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Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

361. Mastering Confidence: Unleash Your Potential with Neuroscientist Dr. Ian Robertson

In this episode of The Brainy Business podcast, host Melina Palmer invites Dr. Ian Robertson, a clinical psychologist, neuroscientist, and author, to delve into the psychology of confidence. With his expertise in understanding how individuals and organizations adapt to change, Ian explores the malleability of confidence and its impact on our lives. He emphasizes that confidence is a belief that can be learned and developed, not solely determined by genetics or brain structure. 

Throughout the conversation, Ian shares practical strategies for building confidence, such as setting achievable goals and reframing emotions. He also discusses the role of leaders in fostering collective confidence within teams and highlights the importance of vulnerability, trust-building, and open communication. By understanding the psychology of confidence and implementing the strategies discussed, individuals can boost their confidence and empower themselves in both personal and professional settings.

In this episode:

  • Discover the psychology behind confidence and unlock your true potential.
  • Embrace failure as a valuable learning tool to achieve personal and professional growth.
  • Learn how to reframe your emotions to enhance performance and achieve your goals.
  • Start building your confidence one small step at a time and witness the positive impact in your life.
  • Explore the power of collective confidence in leadership and its impact on teams and organizations.
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SHOW NOTES:

00:00:00 – Introduction,
In this episode, Melina Palmer introduces Dr. Ian Robertson, a clinical psychologist and author of How Confidence Works. They discuss the significance of confidence in shaping individuals’ lives and how it can be learned and developed.

00:03:05 – Mind vs. Brain
Ian explains the difference between the mind and the brain, using the analogy of hardware and software in a computer. While the brain is the physical structure, the mind refers to the software that shapes our thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. He emphasizes that the mind and brain are interconnected and that changes in the mind can have significant effects on the brain.

00:07:33 – The Impact of Confidence on Success
Ian discusses the long-term consequences of confidence, using the example of two five-year-old girls with similar abilities. Even a slight difference in confidence can lead to divergent paths and advantages later in life. Confidence not only boosts individual performance but also influences relationships and social dynamics.

00:10:11 – Building Confidence
While sudden shifts in confidence, as portrayed in movies, are rare, Ian explains that confidence is built through specific behaviors and tangible successes. The process involves setting proximal goals, gradually stretching oneself, and experiencing a sense of achievement. Slow progress and small successes form the foundation for increased confidence.

00:17:22 – The Benefits of Failure
Failure is a better teacher than success as it allows for reflection and learning. Failure can be a threat to the ego, but adopting a growth mindset can help in addressing and learning from failures.

00:18:59 – The Importance of Self-Reflection
Self-reflection is crucial for learning from failure. By analyzing the causes of failure, one can gain insights and make improvements in various areas such as skills development, time management, and market understanding.

00:20:15 – Taking Action Despite Failure
Taking action in spite of failure builds confidence and resilience. By embracing failure as a friend and focusing on the process rather than negative self-scrutiny, one can overcome the fear of failure and continue moving forward.

00:21:41 – Shifting Perspectives and Emotions
Emotions such as anxiety and excitement have similar physical responses in the body. By reframing anxiety as excitement, one can change their mindset from a threat to a challenge. This shift in perspective can improve performance and boost confidence.

00:27:44 – Overcoming Anxiety and Building Confidence
Overcoming anxiety by taking action in spite of it can lead to increased confidence. Treating anxiety as an arousal rather than a negative emotion allows one to harness it and focus on internal goals, leading to a sense of accomplishment and improved performance.

00:34:32 – The Importance of Taking Action
Overcoming anxiety and fear requires taking action, even when your confidence is low. Start with small steps and gradually work towards your goals.

00:35:27 – Controlling Attention for Confidence
What you pay attention to determines your motivation and emotions. Focus on future success rather than possible failure. Set achievable goals and celebrate small wins along the way.

00:37:28 – Collective Confidence in Teams
A confident leader can inadvertently drain the confidence of others in a group. To build collective confidence, leaders should ensure equal participation, improve emotional intelligence, and include a diverse range of perspectives.

00:40:08 – The Role of Values in Confidence
Clear values shared by a group enhance cohesion and collective confidence. Leaders should foster a sense of unity and trust by promoting a common set of values among team members.

00:44:47 – Avoiding Narcissism and Practicing Humility
Success is often influenced by luck and chance factors. Leaders and parents must remain humble and grateful, avoiding narcissism, to inspire and motivate others without diminishing their confidence.

00:45:36 –  Conclusion,
Melina’s top insights from the conversation. What stuck with you while listening to the episode? What are you going to try? Come share it with Melina on social media — you’ll find her as @thebrainybiz everywhere and as Melina Palmer on LinkedIn.

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