Do You Need Confidence, Or Courage?


Lately I’ve noticed a little trap that people can fall into. One they set themselves up for. Like so many barriers to our own success, it comes down to a choice of words.

That choice is between ‘confidence’ and ‘courage’.

Example: A client says she needs to build up the confidence to put a contentious issue on the table with her executive team. I ask her does she need confidence, or courage?

What’s the difference, you might ask? Surely we’re talking semantics? Let me suggest otherwise.

Courage is what you have when you face something scary, and you do it anyway. Confidence is what you have after you’ve done it.

Courage is a leap of faith. Confidence is backed by experience.

Courage comes from wanting something badly enough that you’ll do what it takes. Confidence is knowing you can do it.

Courage shows us we’re capable of more than we thought. Confidence sustains us at that new level.

You can have courage without confidence.

It’s easier to hide behind a lack of confidence, when actually, what you’re saying is that you have a lack of courage. If you reframe it so it’s about having courage, not confidence, it’s a different game you’re playing. Courage comes from a deeper place than confidence. One you can tap without having to have been there before.

In a world where we’re daily facing new situations without a blueprint, we need more leaders with courage, not just confidence.

So, for your next gnarly challenge, what do you need?


Now, read “The Source of Courage”, the next post in this series.

Like this post? You’re only getting half the story. Sign up to my ‘Fresh Thinking’ newsletter, delivered monthly to your inbox.

Photo: Digby Scott


  1. Love it! Simple and powerful:-) Britta

    *Britta Christiansen *

    *Business Coach and TrainerThe Ripple Effect Ltd* P: *09 575 3599 *M*: 027 223 1587* E*: *

    *Disclaimer: *The information contained in this email (and any accompanying attachments) may be legally privileged and confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, you must not peruse, use, disseminate, distribute or copy this email or attachments. If you have received this in error, please notify us immediately by return email or telephone and delete this email. Thank you.

    Please consider the environment – print this e-mail only if you really need to.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s