Who has confidence?
The majesty of towering trees. these are on the coast and have weathered Many a major storm. My best shot at an image of confidence today.
When I looked up “confidence” it all seemed pretty subjective. All about feeling or a “consciousness.”
“a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something”
Some people have a lot of confidence. Great leaders tend to have it. I think of Alexander the Great and generals like MacArthur or Patton. They all tended to confidence to the point of arrogance. Or at least it was often perceived by others that way. They were each geniuses. Experienced surgeons are another category of people who exude confidence, often to the extreme. All of these share intelligence and expertise. They worked very hard to get to the top.
That’s not exactly what I’m looking for.
When I think of confidence, I look for the still, calm, inner knowing that can be like some sort of barely flexible steel at the core of a person who has confidence. It does not run often over other people. That is reserved for emergencies only, and even then, others get out of the way and fall in line to follow because of how they set the example of kind, though firm, leadership. I know a professor nick-named “The Velvet Hammer.” He is demanding, but is ever so kind and gentle in calling forth excellence.
I am talking about confidence, that in the face of opposition, direct or in-direct, takes a breath and assesses the situation. These people know who they are and who they are not. They know the end goal. They have learned to surround themselves with people who have strengths in their areas of weakness and they give them freedom to fill that void. They call out the best in people.
This kind confidence knows their available resources: human, material and super-natural.
They have nothing to prove, because they have a sense that they are under orders themselves. They know, from experience, that God is in control. God is their friend and being in tune with God is the secret to their confidence. They are less sure of themselves and completely sure of their God.
So, how do we acquire Confidence? It is not quite as subjective as you might think. Here are a few ideas:
1) Confidence comes from training and experience. Malcolm Gladwell explains in his book Outliers,
that it takes at least 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at anything. Experts generally have confidence, and they worked REALLY hard to acquire it. Confidence nearly never “just happens.” Both generals MacCarther and Patton came from Military families and had fought in other wars before they were in WWI. By WWII they had logged plenty of hours studying at West Point, practicing war and in real battles. They had confidence.
2)Confidence comes though encouragement from others. When we succeed, that in itself is an encouragement, but when others recognize it and let us know, that builds confidence. We need each other!
3) We also need others to coach and cajole us to excellence. We need to be teachable. We do not learn in a vacuum.
4) Confidence, that lasts, is chiefly grounded in a belief in a good God, who loves, leads and empowers.
How does God lead? First and foremost through the word of God, the Bible. It is there, in the Word, that we learn how God sees us as, who He made us to be. As we step into his principles and understand more each day how much we are loved, then we truly begin to gain confidence. Being a student of the word of God is an integral part of gaining confidence. It is primary source of our relation ship with God. The relationship is the barely flexible core mentioned earlier.
5) He also teaches us and “speaks” to us through our circumstances, but the “lesson” always agrees with the principles of the Bible. Know the principles of life handed to us by the great Creator of all things. It is rudimentary to confidence and success in life.
I am sure there is more to acquiring confidence, but I know these are a great start. Foundational.
Which points above might help you gain “a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something?”
How can you help another person build their confidence?