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Confidence is overrated. This year, I interviewed and recruited several dozen sales job candidates. What I learned about confidence vs. courage will forever change my perspective.

Confidence is in abundance these days. We’ve read enough books and watched enough movies to know that confidence has value. And not only is it valuable, it is easy. That’s right. I said it. Confidence is easy.

Easy things in life are usually not worth much. The most valuable things in life come with blood, sweat, and tears.

Ex. Babies, successful startups, keeping your seat on a United Airlines flight.

Life is hard. A life full of valuable and meaningful things is harder.

Somehow, we have deceived ourselves into thinking confidence will take us places. But can I tell you what I learned recruiting sales pros? Confidence by itself is a slow train to nowhere.

Out of those dozens of qualified and confident candidates, very few had the courage to take the steps needed for success. Many took the first step of contracting. Some took the next step after that. But less than 5% of those confident, go-get-em, sales professionals ever took the last steps to make the income they told me they wanted to earn. I did not foresee these statistics. Why?

You can have confidence without action.

Confidence often manifests itself with bluster. Words are used to show that, yes, I can storm that hill. But at the end of the day, confidence never brought anyone to the hill. And what good is a mindset that cannot produce action?

You cannot have courage without action.

On the contrary, courage manifests itself with action. How do we know someone has courage? Because they acted! We watched the courageous storm the hill while the confident merely talked about it. This is why courage is hard and so much more valuable than confidence. Confidence is easy. Courage is hard.

Are you confident? Great. It is of some value in your personal and professional life.

But are you courageous? If not, take action today. Kill your fear. The courageous will go where the confident never dreamed.

This post was also posted at Medium.com