Why Confidence is Overrated. And What Matters Instead.

Why Confidence is Overrated. And What Matters Instead.

You want to be more confident. You want to walk into a room and feel comfortable starting a conversation. You want to be brave and start that project or apply for that dream job. Whatever it is, you’ve got something you want to do, and you want the confidence to do it. But I’m going to tell you something, and it’s probably going to surprise you. Confidence is overrated. It’s not nearly as important as you think. Today I’m talking about why confidence is overrated and what is ten times more important. Watch below!



Confidence is something I hear so many people talking about. Everywhere I turn, people are talking about it and trying to find the secret sauce to confidence. The dictionary defines confidence as “the state of feeling certain about the truth of something. A feeling of self-assurance arising from appreciation of one’s own ability or confidence.”


Confidence usually brings up some pretty specific images. Maybe it’s someone strolling into a room, head held high, with a little bit of strut to their step. Or maybe it’s someone who’s super extraverted and socially skilled. Or maybe it’s someone who always seems to have it together.


So when we talk about wanting to feel more confident, most of us want this. We want that certainty and self-assurance mentioned in the definition. But here’s the thing. Certainty? That’s rarely a thing when we’re talking about big, important, and scary things. Self-assurance? That sounds awesome, but we rarely recognize our own power.


We idealize this confidence thing. And we wait for it, thinking, “I’ll do it when I’m more confident. I’ll do it when I feel more certain and self-assured.” But if you wait for that, you’re probably going to be waiting forever. Because doubt, worry, and fear are part of being a human; we all feel that. Confidence suggests that those things will just melt away, and then, and only then, can we make a move.


But this is a trap and a lie that keeps you stuck and waiting. It’s not about confidence. Confidence is overrated. It’s about courage. Courage is a million times more important than confidence. Here’s why.



Courage is about doing something even when you’re afraid or uncertain. Not waiting for the fear to die down or go away, but taking a step, even in the presence of fear. Courage is about thinking through things, strategizing as best as possible, and then bravely taking a step, even though you’re not totally sure how it’s going to go. It’s about getting outside of your comfort zone, even when you’re not certain you can do it.


In 2017, I made a decision to spend an entire year being courageous. And it was one of the most incredible years of my life. I pushed myself to do things I never thought I could do, including opening my own practice. Which I was terrified to do this. I kept thinking of all the ways I could fail and how it could go wrong. A part of me believed I could do it and that it would pay off, but I was terrified. I definitely wasn’t certain or self-assured, like that definition of confidence suggests. But I chose to be courageous. To try, to take that step, even though I wasn’t 100 percent confident.


And you know what? I figured it out. I realized I was more capable than I thought. And I learned new stuff and got through challenges. Over time, I became more confident in my ability to run a practice. But I only felt that way because I chose to be courageous, rather than wait for confidence.


You want to feel confident and certain and self-assured. But when you idolize confidence, thinking you have to have it before you do something, you limit yourself and miss out on so much good stuff. Courage is how we expand our limits. If you only do things you’re confident about, you’re not going to do much. You’re not going to live the life you want. Confidence is overrated.


So my question to you is this. What thing in your life have been waiting to feel more confident about? What thing have you been putting off until you feel more certain or self-assured? Now what would it look like to practice courage with this situation? To notice the fear, think through the issue, making a calculated decision and then choose to be courageous.


Confidence is overrated.  Stop waiting to feel confident and choose to be courageous instead.



    Good Morning Dr Allison,

    You pushed me over the edge! I sent a letter to the Dean of the Pharmacy Program at Midwestern College back in April about presenting a short talk on possibilities for future pharmacists based on my varied work life in my profession. Never heard back. So today, I sent him an email to reinforce my desire to do this if he is interested. What I didn’t lack was the confidence; it was a bit of courage facing a possible rejection. So thank you.

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