John has allowed himself to sink into a mindset where he doesn’t realize he already knows what to do. People do this a lot. They can see the way to fix other people’s problems, but from the perspective of the person who has a problem they can’t. It’s different when you’re in it looking out. The outside perspective of a friend I often what you need, even if they’re telling you something you already know. I don’t know what it is in people that makes this failure to communicate within ourselves happen, but I know it’s very real. Although he’s not saying the exact thing John told him many moons ago Thomas is basically echoing in back to him, modified for his situation. John has confidence in some areas of his life but also has a feeling of inadequacy in there too, jostling around, causing issues. Even when he told Thomas he could be anything he wanted he framed it in a way that set himself as inferior. Really though he’s not inferior, he just has a different set of traits from the people he admires & he doesn’t see his abilities as being as valuable as what he sees in others.