Is confidence wrong?
The best kind of confidence is that which is united with humility. If you have no fear of shaming yourself because you are humble, you are not afraid of rejection, and you believe you are doing your best and have faith in success, then you are confident.
CarmeliteAtHeart Wrote:I wonder about this question often: is confidence is oneself wrong?

By confidence, I don't mean the ability to save oneself from evil and sin apart from God. I'm not asking this question in relation to eternal salvation or holiness. I mean in every day life, if that makes sense. I'm not really sure how to explain it. Does anyone know what I'm saying? :) Really any discussion would be interesting!

Pax Christi tecum.
St. Thomas Aquinas considers confidence to be a part of the virtue of fortitude: "man hopes in himself, yet under God withal." He also quotes Tully, who said (De Invent. Rhet. ii), "With [confidence] the mind is much assured and firmly hopeful in great and honorable undertakings" (Summa Theologiae, IIa, IIae, q. 128, art. 1, ad 1 et in responsum). 

So confidence in oneself is not wrong per se (pride is an indordinate desire to excel, and a characteristic of pride is to unwilling to be subject to any superior, especially God; Cf. Ia, IIae, q. 84, art. 2). Without confidence, we would have very little success in doing things that are or can be very important in life (e.g., asking out a woman you like, going on a job interview, etc.).
Generally speaking I think that it's good to be self-confident, to trust in yourself, to know yourself and your limitations. However, the gift of faith tells us that we owe everything to God, so confidence must be subject to humility so that it doesn't become pride.

Trust in yourself by trusting in God above all things.

I don't think confidence is wrong, actually, I think it's a gift from God that we must develop and use in order to help do the work He wants us to do. The only problem is that it can turn into pride so easily.
Ask Luigi.  He's bound to have a whole treatise on it.

Only introverts are saved according to St. Prudence of Shy
Sorry to be nerdy, but I just thought that the word is derived from "with faith", so for Catholics that means something specific - it has to be rooted in love for God and faith in His plan, which we are each a part of. So if we want to fulfill our part in His plan, we need faith first and then fortitude, pragmatism and humility - which all probably add up to a Catholic understanding of "confidence". St Therese of Lisieux is the Saint of "confidence". She was so "confident" she can make you either gasp or laugh with the things she says!
ggreg Wrote:Ask Luigi.  He's bound to have a whole treatise on it.

Actually, that's not a bad idea.  He digs up a lot of good stuff (though, mostly ascetic).  Since he's got the knack for it, maybe he can take requests...

c.1430, from L. confidentia, from confidentem, prp. of confidere, from com- intens. prefix + fidere "to trust" (see faith). For sense of "swindle" see con (3). Confidant, with spelling to reflect Fr. pronunciation, first attested 1714.

Confidence in yourself, within reason and always with humility before God, would seem to be a good thing. I don't see how you can step out into the world without it.
The Spiritual Combat
Taken from the book of the same title by DOM LORENZO SCUPOLI
With Imprimatur
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DISTRUST OF SELF is so absolutely requisite in the spiritual combat, that without this virtue we cannot expect to defeat our weakest passions, much less gain a complete victory.  This important truth should be deeply imbedded in our hearts; for, although in ourselves we are nothing, we are too apt to overestimate our own abilities and to conclude falsely that we are of some importance. This vice springs from the corruption of our nature. But the more natural a thing is, the more difficult it is to be discovered.
But God, to Whom nothing is secret, looks upon this with horror, because it is His Will that we should be convinced we possess only that virtue and grace which comes from Him alone, and that without Him we are incapable of one meritorious thought. This distrust of our own strength is a gift from Heaven, bestowed by God on those He loves. It is granted sometimes through His holy inspiration, sometimes through severe afflictions, or almost insurmountable temptations and other ways which are unknown to us. Yet He expects that we will do everything within our power to obtain it. And we certainly will obtain it if, with the grace of God, we seriously employ the following four means.
First. We must mediate upon our own weakness. Consider the fact that, being nothing in ourselves, we cannot, without Divine assistance, accomplish the smallest good or advance the smallest step towards Heaven.
Second. We must beg God, with great humility and fervor, this eminent virtue which must come from Him alone. Let us begin by acknowledging not only that we do not possess it, but that of ourselves we are utterly incapable of acquiring it. Then let us cast ourselves at the feet of our Lord and earnestly beg Him to grant our request. We must do this with firm confidence that we will be heard if we patiently await the effect of our prayer, and persevere in it as long as it pleases Divine Providence,
Third. We must gradually accustom ourselves to distrust our own strength, to dread the illusions of our own mind, the strong tendency of our nature to sin, and the overwhelming number of enemies that surround us. Their subtlety, experience, and strength surpass ours, for they can transform themselves into Angels of light, and lie in ambush for us as we advance towards Heaven.
Fourth. As often as we commit a fault, we must examine ourselves in order to discover our vulnerable points. God permits us to fall only that we may gain a deeper insight into ourselves, that we may learn to despise ourselves as wretched creatures and to desire honestly to be disregarded by others. Without this we cannot hope to obtain distrust of self which is rooted in humility and the knowledge of our own weakness.
Whoever seeks to approach the eternal truth and fountain of all light must know himself thoroughly. He must not imitate the pride of those who obtain no other knowledge than what their sins provide, and who begin to open their eyes only when they are plunged into some disgraceful and unforeseen debacle. This happens through God's permission that they may know their own weakness, and, by sad experience, learn not to rely on their own strength. God seldom supplies so severe a remedy against their presumption unless other means have failed.
Briefly, He permits persons to sin more or less grievously in proportion to their pride, and, if there were any as free from pride as the Blessed Virgin, I dare say, they would never fall. As often as you commit a fault, therefore, immediately strive to probe your inner consciousness; earnestly beg our Lord to enlighten you, that you may see yourself as you are in His sight, and presume no more on your strength, otherwise you will fall again into the same faults, or perhaps much greater ones to the eternal ruin of your soul.


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