How would you answer this question? “What’s more important, confidence or competence?”
Most of us would probably say competence – because, with improvement or mastery of a skill, confidence will naturally follow. In this week’s video, I show how competence and confidence are different. Competence is only half the story, so let’s look at what it takes to start boosting your confidence.
On our path to success, we’re always striving to be competent. To grow our knowledge and expertise in our chosen field so we can perform optimally. But despite this ongoing drive for achievement, we can often fall short of our goals. That’s because no matter how practiced or competent we are, deep down, we don’t believe in ourselves. There’s a little voice that whispers doubt and says things like
“I shouldn’t be here.”
“I can’t do that!”
“ I don’t know what I’m doing…”
“What will they think of me?”
It’s not for nothing that we say “fake it ‘til you make it!”
That’s because, without confidence, we cannot move ahead in a meaningful way. Without confidence, we can’t speak up, apply for a job, communicate in our strongest voice while being interviewed or try something new. It takes confidence to say “I’m going to try this and I might fail.” Which means you must lean outside of your comfort zone, so you can embrace that opportunity instead of waving it away.
The overarching desire to be perfect – in our skills, our appearance or our relationships – in fact, detracts from what we want it to do. By consistently striving for perfection, we undermine our confidence because we can never get it as perfect as we want. In reality, we are encouraging ourselves to remain risk-averse, which fuels our fear of failure. So we stay in our comfort zone because it’s easy and change is distressing.
The key difference between competence and confidence is this: Competence is about the accomplishment, confidence is about fulfillment. Success requires an extraordinary belief in yourself that transcends your capabilities and competency. It demands a leap of faith that we should embrace; this is what enables us to take on new challenges with the understanding that the possibility and likelihood of failure will strengthen us along with the belief in ourselves.
Next time you hear that voice of doubt, remind yourself – it’s not for lack of competence, but the lack of confidence in the belief that you can succeed. Instead of focusing on the doubt and fears, focus on the steps you’re going to take to reach your goals and reach success. When you believe it, it will happen. A good place to start? Change the conversation you’re having with yourself.
Avoid self-sabotage from the beginning and gain that confidence you need. You might want to check out my post How to Avoid Self-Sabotage in Negotiation.
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