Over-Confidence vs. Confidence

I heard someone to refer to another as “over-confident” recently and I took it as kind of a stinging, albeit confusing, insult.

We usually learn that confidence is a good thing. At what point, however, does someone reach into the realm of the “over-confident” person?

I think it comes down to preparation. If someone has a business idea and he has spent months researching and planning around and looking at from every angle and still, from all this work, he sees the reward and the profit and remains excited about the challenge, he is confident. If someone, however, merely has an idea and merely inuits that it’s going to “be great” and “make lots of money” this person is over-confident.

It’s a matter of due diligence and preparation. In the case I first referenced, the target of this jab was someone with a pretty elite goal time in a marathon who’d only been training for a few weeks. Considering this, the categorization seems appropriate. They didn’t deserve to be considered a “confident person.” They were delusional. Their confidence was misplaced; “over-confident.”

I make this distinction because it gives more meaning to the word confidence. Going forward, confidence is reserved for people who have great faith because they have put in the work and over-confidence is a category of faith that will likely be rendered misplaced because of a lack of preparation and understanding.

As Jeff Bezos has said, “Hope is not a strategy.” And hope seems to be the dominion of the “over-confident.” They just have “this feeling” they can make this thing work but they have likely never sat down and looked at it objectively. Living on “hope” can also be a habit. People might jump from one idea to the next and just hope that this one will work but never putting in the work to really analyze the hell out of it. Sure, intuition is worth something and better than blindly playing the lottery but given that we live in a world of easy access to information, we need more than intuition to push forward.

We need confidence and to avoid over-confidence.

Be highly prepared and be confident.