Many say outer-confidence behaviors, even their pretense, will soak-in eventually to transform our inner lives. In sports, this is the performance-self toughness of the Loehr-Jansen-Evert book, Mental Toughness Training for Sports.
Others say, concentrate on inner strength, and all else will follow. This is an ancient principle passed down through the wisdom of many disciplines developed from antiquity. Dr. Loehr may call this our true-self, strengthened.
Either way, personal strengthening takes time. Perhaps using both ways shortens the time.
Outer-confidence may be a personal fear deterrent as we go among predator-types, i.e. those who may take advantage of our real or perceived weaknesses: intellectual, physical, social, etc. They’re out there, but probably not as often as we fear. So many fight their own battles, as Plato wrote in his case for kindness. Aggression or predatory behavior is often rooted in fear in the other. This reminds me of a lesson covered in Dan Millman’s “Way of the Peaceful Warrior.”
In some sense, outer-confidence is plumage. In another, it reduces self-distracting fear, improving our focus on what we are doing. It is not-bleeding, or sucking-up the bloodied nose, or swallowing the broken lip’s blood among sharks. And so it has real tactical value. ‘Don’t let them see you sweat.’
However, inner strength weathers a shark frenzy, and defeats the sharks. It is hyper intelligent, perpetually determined, and immortal. It defeats, deters, fools, or evades them altogether (more often the latter). It is the source of total focus. It determines what we do, not how we look. It is the final arbiter in our contribution to outcomes. Inner strength eventually joins with outer confidence, and multiplies it.
Observe, journal, test, temper, and learn. We are not alone, and each of us has a good purpose for being related to the rest.