3 Minute Monday – Confidence, Problems & Thoughts

3 Minute Monday

Hi friend,

I’m recording a TEDx Talk this Saturday.

It’s my first foray into proper big dick public speaking.

In a huge professional TV studio with a team of audio & video people watching.

Usually I’d be pretty nervous, but for some reason I’m not.

I’m just excited.

(Lowkey I’m nervous that I’m not nervous and concerned that I should be nervous but let’s ignore that)

As usual, I’ve been curious about why I’m not pooping my pants ahead of the event.

Last week I recorded with Ben Bergeron and his insight into what confidence is really helped me understand what’s going on.

Ben said “Confidence is just another word for preparation.”

Let’s take it from First Principles: what IS confidence in the context we’re discussing here?

“The knowledge that my level of performance meets or exceeds the level which will be required of me.”

Basically – we’re going to do a thing, and we want to feel sure that we’re capable of doing it.

If you were about to step into the ring to fight Conor McGregor, you’d probably not feel very confident, and rightly so – you’re about to have your head caved in.

Your performance does not meet the level required of you.

But if you were about to wash the dishes, you wouldn’t even notice your confidence as a missing factor.

Because your performance exceeds the level required of you.

Everything else you encounter is just a gradation between these two situations.

Because everyone talks about charisma, extraversion, confidence and being outgoing in the same sentence, we presume they these traits are interchangeable, but they’re not.

People think that confidence is something that you’re given.

Confidence isn’t given, it’s earned.

Confidence is built up by proving to yourself that you can meet the demands required of you with progressively bigger and bigger wins.

Until eventually your worst possible performance is still better than the level required of you.

So if you feel unconfident about something, ask yourself – do you have the right to be confident?

Have you done enough to deserve feeling like you can achieve this thing?

If not, your problem isn’t a lack of some internal trait, it’s a lack of preparation.

You need to earn your confidence by putting in the reps and preparing fully.

So the next time you hear yourself or someone else say “I’m not very confident about doing X”, replace the sentence with “I’m not very prepared to do X”.

That severely changes the way it sounds eyh.

You are in control of your preparation.

You are in control of your confidence.

I’ve rehearsed my talk for hours and hours. In front of the mirror, to friends on FaceTime, even to a diction and theatre coach (thanks Myles).

I still might totally bungle it.

But even my worst performance will be better than I thought I’d probably be 3 months ago.

Hopefully it’ll go perfectly, and I’ve given myself the best chance to make that happen, but if it doesn’t, I know I’ve put the hard yards in anyway, either way – I’m not nervous.

It’ll be interesting to see if this confidence carries through to event-day.

I’ll report back.


I do a podcast which has had 13 million+ downloads. You should subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

This week’s upcoming episodes:

Rob Henderson – why we do the things we do, explained by evolution & psychology. An entire episode on signalling & motives. So so good.

Adam Alter – the psychology of phone & tech addiction. Looking at the tactics and cognitive tricks that tech companies are using to keep us hooked, and how to unhook them.

Not sure yet. Maybe John Vervaeke, Jordan Peterson’s colleague from the University Of Toronto on finding meaning in life.


​In America, your net worth as an adult is more tightly linked to your postcode as a child than your IQ as a child.

“When you get clear enough, you will realise that the real problem is that there is something inside of you that can have a problem with almost anything.” – Michael Singer

The Common Thought Razor:

Your thoughts are far less unique than you think they are. If you’ve had a thought, assume that at least some significant minority of other people also have done.



The secret weapon behind most Mac productivity setups.

Since 12 Nov 2017 when I downloaded it, I’ve used Alfred 16,954 times.

Powerful system-wide search.

It enables a 200+ item clipboard history. (game changer)

Gives you auto text-expansion snippets for commonly written sentences or even entire letters.

Use your calculator from anywhere on your laptop.

The function to tweet-from-search-bar.

And a huge bunch of other add-ons and features created by the Alfred Community.

Only for Mac.

Check it out here.

Big love,
Chris x

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