It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, I know. I’ve been in a dark place. I’ve been discouraged. When I get discouraged, my confidence begins to dwindle as well. Sound familiar? Sure it does. Even the most confident people struggle with low- confidence from time to time.
Still, I’m discovering that confidence isn’t something I lose. It’s something I forget to apply.
For example, I always feel a bit nervous whenever I encounter something new. The first time I meet a new person, I feel less than confident. The same thing happens when I find myself in a new place or new situation. Other times I find myself in a familiar place but the landscape has changed. Suddenly, I retreat to that shy, little girl who has forgotten what to do or how to act. I forget to apply my confidence.
What about muddled expectations? I’m really good at this. I put such high expectations on myself that I become my worst enemy. Sometimes I think Satan calls his demons over to watch me at work. He probably says something like this. “Watch this one. I don’t have to lift a finger. She damages herself all on her own!”
Expectations are like carrying around a rulebook. In this book is everything I expect of myself, everything I expect of others, and here’s a real brain-teaser, everything I expect others expect of me. Am I a mess or what?
All this stuff can do a number on my confidence. Then, I can’t determine if I’m a mess because I’m discouraged or I’m discouraged because I’m a mess. It’s like the chicken and the egg. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? I dunno!
In all these cases, it’s not that I’ve lost confidence. I’ve forgotten to apply it.
Before I can apply confidence, I have to know where it comes from so I can draw from it. Confidence comes from God. Anything we do outside of God is insignificant. This is where I first fall out of the boat. I stop relying on God to do in and through me what only He can do.
John 15:5 says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Apart from God I can do nothing. I can’t bear the fruit of peace, joy, or faith. I can’t handle new experiences nor can I let go of my expectations. But when I remain in God and place my confidence in Him, all things are possible. So, the first step toward applying confidence to any situation, is to trust God to handle it.
Then, I must frisk my negative thoughts and emotions at the door. Philippians 4:8 says, “Whatever is true, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on such things.” Anything that doesn’t match what God says about me should be thrown out. You and I apply God-confidence when we recognize these untruths by frisking our thoughts at the door.
I’m feeling much better, praise Jesus! It’s not because I found my confidence. But because I applied it where it belonged—in God.
What about you? Did you identify with anything in this post? How can applying your confidence affect your situation?