Expertise consists of two things: The thinking one puts into something, and the experience one gains. It’s important to take your experience seriously. Degrees and credentials matter, but not out of context; and sometimes experience counts for more than the credentials. Others might not think so–or you might not think they think so–but it still doesn’t change the facts. Confidence comes from an overriding sense of knowing what you earned, and why. Remember: You were there, all along, gaining the experience you did. It can be hard to be objective about yourself. But it’s more important that you be objective about yourself than anybody else. This is ego–in the good sense.