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The Confidence Paradox

confidence growth mindset mindset Jul 01, 2024

In 2020 I ran a confidence workshop. 👩‍🏫

It was purely based on my own experience and the patterns I was seeing in the clients I was working with. My thought process in the development of the offer when a bit like this:

  1. I came off a client call where we talk about confidence
  2. I realised that this was a common topic
  3. I went on Instagram and said "if I ran a confidence workshop, would you be interested?"
  4. I set up a checkout page and invited everyone who said yes

Fast forward to late 2023 and I'm studying self-concept 🧠 as part of my coaching psychology masters. I'm diving into the theory behind confidence, researched methods and techniques for improving confidence, and the latest research on confidence in entrepreneurs. 

I think "huh, the science of confidence would make a good workshop series..." 🤔

Then? NOTHING. 🦗🦗🦗

I got stuck in my own head. My mind gremlins were saying:

"What if I don't know *enough* about confidence?" 🙄

I find this soooo interesting.

No experience? Yep, I can run a workshop on that!!!

Masters level experience? Oh no, I couldn't possibly. 

Have you ever felt that the longer you've been in business, the more knowledge you have, or the more skilled you are... the less confident you actually feel?

Well, it's not just me and you hanging out in that club, because it's actually really common.

The Dunning–Kruger Effect is a cognitive bias where people with little experience overestimate their abilities, and those who start to increase their knowledge end up losing confidence despite actually knowing more. If you're looking at this on a graph, you might expect is to look like this:


Surely, the more your knowledge increases, the more confident you get?

Nope. It actually looks like this:


You start off confident because you overestimate your ability, then you gain more knowledge and realise how little you know and your confidence plummets (before later rising again, don't worry!)

So if you are thinking "why on earth am I overthinking things, questioning myself and believing I know nothing, when I actually know more than ever?!" you aren't alone.

As Aristotle said: "the more you know, the more you realise you don't."

Throughout my last 6 months studying my masters, I've had to reframe this to stop myself questioning EVERYTHING and running away to Bali. 

My positive reframe is this:

What we know to be true is always evolving, curiosity is vital for growth, and humility is key. Questioning whether I know enough is not a bad thing. It forces me to seek out new knowledge, spend time learning, question how I can have maximum impact with my clients and ultimately not end up as the next Blockbuster (RIP)! 👀

By questioning my abilities and whether I know enough I am:

  • Reminding myself that I do NOT know it all and never will
  • Leaving myself open to adapt and evolve where necessary
  • Happy to be proven wrong if it improves my business and impact
  • Not getting stuck in a "if it's not broke don't fix it" mindset

These are growth mindset thoughts, and having a growth mindset has been shown to lead to more success, happiness and money... so if you're questioning your confidence, look at how you can reframe this as a mid-business crisis level up.

Wondering how we can work together?

I offer long-term 1:1 coaching, VIP Days and one-off calls. 

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