I’m Not Confident, I’m Brave — There’s a Difference

I hear compliments all of time.

In fact, it’s a rare day that goes by that I don’t hear a compliment. This isn’t unusual since I literally wrote a book on the importance of compliments. And like Chris Rock said, “There are two things women need, compliments and shoes.”

Typically, I hear the same compliments over and over, but one that always takes me aback, is being called confident.

In my mind, I’m not a confident person. I would venture to say that most of my life I’ve been incredibly insecure and surrounded by people who were taller, thinner, smarter, and more accomplished than myself, read three older sisters.

And while part of me wants to take being called confident as a compliment, which I don’t, it mostly annoys me. In fact, part of me feels offended, yes, offended! I have worked very hard at one thing and that is being myself.

Being yourself, and being confident are not the same thing. I think confidence is a label that is used too casually, and often incorrectly.

To me confidence is a certainty, and assurance, or a strong belief in something. Confidence is a knowing that seems natural, or effortless. I don’t have that. I am NOT that.

I am myself. It’s not confidence that allows me to live, and breathe, and share my talents, and opinions with the world. It’s my job as a human being.

Courage maybe, and if someone were to call me brave, I would agree with that. In all regards I feel brave.

There have been times in my life when I needed to fight through fear, and take steps forward, that I wasn’t sure about. I didn’t take the steps because I was confident, or believed in myself.

In fact, I’ve never done anything because I felt I had the confidence to do it.

Everything I’ve done, including traveling to Europe by myself, moving across the country by myself, or starting a business by myself wasn’t the result of confidence, but bravery.

I like being brave. I take it as a compliment.