Confidence: The Key to Accomplishment

Helen Keller said, “Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”

If you think getting out of debt is difficult, try earning a college degree, writing several books, and being a political activist, all while being deaf and blind.  The 2003 edition of the Alabama quarter has Helen’s image on it with the words “Spirit of Courage.” Undoubtedly, there’s a huge connection between confidence and accomplishment.

If you’re deeply in debt, you have surely faced those moments where giving up feels like the only option. I can remember in 2004 going to the local Bank of America branch to ask them if they could cancel several overdraft fees I had received (you have not because you ask not…I had 9 overdraft fees over one weekend, and I was able to get 8 of them cancelled).

After stating how stressed I was about my debt (only $8,000 at the time, mostly school loans), the bank associate reassured me that it really wasn’t that bad and that I was going to make it. It’s amazing how words like that can help you keep going. I still remembered what she said even after Beth & I had accumulated over six figures of unsecured debt.

Confidence = Accomplishment

 I’m convinced that no great accomplishments in life have been achieved without an equal amount of confidence. Your level of confidence literally affects everything you do, from huge decisions like getting married, changing careers, and starting a family, to negotiating a purchase or simply choosing what to wear today. Confidence affects everything.

Confidence equates to emotional stability. Studies have shown that people out-of-whack emotionally spend way more than people who are emotionally on-center (aka, retail therapy).

When you lack confidence in a certain area, it means that you don’t believe in yourself in that area (could be due to lack of experience, fear, past failure in that area, etc). So if you set a goal to be debt free but lack confidence in the area of finances, you will not have the self-discipline needed to reach your goal. You’ll either sabotage yourself somehow or find a way to quit.

So how are YOU doing? On a scale of 1 to 10, what’s your confidence level? If it’s low, here’s how to improve it.

Confidence is an Inside Job

The Bible teaches that transformation takes place when you renew your mind. (Romans 12:2). If you want to grow in confidence, you have to start with your thinking. Here’s three ways of doing this:

1. Guard Your Thoughts:  Do you just let yourself think on whatever thoughts enter your brain? Paul stated that “we take our thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). In Philippians 4, Paul lists several worthy values and then admonishes us to “think on these things.” God would not command this if it were impossible. Clearly we have control over our thoughts and need to take captive negative and defeating thoughts and replace them with truth.

2. Speak Life: If my daughter walked around all day saying “I’m ugly, worthless, and have no future” do you think as a loving father that I would let her continue to say those things? Of course not! Yet how often do we do that to ourselves? At a recent conference I attended, John Maxwell made the statement “the most important person you ever listen to is yourself.” If that’s true, what are you hearing yourself say? Is it uplifting or does it tear you down? If you want to change your life, change the words you say.

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21

3. Control Your Input: Zig Ziglar says “when you change your input, you change your outlook.” So let me ask you, what are you reading? What are you watching? Who are you spending time with? If you want to grow in confidence in any area, read everything you can on that topic. Spend time with people who are uplifting and positive. Turn off the TV for a while. Read biographies of people who have overcome tremendous odds in life; it will build you up to realize that if they can do it, so can you.

“You are the same today that you’ll be five years from now except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read.” Mac McMillan

If you want to make your life count, you have to get serious about this stuff. It matters, and it will make a difference in your life. You were born with a purpose. Don’t waste your life watching sitcoms.

On a surface level this post is about confidence, but to be honest, it’s really about identity, about how you see yourself and who you really believe that you are. 1st John 3:1 says “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” You are a child of God. Stop playing small and insignificant and become who you already are.

Committed to your success,

-Wesley

Comments: We respond to 100% of our comments. Which of the three points listed above do you need to focus on right now?

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2 Responses to “Confidence: The Key to Accomplishment”

  1. Cassi Says:

    I think my confidence depends on what subject of my life is being discussed. For example, in high school, my confidence is around an 8 when it comes to my knowledge, but the second someone starts to ask me about University, it falls to a 4 because I am so unsure about my future.

    I think I need to work on not tearing myself down. I just got my AP results in, and I got a 3 on my AP Language and Composition. While this is “qualified,” I really wanted a 4 and became very upset with myself. My mom had to calm me down, and even now I still find myself getting very upset and not thinking “happy thought” about my abilities to write essays and read passages. Silly, but it really upset me.

    Reply

    • Wesley Says:

      Hi Cassi! I think you’re right. Anytime I’m starting something new that I don’t have experience in I usually hit this wall of fear that I have to push through. The temptation when the fear comes is to quit. But if you look at the people you respect the most and who have accomplished the most in life, the thing that separates them from others is that they have simply pushed through that wall more than most. Lack of confidence is another name for fear, and most people give up when fear hits them.
      Regarding your AP results, go easy on yourself. I know it is a big deal to you right now, and that’s good to want to have excellent results. However, from my own personal experience, I worked incredibly hard in college to get good grades, and I graduated with honors. BUT, after graduating university, I found that no one really cared about my grades – it never once came up in job interviews. Outside of the world of Acadamia, most people aren’t concerned much with how well you did or didn’t do in school. What matters to them is that you finished and obtained your degree. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do your best, I just say this to take some of the pressure off of you because outside of your own desires to do well, your grades really won’t make much difference in life.

      Reply

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