Why Self-Belief is Even More Important than Self-Confidence

I was never good at the whole being brave thing. Never did I attempt to defy the laws of physics by jumping off the roof (jumping off the bed felt plenty thrilling to me) and was definitely not the first to volunteer an answer in class.

This was not due to a lack of self-confidence rather a lack of self-belief.

In the self-development world, we talk a lot about the importance of self-confidence. How to build it, gain it, keep it, and ultimately, embody it. Self-Confidence secured a spot for itself on the A-list, while the not-so-famous Self-Belief got shoved to the back behind the paparazzi.

So what makes Self-Confidence and Self-Belief different?

While Self-Confidence and Self-Belief share a lot of similarities, they have a key difference.  Self-Belief begins internally and remains unaffected by the external. Self-Confidence begins externally and can contribute to the internal. Self-Confidence is gained through experiences that give us information on what we are good at through the acknowledgment of others. This acknowledgment aids in the growth of internal confidence.

For example, let’s say you dream of being a painter but you have never picked up a brush. You enroll in a variety of art classes and start painting. Over time you perfect your chosen painting style and start to create a portfolio. You begin submitting your portfolio to various galleries in which your type of work is represented and to your delight, some of your art gets chosen. As time passes you start to gain recognition, awards, and galleries are coming to you instead of the other way around. These experiences increase your confidence in your painting skills until you start to believe that you are a very good painter.  

Each of these experiences—high marks from art school, being accepted into a gallery, gaining recognition—increase your self-confidence. Self-belief, on the other hand, is what remains when everything is not going according to plan. When you get a bad mark in school, receive criticism, and fail to get into galleries—self-belief is what pushes you to keep trying even when the world tells you all the reasons for why you will never accomplish your dream. Even if the world is against you, you will continue to bet on yourself anyways because you have self-belief.

Self-confidence is extremely important, but self-belief deserves some recognition too. Self-belief has the power to carry you through the low points, failures, and pitfalls that are inevitable on our journey to our destination. Self-belief precedes self-confidence because without self-belief we would never attempt to pursue our dreams.

So let’s keep dreaming and bet on ourselves every single time.