Confidence Gained; Confidence Tested; Confidence Questioned

“The Dunning-Kruger effect is defined as the tendency of people with low ability in a specific area to give overly positive assessments of this ability.

This is often understood as a cognitive bias, i.e. as a systematic tendency to engage in erroneous forms of thinking and judging.” ~

One of my favorite Bible verses (that I apply to myself often) goes like this…

“Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know.” ~ 1 Corinthians 8:2

As an Emerging Man yourself, where would you place your self-confidence level on a scale of…

  • None
  • A little, socially timid actually
  • Armchair Quarterback on most topics
  • I Know What I Know
  • I’m Good, You sir… are an idiot
  • I’ve done this [insert skill or topic] for 10 years, I’m pretty good at it
  • I’ve done this [insert job] for 30 years, it’s just routine, boring actually
  • I know what I know, but I also know you can learn something new every day
  • I, with intent, take in information, including, and especially, mistakes… boil that down, learn from it, apply what I learn from those tweaks to my daily endeavors which allows me to carry myself with a genuine sense of self confidence, which in turn allows me to tackle life… live it… enjoy the experience it provides… and to know full well that there is always more to learn… even about things I think I know flat cold!

Getting back into archery a few years ago I’ve been using it as a philosophical approach to developing my personal perception of my manliness.

Learning who I am by re-learning how to shoot; tune; maintenance; and dial in a “new to me” compound bow and tree stand.

One of my personal accomplishments has been understanding and learning how and when my anxiety kicks in.

Earlier in life I never called it that, I never understood it as that, and chalked, any kind of personal anxiety self help information, up to just crazy hippy talk.

I thought I knew.

I didn’t know anything.

Then on my journey through the “battle smoke of life” I finally learned about my personal anxiety condition, how it affected me, how it came to be, and by learning human biology, how our Vagus Nerve can be controlled through Intentional Breathing to alleviate and manage our anxiety… and more importantly… our adrenaline response.

Fight or Flight… OR… Freeze.

Remember one of my sayings in regard to this?

“As an adult there are no real lions” for most of us in the world. (still some places… but not many)

But there are plenty of Whitetail deer.

“Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know.” ~ 1 Corinthians 8:2

I have learned breathing techniques; I have learned and believe I can control my anxiety through my Vagus Nerve; I have been able to apply all this at my day job… as I’ve had multiple job changes in a short amount of time. Having multiple opportunities for my anxiety to kick in as I’ve been constantly placed into new, unknown situations and having to continually learn something new.

Enter… stage left… close encounters, 20 yards or less, with Odocoileus virginianus… the Whitetail deer.

I didn’t remember ever having “buck fever” in the past. Truth be told, in all my years in the woods, I only had one chance at one adult buck, a 2 year old six pointer, and who’s back I shot my arrow over by a good four inches. I saw a few others but a shot never presented itself.

The only other one I would have had a chance at was when I was with my second oldest son, on his first time out during gun season, that was “HIS” buck… a dandy!… my job that day was to talk him through the shot, as he was 12 and in his own words, “freaking out on the inside”.

He got ready as I was whispering encouragement, he made a great shot, and as we rehearsed, I applied the follow up shot right behind him.

Like I said, it was a dandy!

I didn’t have any anxiety then; I didn’t have any self confidence issues then; I didn’t have any buck fever then… so what gives now?

Recently in my bow stand after realizing I would NOT have any shot on a group of does working through, I sat to watch and garner some deer behavior for my files.

Pretty cool.

THEN it hit. I started to shake, uncontrollably, very akin to having hypothermia. But I wasn’t cold.

If I would have had to, I would not have been able to draw my bow it was so bad.

Then I remembered… that shaking would happen when I was younger, upon seeing deer, all does, some very close, one so close I could have reached out and touched her… but I couldn’t shoot… due to regulations at the time. And being in Wisconsin, in November, I chalked it up to just being cold.

Now I know [because when it happened recently I came home and looked it up] it’s called…


My recent understanding of those was, you needed to be facing a Mike Tyson type scenario, in order for you to reach a certain level of adrenaline… and then… when you didn’t die… you would experience an adrenaline dump.

Holding a Tiger cub… exciting, but not uncontrollable shaking exciting.

Right?… it had to be something extreme… not a graceful deer being within feet of you, and you CAN’T shoot, for whatever reason.


Another verse(s) I use a lot is…

“The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”

30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.

31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.”

Found in the Book of Acts Ch. 8.

To ENCOURAGE, EQUIP, & ENGAGE… is my goal.

Trying to be truthful, trying to explain things as they become clear to me, and utilizing myself as my own Guinea Pig, understanding by how my life is going, that I don’t know as I ought to know, about many of life’s topics.

What are the actions, I, and you, can take to move forward and understand how our anxiety level can be harnessed for our benefit?

I’ve learned the breath work that I can apply in stressful situations… just didn’t know I’d have to apply it while sitting in the deer woods.

I could tell you what works for me… but you’d probably just chalk it up to a bunch of old man hippy talk. Start your own research. Sincerely put together an action list to apply any new information that sticks with you.

And then there is the old, tried and true method of “exposure therapy”.

Face your fears. Control your breathing. Stay clear headed in the moment.

And don’t worry… I practice what I preach.

I’ll be back in that tree stand as soon as I can.

“The Dunning-Kruger effect is defined as the tendency of people with low ability in a specific area to give overly positive assessments of this ability.

This is often understood as a cognitive bias, i.e. as a systematic tendency to engage in erroneous forms of thinking and judging.” ~

Back in my day, the real “old timers” might say it like this, “You’re getting a little full of yourself ain’t ya!?!”

Having “erroneous thinking” in our lives can only be determined if we have the courage to explore our current “knowledge” and “beliefs” of that topic, and having the courage to explore new information and trying to apply that new information to your life.

Where is your self confidence at these days?

The Emerging Man, offering “Positivity w/ Work Gloves” and writing to ENCOURAGE, EQUIP & ENGAGE!

Stay tuned for a second article on self confidence coming soon!

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