Forget “fake it until you make it”. That’s empty bravado. Clients will be able to see through it. Be honest and authentic. If you don’t know, tell them so and what your plan to find the information is (“I’m not totally certain on that, let me double check and I’ll have an answer for you in the morning if that’s ok.”).
Of course you are going to be over your head at times. No one is promoted into a position and is ready for it; you get into that position because you show the capability to evolve into the position and beyond. You were chosen for a reason, have faith in your boss that promoted you and in yourself and your capacity.
Trust the process. Trust your process of gaining knowledge and experience and your capability to figure it out. That is a source of confidence. Real, earned confidence as opposed to fake bluster.
It takes more personal power to be vulnerable and admit you don’t have all the knowledge than to blow smoke and try to BS your way through. And by being truthful about your shortfall, you are more authentic and can build a more intimate connection which leads to a greater level of trust. This actually allows you to lead better by being more humble and receptive to guidance from others.
Arrogance comes from ego. Confidence comes from experience, from resilience and a belief that you and your people can “handle it”, whatever “it” happens to be. If you have already been through similar situations or have the necessary skills but not yet the experience then confidence is reasonable. Proclaiming you can do something orders of magnitude beyond what you’ve previously done with no plan, no additional guidance from people with relative experience, without the resources or skills and being focused on glory instead of the grind is arrogance.
Competence comes often from internal drive that leads to early mornings and late nights, the little sacrifices to move along the path of improvement of the self to contribute to the goal. Arrogance is a need to justify or woo others, to have the external justification and accolades. Rewards are not bad, but the trappings are the aftereffects of the process to the competent, the “oh nice” after the fact instead of the goal.
Confidence comes from being willing to expose your weaknesses instead of denying or hiding them.
Confidence comes from admitting you are human instead of perfect archetype with no faults. But then working on the flaws.
Confidence comes from having failed and learned and tried again, over and over to improve.
Confidence comes from having empathy and controlling your emotions, in not reacting like a two-year-old when someone says you can’t have a cookie or that now is not the time.
Confidence is from having options and foresight. Look at any great martial artist, they are like a chess master and are four moves ahead of whatever their opponent does and victorious before the first blow.
Confidence is earned through your efforts.
Confidence is bought with sacrifices.
Get better and you’ll get more confidence. That is the secret.