• Question: Do you think a lack of self confidence can determine your future pathways?

    Asked by #Charlie#Ash#Dan#James to Matthew, Neil, Paula, Pete, Philippa on 17 Mar 2015.
    • Photo: Neil Taylor

      Neil Taylor answered on 17 Mar 2015:

      Hi Filer,

      Interesting question! This sounds like a very complicated area, and I think that I’d probably have to be an expert in the field to give a well-informed answer!

      My gut reaction is that self confidence will influence future pathways, but not necessarily determine them. Self confidence will make someone more willing to put themselves forward for opportunities, and be less afraid to make mistakes and learn from them. They will probably be better at presenting themselves and their ideas, and may have more career paths and opportunities open to them as a consequence.

      The observations are from my own experience – I’ve gained self confidence as I’ve gotten older, and these are some of the changes that I’ve seen in myself.

      Hope this helps!

    • Photo: Philippa Jefferis

      Philippa Jefferis answered on 18 Mar 2015:


      A tough question with no simple answer. I would say that if you had two people of eqaul intelligence and skill in a particular field then the one with more confidence is likely to push themselves that bit more or at least make sure other people are aware of their skill. So it is likely that that person may progress quicker in their career, as you do have to blow your own trumpet in this world.

      However, as Neil said, confidence comes with time. The best way to build confidence is to not be afraid to fail. We learn so much more by failing, and having accepted that failure is ok, it can give you a real confidence boost.

    • Photo: Pete Symons

      Pete Symons answered on 19 Mar 2015:

      Hi #Charlie#Ash#Dan#James,

      I think it helps to be confident and will open up more doors for you, but it is not an essential ‘skill’. I wasn;t self confident when I first started in engineering but I jumped into the deep end and faced my fears by standing in front of lots of people and talked about engineering, either in conferences or as part of a training course the company I worked for ran at the time. I learnt to be more self confident and it did give me more options.

      However, saying that I know plenty of engineers who are not self confident but are extremely intelligent and the best at their job, self confidence is great if you are speaking in front of people, having to do business development and meeting customers all the time, but if you just want to get on an design and engineer then as long as your confident in your own abilities then the world is your oyster!