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Home » 3 Habits That Kill Your Confidence: Shadé Zahrai (Transcript)

3 Habits That Kill Your Confidence: Shadé Zahrai (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript and summary of Shadé Zahrai’s talk, “3 Habits That Kill Your Confidence,” at TEDxMonashUniversity conference. In this talk, leadership alchemist Shadé Zahrai explores the theme of overcoming self-doubt and building confidence through understanding and addressing three key “mind pits.

Listen to the audio version here:


There’s no such thing as being born with self-doubt, and I’ll prove it to you. I challenge you to ask any friendly neighborhood 12-month-old at what point they would give up on learning to walk. They’d likely look at you with bewilderment and mild amusement. Okay, they’ll probably look bewildered whatever you say.

The typical 12-month-old instinctively keeps trying to walk no matter how many times they fall and get up. And unlike us adults, they won’t go 12 rounds against themselves for stumbling and falling. They won’t compare themselves to a playdate who’s showered with praise for successfully taking their first steps. They just get on with it.

As we grow up, somewhere along our development, patterns of thinking begin to emerge that lead us to experience self-doubt. These could have originated from parents imposing excessively high standards, being compared to others and experiencing shame, being bullied or underperforming at school, or even growing up in a toxic family dynamic.

If we’re not careful and allow these patterns to repeat themselves thousands and thousands of times in our consciousness, they will morph into entrenched limiting beliefs that kill our confidence and prevent us from expressing our innate potential. But I’m not here to elaborate on how self-doubt is learned.

I’m not going to talk about how I’ve observed through countless hours working with hundreds of teams at Fortune 500s the debilitating impact of how self-doubt robs people of the joy of living and contributing. What I am going to share with you is far more pragmatic.

Through both our work and my PhD research, we’ve identified three universal and distinct self-doubt mind pits that most are unaware of. Not only will I reveal these mind pits so that you can easily recognize them, but I’ll also share proven dedicated habits to help you climb out and stay out of each one.

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