The Difference: Boldness, Confidence, & Courage

In conversation often we use words interchangeably. With a vague understanding of a word we toss it in our vocabulary and use it as needed. Usually, it's harmless; sometimes it can do damage. Why do the slight differences matter? Moreover, why should they matter to you? 

Here’s why! You are insanely more likely to dismiss yourself from risky action because you identify boldness or confidence in someone else and think “I could never be that” or “I wish I had their boldness, but I just don't.” Before we move on it’s important, I define “risky activity”. I’m not talking sky-diving or bungee jumping, although they are risky/exhilarating… I am talking about big life decisions. Choices to be authentic, stand against injustice, break an addiction, chase a dream job, start or end a romantic relationship, etc. Generally, these risky decisions fall into four categories: choices to own our lives, decisions to change, deciding to remain and stay faithful, or a choice to trust and have faith. 

There are a few things to consider when you are admiring someone's boldness from afar. First off, I wouldn’t assume anything. If they are close enough you can get coffee with them, you should! Ask questions and learn more about the traits you admire in that person. How’d they get where they are? What have they gone through that has pushed them toward becoming who they are today? Secondly, if they genuinely are bold and confident, it was not always that way. Life invites each of us to choose, many of us have just become so used to picking the safe route. Somewhere along the line, they made a conscious decision to set themselves apart from the crowd and go against the flow. This is key! 

Let’s focus in on that first moment someone makes a choice that has a level of risk involved. There is magic in that moment. There is whimsy in those precious seconds. Do you know what there isn’t? CONFIDENCE & BOLDNESS. So how is this decision made? What do you call that choice? COURAGE. 


Here is what I LOVE about courage. 

Everyone can choose courage today. 

But you can’t just jump into confidence. 

You don’t wake up with boldness. 

Let me give you an example.

Example: Walking

Silly example, but it will do the trick to set the foundation. When you were an itty-bitty kid, at some point in those early days, you made the courageous decision to take your first steps. You weren’t confident, but your parents believed in you and cheered you on as you stood shaky legs and all and put one foot in front of the other. That was courage in action. 

Time went on, you stepped and kept stepping… You chose courage day after day. Now, no longer was it a question of if you could stand, the question was what stunt would you attempt next? Climbing out the crib, tackling the stairs on your own, all the sudden you had graduated from courage, and you were all out BOLD. 

By the time you started kindergarten, you were confident in your legs, with time you had developed firm trust in their ability. Here is what I want you to understand. If today it seems you lack boldness or confidence that’s ok! Today courage invites you to the party. Anyone can summon courage. It’s a choice today to say that regardless of the doubt, insecurity, & fear you will move forward. You won’t sit in indecision, but you will choose and move.

Boldness may come down the road when courage has built momentum, and now we can look back and recall how God provided at each turn and choice of courage… but if you aren’t feeling bold today that’s fine. Allow yourself to summon the everyday courage necessary to make one decision you know you need to make right now. 


Courage is for everyone; courage is for today.

Boldness is courage matured. Boldness comes with time.

Confidence is boldness matured. 

Choose Courage today!


Benji Block

Dictionary Definitions:

Courage: the ability to do something that frightens one. strength in the face of pain or grief.

Boldness: willingness to take risks and act innovatively;

Confidence: the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust.a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities. the state of feeling certain about the truth of something.

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