"Just be confident!", they say. As if confidence is something you conveniently take out of your bag anytime you need it - for example, if you feel uncomfortable in an interview setting or another potentially stressful situation. You simply tell your opposite: "Please hold on for a second; let me just reach for my confidence." It doesn't really work that way.
If only it were that easy, right? Well, I believe it can be. I think of confidence as "the anchors of assurance." Those things about yourself you are completely sure that no one and nothing can shake. They are anchors because if you feel like you're treading in unsure waters, putting down these anchors will give you the stability you need to get through. And these anchors are so important because without them you stand the risk of floating away when a wave comes your way. Picture this, you were assigned a project with a deadline. You start right away, do the research, put in extra hours and then even hand in the project ahead of time. With confidence, you consider this one of your best-completed assignments yet. Then the feedback from management comes back and they tell you that what you handed in is completely off the mark and far below their expectations. Another wave that causes you to lose balance?
At this point, you should be eager to find out what those confidence anchors are that will keep you on solid ground, let me give you some tips on where to start from.
- The word of God - the Bible. If you've been reading my blog you must have noticed by now that I add a Bible reference to each blog post to drive my point home. And the reason is simple, it is my source of inspiration. The Bible is timeless and touches on so many things that are still relevant today. Furthermore, it will open your eyes to gifts and abilities you weren't even aware you had.
- The things you love. The things you are truly passionate about are things that nobody can take away from you or intimidate you with. Usually, the things we are passionate about are also the things we dedicate significant time and energy towards. Therefore, knowing what you truly enjoy will boost your confidence level.
- The things you do regularly. During the day we complete many little tasks that we're not even conscious of but might be quite good at. Think of the things you do all the time and identify one or two things that you consider yourself an expert in. Something you could you do with your eyes closed and one arm tied to your back. For example, being well organized or cooking a mouthwatering three-course meal with ease. Nothing should faze you in those areas.
- Your mindset and the confessions you make. Words have power. I cannot repeat it enough because that's a fact. If you focus on positive things and speak good things about yourself and over your life consistently, you will hardly struggle with self-confidence. Those positive affirmations will over time take root within you and take center stage when doubts or feelings of low self-esteem try to creep in. "Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel." Proverbs 20:15 NIV
Don't allow anybody or anything to question who you truly are. It doesn't matter if you're "feeling" confident in a particular situation or not. God has declared how He sees you, so look to Him and you'll never doubt again. "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy." 1 Peter 2:9-10 NIV