Increase Your Level of Confidence with Higher Levels of Competence

confidence competence loop

When you feel confident, you know you can accomplish whatever you put your mind to doing. However, low confidence levels can prevent you from trying to create even a semblance of that success.

There’s an easy way to raise your confidence level so you feel able to go for your dreams: increase your level of competence.

The Confidence Competence Loop

In the world of Certified High Performance Coaching, the relationship between confidence and competence is called the Confidence Competence Loop. The more competent you become, the more confident you feel. Confidence also helps you feel able to tackle tasks that increase your competence.

Confidence and confidence are tightly knit together. If a lack of confidence holds you back, the antidote is more competence. And more confidence leads to your ability to continue leveling up your competence.

Practice Makes Confidence

The old adage that practice makes perfect is true, but practice also makes confidence. Consider this…

At 10 or 12 months old, you took your first steps. You were not a confident walker at first. After all, you just learned to stand on your own two feet! You took one step and fell down but kept practicing until you could walk one, two, three steps in a row.

After a lot of practice, you became a competent walker. Then, with more competence, you became more confident. That’s when you began to run and jump.

You can apply that story to just about everything in life. Practice leads to competence and confidence.

The 10,000-Hour Rule

The Confidence Competence Loops relates to Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule, which he writes about in Outliers. Gladwell claims it takes 10,000 hours of intensive practice to achieve mastery of complex skills and materials, like playing the violin or computer programming.

If you put in 10,000 hours to become competent—or the best—at a task or skill, you develop a high level of confidence in your ability at the same time.

You may not start out knowing how to perform the task. Nor do you necessarily begin with inherent skill or ability. Instead, you build these over time.

The Self-Esteem Factor

Many things affect your confidence besides competence. For instance, your level of self-esteem can impact whether you feel able to take on the world—or the tasks that will help you succeed.

According to Dr. Joe Rubino, author of The Self Esteem Book, 85 percent of the world’s population is affected by low self-esteem. Yet, self-esteem is not much different than self-confidence.

Here’s a standard definition of self-esteem: “confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect.” Compare that to a common definition of self-confidence: “a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment.”

What’s the difference between the two?

Self-esteem involves your self-perceived level of worth. Do you feel worthy of whatever you want to do, have, or be? Additionally, the level of esteem you hold for yourself depends on whether you respect yourself and your abilities.

On the other hand, self-confidence involves trust in yourself. Do you believe you have the ability, qualities, and judgment to go for your dreams?

Trust in self leads to self-confidence. That trust comes from confidence in one’s own worth or abilities—self-respect.

Trust yourself, and you will confidently move toward your goals and dreams. You’ll tackle new tasks and skills, gaining competence in the process.

The Fear Factor

Fear subdues your self-confidence, too. If you are afraid, you don’t trust yourself to take action successfully. You don’t believe you can do something, or you think there will be negative ramifications if you act.

One way to reduce fear is to increase competence. The higher your level of competence, the more trust you develop in your ability to achieve success. And the more you trust yourself, the more self-esteem and self-confidence you develop.

When you feel competent and confident, you will take bold action. You will act courageously.

The Belief Factor

Limiting beliefs also affect your level of confidence. Do you often tell yourself:

  • I’m not good enough.
  • It’s too hard.
  • I don’t have time.
  • I’m going to look stupid.
  • I never win.
  • I always fail.
  • I can’t do it.

These types of beliefs lower your level of self-confidence and keep you from attempting to increase your competence level.

Limiting beliefs are based on your interpretation of past experiences. You’ve chosen to believe these old “stories,” which are based on minimal fact. Possibly, you’ve decided to believe what others told you as well. Their words reflected their interpretations or perceptions of you and are likely no longer valid—if they were ever true.

It’s time to poke holes in your limiting beliefs. For instance, maybe you struggled to learn how to play the piano when you were six. However, that doesn’t mean you’re going to find it challenging to learn how to create a website for your new online business.

Consider how many things you’ve learned and become competent at over the years. Throughout your life, you’ve become competent at many things, like how to run a marathon, parent your child, heal your patients, coach your clients, or cook. You develop competence in these skills and, as a result, now feel confident in your ability as well.

The Overwhelm Factor

Overwhelm makes you feel defeated before you even begin. When a task or goal feels like “too much,” your trust in your ability to succeed wanes. Additionally, your self-esteem and self-confidence. This is especially true if you don’t have a plan for how to accomplish what you desire.

Break whatever you want to do, learn, or accomplish, and it feels doable into manageable pieces. Add a system or process for achieving each piece, and the overwhelm disappears.

If that’s not enough to give you confidence, create a system. Set up a process that helps you move forward and tackle each piece individually as part of the entire system.

As you use the system, you’ll begin to feel competent. Confidence will follow as you keep to your schedule, complete tasks, and hit your deadlines.

Becoming competent at anything is a process. It takes time, determination, and, more often than not, a map to get from where you are to where you want to go. Follow the map, step by step, and you’ll confidently arrive at your destination.

Take a look at where in your life you lack confidence. Then, determine how you can increase your competence level in that same life arena.

Do that, and anything becomes possible—anything—simply because you feel confident.

How are you going to level up your confidence by leveling up your competence? Tell me in a comment below. And please share this post with a friend who might need a confidence boost.

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Photo courtesy of Cathy Yeulet.

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