The Right and Wrong Type of Confidence

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It is impossible to avoid blind spots, or cognitive bias in our own beliefs or knowledge, even while recognizing them in others. These blind spots may affect our ability to rethink and give us overconfidence in our judgment. However, it is possible to develop confidence that allows us to see flaws in our thinking process. This right type of confidence lets us keep our beliefs up-to-date. Along with that, it helps us to acknowledge our blind spots and adjust our mindset appropriately.
Neither overconfidence nor the lack of confidence is good. Overconfidence is a trait typical of people with the Armchair Quarterback Syndrome. They believe that they know more than they actually do. Its opposite is the Imposter Syndrome, found in people who, despite having the competence and skills to succeed, doubt themselves anyway. They feel they are taking somebody else’s place, and this inhibits their success.

Grant also gives the example of a survey that asked respondents to rate their knowledge in comparison to other people. They were also prompted to take a test that assessed their real level of knowledge. The survey showed that people who considered their knowledge better than that of others significantly overestimated themselves. The result of their overconfidence is a failure to learn new things and modify their views. In the end, that leads to ignorance and arrogance.

Overconfidence doesn’t let us see our flaws.

Suggestion : We teach ourselves to be modest, but in a self-assured way. Not only does confident modesty allow us to recognize our flaws, but it enables us to work at overcoming them.

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