The Secret To Building Self-Confidence

How To Build Sustainable Long-Term Self-Confidence

Remember how I mentioned about those moments of complete lack of self-confidence, despite having a versatile skillset and multifaceted accomplishments?

I am happy to share with you today, that I think I’ve finally figured out why this happens. And, I think it might be related to the 5 stages of learning.

So, what are the five stages of learning?

5 Stages Of Learning

  1. Unconscious Incompetence

    When you don’t even know WHAT you don’t know, so it doesn’t bother you at all, i.e. you are in a state of BLISSFUL IGNORANCE.
  2. Conscious Incompetence

    When you KNOW what you DON’T KNOW, which may bother you, and so you may want to learn it.
  3. Conscious Competence

    When you LEARN what you DIDN’T KNOW, but you’re NOT AN EXPERT at it, and you’re doing it consciously.
  4. Unconscious Competence

    When you get SO GOOD at doing something that you DON’T EVEN KNOW you’re doing it. It becomes like muscle memory, or an auto-pilot mode.
  5. Conscious of Unconscious Competence

    When you KNOW that you DON’T KNOW that you KNOW it.

Okay. So, how does all that “knowing” and “not knowing” relate with self-confidence?

Yes, I am coming to that in just a moment.

How Do Stages Of Learning Impact Your Self-Confidence?

See, if you look carefully at the five stages of learning, barring Stage 1 and 5, the dominant picture created is that of YOU, NOT KNOWING.

  • Stage 2 – You’re aware of all that you don’t know, so naturally, that affects your confidence adversely.

  • Stage 3 – You don’t know the stuff well, so again, it doesn’t do much to boost your self-confidence, unless you make a conscious effort to shift your focus.

  • Stage 4 – You are absolutely CLUELESS of all the things you’re a whiz at! And obviously, you can’t feel good about the things you have unless you can first SEE what you have! You may be the most knowledgeable/talented person in the world, and still have your self-confidence in tatters! (What irony, right?)

In fact, Stage 4 makes it even worse, in the sense that the MORE you know, the more you REALIZE how LESS you know, or how much MORE you DON’T KNOW! So, it’s like a vicious cycle – the things you know really well keep moving into your UNCONSCIOUS realms, whereas the pile of things you don’t know becomes larger and larger in your CONSCIOUS mind. (Ouch!)

AND, if, like me, you’re in the habit of self-learning, from books or the internet, without joining professional courses, then you don’t even have the certificates to show you what all you DO KNOW and CAN DO!

Self-confidence = How You See Yourself

And what about Stage 1 and 5?

Well, Stage 1, as I said before, is blissful ignorance. On its own, it neither adds, nor subtracts from your self-confidence. And Stage 5 is where you again make a conscious effort to remember your core competencies, AND identify what percentage of global population might be able to do those things as well as you do. And you use THIS conscious awareness to build your self-confidence.

Actually, there is one more layer to all of this.

When you first learn something new, i.e. at Stage 3, that also DOES give you a slight boost of self-confidence, although on a transient basis. So, one strategy, that some people adopt, is to keep learning new things, one after another, but that comes with the same drawback eventually as Stage 4, that every time you learn something new, some more things move from Stage 1 into Stage 2, AND you’re back to where you started from, in terms of confidence levels.

After much research and analysis on this, over the entire last weekend, I have come to the conclusion that the only 100-percent-guaranteed ways of building your self-confidence for long-term are:

  1. You either figure out a way to completely un-link your confidence levels from your skillset and achievements, the way little babies and toddlers are.
  2. You move the Stage 4 pile—of all the things you can do without thinking—into Stage 5.

That’s it. These are the only two ways that MY ‘Chacha-Chaudhary’* brain has identified, at the time of writing this post (naturally, it MAY change its mind later – please refer to my Disclaimer), as having the ability to build your self-confidence SUSTAINABLY.

And now that I have FINALLY solved this big mystery that seems to have had the majority of world population scratching their heads in confusion since the beginning of this round of Kaliyuga, I think I deserve some time off with Ricky Martin, while you go ahead and absorb all this ‘free gyan’…

* Chacha-Chaudhary’s brain works faster than a computer.


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Wanna Talk? :)

Sharmee Divan said...

What an interesting perspective!

Kay said...

Lol! Thanks! 😁
Your comment finally came through! 👏

Unknown said...

Nice one 👍, it is useful to me when, I want boost my self confidence and learn more about confidence.

Kay said...

Thanks Shaffi. I got the email notification of your comment WITH your name, but here, it is saying 'Unknown'! 🤔

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