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“Confidence” | Elements of an Elite STEM Professional (#6)

8 Elements of an Elite STEM Professional

ELEMENT #6 – Confidence

A feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.”

There are two ways to look at confidence, ex­ternal or internal. External confidence is build­ing trust, belief or faith in something or someone else. Inter­nal confidence is defined as a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s abilities or qualities. For this element, I choose to talk about the internal aspect of con­fidence. Both are crucial and should be devel­oped, but I realized that the first step in excel­ling in life is believing you can. Confidence is relative and not only based on an individual’s exposure to a particular thing, but also depends on an appreciation of their ability. Many people will never display confidence without the combination of these two things.

I used to use the words “I believe so” when answering a question about a project. I thought by saying this, I could somehow convince my colleague that I knew what I was talking about without really being confident at all. After a few times, my partner caught on to my tactics and told me “Ricky, to do well in this business you must be confident in what you know. Clients will not pay us if we are not confident in the product we are producing.” I had to self-assess the reasons I wasn’t confident in my final product and what I found was that my lack of confidence came from my lack of exposure and appreciation of my abilities.

There are many ways to develop your confi­dence, but I will share with you three to get you going.


You have to believe that you are capable and there are no limits on your life. Begin every day reading books or listening to positive speeches that will encourage you to strive for excellence.

Practice, Practice, Practice

“You’re talking about Practice” the famous sound bite of NBA Hall of Famer Allen Iverson. Yes, Practice! Nothing builds confidence better than repetition. The more you do something, the better you get. It’s simple, and even though the applica­tion of it can be difficult at times…PRACTICE!

Connect with Gurus

I cannot stress this one enough. Find people who have traveled the path that you are pursu­ing and allow them to give you guidance along your journey. There is nothing better than learn­ing from other people’s experiences. They will give you insight that will propel you in the right direction.

Many times we try to put on the appearance of confidence, but if someone could see through our facade, they would see the insecurities. Many of us work hard on the facade, making sure it’s perfect and flawless without spending any time working on our internal self. Make a commitment to yourself today that you will strive to obtain confidence and push through the limits of self-doubt and fear.

This piece comes to us from one of our amazing community members and STEMedia Partners, Ricky Venters. This new series is based from his book Live on E. His bio is below, be sure to check out his awesome website and if you would like to work with us you can email us here!

Ricky Venters is recognized as an Engineer of Impact. Defying the odds,completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and has achieved his Professional Engineering License. During his tenure in STEM related fields, Ricky recognized the increasing competitiveness in the industry and sought to become a source of inspiration and mentor to students and young professionals in STEM related fields. Follow him now!