What is the difference between courage and confidence?

In a recent Witches of BRA Push-Up Group meeting, we were discussing different qualities of the astrological sign Aries.

Our Coven leader, June Suepunpuck, presented some of the more “positively” thought of traits of Aries (Daring, Adventurous, Independent, Dynamic, Charismatic, Courageous, Enthusiastic, Optimistic, Leader, Warmhearted, Confident, Quick-witted) as well as some of the “negative” traits (Impatient, Impulsive, Reckless, Restless, Headstrong, Irresponsible, Argumentative, Brash, Self-involved, Intolerant, Short-tempered, Insensitive).

We all mulled over these and were thinking of the traits we’d like to call into our businesses…how we lead them and which traits we’d like to lean away from.

As we discussed our responses to the prompt, BRA Founder Carrie Murray posed the question: What is the difference between courage and confidence?

It sparked a lot of conversation and it was something that all of us lit up over. It seems we all had a personal connection with these words and what they meant to us.

Security & Self-Love

June said that, to her, confidence comes from a place of natural security with oneself. There’s a lot of self-love and acceptance in confidence, especially if it’s not an egotistic confidence that’s trying to overcompensate for something.

June added that she feels that with courage, you can still be insecure. You’re fearful and fighting through something to make a change.

Bravery & Overcoming Fear

BRA’s Chief Communications and Community Officer Casey Killian had a highly personal history with the word courage. Casey said it’s a word that she’d chosen to take ownership of years ago when she took issue with people telling her she was brave for how she was handling her cancer diagnosis. She said she found that courage is the ability to do something even though it scares you.

“It’s recognizing that yeah, I have a fear of something, but I’m still going to do the things I know must be done — even if they scare me. Bravery is the knight charging in to slay the dragon. He’s not worried about the consequences. Bravery is unconcerned and unflinching. It can be reckless. It’s not measured, methodical, or analytical. It’s much more reactive. But courage is about conquering fear more than anything; overcoming your fear to do what you must.”

Casey added that she felt that confidence is knowing what you’ve got and standing in that. Confidence means taking ownership in what you have to offer and what you bring to the table. Having confidence means that you have taken stock in yourself and have all your assets accounted for and that’s where you operate from.

What Philosophy Says

Greek philosopher Aristotle had a lot to say about courage. “Aristotle believed that courage was a virtue – a marker of moral excellence. More specifically, it was the virtue that moderated our instincts toward recklessness on one hand and cowardice on the other. He believed the courageous person feared only things that are worthy of fear.” (Dr. Matt Beard, The Ethics Centre)

Aristotle taught that courage was the moderation between foolhardiness and cowardice and that a courageous person reacted appropriately in the face of things worthy of fear.

What Psychology Says

In psychological terms, confidence is an antonym of anxiety. Psychology Today proposes that it may require courage to overcome anxiety and, once you have, you may discover your self-confidence. This means that courage is the very vehicle that may be required to achieve confidence.

What Modern Language Says

According to Merriam-Webster, courage is mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. While confidence is a feeling or consciousness of one’s powers or of reliance on one’s circums

Food for Thought

So what is the difference between courage and confidence in your experience?

How does cultivating courage and confidence impact you and your business?

What are you looking to focus on in your business this Aries season?

Invest in Yourself

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