Why Not You?: Twenty-eight Days to Authentic Confidence
By Valorie Burton
Authentic confidence is more than self-confidence. Self-confidence is about what you can do. Authentic confidence is about what God I can do through you, in you, and for you.
It's important to possess self-confidence, build your skills, properly prepare to fulfill your dreams, and learn through experience and education. But these things aren't enough; they'll never be enough. It takes a force much larger than you to realize your greatest potential. When you recognize that this force-God-is with you wherever you go, guiding and directing you, using you, protecting you, and teaching you, you suddenly have an edge. Trust that for those who love God and live according to His purpose for their lives, all things work together for good (see Romans 8:28).
If all things are working together for your good, you have every reason to be confident. Even when you mess up, circumstances will eventually work together for your good. Think back to a situation in your life in which you lacked confidence and fear gripped you. You made it through, didn't you? Maybe you didn't get the outcome you were looking for at that time, but the experience taught you something. The experience moved you in a new direction and expanded you in some way.
Knowing that God is with you is a key to authentic confidence. So authentic confidence is self-confidence plus faith. Authentic confidence is your complete trust that what you offer to this world is valuable, meaningful, and divinely unique. Self-confidence is an important element of authentic confidence, but it does not replace or supersede authentic confidence.
Authentic confidence acknowledges that your life is bigger than you. Authentic confidence is having faith that all things will work together for your good when you follow the path of your purpose and act in ways that demonstrate your love for God (see Romans 8:28). The question you must settle for yourself is, What am I basing my confidence on?
Authentic confidence gives you the ability to be secure in who you are, in your right to be yourself in every situation, and in the certainty that God can use you despite your imperfections. To exude confidence, you don't need to grasp something outside of yourself. You don't need to look a certain way, possess certain skills, or have a certain amount of money in your bank account. Who you are is enough.
As talented as the world's best-known talents are, I'm convinced there are many more people, just as gifted, who pass through this world without ever fully sharing their talent.
Because talent, without the confidence to share it fully, goes undeveloped and unappreciated.
Countless relationships suffer because people refuse to muster the confidence to stand up for themselves or for what they know is best. If they did, the entire dynamic of these relationships would shift. It takes confidence to become all that God created you to be. It takes confidence to say, "I know my purpose, and I'm going to live it every day" In our politically correct world, it takes confidence to say unashamedly, "I believe in Jesus Christ, and my daily goal is to follow His example."
More than ever before, believers must be bold and confident. It takes confidence to believe you can bring children into this world and raise them to be productive, positive, and successful members of society. There are days when you simply will not feel like you have the ability to do it even though you do.
It takes confidence to handle difficult people and tough situations with ease. You might have the talent and skills to do it, but the more important question is, "Do you believe in your ability?" Ultimately, talent will only take you so far. You have to believe in yourself, and more important, you have to believe that God is with you and has a vested interest in your success.
Somewhere along the journey, many of you have picked up the idea that in order to be confident, you have to know the answers. You have to be the most talented, most educated, or most skilled. But confidence is derived, in large part, from believing that the knowledge about how to achieve a goal is within your reach. Authentic confidence is comfortable with a lack of information right now because you know that you can find the information. "I don't know how to do that" is simply not an obstacle for you when you are authentically confident. "I'll find out how" is your steppingstone. This type of attitude attracts success. It's an attitude of trust and an attitude that believes God will light your path-an attitude that acknowledges that your path may be unconventional. And you know what? That's okay.
Let me tell you about one such unconventional path. Rene Syler is the former co-host of The Early Show weekday mornings on CBS. I first met her in 1998 when she was a news anchor in Dallas and a nominee for the Texas Trailblazer Award luncheon, an event I chaired at the time. After the event that day, my father and I sat outside the ballroom of the Anatole Hotel and talked with Rene. I was intrigued by the path she'd taken to get into television. She clearly had the talent for television, but she didn't have the education or skills when she decided to enter the industry.