By Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic in Harvard Business Review Blog Network Article
“… extremely low confidence is not helpful: it inhibits performance by inducing fear, worry, and stress, which may drive people to give up sooner or later. But just-low-enough confidence can help you recalibrate your goals so they are (a) more realistic and (b) attainable. … If your confidence is low, rather than extremely low, you stand a better chance of succeeding than if you have high self-confidence. There are three main reasons for this:
- Lower self-confidence makes you pay attention to negative feedback and be self-critical:Most people get trapped in their optimistic biases, so they tend to listen to positive feedback and ignore negative feedback. …
- Lower self-confidence can motivate you to work harder and prepare more: If you are serious about your goals, you will have more incentive to work hard when you lack confidence in your abilities. In fact, low confidence is only demotivating when you are not serious about your goals.
- Lower self-confidence reduces the chances of coming across as arrogant or being deluded. … the consequences of hubris are now beyond debate. According to Gallup, over 60% of employees either dislike or hate their jobs, and the most common reason is that they have narcissistic bosses.
… people with low self-confidence are more likely to admit their mistakes — instead of blaming others — and rarely take credit for others’ accomplishments. This is arguably the most important benefit of low self-confidence because it points to the fact that low self-confidence can bring success, not just to individuals but also to organizations and society.”