Happy Easter! Today, let's talk about the chicken and egg paradox. Which one came first? The chicken or the egg? It's a lifelong debate, obviously...

I would like to make a parallel between this paradox and the one regarding confidence and a project or a goal, a dream. Do we need to have confidence in order to start working on our dream, or do we need to start working on our dream in order to be confident? Do we need to be good at something in order to become confident, or do we need to be confident in order to become good at something?

Aristotle once said that the chicken represents the actual, and the egg represents the potential. He claimed that the actual always comes before the potential. Let's look at this from the "goal VS confidence" point of view. The goal would represent the actual, whereas the confidence would represent the potential, right? This means that in order to get confident, in order to trust that you can do something well, you have to start doing it, even though at the beginning, you know you're not good at it.

This way of thinking actually follows the theory of the four different stages of learning...

1. Unconscious Incompetence

At the beginning, you are not good at this new thing, and it is perfectly normal. You are unconsciously incompetent, because very often, you don't even know that you aren't good at it! You may not even know this thing exists. Let's use the analogy of technology, that is now allowing us to work virtually from anywhere. We were not good at it, but before the pandemic, we were unconsciously incompetent. We didn't even know it was a thing, that we could actually work from home.

2. Conscious Incompetence

Then you get into the second stage: conscious incompetence. You are still not good at it, but now you have it on your radar, and you want to do this thing. You want to learn that new computer system at work, you want to learn how to navigate social media, or you want to learn a different way of doing business. Whatever it is, something's happening, and it will require for you to become good at it. Right now, you're not, but you know you're not. See the difference? When the pandemic hit and we had to get used to Zoom meetings and virtual platforms, we weren't good, but we knew it was a possibility. We were consciously incompetent.

3. Conscious Competence

Now you'll start doing this. You'll start working towards that goal. You'll break it down. You'll take it one step at a time. With time and practice, we'll learn how the platform works and how to unmute ourselves during online meetings, right?

4. Unconscious Competence

Now that you've practiced over and over again, you're unconsciously competent. You're good at it, and you don't even have to think about it, and now we have the confidence that comes with the competence. "Oh, yeah, sure, let's meet on Zoom. No problem!" It's natural now.

So which one came first? Is it the egg or the chicken? Aristotle said that the chicken came before the egg, that the actual came before the potential. The same thing can be said regarding your goals and the things that you want to become better at. If you are at work and you need to start working on something, but you're not quite good at it yet, don't wait until you get better to start. Go ahead anyway, and then you'll become good at it!

It's just like having children. Nobody has ever said they're a good mom without having children, right? The same thing goes for the position you want to apply for at work. How can you be a good manager if you've never been a manager? Apply for the role, do it. And by doing it, you will become good at it and become confident at it.

Happy Easter, everyone, and remember that the chicken came before the egg... Well, according to Aristotle, that is!


Aristotle once said that the actual always comes before the potential. Apply for this position, start that project. By doing it, you will become good at it and become confident at it.

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