What is “Confidence” Really? Let’s Break it Down.

This is a guest post by Abcs of Attraction founder, JT Tran.

What does it mean to be confident? You hear this all the time but no one gives a complete answer. Honestly there is no definition. Confidence is like “love” — where we know it when we see it in others, but it can be hard to pin down exactly in ourselves.

JT Tran, the founder of Abcs of Attraction, has been mentoring Asian men for over a decade to help them in love, life, and happiness. He’s one of the few dating coaches who’s presided over their own client’s weddings.


Yes you heard it a lot of times. Self-help is beating this to death. However, I want to introduce a new concept of being grateful. Be grateful for what you have now and be grateful of what will you have in the future. The most important thing is to be grateful for who you are now. All the experiences, the happy moments, sad moments, the successes, and failures… be grateful for it all. But also be grateful for your future self and all the blessings that will come your way. 

Gratitude is crucial in not only accepting but being genuinely happy with what you have. Remember someone else believes that your life is their dream life. You are living the life that they truly want. Being grateful always will remind you how far you’ve, and not how much you have left to go. 

And in so doing, you can start to accept yourself and start concentrating on living your better, future self instead of wallowing in past mistakes. Which leads us to…


There is one absolute fact in this universe I can guarantee you: The only thing you have 100% control over is what YOU do. You can’t control what other people do and how they react. You can only control YOU. 

This is key to being confident. To control and let go of things you can’t. A girl rejecting you…you can’t control. The next action you take after facing rejection…you can control. Confidence is to focus on what you can control and make the most of it. 

The world can be fair and unfair and it’s all over the place. It will have ups and downs. That is life. You accept what is and then you take action. However, this doesn’t mean, you accept failure, sadness, depression, settling and not living the life you deserve because you “accepted” what is. 

It is accepting what is at the moment, and if you do not like it, you accept that it’s time for change. Time for you to grow and better yourself. Or choose to be in the moment where you are and be happy. Be happy with what you have. Acceptance is making a choice in the moment to live your life in the moment and take the next steps to make it better. 

Know your worth

In the First Avengers movie, Captain America asks Iron Man, “What are you [without a suit of armor]?” To which Tony Stark replies, “Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist.”

So ask yourself that same question. If you had everything or if you had nothing…who are you? No really…think about this. If you had everything in the world, who are you? What defines you? Who makes you? Does your job and wealth define you? A luxury car, nice house, and a trophy girlfriend on your arm?

And what are you if all that is taken away?

For me, it is my core values: Integrity, honestly, love, and fulfillment. These values cannot be bought and they can never be stripped from me unless you sell yourself out. You have to really sit down and define this. 

Because all the things that are traditionally associated with confidence (especially in our Asian culture): women, money, status, fame, and other materialistic things will fade. They do not go with the grave with you. 

Furthermore, when you are in your bed alone, your thoughts are only with you. So when you do think, how do you define yourself? Where does your value come from? Let’s say you find a purpose and mission to help others. 

Boom! That is your value…on how many people you serve. 

This has NOTHING to do with wealth or an abundance of women. Just remember, when that all goes away, what defines you? Once you know your worth and value, nothing can take that away from you. 

Celebrate Your Wins

Let’s face the truth: Someone will be better, more confident, better looking, and more successful than you. And all the above might make you feel inferior. Did it hurt right when I told you that? 

You know why? Its Ego. You hear that all the time…”let go of ego.” I tried… and its very very difficult. 

So instead, what I did was to support my Ego with “small wins.” Anything that I see as a success, I compliment and acknowledge myself. I went to the gym…”hell yeah!”. I went and approached that girl…give myself another compliment. I took a risk even though i was scared as heck….”Great Job me!” 

Letting go of your ego is very difficult. Especially where we now live in a world where we have to better and better every day. Thus, let’s work with our Ego and make it our friend. Support it with small wins that are valuable to you. 

So you go from being externally validated from materialistic and artificial things, to being able to intrinsically generate your own feeling of self-worth inside of you.

Find your purpose…that serves others

As Mark Twain once said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

We all want to know why we are here. Why was I brought into this world? What is my mission life? I can’t help you on that since I am still figuring that out. However, there is one thing I do know. Whatever your purpose is…make sure it helps and serve others. 

Human beings became who we are today because we helped each other. I truly believe that everyone’s purpose in life has something to do with giving to something or someone. Once you find something that helps and supports others, you will gain confidence naturally. 

You focus outward not inward. No matter how negative you feel, when you help someone feel positive, you shifted your mindset. Go help someone. Go support a cause. 

Do something that gives value and you will find that you forget all your insecurities and your focus is in helping people. 


Yeah…so I never defined what confidence is. Honestly there is one definition as it looks and feels definitely for each person. Confidence is a way of being and the way is your way. 

Envision what your best self looks like and ask yourself “What would my best self do? What would my best self think like? What would the superhero version of myself do in this situation?” 

Once you find the answer, do that. Take action. Confidence comes and goes. The only thing that remains is….You. 

Make sure it’s the best you. 

Written by Editorial Staff