There’s a saying that confidence breeds success.

I actually wonder if it’s the other way around…that success breeds confidence (which breeds more success).

Let’s break it down.

Confidence is having belief in your abilities. Being sure of yourself.

Breed is to produce, cause or be the source of.

Success is the favorable outcome of something attempted. HINT:  In business, that’s called a sale.

So ‘confidence breeds success’ means:

Being sure that you can produce a favorable outcome of something you attempt.

That’s great…but what happens when you don’t have a favorable outcome but you thought you would?  Does that mean you’re not successful or that you were wrong to be confident?

I’ve been confident about my ability in things before but wasn’t successful at it.

What if we flip this around:

Success breeds confidence (which breeds more success).

That would sound like:

A favorable outcome of something you attempt is the source of belief in your  own abilities… which produces more favorable outcomes.

I’ll tell you from my own experience of when I started my first business 9 years ago that although I had confidence-building successes to build upon from my corporate career, TRUE confidence didn’t come until I had a consistent stream of successes in my new business…and then, because I was so confident in my abilities… that attracted even more clients and success.

I want to know what you think.  Post your comments on your perspective on whether confidence breeds success or does success breed confidence (which breeds more success)?


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  • Gail West says:

    I think that you are so on the money with Success breeding Confidence which simply brings more Success. I sat back for too long waiting to feel more Confident and not being Consistent at being Successful. So now my everyday is about being Consistently Successful which causes me to sit up straighter, speak more confidently when I see an Opportunity to Share with someone.

    Thanks Carolyn

  • Steve Coxsey says:

    I think this helps explain why new coaches struggle with marketing themselves. They know coaching works, and they have some success with practice clients, but they don’t have their own real results with paying clients as proof to undergird their confidence.

    So, Carolyn… what’s the solution?

    (Boy, I sure hope you’ve got this one figure out!)

    Best Regards,

  • sean says:

    I think if we need to look as success as an outcome. It’s completing something to a satisfactory level or even better.

    Confidence is have the will to try for success, to deny the thought of failure. once you complete that task “successfully” you have created a platform for future success in bigger things.

    Put simply confidence the the vehicle success is the destination.

    I am 22 and I have only had success in sport. became a professional fighter and I am 3/0 this confidence has carried over to my work place. I landed a job at Microsoft 2 months ago, My first career style job. And my confidence is fast tracking my way to the top. I’m feeling good today 🙂 and I hope my confidence is breeding confidence in whoever reads this.

    • Hey Sean, Congrats on the success you’ve achieved through sports…and now business. I agree that confidence is the vehicle to reach success…but not necessarily the fuel. If we stick w/that metaphor, the fuel is taking the steps and being in action (not inactive). Some steps will propel the vehicle forward, others may put it in reverse. Either way, you’re closer to success by taking action, perfect or not.

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