Which comes first, confidence or action?

On the surface the answer seems obvious, the thing that typically keeps us from acting is a lack of confidence. When we’re not sure what we’re considering will work, our natural human tendency is to wait until we feel more confident.

But what happens if we never feel more confident. Again, the natural tendency is to do nothing. What we fail to realize is that in doing nothing we’re still making a choice. That choice is to live with the situation as it is…to settle for the devil we know.

That raises the question, what trumps confidence? What enables us to move forward even when we’re not sure that what we’re considering will work? The answer is desire.


Recall a time in your life when you were so tired of the way things were that you said “I’m not going to live this way any more. Something has got to change. This is what I’m going to do.”

All too often we blame our inaction on a lack of confidence when in reality we lack desire. I might say that I want to lose weight, but I don’t change my eating habits or exercise more. It isn’t that I’m not confident in my ability to lose weight. I’ve done it countless times before. What I’m lacking is desire.

Why is this distinction important?


If I assume that it’s a confidence issue, I’m likely to take a hit to my general level of confidence. That can lead me to waffle on other decisions I need to make, which will further diminish my confidence.

I also fail to realize what’s important to me and what isn’t. By not realizing the influence desire has on my decision-making process, I fail to gain a clear understanding of what it is that I want out of life. Instead I mistakenly label myself as lacking confidence and the suffer self-inflicted wounds that label embodies.

For you

The next time that find yourself hesitating to act when you know you should, ask yourself “Is this what I really want? Am I willing to do what it takes to achieve [my goal]?”

If not, fine! You just made a conscious decision not to pursue this goal. It’s not important enough to pursue. By making this a conscious decision you avoid hits to your confidence.

If the answer is ‘yes,’ remember that desire trumps confidence. When desire is strong it overcomes a lack of confidence.

I know this from personal experience. I was a shy, insecure child, but hated being that way. Even though I lacked confidence in many areas I was confident that I could learn what I needed to change my life. That has led me to where I am now…striving to teach kids as young as 8 to 10 years old how to be more confident and enjoy lives that confidence affords.

For our kids

Teach your kids these simple connections between desire, confidence and action. They’ll enjoy richer, fuller, happier lives for it. And they’ll do so earlier when they see you living this way as well.

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