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What to Do with Confidence When You Have It

Now that you have all the confidence, what should you do with it? Keep refuelling it! Confidence is not a constant; it fluctuates according to your success/failure ratio. We all have defeats and failures which occasionally and temporarily lower our level of confidence. If you accept the fact that you will not be outstanding in everything you attempt, you will not be devastated when your best is not good enough.

Confidence is Contagious. You will find that your confidence has a contagious quality. It will spread through out your sphere of influence. The Bible provides some interesting examples of "confidence contagion." For instance, how many giant-killers were in Saul's army? None. When Goliath defied the armies of God, they quaked with fear (1Samuel 17:11). David, who came to bring food to his brothers, sized up the situation, went out in faith, and killed the giant. After David the giant-killer became king, how many giant-killers rose in Israel? Quite a few. They were almost a common commodity in the army under David's leadership. Take a look at 1 Chronicles 20:4-8.

Why do you suppose there were no giant-killers in Saul's army? Surely one reason is that Saul himself was not a giant-killer. However, under David's leadership they were numerous, because David was a giant-killer. This illustrates a tremendous principle of leadership, a principle which runs through out the Bible- it takes one to make one! When you develop confidence, those around you- friends, family, and associates -will increase in their own confidence levels. Confidence breeds confidence.

Appreciate and Affirm others. Everyone needs to be affirmed both as a person and as a coworker. It's easy to give a generic compliment such as "You're great to work with." But a comment that really means something to a person is specific and mentions a certain quality: "I appreciate your efficiency in relational skills, and this is very important to the success of the group." We don't help others by passing on empty compliments or avoiding the necessary task of sharing needed constructive criticism. Unfortunately too often we're stingy with honest praise. Build your coworkers and others up and encourage them by verbalizing their worth and value in front of others. Remember, praise in public and criticize in private.

Confidence can provide the momentum you need to be the person God meant you to be. It can not substitute for character, or skill, or knowledge, but it enhances these qualities so that you can be a person who makes a difference. When you have knowledge of skill and the momentum that confidence brings, then things begin to happen in your relationships.

The largest locomotive in the New York Central system, while standing still, can be prevented from moving by a single one-inch block of wood placed in front of each of the eight drive wheels! The same locomotive, moving at 100 miles per hour can crash through a wall of steel-reinforced concrete five feet thick. The only difference is momentum. Confidence gives you the momentum that makes the difference.

You remember the childhood story about the train engine that did because he thought he could. Some of the larger engines were defeated when they saw the hill. The little engine made it, but not because he had more power or more skills. The little engine made it because he thought he could; he had more confidence. Many times we feel like little insignificant engines. But if we hone our skills and talents, then add a good dose of confidence, we can climb hills and overcome obstacles and barriers that could have stopped us dead in our tracks. Why pull off the track and stop when we can conquer those mountains with the momentum of confidence in our engines?

Be encouraged.

>>Letter # 36 (21.12.2003)

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