Have you ever wondered how you can really know if you have confidence in yourself? If you notice, many, many people proclaim great confidence, but aren’t really confident on the inside. Oh they talk a good talk, but at the end of the day it’s just talk. Some folks even use apparent boldness and aggressiveness to cover their own insecurities. Oh and since you brought it up, everyone has insecurities about life in different areas, so there’s no shame in that. What’s a shame is knowing you have some insecurity in an area and lying to yourself about it. Key point – lying to yourself… A good motto for living life is that if something scares you (that shouldn’t scare you – so we aren’t talking about jumping out of perfectly good airplanes or bungy jumping-haha) – you should “take on” that fear and get rid of it. Contrary to public opinion and certain self-help authors, fear is never, ever good. (Caution yes, fear no!) Fear is sand in the machinery of life as one great man once said. So, the true basis for having confidence is a lack of fear. When you aren’t afraid you can act with boldness and not fear the outcome. So what is confidence according to God’s definition?
Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. Hebrews 10:35
In this verse, confidence (Greek word-parrhesia) is defined as:
- free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance.
- freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech .
I think it is very interesting that God tells us not to cast away our confidence (so that must be a distinct possibility for humans) with a promise that we will be rewarded with a great payback for keeping it! What would cause you to “cast away” your confidence? F.E.A.R. (False evidence appearing real) Fear is the great hold back in people’s lives. Just ask someone why they don’t pursue the things they really want in life? They answer with, “What if it doesn’t work?” “What if I fail and put myself/my family in jeopardy?” “What if I make a fool of myself?” “What if other people don’t approve of my actions?” “If I say that, what would she/he think?” Can you see it? The root of having a lack of confidence is fear. Our job is to get rid of fear. Kill it! Squash it! Destroy it! My favorite author, James Allen said it this way:
“The will to do springs from the knowledge that we can do. Doubt and fear are the great enemies of knowledge, and he who encourages them, who does not slay them, thwarts himself at every step.”
We learned many, many moons ago that fear really has two sources; ignorance and wrong teaching. For example, if you have a fear of working on a computer (because you are older-smile) then your fear is based on ignorance or not knowing about something. Now let’s say you are twenty years old and are afraid of the boogie man in the closet. Well, experience says that when you look in the closet he isn’t there, so that is probably based on wrong teaching. Someone told you when you were a wee little person that if you didn’t behave that ol’ boogie man would get you! Clear? ~Ignorance and wrong teaching. So, logically you can eliminate fear with instruction and right teaching. I’ll bet you didn’t know that the meaning of “doctrine” in the Bible is literally, “how to believe rightly!” Right believing, right teaching eliminates wrong teaching. Okay so let’s apply this to you and your confidence level. More often than not, we have learned things incorrectly. In other words, how we think things work are not really how things work. Someone taught us incorrectly! Our job then is challenge the things that make us afraid and prove to ourselves that we have no need for fear. Action cures fear!
How many good ideas have we had that we failed to act upon? How many times did you recognize an opportunity but didn’t move on it? If we know something and fail to act on what we know, it is a sure indicator that we lack confidence in ourselves. A good indicator of self-confidence is being able to trust our conclusions and not second guess ourselves. Many times we don’t trust ourselves and seek confirmation from other people. However, I can assure you that many successful people acted on something they knew, despite the thousand voices that were contrary to them. We all need help and guidance from other people, but there comes a point when we have to decide for ourselves. The great ideas and the great changes that have happened in the world have happened because someone dared to walk out on something they believed. There’s no safety in public opinion, only safe, secure, little dead-ends! There is no such thing as risk-free living. But, you can educate yourself and make that risk something you can manage.
At the end of the day, self-confidence comes from believing. Believing is really trusting; trusting in God and then trusting that He is at work within you; helping you get to where you really want to go! Knowing this, you can walk out with confidence. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it’s probably a duck, no matter how many smart folks tell you it’s not. Learn to trust yourself!
Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Every heart my friends, every heart!