Confidence — the conviction that you are equal to the task at hand — is the most powerful ingredient to a successful lifestyle. Confidence tells you that yes! You can do whatever needs to be done. You can overcome whatever stands before you, whether you have to go straight through, tunnel under, curve around or go over the top. But confidence is not easily obtained.
Where does confidence come from?
Confidence comes from knowledge and experience which issues in wisdom. Let’s go over this in a little more detail so we understand it thoroughly. The result will give you the key to gaining more confidence to do what you need to do to have a successful life.
Knowledge is the Basis for Confidence
Knowledge is the basis for building confidence. We’re talking about accurate knowledge here, not pseudo-knowledge, partial knowledge or erroneous information. Accurate knowledge about whatever it is you want to achieve is an absolute requirement if you want confidence to actually do it.
If I want to excel in a job interview for a software engineering job, I had better know the software they are interviewing me about. I can sail through the interview and score points for my dress and appearance, for my congeniality and for my presentation and communication skills, but those alone won’t land me the job. There’s a technical part of the interview where I’m going to be grilled about what I know. If I answer those questions accurately, I will convince my interviewer that I’m able to do what they want me to do. If I fail the technical test, there is no way they would trust me with the job. Interview over.
Experience Increases Your Confidence
Doing something gives you experience and the experience you gain in turn increases your confidence that you can indeed do whatever it is. Without experience, you may have head knowledge about the subject, but you have no practical knowledge of actually doing it. Head knowledge only goes so far. A popular phrase is, “knowledge is power.” I disagree. Knowledge is only the potential for power. When you apply that knowledge you have, then you gain experience and that experience will give you more confidence.
Wisdom is the Principal Thing Therefore Get Wisdom
Wisdom is knowledge applied. Wisdom tells you what to do in a certain situation because you have experienced it before. Let’s say there are several ways to do a thing. One way is best, the other two will get the job done but not as well as the best way will. If you don’t have experience, you may try one of the ‘good’ ways to get the job done rather than the ‘best’ way to get it done. Through trying all three ways, you’ll learn the best way to do it. When you’ve discovered the best way, now you can avoid and forget about the good ways.
Often wisdom boils down to choosing the best over the good. Good is fine, but best is best. Does that make sense? The best way will often save you time, money and reduce the pain as you do whatever you need to do.
There are two sources of wisdom. There is worldly wisdom, about things in this world, and there is spiritual wisdom, based on revealed truth. The Bible, God’s Word, tells us that worldly wisdom is deficient.
I Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He takes the wise in their own craftiness.
James 3:17,18 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
There you have it. Wisdom from above (heavenly or spiritual wisdom) yields a harvest of righteousness (right living, right thinking, doing ‘the right thing’) while the wisdom of this world yields nothing.
Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all your getting get understanding.
Wisdom is the principal thing. Remember that to be wise, you need 1) accurate knowledge and 2) experience applying that knowledge. This is why people who hire someone like a software engineer are looking for both knowledge and experience and not just knowledge alone.
Where Does Your Confidence Come From?
Confidence can come from trusting in your own abilities or from trusting in God’s ability in and through you. Where does your confidence come from? If you rely totally on yourself, you’ll get as far as you can go on your own. How far you get depends on how accurate the information you are using is and how much experience you have with that knowledge.
However if you trust in God instead of yourself then you will go as far as God wants you to go.
Proverbs 3:26 For the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.
I John 5:14,15 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us
And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we desired of him.
Make sure your confidence is in our Lord Jesus Christ and not in yourself. Jesus said that without him you can do nothing. He didn’t do anything on his own either, for he said he only said and did what the Father wanted him to say and do. Jesus had total confidence in his Father God, and we can also.
To gain confidence in the Lord, you need only do two things.
1) Gain an accurate knowledge of God’s Word
2) Apply what you learn to gain experience walking with God.
Do those two things on a daily basis and watch your confidence in your Lord grow by leaps and bounds. You don’t need all the knowledge of God’s Word to begin; start with what you know and build from there. Take one day at a time and the Lord will help you build your confidence in him. You are not alone! Your Lord is with you. Have confidence in that!