The Confidence Trap: Do you need to be confident to be successful?


A client asked me, when will they stop doubting themselves and have confidence in both themselves and their business? At this point I would like to contextualise this conversation and say that they are run a successful business with a multi-million dollar turnover and over 35 employees. From an external perspective they are successful.

There is a perception that part of what defines success (apart from achieving goals and financial gain) is the feeling of confidence. Success is portrayed by jumping up in the air, air punching, straight backs and a confident stance. I know that this is a HUGE generalisation but to some extent it is true.

After reflecting upon the conversation, I wanted to share a few thoughts with you about it.

1. Being a true entrepreneur means you are in a constant of change, flux and growth. This results in being out of your comfort zone, pushing yourself to do things differently and risk. None of these scenarios is a place of knowing, quite the opposite. When defining confidence, it is the knowing that we can do something after we have repeatedly done something. For example, public speaking. The more you do it, the more comfortable you get because you have proved to yourself that you can do it and subsequent confidence grows over time. However the reality is we need to accept and welcome this feeling of the lack of confidence in our world if we are to be true explorers and entrepreneurs.

2. Self-belief. But all is not lost…at the core of our being we must nurture self-belief as this will be the engine that fuels us through all the changes, risk and beyond as entrepreneurs.

“If you don’t believe in yourself, who will?”

This is something I often say to my clients as opposed to “fake it till you make it”. Self-belief is essential, as it will sustain you through all the ups and downs of creating, growing and scaling your business. Self-belief is the quiet voice that says to you as you go to pitch your business to your first potential client, or to the group investors (especially when you are a woman in a sea of men), or when you are making massive decisions about the direction of your business. None of these situations require confidence, they require your self-belief.

3. Impostor syndrome. This is a big one. Some of the most successful people suffer from this – the fear that they are not good enough or a fake, with thoughts like “when will they find out that I am not as good as they think I am”. Like all fears, they are false evidence that appears as real.

tumblr_mozznqcz811swvvcio1_1280 It is a fear that must be overcome but the reality is there are bucket loads of CEOs, high level executives and wildly successful people that suffer from impostor syndrome.

My overall reflection is that all these 3 areas that I have shared with you are internal. It is our mindset, our thought processes; it is what we tell ourselves, our values and beliefs. And despite lacking confidence I will say that most successful people do not walk around confident all the time, as based on the general perception. The reality is as entrepreneurs we are explorers often entering unchartered territory and we need to come to peace with the idea that confidence does not equate to success. We need to look inwards to our self-belief. To believe we are worthy of success and rid ourselves of the impostor syndrome. And continue step by step, day by day walking in the directions of our goals and dreams for ourselves and our business.


I invite you to a free 45 minute discovery call, where together we can work to building your internal mindset and resilience to achieve your goals. Click here to book. This is a real coaching session, not a sales pitch.

If you liked this article, please share it with your people. Or post a comment below, it is always great to hear from you and what you think.


Share Button