The Illusion of Confidence (Part Two)

When is it okay to call yourself an expert?

The Illusion of Confidence (Part Two)

As we discussed in the last article, competent people think that everyone else has the same abilities as them because if they believe that if they have certain skills, others have them too (known as the Imposter Syndrome). While on the other hand, incompetent people are under the illusion that they have the skills for a certain task when they do not, and so they are unable to recognize their mistakes (known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect).

But how do we know when someone is claiming to be an expert but is not? People who genuinely know their field are more modest about it. They do brag about their abilities and do not feel the need to flaunt them. This is human nature. The idea of knowing without having to make efforts for it is like a dream one would wish to come true. Like that, people who brag about their expertise might not have made the efforts to actually get to know their field, and hence, are under the illusion that they know more than they actually do know!

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So when is it okay to call our self an expert? When holding events such as seminars or workshops, it is okay to call our self an expert. In fact, it is necessary; in certain situations one needs to assume that role. Even in student-teacher relationships, it is okay to call ourselves experts. The idea is that it is okay to call ourselves experts in order to attract those in need. Even in marketing, one should call his or her self an expert because one who acquires the skills of a certain field is, no doubt, an expert to the layman. Hence, it is also okay to call yourself an expert in front of laymen.

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However, when with peers, one should not label his or her self as an expert. Arrogance is not inspiring. With fellow peers, it should only be about learning and to keep learning and growing, rather than boasting. Free time should also be about learning to strive to be better in one’s field. This does not mean that we should not have confidence in our abilities or that we should not know our worth. We should always show our worth to employers and clients, and also at the occupational marketplace. 

Good luck!

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