The Daily Mail had a piece on U.S. college students' confidence levels shooting sky high while their actual competence and performance in the areas of their confidence dipped to new lows a few days back (the original article's here).
The article mentioned research finding that that more and more young people were carrying bigger and bigger life goals, and more and more of them were falling short and slipping into depression and anxiety disorders.
It quoted psychologist Jean Twenge as saying "You need to believe
that you can go out and do something but that's not the same as
thinking that you're great," and, "An intervention that encourages
[students] to feel good about themselves, regardless of work, may
remove the reason to work hard."
I thought it was a fantastic article for one reason: the clear differentiation between confidence and success.
I've always found the, "I just need to tell myself I can do it, and then I can do it!" approach to "achieving things" to be a little daft, and it's nice to see some research backing this up.
I'd like to talk with you a little about this today, because, if this research is anything, there are fewer and fewer people out there like me who think that the secret to success is just going out there and busting your chops until you get there, and more and more who think you can just think your way to success.
Well, I've got news for those people: nuh-uh.