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Success Advice

Why Your Confidence Needs to Match Your Competence



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Even if you produce amazing results at your job or in other areas of your life, others may still not see you as being competent if you lack the confidence to back it up. If you are good at your job, exuding confidence will ensure others also recognize your competence in your area of expertise. And research backs this up.

In a study from the early 1980s, psychologists Barry Schlenker and Mark Leary asked 48 real test subjects to rate the competence (among other things) of 60 fictional people who would either be taking part in a tennis tournament or a final examination for a class. The test subjects received both the fictional people’s predictions about how they would do (from very poor to very good) and the results of how they performed.

It turns out the test subjects rated the competence of the “people” who predicted they’d do well higher than the “people” who were more modest in their expectations — regardless of how well the fictional people ended up performing in the tournament or on the test. Even when the fictional people predicted they’d perform well and it was shown they did not, the test subjects still rated them as more competent than the other imaginary people who had predicted they’d do poorly.

“Confidence. If you have it, you can make anything look good. ” – Diane Von Furstenberg

A more recent study from 2017 that replicated the earlier one found the same results, showing that a healthy dose of confidence can help sway how people perceive your competence.

One possible explanation for why people may see you as more competent if you project more confidence is confidence bias, which is when people simply believe someone who exudes a large amount of confidence because they think someone who is confident about a subject must know what they’re talking about (even if they actually don’t).

Obviously you want to avoid conveying false confidence when you don’t actually know what you’re doing. Having the confidence, but not actually having the skills and experience to back it up is a dangerous combination. The following tips are not for cultivating a “fake it ‘til you make it” mindset. These tips are to help you convey the right amount of confidence in your skills and experience so others can pick up on your already existing competence.

1. Get feedback

Find someone you trust who can give you straightforward feedback about how you come across to others. (Perhaps a trusted work colleague or personal acquaintance who isn’t so close to you that they’ll hold back with their critique). Ask them to provide both positive feedback and make suggestions for how you can improve the way you convey confidence. For example, you might subconsciously rub the back of your neck when you’re explaining something, which could give off an air of doubt. Having someone point this out so you can stop doing this will be helpful.

2. Memorize some key information

The best way to convey competence is to be competent in something. Make sure you know as much as you can about the subject or job that you want to be seen as competent in. One way to make sure you not only know your subject, but can also speak confidently about it is to memorize some explanations that you have to give often or answers to questions you hear often (a sort of FAQ list in your mind).

Memorizing some boilerplate answers to some basic questions that you can rattle off almost without thinking will help you exude confidence because your answers won’t be filled with “ums” and “uhs” as you search for words. It’s like having a script in your mind that you can immediately call up when asked an FAQ about your area of expertise.

3. Experiment with body language

There has been much research about so-called “power poses” and various other body language that can help you convey confidence. Whether or not it’s true is a matter of discussion, but there are some basics you can rely on, like keeping good posture, keeping your hands in front of you, keeping hand movements to a minimum and maintaining some eye contact with the people you’re talking to.

If you’re absolutely sure about something you’re saying, then state it with an even tone of voice rather than allowing your voice to rise at the end, which will make it seem more like a question. Do some experimenting with your body language and tone of voice and see what works best for you.

“When you have confidence, you can do anything.” – Sloane Stevens

4. Use your successes

Retired professor of counseling at St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley Meg Selig, has developed the “Small Successes Method” where you keep an updated list of three successes that you can be proud of having accomplished. They can be as big or small as you like. When your boss or a colleague asks you what’s new, you’ll have a ready answer instead of falling back on “nothing” or “not much” as we so often do when people ask us what is new or what’s going on. Having a ready answer to highlight a success will give you confidence boost. 

To sum up, the most important aspect of conveying competence is to actually be competent in your area of expertise and you shouldn’t try to “fake it until you make it.” If you are completely confident with your skills and experience, but others still have trouble seeing you as competent, try these four tips to help you exude more confidence, which will get people to see you as competent in your position. 

John English is an expert communication trainer, helping well over 2000 happy student learn how to communicate more effectively with their teams, improve their public speaking skills, helping sales professional communicate more effectively with customers and prospects. Consulting and assisting corporate professional get the most out of their negotiations.

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Success Advice

How Your Beliefs Can Supercharge or Sabotage Your Success

Your life is dictated by beliefs and biases that drive your thinking, behaviors, and decisions



Your Beliefs Can Supercharge or Sabotage Your Success (1)
Image Credit: Midjourney

Pause for a moment and ponder two pandemic-era beliefs: First, closing schools will control the spread of a serious virus. Second, the consequences of such school closures—particularly social interruption and the prevention of immunity—are worse than becoming sick with the virus. (more…)

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Success Advice

How to Break the Cycles of Mediocrity and Manifest Your Greatness

There is no greatness without becoming and there is no becoming with authenticity



Image Credit: Midjourney

In just a few weeks, we will be wrapping up 2023. Can you believe it? This year has been absolutely incredible for me.

I have seen amazing doors opened, new relationships formed and I am seeing dreams realized in my life. While this seems like the hallmarks of a great year, this has also been the most challenging year of my life. With all of the change happening in my life, I have been forced out of my comfort zone and challenged to grow in every area of my life.

I can truly say that I have made the most of my moments this year and I have used everything as a catalyst for maximizing my greatest potential.

As a revolutionary leader, I have the pleasure of consulting and advising leaders around the world to fulfill purpose, realize their greatest potential and make an impact.

I want to share some insights with you that will help you to break cycles of mediocrity and manifest your greatness

Everything legal must come through the matrix

I am sure that some of you are wondering why I am using the term matrix. However, what you have to understand is that I am trying to make a highly complex spiritual principle practical to understand.

Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, every life has an origin and I believe that origin is divine and begins with eternity. You are birthed from eternity and into time to fulfill a unique purpose and assignment in your lifetime and generation.

The matrix is simply the portal or vehicle that brings something out of the invisible realm and into tangible form. The problem with much of the teaching today is that it excludes the matrix. We are told to believe that success is instantaneous and overnight.

Nobody talks about how a dream progresses through stages beginning with visualization and ultimately culminating in manifestation. Without a matrix or portal then everything that you attempt to birth and build will be illegal.

The matrix not only makes you legal but it gives you the authority and power to function as the greatest expression of who you were created to be. 

Every matrix has an incubation process

While many people admire and respect me today, I remember a time when nobody knew who I was or the significance of my message. How did I get to where I am today? I got here through an incubation process.

In other words, everything that has been destined for your life is incubating and awaiting a set time of manifestation. The problem is that most people live their entire lives idle and never initiate the incubation process.

What do I meany by that? Most people are living reckless and very few people are living intentionally. I am amazed at the number of people I have conversations with that have no vision, goals or strategies for their lives. They show great promise and they have undeniable potential.

However, without development they will die with their dreams still in them.

Everything that has been destined for your life must be incubated and converted to become realities born to time. 

“Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blueprint and begin to build.” – Robert Collier

You must give expression to that which is not yet born to time

When you think about a matrix or a prophetic incubation process, you have to understand that potential is often unrealized and untapped. In other words, your potential is in raw form and your potential cannot serve you as long as it is untapped.

The thing that makes me valuable is that I have the ability to convert potential into power. I have done it in my own life and I have empowered leaders around the world to do the same. How do you convert potential into power?

First, it is important to note that you have to perceive potential. If you cannot perceive your potential then you can never cultivate your potential. In addition, you must take the time to cultivate your potential. We often get excited about our capabilities; however, we never expand our capacity in order to realize our greatest potential.

In other words, the strength of your potential is only discovered through your willingness to stretch. The more we are challenged the more we are empowered to expand our capacity for greatness. Most of all, you must begin to express your potential. The expression of potential is different for every person.

For example, the expression of my potential is best demonstrated through the thoughts, ideas, products, services, books, etc.

For another person the expression of potential may look like a screenplay, artwork, sports, scientific discoveries, medical breakthroughs, etc.

Regardless of the form of expression, I know that you will live empty and unfulfilled until you make the decision to express your potential. The expression of your potential gives voice to your dreams, life to your vision, significance to your moments and activates your true power.

You must manifest your greatness

As a revolutionary thinker and leader, my work has impacted people around the world. I am grateful that my life is a source of empowerment to so many people. However, before anyone could ever benefit from my life, I had to make a non-negotiable decision to become who I was born to be.

I wish I could tell you that this journey is easy and that you will get there overnight. However, in a world that celebrates us for doing we are often criticized for being. As a result, I wasted a lot of time trying to be who other people wanted me to be instead of being who I was born to be.

There is no greatness without becoming and there is no becoming with authenticity. It is through our bravery to be vulnerable that we ultimately manifest our greatness. We do not bless the world by being a duplicate. We bless the world when we honor our difference. When you honor your difference you honor your potential.

Ultimately, your difference is how you manifest your greatness.

When you present anything but your authentic self to the world, you are playing small and you are robbing the world of your significance. Manifesting your greatness requires you to master your gifts.

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Success Advice

Here’s a Young Man’s Antidote for the Uncertainty of the Modern World

Why do a lot of young guys lack confidence in today’s world? 



How to boost your confidence
Image Credit: Midjourney

We all have been told that confidence is a key factor in achieving success and happiness in life. But what is it exactly? (more…)

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Success Advice

Toxic Leadership: 5 Ways to Identify a Bad Leader

if you have a leader who displays any of the toxic traits, it’s time to move on to greener pastures.



Toxic leadership
Image Credit: Midjourney

Let’s be honest, we’ve all crossed paths with a toxic leader in our careers at some point. Unfortunately, while some toxic leaders don’t even bother to hide their behaviour, some know very well how to conceal their true selves behind a strong-built facade. The latter is the most dangerous of the two. (more…)

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