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Courage Vs. Confidence

Posted by on March 3, 2015

If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you’ll know Hubby and I have recently moved to a new location. We’ve lived in the Houston area for most of the last 33 years. Two of our children were born there, and all three grew up there. Now that they’re all out of the nest and Hubby retired from the job he’s held for 34 years, we chose to move to a smaller town where he can be involved with a university and I can enjoy a lake and we can both enjoy less traffic.

“Cowardly Lion” by William Wallace Denslow – The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons –

The other night, Hubby asked me, “Do you think it took courage to do what we did?”

I’ve been thinking about that question a lot, because I don’t feel particularly courageous about what we’ve done. But the motivational speakers he listens to say most people don’t chase their dreams because they don’t have the courage to do so.

So, here’s my position. Courage, I believe, must be linked with fear. It might be fear of the circumstances or fear of failure to overcome the circumstances, but there must be some element of fear for courage to be present. By definition, courage is the ability to act in spite of extreme difficulty or danger. I did not feel any fear about moving.

I believe it took confidence rather than courage. Confidence is a feeling or belief that one can do something well or succeed at something. I was confident that whatever difficulties we encountered would be overcome. Confident that we’d made the right choice. Confident that if somehow things didn’t work out, we’d figure out something else.

Did it take courage for him? I asked if he was afraid of the move. He’s still pondering that.

What about you? Do you see a difference between courage and confidence? I’d love to know your thoughts. Don’t worry–you won’t be taking sides in a family argument. I’m only being curious and trying to fill this blog. 😉 So leave a comment and tell me what you think.


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8 Responses to Courage Vs. Confidence

  1. lillkohler

    I agree with Peggy. They go hand in hand.

  2. Terri Wangard

    For twenty years I globe-trotted on my own. That took courage. I was on my own to make connections and deal with problems (including a long delay in China that resulted in a missed flight in San Francisco, taking a tumble outside the Sydney Opera House, and returning to the US a day after the shoe bomber incident). Was confidence involved? I must have been confident I could do it. I had to decide between living life or watching it go by.

  3. debgarland

    I agree with Peggy, but I’d also like to add that it often takes many steps of courage to become confident in a particular area. Hm, now I wonder what happens when confidence is lost and why? Good question!

    • Mary Hamilton

      You’re right, Deb. Sometimes, we have to summon up courage when that confidence has been lost. I like the phrase, “Do it scared.” It’s only through facing fear with courage that we build, or rebuild, our confidence.

  4. Peggy Wirgau

    There’s a difference between courage and confidence, but they often go hand in hand. Yes, you were confident in making the move, based on many factors. But I believe it also took courage because its not easy to make changes and face the unknown. It’s hard work. Sometimes we hold back from doing something, even if it looks like it’ll be the right thing, because it means getting out of our comfort zone and pushing ourselves to do something new and different. That takes courage.

I welcome your thoughts on this.