We are told to act confident; that people who do-so in public are the most successful. The truth is, if someone is acting overly confident chances are they aren’t very competent. Dr. Tomas Chamarro-Premuzic Ph.D. has written a whole book on the topic, Confidence: Overcoming Low Self-Esteem, Insecurity, and Self-Doubt. His research has shown “the main difference between people who lack confidence and those who don’t is that the former are unable (or unwilling) to distort reality in their favor”. Meaning if you act like hot shit, you probably are not.

Of course high achievers can also be confident due to their exceptional competence. But as Dr. Chamarro-Premuzic observed, this level of talent exists in very few of us. Doesn’t it make sense that these same high achievers actually lack confidence, which is what drives them? Could your low self-esteem actually be the catalyst to success? Doesn’t lack of confidence drive us to try harder, dig deeper, and become more competent? Commonsense says yes. What else could explain why superstar quarterback Tom Brady is the last to leave practice each night? He wants to be the best on the field.

Many have heard of the 7-P’s. In the military, those P’s stand for “Prior Proper Planning Prevents Pathetically Poor Performance”, and it can translate to every aspect of your life (family, friends, work, even spiritually). Concert production folks will tell you “it is all about the advance”. You can translate this to building competence breeds confidence, and that’s exactly what Chamarro-Premuzic points out in his book.

Do not give-up on your continued education through life. Never stop striving to improve competence. The confidence will come. Embrace your insecurity, and turn it into expertise!


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