Why is courage more important than confidence?

“Confidence is faith in our abilities and ourselves. Courage is going forward even when we don’t feel that faith”- Tara Sophia Mohr

Do you remember a time in school when the teacher asked a question and no-one put their hands up to answer? You waited patiently, but there was no answer from anyone. So, because you knew she was waiting, you dared to put up your hand with an answer you weren’t sure of, just so the class could move on. It took courage to do that and, even if your answer was incorrect, you gained from it.

With the odds stacked against us, it is remarkable that we choose to take a risk at all. That’s courage. As a human being, we are wired to be afraid of everything as our primal survival instinct is still there in us. Humans would have never survived if our ancestors didn’t have courage to wander and face predators. The fight and flight mechanism has been a key for our species to survive. 

Our fear mechanism still works. Today, it is more about focusing on things that could go wrong for us or the voice of a devil’s advocate that shows you all downsides of your choices. We are also programmed to react more strongly to the idea of loss than the idea of gain. Despite this, we take risks. 

If we never take risks, we would never grow. Confidence is the skill that is learnt only when we have had courage. It takes courage to start something new. It takes courage to take a risk. But until we have the courage to try something new, we will never develop the confidence that comes with experience. So, in order to develop true confidence, one needs to be courageous. Confidence comes from believing in ourselves whereas courage is giving it a go despite our agitation. Without courage, developing confidence seems far fetched.

Courage makes you unstoppable whereas only confidence makes you repeat the successful experiences you’ve had. In that sense, courage is more powerful than confidence. 

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