The Confidence Coach Who Lost His Confidence and Found it Again

The Coach Who Lost His Confidence

You know how you look at people who seem to have it all sorted, and they have their shit together, always seem to make the right moves and never put a foot wrong?

Yeah, that ain’t me.

Not long ago, I was helping out an organisation in London with some of their new clients. Leading projects, nurturing client relationships, delivering great work, that kind of thing.

It started off great, and not only was I delivering for them but I was getting on with people like a house on fire and enjoying myself too. But after some seismic organisational and personnel changes, that all changed.

The gentle slide began...

I wasn’t able to own the work like before. Layers of admin and approval got in the way. Command and control became the way of working. And worst of all, perhaps, is that I was bored silly.

I stopped enjoying the work because I was only near it, not in it with the team.

So I became isolated and frustrated too.

It wasn't great. And what I wasn’t keeping an eye on, week after week, was that my confidence was being eroded inch by inch.

It got to the point where I started questioning whether I had what it takes to really deliver. If the stuff I'd done for them previously was just a fluke. If they were trying to get rid of me.

I quit soon after spotting that, but not before some damage had been done.

And then here’s what I did.

I rested.

I rested in the full knowledge that I’m allowed to screw up sometimes, and that’s okay.

I rested without expectation, just so I could be a little kind and give myself some time to expand and breathe again.

And I rested, with the fundamental understanding that I was already whole and good enough, even if I’d forgotten what that looked like.

See, confidence—your ability to show up as whole and good enough—is never “done”. Especially if you’re out there trying to lead and have an impact, you’ll see your confidence ebb and flow.

If you stay still, or if you tolerate things that fly in the face of what matters to you, then your confidence will diminish.

I share this with you for 3 reasons.


LIFE requires that you give attention your confidence, or it can easily creep away.


Every one of us takes our eye off the ball. What matters is noticing it, and applying self-compassion in the moments that follow.


Even if you feel small or powerless or trapped, you’re always whole and good enough and fucking wonderful.

Yes, I get blips of confidence, just like the next guy. Sometimes this gets more serious than I'd like.

Fortunately, I know the danger signs and I know what it takes to get back to “me” if I wait too long.

I get better at leading myself through that, I learn more about what works and what doesn't, my ability to be open and honest with myself increases and, yes, that all leads to more natural confidence (i.e. not confected or phoney confidence).

How about you? Relate much? Let me know in the comments.


Confidence is the difference between a good leader and great leader, a stressed leader and a relaxed leader, a box-ticking leader and an inspiring leader.

Look inside The Confident Leader course to see how it works.

  • Good advice Steve, especially the part about resting and being compassionate with yourself. Also the part about confidence requiring attention. Thx

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