Episode 84: Tested Confidence

Have you ever had a brilliant idea? 

You knew this was IT – the ticket to success.

So, you got to work.

But the more action you took, the less confident you became.

It started feeling hard. And you started questioning whether it was really possible.

The confidence you once had was replaced with doubt.

Enter my first several years in business. This is exactly what happened. And I consistently reached a point of doubt, where I’d pivot…

To a new audience, new offer, new marketing strategy. And the cycle would start over.

On this week’s episode of the Scale to Seven® podcast, I’ll share with you the difference between tested confidence and untested confidence.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

Featured on the Show:


Welcome to Scale to Seven®! Your behind-the-scenes look at what it really takes to scale your business to seven figures. I'm your host Kathryn Binkley, business and leadership coach for online entrepreneurs. Here's what I know, building a business that will generate millions requires the mindset, strategy, and action of a future seven-figure CEO, starting now. Ready to Scale to Seven®? Let's go! 

Welcome to episode #84. I hope you're doing well. I'm so excited that you're here again and listening. And I can't wait to share this concept with you. I want to ask you a question. Have you ever had a brilliant idea, the kind of idea where you knew this was it, this was the ticket to success, it was the best business idea, offer idea, whatever it was, it was just the best idea. And so you got to work, you were so inspired, you couldn't stop working. And yet, the more action you took, the less competent you became. You spent more and more time but as you dug in, or when you revisited it, the next day or the next week, you started to doubt whether it was actually that great of an idea at all, or whether it was going to work. Maybe it started to feel hard, and you started questioning whether the outcome that you wanted was even possible at all. The confidence that you once had was replaced with doubt. Now, I just want to give you a special note here that right about here, you can enter my first several years of business, this is exactly what happened to me over and over and over again. And I consistently reached a point of doubt, and then I'd pivot, I'd pivot to a new audience or a new offer or a new marketing strategy, and the cycle would just start over and over. Can you relate? If so, if you've ever been there, then you understand this cycle of competence and doubt that happens. And as much as I'd like to tell you that that only happens early in your business and that you get over it, at some point. Of course, I'm going to tell you the truth and that is you're still going to continue to face it. 

You're still going to have doubt in your business, and I want to talk about that today because there's this cycle that we go through in our business and that you'll continue to go through. And even if you begin to recognize or have awareness of the fact that this cycle is happening is still going to be there any time that you're taking a new step or going into new territory. And so here's what you need to understand, here's what I want to share with you today. First, is that there's a difference between untested and tested confidence. There's actually something called the Dunning Kruger effect, we'll put this in the show notes, so you can see the spelling of it. But this effect is what I just described to you. It's where you have the highest level of competence when you're actually the least competent, and this explains entrepreneurs so well because we come up with a new idea. And we're so confident in that idea but we have the least amount of experience, and therefore the least amount of competence around whether or not that idea will actually work, what goes into it, how long it's going to take how hard it's going to be but none of that matters to us in the beginning. 

We still have this incredible level of confidence, and the more that you learn, the more that you understand that you don't really know, the less confident you become. And that's because your confidence isn't yet tested. Once you start seeing progress, once you start seeing results firsthand, you've developed tested confidence, you believe it's true because you've done it before. But there's this phase of untested competence that comes first and ironically, sometimes that initial untested competence is actually higher. Now, that tested confidence could come from confidence because you've done it already, or because you've questioned your doubt there are some different scenarios, but over time, you've developed a confidence that can only come through action. Now, this is gonna be a little weird, but after you have results your competence still may never be where it was initially because you actually understand your limits. You understand so much more about what it takes and so your competence is just a smidge more realistic if you will, but the cycle continues. So even if you are confident initially that untested confidence and that started to take a dip, and you started to have doubt if you keep pushing through, and you reach the phase of tested confidence, you're going to move on to something bigger and better most of the time, right? 

Most of the time entrepreneurs, if you're anything like me or any of my clients, you don't settle, you keep going. You increase the goal and when you do that starts the cycle again, because you've never done that specific thing before, or because you have some doubt to take care of, you're in that new territory again. So you go back through another phase of untested confidence, doubt, and then eventually, the possibility of that tested confidence. Now I say, eventually the possibility of tested confidence because again, remember what I did early in my business, when I had that doubt was the pivot, I would start over, I would go back to where it felt so good, but also high in confidence. So I felt super confident that I could do something, but I had a very low understanding or confidence level of what would be required. But it would feel better, that place feels better than being in the middle where there's doubt. And if you get nothing else from this, I want you to really understand what I just said, some of you are starting over, you're going back, you're scratching things that could have worked if you push through, because you're going back to a feeling that is higher confidence, but it's untested confidence. So you don't actually know what you don't know yet, and you're going to get to that same place. And if you keep choosing to start over, it's creating a really painful cycle for you, versus pushing through. 

So how do you push through instead of going through this confidence-doubt-confidence-doubt pattern? I want you to think about doubt not being a problem because it's not. When you're going back and forth from confidence to doubt, don't think of it as ups and downs, like a roller coaster, but consider it more like a winding path of a mountain. You go towards one direction (confidence), and then you have to wind in the other direction (doubt). But as you're going, every time you go through another cycle of confidence and doubt, you're still getting closer to the top. It's taking you higher and higher, you're getting closer to your goal. So doubt is not a problem. I used to think it was I used to think that my journey to success should not include doubt. If I started feeling doubtful, I thought I needed to stop and fix something, or I needed to start over. But doubt is normal. I really want you to hear this. It might sound a little preachy. But doubt is normal. And you can accomplish some unbelievable things while still doubting I know because I am living proof. 

Every single time I decide to do something big doubt crops back up, every single time. It's just part of the process. It is normal, I doubted my first six figures, I doubted the results that I could get my clients, whether I was ready to hire, whether I had anything valuable to say, I promise you, I've doubted all of that in so much more. Until I developed tested confidence. And since then, I've made multiple six figures. I've helped clients make millions of hires and lead an incredible team. I've been invited to speak on physical and virtual stages and accomplish so much more all while doubting. The thing is, there's a key to all of this doubt. And the key is to not let the doubt stop you. It's totally possible to doubt and to take action. I learned to expect doubt. I learned to prepare for the doubt, and I learned to ask the right questions. And I'm going to share a few of these questions with you because if you're human, then my guess is that you're experiencing some doubt. If you're a business owner who's trying to accomplish things that you've never done before, I'm going to guess that you're experiencing doubt. And here are some questions that you can ask instead of telling myself that is not possible. I asked what needs to be true. 

So that thing right now that you're doubting. I want you to ask yourself, "What needs to be true to make it possible, to accomplish the goal? What needs to be true?" And if you have all of this evidence that something isn't true, then I want you to ask yourself, how is this already true and look for the evidence that it is or when the doubt feels like a fact I want you to ask what do I already believe is true that's close, right? That's close to what you want to believe. And when you're feeling the doubt and not taking action, ask yourself if I fully believed my goal is possible, what would I be doing? and then go do it, go take that action, make the commitment to take that action, and build that tested confidence. That's what you're aiming for, I want you to begin to recognize the difference between untested and tested confidence. And when you're in that middle place where you're experiencing doubt, I want you to understand that that's just a phase, and it's part of the journey. 

I want you to know that the highest confidence might be at the beginning. And it's okay for that confidence level to drop. And that doubt when that drops, doubt is not a problem. It's just normal, you're human. And it's totally possible to doubt and keep taking action. So no need to stop, no need to start over. No need to try to fix anything. You don't have to try to fix your brain from not doubting that's not possible, you're going to doubt. So there's no place where I feel like you have to get to 100% belief to take action in that untested confidence phase, it's going to feel like your belief is less and less. And not until you have that tested confidence. Will you feel like you finally have that 100% belief? It's a phase you go through. And a lot of people think that you go from absolutely no belief up to 100%. But I actually think you start at this 100% belief, it's possible, and then your confidence fades over time and doubt takes over. But as long as you keep going, that confidence will start to build again, and that's the process of letting go of that untested confidence and starting to build your tested confidence. 

That's what you need my friend, you need to keep going. You need to build that tested confidence, and the way to do that, in large part is remembering that doubt is not a problem. I feel like I can't say it enough but that's just because I know so many of you struggle with doubt. It's a normal part of the process. Keep going. If you want some support on your journey, if you want me there by your side, to point things out. And to help you to ask these questions. When you're in the middle of it, then go visit my website, check out how you can work with me, you can apply for Private Coaching, if I still have a spot available, or you can join the waitlist for the Scale to Seven Mastermind. Both of those options will give you the ongoing support to really challenge your mindset to build your belief as you scale and as you become a stronger leader. All right, everything you want as possible, but you're not always gonna believe it. And that's okay. Keep going, even when you feel the doubt, and I'll see you next week.

Hey, if you're ready to Scale to Seven®, I want to invite you to join the Scale to Seven® Mastermind. It's my coaching program designed to turn your online business into a self-sustaining scalable business that can generate millions. Just head over to kathrynbinkley.com/scale-to-seven. We'll see you inside!


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