As a child, I used to be afraid of the dark and I’m sure many of you were too! If any time the power supply got disrupted and I was alone in the room, I would let out an involuntary shriek of fear. As soon as I saw someone light a candle (accompanied by reassuring words), I would heave a sigh a relief!
Darkness caused a loss of confidence in me. What if some eerie insect crept towards me? What if a phantom appeared from behind? So many what ifs used to hit the mind for that brief span between the electricity supply going off and the candle or lamp being lit…
With the glow of light a feeling of confidence used to gush in – the relief that all is well and under control!
When we check into an airport, we confidently walk towards the security check counters and then head towards the waiting area to board the aircraft, having the confidence that we would reach our destination within a matter of hours. Seldom do we doubt and fear the unfortunate eventuality of the plane not reaching our destination, despite being aware of many things that might go wrong. We place our faith on the pilot, the crew, the technical settings and the law of aerodynamics. That gives us the confidence to sit back and work on our laptops, read books, fiddle with the photos and videos in our mobiles or simply browse through the airlines magazine and enjoy the meals served up in the air.
Why go to bigger things when we can think of things near us? I believe you are sitting on a chair/sofa or reclining on your bed/couch while reading this article. How many times did you check whether the furniture was strong enough to bear your weight? Of course, you would have surely checked thoroughly before buying the piece! But, not each time you decide to sit or lie down on it. You simply know that it will support you and not crumble down suddenly, even though sometimes, it actually may.
Confidence! That’s something we cannot survive without. All of us need to have a minimum amount of confidence to live and function as normal healthy human beings – in the things around, the people around and in ourselves. That’s what keeps us going.
Three strongholds against confidence
The three tall towers that threaten to stifle the confidence in a person are Fear, Failure and Ridicule.
- Fear of the unknown, fear of people, fear of consequences, fear of rejection, fear of harm (on self or others), fear of haunting old memories, fear of places, fear of sickness, fear of death, fear of war, fear of abuse, fear of failure, fear of ridicule are some of the common fears that rob us of our confidence.
Replace the fears of the world with the Fear of God.
While these fears are not completely unnatural, they often take away our peace of mind and the resulting confidence that emanates from it. But, the fear of the Almighty God gives us the confidence to walk in the right way, to look at all our fears squarely in the face and overcome them. No fear can stalk you if you seek refuge in the Strong Tower, i.e., in God Himself. The living words of wisdom say –
In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence,
And his children will have refuge.
The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life,
That one may avoid the snares of death. (THE BIBLE)
- Failure to meet expectations, failure in relationships, failure to climb up the career ladder, failure to pay off debts, failure in examinations, failure to conceive a baby, failure to stand up against what is right, failure to manage resources are some of the common failures that swindle our confidence.
Replace failures of the world with Victory in God.
While these failures cannot be escaped from, they can be dealt with. Our failures need not make us lose our confidence. In fact, adversity leads us to recognize that if we place our confidence in the Unshakable Rock, i.e., in God, He will never fail us. People may fail you, circumstances may not support you but God will never forsake you. He will ensure that you are victorious. The eternal words of wisdom say –
Some boast in chariots and some in horses,
But we will boast in the name of the LORD, our God.
They have bowed down and fallen,
But we have risen and stood upright. (THE BIBLE)
- Ridicule owing to looks (height, weight, colour, structure), accent of speech, family background, poor performance, low status, inability to deliver when required or being differently-abled (physically or mentally).
Replace ridicule of the world with the sure hope of being Exalted by God.
Ridicule breaks the heart and causes us to question ourselves. It distorts our self-image and damages our self-esteem. We find ourselves climbing down the confidence ladder. But, when you look up to the Infallible Deliverer, i.e., God, He will raise you up and strengthen you despite the weaknesses in you which make you a victim of ridicule. The priceless words of wisdom say –
For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. (THE BIBLE)
I learnt very early in life to place my confidence in God alone – not even in myself. And that has helped me to stand tall amidst the fears, failures and ridicules that threaten to unsettle me from time to time. Not that I never slip, but when I do, I know that I will fall into the hands of God – very much like the child thrown up in the air who laughs heartily with the assurance that his/her father’s hands are waiting to catch him/her. That’s confidence!
What is your confidence in today?