In my junior years as a firefighter, I recall the first time I was on the scene of a blazing house fire. Whilst I’d had extensive training for this exact moment, and my team was a well-oiled machine, there were so many variables in real life that created numerous uncertainties. It was absolutely critical to rise above the level of my nerves. I managed a delicate balance between utilizing the hundreds of hours of training and courageously trusting my split second decisions, which could’ve been the difference between life and death. Courage shows up in moments like this one, which require more than an external show of confidence. Confidence will only get me so far, courage is the driving force behind my why.
If you’re struggling with confidence, you’re not alone because many people do. The fact of the matter is that in most of life’s situations, you don’t need to be confident, you can choose to be courageous.
I hear my clients saying things like, “If I was just more confident. . .”
. . .I could make partner !
. . .I could start my business !!
. . .I could attract my ideal significant other !!!
The word courage has the Latin root Cor, which means ‘Heart’. Separating the root word from the stem, I like to think of courage as rage of the heart. If you choose to tap into these intense feelings, it will spur you to take that first courageous step.
I tell my clients that confidence is built from competence, which is purely a result of practice. When you play your first ever game of Jenga, you lack skill as a beginner. But with practice, your competence builds, which in turn raises your level of confidence to perform more difficult maneuvers. If one can muster the courage to start and practice consistently, then confidence is a natural by-product. Courage always precedes confidence. Think about how this principle might serve you throughout your life.
“Courage starts within you; it’s an internal journey before it’s ever anything external.”
When people have a superficial level of confidence, they are telling themselves to be confident in spite of everything. It’s far more resourceful to tell yourself to be courageous. Courage is invisible but it’s the intangible building block which makes any confidence possible. To have a courageous heart is to be in alignment with one’s true feelings.
Chapter six of my book - “The Busy Professional’s Toolkit for Self-Mastery & Courageous Living,” covers Courage Over Confidence in more depth. Buy my Book!