Watching this year’s Olympics (or was it last year’s Olympics — as it was indeed Tokyo 2020…), and some of the terrific performances, made me think about confidence. Confidence as in “a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.”
Clearly a quality you need to have to compete at the highest level. But also a quality we all need to possess, to be successful at what we do. And as you certainly have heard the phrase “fake it, till you make it” — we often extend confidence into the ream of abilities or qualities we believe we will have in the future, but not quite yet.
Some of the Olympic performances reminded me of the dark side of confidence: Confidence is critical for any great competitor, but overconfidence is brittle. We are too smart for ourselves in such moments.