Competence or Confidence?

Competence or confidence.

Which comes first? Do your ever-improving skills grant you confidence? Or, alternatively, is it your confidence that catalyzes the growth of your skills?

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

You can certainly have one in spades and suffer a conspicuous lack of the other. Some people are brimming with confidence and have no skills to back up all that bravado. Others have a brilliant array of abilities, but don’t have the gumption to put them all to use.

Sure, it would be ideal to have tons of both. But if you could only have one, which would you pick? Which is a “nice to have” and which is a critical component of your working persona?

Popular search terms for this article:

competence and confidence, confidence and competence, confidence vs competence, competence vs confidence, confidence competence, competence, competence confidence

Peter is Vice President of Digital Marketing at an investment holdings company in Washington DC and Co-Founder at True North.


  1. I would pick Confidence. Confidence is always nice to have and I think they are the catalyst of growing your skills.

  2. Paul W. on the 17th June

    A person can use false confidence as a defense mechanism when they are doing something that is above their current abilities and once they have successfully completed the task a true sense of confidence sets in.

  3. Dani Kelley on the 17th June

    I think that if you’re truly competent, it’ll boost your confidence. A lot of time, lack of confidence denotes a lack of competence – which clients and employers pick up on quite easily.

  4. HowToPlaza on the 17th June

    Although they’re interrelated, surely competence comes first. Mere confidence can get you into trouble. It’s not necessary that competent always people succeed and merely confident people never succeed, it’s your competence that eventually establishes you as a successful person, in any field.

  5. James on the 17th June

    I’m sure we’ve all had to deal with a confident incompetent colleague. You know who I mean – the guy who can’t tie his show laces without your help, but is the darling of senior management because he talks the talk better than most.

    Bitter? Me? Never.

  6. Cesare on the 17th June

    Windows has been sold before implementation 🙂 Bill Gates has been confident 🙂

  7. Carol Wilson on the 20th January

    We usually assume that confidence comes from competence and also that competence is confidence trick. According to me ,Confidence = time + inattention
    Competence = time + attention

Add a Comment