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Find Value in Themselves with No Pretense

I believe that there is a type of confidence that is a personality characteristic. It is a feeling like you belong and will make your place in the world. It is a feeling as if you are right whether or not you are correct. It is a confidence that if morality says you are bad, you know morality is full of shit.

I think this is a rare and cool quality in people. These people approach the world with ambition as if they are fully capable. They are resilient against feeling shame and guilt. They are very difficult to manipulate since most forms of manipulation prey on your feelings of inadequacy or guilt.

I think this quality can be dangerous with someone who isn’t competent or who is generally dim. Donald Trump comes to mind here. The qualities of unabashed ambition, confidence and resilience get shaded towards domination, self-promotion, and disregard of a deeper understanding of ideas.

Outside of the dim or incompetent, these people can be frustrating and take up all the air in a room … but they are great leaders and create wonderful value for others. A seeming antithetical quality I often find in these people is intellectual modesty. When being wrong doesn’t weigh in on your personal value, it is easier to change your mind.

There are other forms of confidence that arise in proficiency or success. I think many people believe that the only way someone should be allowed to feel confidence. It seems less dangerous and it cow-tows to the same psychological demeanor most people have. Many people feel like they have done a lot of work to gain a level of confidence and approval, and the fact that someone can walk in with no work and feel more confidence than them inspires great resentment. But fuck these guys. I like a world where people think they belong and find value in themselves with no pretense.

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Aaron White

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