The Illusion of Confidence

By Toku

All coaches want to be confident. 

You want to be able to sit in front of your client and promise them that you’ll change their lives, that you’ll be a great coach, and that you’ll get results. 

You want to feel good about your coaching, your likelihood of success, your ability to build a practice. And yet it seems to escape you. 

You’ve taken courses and maybe even hired a coach or two, but somehow other people seem to have what you lack. They are confident; you are not. 

So how do you fix it? I’m going to tell you, though you may not care for my answers. 


The Illusion of Confidence

When I see coaches seeking confidence, they are usually in the act of preparation. They are studying, building a website, defining their niche, crafting a funnel, and preparing. They are preparing to be a great coach, preparing to sign clients, and preparing to build a coaching business. 

Preparing is great, because it’s not that scary. 

One of the LEAST scary parts of going skydiving is putting on your jumpsuit before you get in the plane. I mean you still feel nervous but it’s WAY less scary than getting in the plane, less scary than getting hooked in and moving towards the open door of an airplane flying thousands of feet above the earth. 

Preparing is great because it gives you the illusion of progress. 

You can prepare and you can prepare more. You can learn something, you can get more certifications, you can create more plans. 

Preparation feels like you’re doing something, which is great because it works in most situations. 

After all, elementary school prepares you for secondary school which prepares you for university and then prepares you for your internship which prepares you for your first job that prepares you for  . . . and on and on. 

You spent most of your life preparing for something and in some ways it makes sense, it’s often better to prepare then not. 

Preparing is great because it’s ENDLESS

You can ALWAYS be more prepared, you can always learn more, your website can be tweaked, your niche honed, your coaching name reworked, your packages redesigned, your price analyzed, and your dreams re-crafted. It’s endless. 


But preparing keeps you trapped. 

It keeps you trapped because it IS endless. 

It keeps you trapped because it doesn’t do the one thing you hope it will do. 

Preparing doesn’t really give you confidence. 

And yet that’s what people sell you. That’s what the coaching school sells, that’s what most “build your business” coaching businesses sell, it’s even what most coaches sell. 

A plan, a process, a system, a method, a secret — that once you have, you’ll be better prepared to go do the thing you want to do. It’s so sexy and alluring. 

This idea that there’s a secret that once you obtain will give you confidence.

People (myself and maybe you included) throw thousands of dollars at this illusion in the hopes that it will be true, but if it were, there would be a lot more confident and successful coaches than there are. 


So how do you create confidence? 

You do the thing.  

You coach, you sell, you pitch, you write, you dance, you fight, you balance, you fall in love, you break up, you fall in love again. 

Confidence is not a game of preparation, it’s a game of practice. 

It’s a game of doing the thing that scares you, of failing, of learning from your failure, and then doing it again. 

Think about riding a bike: the most confident riders are the one with the most variable practice. 

They’ve ridden in snow, ice, up hills, across rocks, in races, and on tracks. You name it; they’ve ridden it. 

Every time I see a mountain biker I’m amazed because they ride down these crazy hills and across uneven ground and they do so with such skill. 

From outside it looks scary, it seems like it would be safer to read a book about how to ride a mountain bike, to learn some theory, or to talk to a coach about mountain biking. Not do it. 

Doing it looks scary and dangerous, because IT IS!!!!

But that’s why the only way to get confident at doing it is to do it. 

Sure some technique and the right mindset help with confidence. It’s worth spending some time on, but not as much time as you’re tempted to spend

Most coaches I know have invested HUNDREDS OF HOURS IN PREPARATION and invested maybe ten or more hours into practice.. 

If you really want to create confidence you HAVE to go do it. 

Go sell. 

Go coach. 

Go write. 

And the thing is, the stuff you’re afraid of WILL HAPPEN. 

You will fail. Your clients will be disappointed, they will ask for a refund, they will think they paid too much, you will think they paid too much, you’ll mess up, you’ll make a fool of yourself. 

People on bikes fall over. Coaches do a bad job coaching. 

It happens. It’s life. It’s what makes it exciting and worthwhile. 

Stop buying things in the hopes of preventing failure. 

It feels nice, but it won’t help you build confidence. 


When you fail and get back up, you gain strength. 

When you mess up and clean up, you gain confidence. 


In the dojo, we want coaches to fail. We build failure into the practice. We’ll support them, we will help them fail, we will push them until they do, and then we will help them get back up. That is why coaches leave the dojo more confident. 

So please, please, please… 

Stop preparing. Start practicing. 


You can do it with us in the half-day dojo, in the dojo, in my 1-1 practice

Or you can do it alone, with your own coach, or with a group of peers. 

It’s definitely harder without the study and support we’ve put into practice, but you can make it happen. And most of all, the point is to actually do something, anything. 





PS We’re just about to open up pre-enrollment for the 2021 dojo. 

If you want to get in early, raise your hand, and let us know. 

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