Simply Perform

Why Confidence Is Over Rated

July 12, 2016

Confidence is over rated.  Really, it is.


Because “being confident” fails to account for that “thing” that gets the ball rolling and keeps it rolling especially through difficulties.

Those moments take more than confidence, they take courage.

Derived from the Latin for heart (“cor”), it is courage that fills us with the energy (sometimes nervous energy!) to get up and grow, to better ourselves, to connect with those around us in more meaningful ways and to be creative.

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 22.20.02

Roll May suggested that courage is the “attitude that you can keep going in spite of doubt and anxiety”.  May also pointed out that without the heart the human body cannot go on and so it is with courage – without courage the human being cannot grow.

So here’s 3 simple tips to become more courageous:

  • Tune into when you do things even though you’re feeling nervous.  That’s not confidence, that’s courage.
  • Seek out opportunities to be courageous.  Notice when you feel your entire inner being jerk away from a request to do something ….then do it!  When is the next opportunity for you to be courageous?
  • Who would you describe as courageous in an “every day sense”?  It could be someone you know or someone off the TV.  What makes them courageous and in what ways may you actually be similar?  What assumptions do you make about how they feel when they’re acting courageously?

But why else is the concept of courage important….simple:  We appear to have placed great value on confidence and less so on courage, robbing ourselves of a means of understanding our day to day experiences but also our successes!

(Warning: here comes my inner geek!)

Interestingly, Google’s excellent Ngram Viewer (brilliant!) shows that the frequency of the use of the word “confidence” compared to that of “courage” was somewhat similar in 1650s to 1800.  From the 1800s onwards, as shown in the graph below, around the time of the Industrial Revolution, the use of confidence swelled and has remained more frequent than that of courage.

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 22.13.32(End of inner geek)

Anyway, geeky chat over.  in a nutshell: we need courage in our lives, our daily conversations and our understanding of our own experiences.  It’s the fuel that leads to personal excellence, better relationships and, paradoxically, results!!

The clients that I have worked with that have made the huge progress don’t have confidence, they have courage.

Do you?


Learn more about becoming more courageous by joining us on the Simply Perform seminar series: “How To Boot The Arse Out of Life”.  You’ll also learn how to be more productive, manage stress and perform under pressure, what your strengths are and how to use them more effectively at work and home and much much more.  Spaces are limited.

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