Movies trick our minds. Watching them, our brains "believe" they are real which is why we jump when they are scary and weep when they are tragic.
They can transport us from our living room couch to far off places, from the deepest depths of the ocean to the far reaches of outer space. They can help us relive the past or catapult us into the possibilities of the future.
The characters in these movies make us laugh, shake our fists in anger or fall in love. And although most movie characters are fictitious, if you're like me, you might often find yourself relating to, admiring, and even aspiring to be like your favorite movie characters.
The leads in most movies are classic "heroes" -- meaning they overcome great obstacles on the path to wisdom. And confidence, or finding confidence, through their struggles often defines their heroism. What can we learn from them?
Here are 5 movie characters that can teach us something important about confidence.
1. Rocky Balboa -- You Don't Always Have to Win to Win
Remember the very first Rocky film? What happened at the end? Stallone's character wins the fight, beats Apollo Creed, becomes the boxing champion of the world and takes home all the riches and glory right?
Most people don't remember that in the first Rocky movie, Rocky doesn't win the final fight. He goes the full 15 rounds and ends the fight with a draw. The film concludes with him and Adrian expressing their love for each other and we almost instantly forget about the fight.
So what can we learn?
Life's not just about winning, commonly defined. Its about giving it your all, setting a goal and persevering in the face of all opposition, and doing the very best that you can do. You may not always win, but if you gave it everything you have and leave it all "in the ring," then you can live regret free. And that's the real winning formula.
2. James Bond -- More Skills, More Confidence
James Bond is a character who needs no introduction. As one of the most confident and masculine characters in all film history, with no shortage of women (and men!) to chase after him, it's no wonder he showed up on this list.
There is a lot we can learn from 007 when it comes to confidence; everything from confident body language, to vocal tonality, to flirty banter, and more.
But there's one thing in particular that you can start using today to begin boosting your own confidence levels. To put it bluntly, James Bond has skills. And lots of them.
He can pick locks, speak multiple languages, win at poker, and drink a martini while jumping out of a plane.
Most people know that learning a new skill is a great way to boost your confidence. If learning one new skill gives you a confidence boost, why not learn 10. Whether its learning how to cook, change the oil in a car, taking salsa lessons, or traveling alone, every new skill will make you a more self-reliant and interesting person.
The more you know and understand, the more confident you will be in your own abilities, the less you worry others will lose interest in you. Pick one thing that you've always wanted to learn and begin your road to mastery -- and resultant confidence.
3. Ferris Bueller -- Social Skills Beget Confidence
Nowadays, social skills play a larger role than ever in career and success. Interpersonal relationships have become more and more essential as the world becomes increasingly connected through technology and being "always on."
In the 1986 hit movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Mathew Broderick plays one of the most charming con men in all Hollywood history. Ferris is a classic example of how someone with polished social skills can open the door to basically anything they want.
Learning, practicing, and perfecting your communication skills and social skills will not only lead to more success in your career, but also help you build a fulfilling and meaningful social life full of amazing and loving relationships.
4. Tywin Lannister -- Decisiveness Supports Confidence
This confident character comes very popular HBO series Game of Thrones. Tywin Lannester is one of the most powerful and confident characters on the show and one of his most powerful attributes is his ability to quickly make decisions.
He doesn't always make the best decisions, but he never hesitates. Far too many people are crippled by indecision and pull away from hard decisions. When you overanalyze a situation and procrastinate making a choice, you paralyze yourself and slowly eat away your confidence.
People unconsciously recognize decision makers and they naturally begin to view them as leaders. Learn from Tywin and start making fast decisions.
Again, they may not always be right, but its better to take a step in any direction than being stuck in indecision. You can always correct your course as you go along.
Unless of course, you get skewered by your vengeful son in the commode.
5. Tyler Durden -- Do Whatever it Takes to Feel ALIVE
In the movie Fight Club, Tyler Durden played by Brad Pitt, creates a cult of men who are sick of their boring, corporate drone lives and want to feel alive inside again.
Now, I'm not saying you need to join a secret club of dudes who beat each other up in urban basements in order to feel alive again, but doing something exciting outside of your normal routine will help to build confidence.
Push your boundaries a bit, lean into your edges, do something that scares you. Take a trip abroad by yourself, learn salsa dancing, take up scuba diving, go skydiving.
Whatever it is that makes you feel excited and a little nervous, DO IT.
When we feel ourselves growing and expanding we feel alive, happy, and positive about our future. We begin to feel we can take on anything, we emotionally withdraw from nothing.
And when you challenge yourself consistently, you become on-fire about your life. And a person on-fire is a person who grows naturally confident.
A person on-fire is a person who inspires, who is magnetic, exciting, and alluring to others. Push yourself to be the best version of yourself. Every day.
Wake up through challenge. Don't waste your life away in mediocrity and playing small. Give your gifts fully to the world and you will be rewarded graciously.
It may not take a punch in the face, but seek out something that shakes you out of routine. Your ability to stretch yourself into new skills and "tests" will not only boost your confidence, but broaden and enrich your entire life.
Best Selling Author, Emmy-Nominated Producer, Screenwriter and Entrepreneur, Adam Gilad leads a community of over 80,000 men and women on their quest to create love and a bold, inspired life. Having served as a Stanford Humanities Center Graduate Research Fellow and host of National Lampoon Radio, Adam blends a bracing mix of research, humor and global wisdom traditions to help men and women break through the habits blocking their ability to open into love and freedom.