Niklaus Gerber

September 20, 2022

A first step to become more confident and to embrace your learning journey. Reframing how you think.

In my experience, we are too focused not to draw any attention to our weaknesses. We try everything not to look ridiculous. We do not want to make a fool of ourselves. We miss out on many opportunities by putting all this stress on ourselves.  It also has an impact on how we learn. We don't want to fail; we don't want to feel vulnerable, and we don't want to look like idiots. People will tell you that you should go outside of your comfort zone. In my opinion, this advice is not helpful. It sounds scary. Do you want to do something risky? Do you like to be scared?

I think there is a better way how to approach this. If we are honest with ourselves, we are all idiots. I am certainly one. We don't know things we probably should know. We are sometimes clumsy and shy, even if we don't want to show it. We want to ask about the obvious thing even though we think we should probably know it. 

Truly understanding this is immensely liberating. It is not just us. Every living human being on this planet struggles with the same thoughts. We are all flawed, and that is okay. I don't say it is easy to accept it, but it is something where we do not have a choice—being human means being full of flaws. 

Failure is the norm if you want to learn or do anything new. If you can embrace this concept, you get as many goes at a new challenge as you wish. You can try, fail, learn and try again. 

If someone cares what you ventured out to achieve and decides to be condescending about it, they lose all their power. Such people can only tell you what you already know and what you have already fully embraced.

But for you, it will make all the difference. Maybe you will get the kiss you always longed for; perhaps you will finally get the promotion. Sometimes it will work, and you will get that cookie you always wanted.

You will become vulnerable. But you are enough. I embraced this wholeheartedly, and it changed how people perceived me. Being clumsy, asking the obvious question or being the idiot will not make you look less confident. It will make you more human, and the mindset will enable you to learn better and become more confident. 

Absolute confidence comes from not caring what others might think. Confidence is not an innate, fixed characteristic. It's an ability that can be acquired and improved over time. Confidence in ourselves is feeling happy about who we are, what we do and our capabilities. So what should you do next? 

To succeed, you must be comfortable with the possibility of failure. The more you fail, the more you will grow and learn. You are enough; Doubt is the enemy of confidence. You are enough. You are doing it for yourself and nobody else. Stop comparing yourself with others. And lastly, next time you want to ask the obvious question – Do it!

About Niklaus Gerber

My thoughts on leadership, life, productivity, design, and innovation.