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TRIBEWORK is about consuming the process of life, the journey, together.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Impossibility of Confidence

This is a very special topic and an attempt to get it right, in words. It’s the subject of elusive confidence; that very isolating thing we feel when we’re in a crowd—amongst others who feel right at home—but we’re ostracised, or at least we feel like a fish out of water.

I far too often write about victorious matters when I should be equally attending to these things. Building people in confidence is something none of us really does enough of; even the boldest encourager.

We see in this, the issue for the person who’s low on confidence; it could be in one or a few areas, leading to a general poor self-esteem, or it could be low confidence on the cataclysmic scale as far as this one ‘stuck’ life is concerned.

My God-Constructed Vision

The vision I saw: at a Primary School disco, there are children dancing and much loud noise from the blaring music, and screeching from the girls all around. Much fun is being had. But, at the deeper level there are the kids that don’t quite ‘fit,’ they don’t fit anywhere (in any reliable, ‘safe’ way) in their peer group. One such girl my heart went out to. She did what all the other girls did; hung in groups and partied; but she always lagged and always responded, never initiating. She could only but hide what her body language was screaming out to say.

I prayed at that moment that one day a supreme turn of confidence—a polarising ray of self-belief—would appear in her cherishable life.

And I know this can happen; I know it firsthand. It happened to me. As a sixteen year old I had shockingly low confidence; it took a few years to break past it.

But, this wouldn’t have happened, in a lasting way, had I not come home to God. I feel certain of this. But, not everyone who suffers from shockingly low confidence will come home to God. This is, I feel, a realistic fact.

Lagging Confidence Only Appears to Be an Impossibility

Confidence is a powerful antecedent for life. Yet, it’s elusive. Even though we’d think of little else, when we’re without it, we just can’t imagine what life would be like with it. What we’d give for confidence!

This lack of confidence shames us and it shoots us off in all manner of directions of denial. Admitting openly that we lack confidence is saying, “I don’t have the courage to do the things I need to do in the way I need to do them.” Not many, paradoxically, have the courage to say such things—to be so honest.

If we missed it, the paralysing paradox is, when we most need courage it’s nowhere to be found!

It therefore becomes a rather vicious cycle. We’re so far from where we want and need to be and we can’t possibly get there; especially where the battle rages within in merely coming to terms with our psychological reality.

And yet... it’s a seeming impossibility only. It’s a trick we mustn’t believe.

The Chastening Need of Courage – to ‘Break Past’

A lack of confidence can be smashed. But to do this with any sort of veracity, we must be able to back our confidence by manner of the very practical performance by which our confidence is thereby to be known.

We train.

We focus.

We master it; whatever ‘it’ is.

These, above, as if our lives depended on them; well, because it does. To commit like this takes volumes of courage; it’s the courage of self-belief in the face of much opposition, psychologically.

We break past the fear and keep going; at each juncture we break past.

Whilst we’re temporarily shot off course, after a time, we get back in and break past again. We make a habit of breaking past the fear, and our courage becomes well-oiled and useful to us again—or perhaps for the very first time.

To those I’ve written to, every confidence to truly live free.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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