We were fortunate to attend Brené Brown’s recent Australian Tour which was a fabulous and thought provoking event. It made us think a lot about courage and how does courage compare to confidence? Is it an ‘either’ courage or confidence or do we need both?

In her book Dare to Lead, Brown describes courage as

when you show up despite being unable to predict or control the outcome’

and for us, confidence is knowing that once we’ve taken the courageous step of showing up, you have what it takes to deal with whatever comes your way.

Brené Brown describes someone with courage as being open to having the difficult conversations that need to be had; asking questions with openness and curiosity; and connecting with others to build strong relationships. These are things we also talk about in the building blocks to Core Confidence:


  • In Chapter 3, Know Your Stuff we talk about letting go of the need to be right; having the conversations and posing the questions that open up our perspectives to include the views of others. 
  • Chapter 5 is all about Building Relationships and connecting with others. Developing connection and meaning takes confidence AND courage, not only in developing the self-awareness to understand our own cues and triggers but also having the courage to show up and reveal our true selves in these relationships
  • Brené Brown talks about the need to use these tools to ultimately lead from the heart, not from a place of hurt and fear. For us, this speaks to Chapter 1: Get Clear, on our values, the kind of person we want to be and what we want to be known for.

So back to the original question – how does courage compare to confidence? According to Brown, courage is considered a skill that can be learned. Our belief is that confidence is innate, and the tools and practices we outline in the Core Confidence book are building blocks to strengthen the connection with that inner confidence that already exists.

Is it an ‘either’ or do we need both?

For us, the answer is both.

There is a dose of courage required to commit to the unknown or say yes when the path ahead seems uncertain. And the confidence to know, no matter what happens, ‘I’ve got this!’