Confidence vs Conceit – The Differences

In conversations I have had with family, friends, colleagues, clients, etc., I have discovered that many people do not understand the difference between confidence and conceit.  They are two different things entirely and yet most of us seem to have them confused.

Conceit, by definition, is EXCESSIVE pride in oneself.  This would include believing you are better than others in most areas.

Confidence, in contrast, is defined as the feeling or belief that one can rely on themselves or others, firm trust.

Often times when people know that they are good at something or have a talent, they will minimize their abilities.  They are afraid of being considered conceited.  They also may feel they are being conceited if they believe that they are really good at something.

What I have found over the years is that conceited people aren’t concerned about how others feel about them and they aren’t always concerned if they can actually do what they claim.  I have also noticed that people aren’t confident in conceited people (lack that firm trust).

Confident people, on the other hand, can state their abilities in a calm, matter-of-fact way and inspire confidence in other people.  They aren’t “tooting their own horn”, they are stating what they know to be a fact.  And we all know the difference when we see it.

Don’t confuse these two terms and aim to develop more confidence.  It took me several years to truly be a confident counselor.  To be honest, I still have days when I realize there’s always more to learn, but that no longer shakes my confidence in my ability to provide quality service to my clients.

Language, what we say and think, is a crucial part of our sense of self.  So are you confident?  If yes, Awesome!!! If no, then it’s time to really assess what your strengths are and work on developing confidence in yourself.  Fundamentally, it’s a matter of trusting yourself!!

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