How To Be Confident
What sometimes distinguishes fulfilled from unfulfilled lives is an ingredient that’s not part of the educational curriculum, and which can sound vague or somewhat silly: confidence.
We spend vast amounts of time acquiring technical skills in narrow professional fields, but so little time practising the one virtue that will make those skills effective in the world. We overlook the primordial need to acquire a more wide-ranging variety of confidence which can serve us across a range of tasks in our professional and personal lives.
Often, we lack confidence because we implicitly regard its possession as a matter of slightly freakish good luck. We believe we are stuck with the confidence levels we were born with, but as this class shows, the opposite is true. Confidence is not a gift from the gods, but a skill that can be learned. It is a skill founded on a set of ideas we have about the world and our natural place within it.
How to Be Confident teaches us:
- How to overcome the impostor syndrome
- How to master shyness about advancing our plans
- How to outgrow the legacy of childhood timidity
- How to remain confident that we can change things through our own agency
We leave the class equipped with a range of confidence-inducing ideas to allow us to escape the shackles of excessive hesitancy and compliance.
'Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.'
– E.E. Cummings
Christian Stenta is an experienced leader in the public sector and social innovation. Over the last 16 years, he's managed social projects in large NGOs, run an inner city welfare centre, mentored over a dozen social start-ups, managed a $1M social investment fund, and ran Australia's first national festival of social change. In 2016, he joined the Department of Premier and Cabinet in Victoria to establish the Victorian Behavioural Insights Unit, and now leads strategy and engagement across Public Sector Reform and Innovation.
In addition to his work in the public sector, Christian is a lead faculty member with The School of Life, developing emotional intelligence through the help of philosophy and culture.
Eyal Hamalish is an entrepreneur, activist and executive leadership coach. He joined the School of Life as a founding faculty member in Australia in 2014. Eyal has over 10 years experience working as an engagement and communications consultant for executives of major corporations including BHP Billiton, NAB and AGL. Eyal is an advisor to the Swinburne University of Technology Social Innovation Research Centre and a Board Member of Code for Australia. He has been recognised by the World Economic Forum as a Global Shaper and is a fellow of both the Unreasonable Institute and the Center for Sustainability Leadership.