Self-confidence, so often peddled by the self-help genre as the panacea for low achievement, can indeed cause it. Beyond a moderate amount, self-confidence is destined to encourage complacency—even conceit. You’ll never reach anything better with that attitude.
Paradoxically, conceding your insecurities—and having a certain amount of humility about your capabilities—-is usually to your advantage.
Deep down, some of history’s greatest icons—from Abraham Lincoln to Mahatma Gandhi—regularly worried that they weren’t good enough. That’s what kept them striving harder.
Face up to your self-judgment. Low self-esteem is present only when your self-appraisal is more acute than reality.
Channel that nagging voice in your head that keeps saying negative things about you. Don’t be self-defeatingly vulnerable. Don’t worry yourself into perfection, anxiety, or despair.
Engage that little “sweet spot” of insecurity to motivate yourself to exert the additional effort required to seek a better self. For example, ignore anyone who tries to calm your nerves by telling you to “just be yourself” or “who else could be better suited” before a job interview.
Idea for Impact: Satisfaction can be deadly. Lasting self-confidence derives from your ongoing effort, not by virtue.