People respond differently when they encounter the unexpected. One person who comes upon the scene of an accident might drive by, while another is compelled to do something, even at the peril of his or her own life.
In a time of crisis people who may not have appeared confident before sometimes surprise everyone with their heroics. Others who are very confident in public shy away from involvement. What is happening here?
Those who respond impulsively to a crisis do so because their focus shifts from self to others. The urgent need of another person motivates us to take confident action.
Too much change, too quickly may leave us feeling shaken and insecure. When life is unpredictable, when we lack control over a situation, we tend to fear the future.
The perception that we have limited control does not need to cause fear. A child, for example, can entrust his welfare to his parents. In a similar way, a person who believes that God has a plan for his life can trust him with his future and dispel fear.
As our fear increases, our confidence diminishes. The Bible teaches us that perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:8). Love, God’s love, is the antidote to fear. It is also the key to confidence. Embracing the truth of God’s love for us will replace fear with peace and assurance.
Life is a process of growth and change. Little children and teens can often be observed trying on different behaviours and personalities as they seek to establish an identity. They determine what to keep by how well it suits them and by watching the reaction of peers and adults.
Adults do the same thing. Admit that you have mimicked a gesture, or practiced a certain lingo, or adopted a popular hair style or way of dressing.
The choices we make, and the reasons why, are as unique as our fingerprint. True confidence comes not from assuming the identity of another but from discovering and appreciating how we are similar to and different from others.
When do we need confidence? We need confidence when we are required to speak or to act.
Confidence is generally associated with performing before other people. When I became a waitress I lacked confidence. I could easily serve dinner to my parents and brothers and sisters, but waiting on people in a restaurant was different.
Confidence is also associated with an expectation. This is an expectation we have of ourselves, or that we perceive others have of us. In other words, there is pressure to perform in a certain way.
Confidence cam improve with practice and increased skill. Repeated success builds confidence.
We all know the feelings–the discomfort in the pit of our stomach, the anxiety, the sweaty palms, or just the embarrassment that is part of a lack of confidence.
Confidence is elusive, at best. Although no one can guarantee a road to confidence, there are certain paths we can choose that will result in greater confidence. I’m not talking about putting on airs or knowing the right body language. I’m talking about a deep sense of being familiar with life so as not to be knocked off balance by it. I think this is something we all want and it’s called confidence.