“An expert is someone who, over many years, manages to remain confident enough to keep trying and humble enough to keep learning.”

“An expert is someone who, over many years, manages to remain confident enough to keep trying and humble enough to keep learning.”

—James Clear, Author of Atomic Habits

Image of Pablo Casals from britannica.com

When asked why he continued to practice the cello three hours a day at the age of 93, Pablo Casals answered: “I’m beginning to notice some improvement.”

My dad, who passed away last March at the age of 94, loved golf. He took up this pastime at the age of 69 and played three days a week in almost any weather. Although he was not what others would call an expert, you could find him on most days swinging a dinged-up yardstick and putting on his carpet during commercial breaks of the golf channel or a televised tournament.


Where in your personal or professional life are you still passionate about enhancing your expertise and mastery?  Where do you remain confident to keep trying and humble enough to keep learning?

“A surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence.”

“A surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence.”

—Sonia Sotomayor, U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Take a few minutes to reflect on your level of confidence regarding your personal and professional skills, abilities, and talents.

In which areas are you most or least confident?

Examine the levels of effort, practice, and overall experience you have put forth in each of these areas.

What factors seem to be most associated with higher versus lower confidence?


Where and on what personal or professional matter would a surplus of effort increase your effectiveness and your confidence?

What actions can and will you take to do just that?

Friday Review of Posts on Confidence


How much confidence do you have in yourself and those around you? Here are a few confidence-related posts you may have missed. Click the link to read the full message.


“Inhale confidence, exhale doubt.”






“What would an optimistic, confident person do?”





“Every small positive change we make in ourselves repays us in confidence in the future.”




Every Small Positive Change We Make in Ourselves

“Every small positive change we make in ourselves repays us in confidence in the future.”

—Alice Walker, Author of The Color Purple

Image of a man buttoning his suit jacket

Image from Unsplash by Hunters Race

Confidence is a quality most of my clients and the people I meet wish to increase. Although some may not always admit it, I’ve observed over time that most people have an inner critic that lessens their self-worth on many occasions.

For some reason, they often compare themselves to others and see big gaps, with others being far ahead of them. The leap to reach that level can often seem daunting or even impossible.

An alternative to giving up is the moment-to-moment and daily positive efforts for change we can all exercise. In doing so, we move closer to the future we see for ourselves – one step at a time.


Select one small positive change you wish to make in your personal or professional world, and stick with it for at least a week. Share your intention and specific action plan with others, so that you can be supported and reminded to stay on course.

If you continue this practice in the weeks, months, and years to come, I bet many of your friends and colleagues will admire the confidence they observe in you.

optimistic people

“What would an optimistic, confident person do?”

—A. S. Jacobs

Image of smiling man with two thumbs in the air

Image from quotesgram.com

One of the distinct benefits of working with coaches, mentors, and advisors is that they give their clients access to outside, mostly objective perspectives on matters of great importance.

One frequently used tool is the open-ended question, which encourages the exploration of new dimensions of thinking.

At times, almost all of us lack the sunny, confident view on issues that are not turning out as we would like. Asking “What would an optimistic, confident person do?” can lift the dark clouds and pessimistic perspective that often creeps into our thoughts.


Select an important issue or matter that is bringing you down. Shine the light of greater optimism and confidence on it, to move you forward to a more desirable outcome.

“Inhale confidence…”

“Inhale confidence, exhale doubt.”

-Author Unknown

QC #890

The development of greater self-confidence is a high priority for many of the up-and-coming leaders I coach. These high potential individuals have already achieved a level of success, and yet, they are often challenged with a new assignment that requires skills and abilities they often feel they lack.


To inhale greater self-confidence and exhale doubt, consider some of the following strategies:

  • Create a list of your current strengths and abilities.
  • Listen, but be skeptical, when dealing with naysayers.
  • Learn to accept compliments graciously.
  • Exercise and become more physically fit.
  • Read positive and self-affirming materials.
  • Avoid associating with negative people.
  • Notice your own inner voice, especially when it is self-critical, and release its negative impact.
  • Always be learning and doing something each day to better yourself.

Feel free to reply to this post with your own confidence-building and doubt-reducing strategies.