This will be really rhetorical post, you've been warned.
I used to be a really insecure guy. Always hesitating to do anything that would make me noticed by people, quiet and shy, not disagreeing with anyone, always saying what people wanted to hear, and always wondering if people loved me.
That was before.
Now, thanks to pua stuff mostly, I've become this confident guy who laugh loud and speak loud, openly flirt with the girls he likes, tells the jokes he wants to tell even if it offends people, and who doesn't give a fark. Which is great, I love it.
A recent even made me realize something. While growing more and more confident, I got surrounded by more and more people, received more and more ioi from girls I knew and random girls, and constantly have a "harem circle" of girls I'm interested in and gaming/dating, which in turn got me more confident.
But in the last couple of days, all my "harem circle" disappeared (some left the country definitely, others got engaged, and so on), a couple of parties got cancelled, and I find myself in dead water.
And I realized that not having this constant stream of IOIs and people is hurting my self-confidence. I hold gaze less with people in the street, smile less to strangers, hesitate more, and so on.
And this is not right. If I really were confident, I should not be affected by a lack of IOI, I should remain sure and confident that I am who I am, and that I am a great person. Even if everyone told me I was an ass, I would be unaffected and remain who I am.
But. If I stop receiving IOIs, maybe it means something's wrong with me? And if everyone told me I was an ass, maybe it means I am one? I can't really believe I'm the only one who's right? Especially as I have a very internal locus of control, so I tend to think that everything that happens to me is due to my own actions.
And so here is my paradox. If I am confident because of other people's approval, I am not confident. But external feedback can't be ignored.
How to solve it? Totally ignore external feedback, and risk end up being a douche absolutely convinced he is the best guy around (which might get you girls actually, but this is not who I want to be)? Take into account external feedback, and risk having a variable level of confidence, and knowing this is not true confidence?