What is the ultimate feeling of being self-confident?

Standing on the edge of a cliff and knowing, that you can trust yourself in finding a way out. Or at least knowing who to call to help you.


I was chatting with a friend last week, and I must say something surprised me. Let me start off my saying; she is very smart, she has a degree from top universities in London, and she has a PHD. She has 10 years of experience in academia. You would expect her to be super confident in terms of knowledge, because she is super confident and outgoing personality wise. She has her own little research consultancy, at the moment, only catering to academia clients, and she wanted to venture out to the business world.

You would think that given her track record, it would be easy breezy for her. Instead, she worries. She says she doesn't understand half of the lingo, nor does she know how to approach these people and topics. She doesn't know how the process works, and what if she has to do something she doesn't know 100%?

I am not going to lie, it actually made me mad. In that moment, I wanted to pick her up, shake her, until she found her confidence. I obviously didn't do that, instead I tried to convince her, that there is nothing to worry about, and that in business most of it is 80/20 anyways. As long as you have Google, there is nothing you can't learn.

Somehow she wasn't convinced, she almost froze in a paniky mode.

I have seen this behaviour a couple of times. It is as if there was an invisible barrier, which cannot be crossed. Where is that feeling coming from? Have these people forgotten that once they also started a specific topic, and they didn't know anything? They learned it. So where is this adventure feeling, this confidence, that if they suddenly stand on the edge of a cliff, they trust themselves enough to know that they will come up with some sort of solution and act upon it, even though it is not thought through, it is not prepared in advance, and it is not practiced?

It is funny how confidence is selective. Wearing sharp clothes can boost your confidence, wearing high-heels can, as well as doing something we are good at can. But shouldn't it be transferrable? Doesn't is mean that if we are confident in one area, we can also be that in another? It's part of our personality, we just need to call upon it, when we face fear.

Nothing is impossible.

I will help my friend find her way in the business world, because I have a lot of experience in it. But even without me, if she believes in herself, I am sure she could also do this without me.


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