self-help world, you know precisely who Tony Robbins is and just how strange it would be to have a list about self-confidence without his name appearing at least once.
Tony Robbins is one of the godfathers of classic, kick-in-the-pants self-improvement. His charismatic speaking style and bold, motivational approach to counseling have been a deciding factor in millions of lives worldwide.
Awaken the Giant Within is about realizing your true potential as a man on this earth and stepping boldly and confidently into your future. Robbins teaches the importance of mastering and regulating your emotions, understanding your strengths, and taking purposeful control over difficulties in your life.
This book should be near the top of anyone’s “to read” list.
6. The Gifts of Imperfection
No list of self-confidence books would be complete without Brene Brown.
Imperfection is viewed by most as humanity’s great curse. We get angry. We yell. We break things. Being imperfect leads to doing imperfect things.
In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown pulls the positive elements out of what it means to be imperfect. She helps readers shrug off the unrealistic expectations we put upon ourselves and realize that there is no perfection to be attained–there is no person we are “supposed to” become.
She helps us over-thinkers and over-worriers of the world discover that freedom and enjoyment come when we relinquish our need to be in control.
The most confident people in the world understand that their value is entirely unrelated to how they are performing or what they are accomplishing.
7. What to Say When You Talk to Yourself
As children, we are taught repeatedly that what we say to others matters. Phrases like “use kind words” or “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” are imprinted upon our brains from exiting the womb.
What few of us realize, however, is that the exact phrases should apply to the treatment of ourselves.
The words and thoughts we allow in our minds are just as crucial as the unfolding of the practical world.
In What to Say When You Talk to Yourself, Shad Helmstetter analyzes just how important the words we speak to ourselves are. He talks about the importance of regulating your thoughts and words within your mind, insisting that our thoughts translate to our behaviors and actions far more than we realize.
8. Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life
If you struggle to let go of the past, Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life will be a life-changing read.
In this book, you’ll discover how to differentiate between the natural pains of the human experience and the pain you put yourself through due to a lack of mental fortitude and resilience.
This book is vital in helping you accept who you are and understanding that the only way to live fully and confidently as a man is to accept your slip-ups as a part of you as a person.
This book is for you if you lack self-esteem and self-confidence because of un-dealt-with pain or past trauma.
9. You Are a Badass
If you tire of traditional self-help advice and yearn for something more direct and to the point, Jen Sincero could be perfect.
In You Are a Badass, Sincero reveals exactly how to get over self-sabotaging behaviors and live your life to the max. A seasoned life coach, speaker, and author, Sincero knows a thing or two about breaking out of the chains that hold you in place and realizing your full potential.
While this book is about far more than just self-confidence, it’s a perfect tool to help you analyze things like self-image, self-worth, and purpose and how they relate to your development.
10. Unstoppable Confidence
Taking a scientific approach to self-confidence, Unstoppable Confidence analyzes confidence through the lens of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming).
If you’re unfamiliar with NLP, it is essentially a scientific approach to self-development and communication that delivers practical ways to change the way you think and look at past events.
This book is for you if you are looking for tangible, real-life ways to harness your evasive self-confidence and take the world on.
Unstoppable Confidence will help you get past regrets and break through negative self-talk to maximize your experience on planet earth.
Confidence is the difference maker in the world. Humanity stands on the shoulders of confident men and women. If you want to become even a fraction of the man you could be, you’ll need a healthy dose of confidence.
Whether you need the kick-in-the-pants of Tony Robbins Awaken the Giant Within or Sincero’s You are a Badass, the measured analysis of Branden’s The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem or Tracy’s The Power of Self-Confidence, or the psychology-based approach of Harris’s The Confidence Gap or Sayre’s Unstoppable Confidence, literature exploring the development of self-confidence has been a game-changer for so many.
The difficulty, however, with topics like self-confidence and self-acceptance is that no matter how many books you read and how many articles you skim through, real change only comes when you take active initiative.
I’ve seen the end of many a self-improvement journey when a man realizes that reading another article or memorizing a few more motivational quotes amounts to nothing. He must act; without action, men are nothing.
If you are looking to make a change in your life, we are ready to help. Here at knowledge for men, we are equipped with a dozen of the most highly-trained and experienced men’s coaches on the planet.
These men know what it means to lack confidence–they’ve been there, done that. They weren’t always the men they are today. They trudged through the difficulties of low self-esteem and, after emerging victorious, decided that they wanted to help guide others through (hopefully on a more straightforward path than the one they took).
If you are stuck in a vicious cycle of self-doubt and resultant failure, it’s time to get help. It’s time to take your own life into your hands and learn what it’s like to live a life of self-assured confidence. It’s time to take control of your life with intentionality.