state of being certain either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective

Confidence is generally described as a state of being certain either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective.

Where men are the most sure and arrogant, they are commonly the most mistaken. ~ David Hume


  • The very term confidence—implying behavior that goes beyond a rational approach to decision making—indicates why it plays a major role in macroeconomics. When people are confident they go out and buy; when they are unconfident they withdraw, and they sell. Economic history is full of such cycles of confidence followed by withdrawal. Who has not taken a hike and come across a long-abandoned railway line— someone’s past dream of a path to riches and wealth? Who has not heard of the Great Tulip Bubble of the seventeenth-century Netherlands— a country famous, we might add, for its stalwart Rembrandt burghers and often caricatured as the home of the world’s most cautious people. Who does not know that even Isaac Newton—the father of modern physics and of the calculus—lost a fortune in the South Sea bubble of the eighteenth century?
  • It's fine to criticize government and all the other centers of power, probing for their inevitable, arrogant error-modes. But we won't blanket-betray the nation that protected us, or the city whose cops we'd call, if we ever got into real trouble. We won't undermine the confidence of our fellow citizens by hammering away at their belief in themselves, or their democratic institutions.
  • Confidence is a good name for what is intended by the term directness. It should not be confused, however, with self-confidence which may be a form of self-consciousness — or of "cheek." Confidence is not a name for what one thinks or feels about his attitude; it is not reflex. It denotes the straightforwardness with which one goes at what he has to do. It denotes not conscious trust in the efficacy of one's powers but unconscious faith in the possibilities of the situation. It signifies rising to the needs of the situation.
  • When you’re an athlete—I played all through college and on a pretty high level—you don’t even realize you’re transmitting these confidence vibes, but you do, it just becomes so innate.
    • Laura Gentile, founder of espnW [1]
  • I guess I was never much in awe of anybody. I think you have to have that attitude if you’re going to go far in this game. People have always said that I was too confident, but I think you’ll find that most guys who can play are pretty cocky.
  • According to Freud (who was speaking from experience, since he was his mother’s darling), spoiled children have a confidence that stays with them all their lives.
  • As is our confidence, so is our capacity.
  • Where men are the most sure and arrogant, they are commonly the most mistaken.
    • David Hume, in An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (1751), § 9.13 : Conclusion, Pt. 1
  • you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
    • Steve Jobs, Address at Stanford University (12 June, 2005).
  • It is wonderful how some words ever were invented, for they express what does not exist—confidence is among the number; confidence is what no human being ever really had in another.
  • Ignorance and confidence are constant companions
  • Confidence is a plant of slow growth in an aged bosom.
  • I have confidence in fools... self-confidence is what my friends call it.
  • Confidence... thrives on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection and on unselfish performance. Without them it cannot live.
  • Arrogance is a killer, and wearing ambition on one's sleeve can have the same effect. There is a fine line between arrogance and self-confidence. Legitimate self-confidence is a winner. The true test of self-confidence is the courage to be open—to welcome change and new ideas regardless of their source. Self-confident people aren't afraid to have their views challenged. They relish the intellectual combat that enriches ideas.
    • Jack Welch, Jack: Straight from the Gut, Chapter 24 (2001).
  • Life for both sexes — and I looked at them, shouldering their way along the pavement — is arduous, difficult, a perpetual struggle. It calls for gigantic courage and strength. More than anything, perhaps, creatures of illusion as we are, it calls for confidence in oneself. Without self-confidence we are as babes in the cradle.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 129.
  • Confidence is that feeling by which the mind embarks in great and honourable courses with a sure hope and trust in itself.
  • I see before me the statue of a celebrated minister, who said that confidence was a plant of slow growth. But I believe, however gradual may be the growth of confidence, that of credit requires still more time to arrive at maturity.
  • La confiance que l'on a en soi fait naître la plus grande partie de celle que l'on a aux autres.
    • The confidence which we have in ourselves gives birth to much of that which we have in others.
    • François de La Rochefoucauld, Premier Supplément, 49.
  • He that wold not when he might,
    He shall not when he wold-a.
  • Ultima talis erit quæ mea prima fides.
  • Confidence is conqueror of men; victorious both over them and in them;
    The iron will of one stout heart shall make a thousand quail:
    A feeble dwarf, dauntlessly resolved, will turn the tide of battle,
    And rally to a nobler strife the giants that had fled.
  • Nusquam tuta fides.
    • Confidence is nowhere safe.
    • Virgil, Æneid (29-19 BC), IV, 373.
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