Creating Confidence: Be the Expert

Confidence is something that many of us struggle with; it’s something I have struggled with all my life. Today, I’d like to tell you one of the ways I help myself to be confident in a situation I’d normally suffer in.

Recently, I’ve took up a role within my workplace as a Coach. As part of the role, I have to organise, run, and teach for groups of 6 people; that’s 24 people in total. To some, that might not seem like much, but to myself it is actually quite a feat. It’s something that makes me nervous, it’s something that weighs on my mind between each session as I silently dread how the next is going to go. It’s something that takes me out of my comfort zone. So how do I manage it? Well, I tell myself that I’m the expert here.

This might sound arrogant, but hear me out.

One of the many places a lack of confidence can stem from, is from not feeling ‘Good Enough‘. My lack of confidence often comes from a fear of failure, it comes from me telling myself “I can’t do this“, or “I’m not worth this“, it comes from me dreading that feeling of embarrassment, of letting someone down, of proving to the world, but mainly to myself, that everything I feared about myself is true. When I attend meetings normally, I find myself paling in comparison to the others in the room; their knowledge, their experience, outweighs mine and, in turn, my confidence sinks. However, if I am talking about something I know, something I’m passionate about, or something I understand, my confidence soars; I get to a point where I don’t even have to fake it.

I first realised this with my Wedding Photography. When meeting a client for the first time I was incredibly nervous. What were they going to ask? What were they going to request? What if I couldn’t provide what they wanted? What if I failed to live up to their expectations? It’s a nerve-wracking experience that can kill your confidence. Then I met the client and, when I did, I realised something. These people knew nothing about Photography. I don’t mean this as an insult, I’m sure they knew plenty of things, but Photography wasn’t their forte. Every question they threw at me, I could answer. Every situation they posed, I knew how to handle. I talked their ears off with plans, ideas, methods. They had hired me, they trusted me, I was the expert.

I don’t mean that I am the best out there; I don’t mean that I’ve reached the top of any specific talent or field. I simply mean that, by comparison, I was the one who knew and understood this specific area of life.

If you’re in a position where someone is hiring you or, as is the case in my coaching sessions, you’re being asked to teach something, nine times out of ten you probably have the most knowledge in the room. When I attend my coaching sessions, I am meeting with people who might be just as introverted as I am, they might have just as little confidence as I do, or they might be the complete opposite. The one thing I can do to separate myself though, is to have more knowledge; this gives me the confidence to teach.

So how do we utilise this to our advantage?

Learn.

I can now, quite confidently, meet with a client about Photography. I can now, with minimal self-reassurance, coach my 7 Habits groups at work. But, if you asked me to meet with someone about Music? Well, I’d be absolutely useless. What I mean is, if you want to be confident about something, then know your subject matter. If you’re working in a specific industry, learn that industry. Knowledge is power, and power is confidence. Soon you’ll be able to talk at length and, if it’s a subject you spend a lot of your life devoted to, that’s a lot of your life you’re suddenly going to feel more confident about. Whilst it might not help you suddenly speak to new people, the more confident you feel about some aspects of your life the more confident you’ll be over all.

Of course, there will be situations where you meet with another ‘expert’, and yes, that can leave you unwilling to speak up; it can feel daunting to know someone is able to challenge your knowledge, it can be stressful to find out you’re wrong. However this is just another way that we learn. In regards to being hired by someone who is an ‘expert’, you have to trust that this person hired you for a reason. Maybe they don’t necessarily see themselves that way and you’re merely being modest of yourself?

**********

Confidence is something I’ve always struggled with; I am terrible at making first impressions and I also put so much pressure on myself to make them. As I learn more about my own confidence, as I build it and reflect upon it, I plan to write more of this series ‘Creating Confidence‘ and I look forward to sharing them with you. That also means I’d love to hear from you, I’d love to know about how confident you are, what gives you confidence, or what takes it away.

Have something to say?
Please let me know in the comments below!

11 thoughts on “Creating Confidence: Be the Expert

  1. Pingback: A Series of (un)Fortunate Events – Clockwork Clouds

  2. Totally relatable! Thanks for sharing this story, Shaun. It’s encouraging to hear how you’ve learned to gain confidence through being the expert. I’m not a very confident person, and you’re right that it’s a boost when you realize, “I actually DO know this subject well enough!”

    Good luck with your classes, Shaun! I’m sure you’re an awesome Coach. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

    1. Definitely agree! For instance, anyone with a ‘loud’ or ‘large’ personality instantly makes me shrink. Strangers too, I’m less confident around people I don’t know as I dread making that first impression. It definitely all comes down to the Social setting, why are you all there? Why are you even trying to be confident in the first place?

      The above should only be taken as a small tip of a much larger subject. It certainly doesn’t work for all scenarios! Haha.

      Thanks for reading, Rachael ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Lovely to hear from you, Deb. I’ve been around, but I’ve been a little quiet… When BUYB shut down (huge shock to me, as I was on a semi-hiatus at the time) I kinda lost touch with people… But, it looks like it’s all coming back again ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks for being a returning visitor, haha! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post and spot on! I remember I used to have to do training presentations for my job and I remember getting so nervous until one day, I realized, I knew the most about what I was teaching. I knew more than the students. That gave me the boost of confidence I needed to do a good job. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Lisa! It’s great to know I’m not the only one to have this realisation, it definitely helps me get my confidence up when entering this kind of scenario ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope to take it forward where I can!

      Liked by 1 person

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