Own My Growth

Helping folks with practical tips to manage themselves better

Competence Breeds Confidence


Confidence is a skill we all can develop. All of us have areas where we are confident and where we are less confident. For instance, I am confident about blogging, but I am not confident about creating YouTube Videos.

Confidence is that self-belief we have to accomplish whatever it is we are setting out to do. It is a mindset. When we are confident, we are willing to take more risks to achieve our professional and personal goals.

Having confidence is empowering because when we are confident about something, we tend to be more successful. The success, in turn, creates a positive feedback loop where confidence breeds more confidence.

How To Develop Confidence?

It’s pretty simple and straightforward. The most effective way to build confidence is to build competence.

Let me illustrate this using my example.

Today, I blog daily and confidently. But when I started, I was anything but confident. I would struggle to get the words on paper. I was uncomfortable composing coherent sentences and ideas. And, I had this inner voice, inner critic telling me that I can’t, that I was an imposter who did not have the talent or skill to blog.

Ignoring that inner critic, I focused on building my competence by organizing my thoughts, ideas and writing them down every day. Getting good at writing meant, putting in the time, and writing consistently. So, I would write, rewrite, and re-rewrite, being stubbornly persistent. Even when the writing felt horrible, full of grammatical mistakes, I just kept at it.

When you do something over and over again, consistently and repetitively, you develop competence, and that competence powers your confidence.

This process works for anything. You want to get confident in solving math problems, public speaking, negotiation, selling, or anything else that you value doing- Focus on building your competence, bit by bit, consistently.

Don’t Stretch Too Much Initially

There can be nothing more demoralizing than trying to do something and failing spectacularly.

To avoid failing at the outset, It is essential to ensure that the initial goals are not complex and difficult to achieve.

Therefore, in my case, before I got down to blogging actively, I spent a couple of months just practicing writing 500 words every day, no matter what. I did not worry about grammar and coherence. I just wrote. Once I developed some competence and confidence in free writing, I focused on getting better at grammar and structure. I broke down my goal of blogging into smaller achievable steps. I slowly and steadily kept adding to my skill.

Let’s say you want to get better at solving math problems. You build your competence in solving the simple problems first, and with that confidence, you will become better at solving the more complex ones later.

Confidence and competence are the two sides of the same coin. They always go together. 

You want to become confident at something, focus on enhancing your competence first. Confidence will naturally come.

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