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A lot of my girlfriends are fond of saying, “God, grant me the confidence of a middle-aged white man.”

It always makes me laugh out loud. I think it comes from this article on Medium, which is also funny to me.

It’s the belief that your hardship is harder than someone else’s misfortune. It’s the faith in your point of view when facts suggest otherwise. It’s the confidence that your life story is inspirational when it’s just ordinary.

I love the prayer. Luckily, I have the confidence of a middle-aged white man. Grandiosity and self-exaggeration come naturally to me. But sometimes I have doubts, and the prayer serves me well when my competitors — almost all of them middle-aged white men who would never think of me as a contender — call me out for my doubt, apprehension, and cynicism.

These dudes read my blog or listen to my podcast and criticise my tone, style, and delivery. They question my expertise and the right to have an opinion. And they think I’m too angry, vulgar or simple to understand my industry.

I think these competitors like me, actually. It’s like a kindergarten crush turned crusty with sun damage, failed marriages and receding hairlines.

Anyway, the confidence prayer serves me well when my rivals hit back and try to tell me that what I’m doing is wrong or isn’t working. I ask God (the inner voice in my head) for confidence, and I keep going. And that’s what I want for you, too.

You should use the confidence prayer if you’re a woman, a protected minority, or even if you’re a middle-aged white guy. Embrace the audacity of a mediocre white man because you’re going to need that confidence to win whatever battle you face.

Somewhere, sometime, someone will accuse you of being an impostor. You’ll either flop and prove them right, or demonstrate how they’re wrong. It’s just a choice, and mediocre middle-aged white men know this. So, make the correct decision and open some doors for yourself.

But, if you want to be better than mediocre middle-aged white men, do yourself a favor and try to win your opponents over as friends and push them to be better versions of themselves. You don’t want to enter a stalemate of mediocrity, and you only get better when you have real rivals.

Know better, do better, help other people be better. That’s the real prayer of winners.

One Response to The Confidence of a Middle-Aged White Man
  1. Martin H Snyder

    Whilst I have decent skin and remain married, (!) I suspect that the audacity of a mediocre white man has an avatar….and that avatar is…..me.

    Fake it till you make it is the American Way!