Cocky or Confident – A Personal Account of My Struggle

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Cocky or Confident – A Personal Account of My Struggle

The struggle to separate my cockiness from my confidence has been one of the most challenging struggles of my life.

I’ve said and done some things that – in hindsight – I’ve realized come off extremely cocky, some instances as recent as last week. They have been embarrassing, face-palm worthy realizations, but I learn from everything. It’s a process. I’m working diligently on it, constantly evaluating my actions and my words to make sure I’m on the track of confidence, not cockiness.

Exposing Cockiness

Cockiness is a mask. I, and others, wear this mask to cover up insecurities and a need to prove to others how great we are.

Cockiness is fueled by conceit.

Cockiness is fragile.

Often times, external happenings will feed my conceit. This happens when I get a media feature or when I have a great day of sales or when I hear people that don’t even know me raving about me – all of this feeds my conceit. Consequently, my cockiness soars to dizzying heights. At this point, all seems well and good, but as soon as I experience even a mild failure, my cockiness comes crashing down and the feeling of pain is proportional to the height it once reached.

Cockiness is inauthentic.

When I’m feeling cocky, I feel like I have to put on a show for the world to see how great I am, when in reality all I really feel is insecurity and anticipation of my next crash.

Dropping the Cocky Mask – This is Confidence

Confidence is sustainable because it is not dependent upon any successes or failures. It is detached from outcome.

Confidence is authentic because it involves seeing things as they are.

Confidence arises from knowing, equanimity, and resilience.

Confidence from knowing

  • Knowing your stuff – This is a simple one; If you walk into a room to talk about a specific topic and you are familiar with the material, then you walk into that room with confidence. For example, I’m confident when speaking about anything that has to do with health and fitness.
  • Knowing yourself – Knowing yourself means you have a strong self-awareness. You know how to play to your strengths and you know how to compensate for your weaknesses. Knowing these allows you to navigate through most situations skillfully. You are comfortable in your own skin and that kind of stuff shows in a sort of quiet confidence that presents itself no matter where you go.
  • Knowing you can know – If there is something I don’t know currently, I know I can learn it. There seems to be an endless amount of books and podcasts on just about any topic you can imagine. I can learn something, apply it to the real world with consistent action, and master it over time.

Confidence from equanimity

Equanimity is the ability to maintain calmness and composure even in the midst of a difficult situation.

Confidence from resilience

When knowing and equanimity fail in the midst of a tough challenge, confident people know they can bounce back. Confident people don’t suffer from the crippling fear of failure because they are aware that they can fully recover. If there is any aspect of confidence that I feel I’m good at, it’s this. My resilience gives me the confidence to live life to the fullest.


Confident people hold their ego lightly. I’ve learned a ton about ego from my best friend Patrick; he believes ego is the enemy.

I keep my own ego in check with one simple fact:

One day I, and everyone I love will eventually be dead.

Mindfulness of death helps to put everything into perspective and keeps the ego in check.

The ultimate deflation of ego is when you can walk into a room and not have to say to anyone “do you know who I am?”

I cannot lie, I have said this in the past – a shameful admission, I know.

Friends, if you appreciated my vulnerability and this message struck a chord with you, then I encourage you to subscribe and share this message with friends and family – it means more than you know.

Onward and upward,

Jordan Paris, NASM CPT

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