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How to be Confident with People
~ Learning to feel comfortable with others

If there is one quality you could have that would make you successful in motivating people or convincing people to follow your lead, that trait would be confidence. And if you can combine confidence with direction, guidance, past success, or some of these other motivational mechanics, you have a powerful combination. It is quite possible for a person to know where he or she is going , yet lack the self-confidence to convince others to follow along. Self-confidence carries a conviction, it makes others believe in us. Confidence is contagious even if its the confidence of a little boy.

The writer of Hebrews recognized the value of confidence: "Therefore, do not throw away your confidence which has a great reward" (Heb.10:35). Confidence is not set in cement; it's possible to lose it.

Our choice of associates will have a tremendous bearing on our confidence level. Most people fall into two categories: Confidence builders and confidence shakers. If you are unsure of yourself, a confidence shaker can do you in. Confidence shakers see the negative side of everything.When they get you to buy into it, the very thing that was helping you, be successful becomes your downfall.

Unfortunately, this negative process can and too often does happen in the lives of godly people too. We all go through periods of testing, wondering if God really can meet our every need. With a little discouragement from a good confidence shaker, we begin to doubt His ability and our own. This can begin a downward spiral which ends in the pit of failure and frustration. Our confidence has not only been shaken but uprooted.

The positive message from Hebrews 10:35 is that our confidence has a great reward. If we keep and build on it, we will be more than recompensed. Confidence in oneself is the cornerstone to success. It is difficult for those who do not believe in themselves to have much faith in anyone else. Self-confidence breeds confidence in others, much like a boomerang which you cast out toward others only to find it comes right back to you.

Why Do You Need Confidence?

First of all, it will give you stability in every area of your life. Confidence equals contentment with self. Contentment is knowing you have all you need for the present circumstances.
Philippians 4:11-13 provides the basis for this thought. "Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every cirumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."

These verses can not be separated because there is an absolute relationship between experiencing life's lows and enjoying its highs. The Apostle Paul is resting on this assurance that his strength is in God alone. He understood that confidence and contentment gave him stability in every situation he encountered in his tumultous life.

Contentment is taking your present situation-- whatever obstacle you are facing, whatever limitation you are living with, whatever chronic condition wears you down, whatever has smashed your dreams, whatever factors and circumstances in life tend to push you under--and admitting you don't like it but never saying, " I can't cope with it."
You may feel distress, but you may never feel despair. You may feel pressed down, but you may never feel defeated. Paul says there are unlimited resources, and as soon as you say "I can't cope," you are failing to draw on these resources that Christ has readily, by His loving- kindness, made available to you. Contentment, therefore, is being confident that you measure up to any test you face because Christ has made His strength available within you.

If the first thing confidence does is to stabilize you, the second thing it does is to stretch you. The moment that I have my foundation strong and stable, I am then in position to begin stretching. Insecure people seldom stretch because they are not willing to live on the edge of life.
Helen Keller said, "Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring achievement or nothing." Think about a rubber band which is totally useless unless it is stretched. When insecurity keeps us from stretching and growing, we end up with a life that is as unexciting and useless as a limp rubber band. (to be contd)

Be encouraged.

(next week: How can You become Confident?)

<< Letter # 33 (12.10.2003)

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