Confidence: If I were only…
Something that lots of young people struggle with is confidence. In reality, it is something that many adults struggle with as well. I know confidence is nowhere near my strong point, even though for most of my life anything I have done came somewhat naturally and easy to me. However, as made evident by any social media that teenagers are on, confidence is not something a lot of them have. They are constantly comparing themselves to other people. They use Photoshop to fix imperfections. Some teenagers even act stupid, prideful, or “too cool for school” as a means of masking their lack of confidence in themselves. What this comes down to is that students, and people, are thinking that “if I were _____ then I could _____.”
Confidence means accepting who you are.
One of the issues that cause a lack of confidence is when you are not embracing who you are. When you begin to wish that you were something that you are not, you are not satisfied with who you are. There are two ways that you can handle this. You can either make efforts to become that thing that you want to be, or you can give up on yourself and see others as better than you. For some reason we have decided that different is not better. Sure, lots of teenagers may claim that they want to be individuals. They become nonconformists and things like that. However, in reality what almost everyone wants is to be accepted and viewed as cool. People who are confident know exactly who they are, who they want to be, and are not trying to be something they are not. They accept that other people are different and in some ways they do things better than they do. The difference is that they recognize that only they can be the best version of themselves possible.
Confidence for the Christian comes from Christ.
There is no reason that a child of God should not have all the confidence in the world – literally. We all know the verse that says “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” However, a verse that we are likely less familiar with is 1 John 3:7 “Litter children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.” Being righteous means that we are living the way that God wants us to live. I once heard a speaker say “you are as righteous as you ever need to be.” What he was saying is that if you have accepted salvation from Christ, then that is it. You are as righteous as you ever need to be on this earth. You have done the basics of what God has required. Take confidence in the pact that you have made with God. You know, “and if our God is with us, then who can stand against?” It is not a matter of whether or not we have confidence, it is a matter of whether or not we have faith enough in the God who created us to give us the assurance that we need to succeed.
Lacking confidence leads to lame excuses.
Some of the best excuses that we use in life are probably coming from a lack of confidence. The entire “if I were only” concept comes from this. “If I were only smarter, then I would know what to do.” “If I were only stronger, then I could help that person.” “If I only had enough money, then I would help the homeless.” If… if… if… if… Thinking this way tears us down. It makes us sad and depressed for ourselves. We see great speakers teaching thousands of people at a seminar, rich people donating billions, saints spending their lives among the poor, and so on. We think if we were only more like them, then we could be them. We elevate such people to a level that we think we can never achieve. The funny thing is that lots of these people can struggle with confidence as well. I cannot count how many times I have read about great speakers who struggle to speak in front of people every time. They get over their fear and do what needs to be done. Sometimes fear and lacking confidence go hand in hand.
So, when people see themselves as lesser than others, they make themselves lesser than others. Instead of actually trying something and failing and then improving, they do nothing but wallow in their lack of self-worth. Newsflash, lots of successful people had to fail a lot before getting to success. When we say something like “if I were only” and use it as an excuse to not do something that we should be doing, or should try to do, then we are doubting God. God loves to use inadequate people to get stuff done. Most people knew that Moses was a chicken with a speech impediment (and no confidence). That’s who God used to free thousands of slaves from Egypt. Lacking in confidence almost always means a lack of faith unless we lack confidence in something that God has not created us to do. Everyone has their own set of gifts, talents, and abilities. This is what makes us unique. While we may never have one of these traits to a point strong enough, there are things in this life that we are going to do that no one else is going to do or would have been capable of. This is how we were designed. So let’s start living life as if we were created for a purpose and stop comparing ourselves to others.
Here is a link to some cool quotes/pictures that help promote confidence. Check it out.