Confidence comes not from building ourselves up, but is drawn from the God who made us.
We all have experienced moments we have lost our confidence. That moment when we felt like we weren’t going to succeed. That moment when we thought Someone else should be doing this, not me. That moment when we suddenly realize I don’t believe in myself. I can’t do this. Every leader has or will experience moments in their lives where they don’t trust themselves. Confidence lost.
So if you lost some of your confidence or want to grow in confidence then consider the following:
Trust the Right Source.
Let’s define confidence for a moment by defining what it is not. Confidence is not arrogance. There is a difference. Arrogance is an overbearing pride and extreme self-importance. Confidence is a trustworthy reliance and belief in someone.
The word confidence has a word embedded in it that is critical to being confident. It’s the word, confide. True biblical confidence is found when we trust and confide in Christ. It’s easy for people, especially driven people, to put their trust in their network, their title, their paycheck, their personality, etc. But the second we lose any of those, we lose our confidence as well.
When we intentionally put ourselves in the presence of Christ, when we are vulnerable with our fears and insecurities, when we place our trust back into God’s hands and take it out of our hands, that’s when our confidence is strengthened. Practically speaking, the more you are in God’s presence, reading God’s word and speaking regularly to God, letting God fill you, letting God inspire you, the more confident you will be.
Become Secure in Who You Are.
I think we lack confidence when we see someone else doing it better, bigger and stronger. The biggest killer of confidence is comparison. So our response is, “I’m just going to be myself and they can take it or leave it.”
Knowing who you are is the result of confidence, but not the starting point of true biblical confidence. Confidence is being secure in God’s will, which is both “who you are” and “what you do.” God’s will is about you becoming the right person first, then doing the task second. Who you are will always precede what you do.
When you stop comparing yourself to others and cease striving to have someone else’s calling, but be yourself according to how God made you and love what God is wanting you to do with your life, your confidence will conquer. The moment I start depending on what others think of me is the moment I start doubting what God can do with me.
Depend on God and listen to what God says about you instead of what others say about you. The most confident moments you’ll experience in your life are moments when you are most secure in Christ’s definition of who you are and what he’s called you to do.
Trust God More and Yourself Less.
The root of confidence is going to be where you put your trust? Pride says, “I got this.” Confidence says, “God’s got this.” Biblical confidence is rooted in obedience to what God is calling you to do. Pride is rooted in arrogance about what you are wanting to do. The Bible asks a question, “Why so down and lacking confidence, put your trust in God” (Psalm 42:5). Whom you put your trust in determines how you progress forward.
Whether you realize it or not, God trusts you more than you trust yourself. You are called to do great things. That’s not a leadership cliché’ but a truth from Jesus who reminded us, “Greater things you will do because I go to the Father” (John 14:12). I think that’s why I love James and John arguing over who is greatest in the kingdom (Luke 9:46). Basically “who is more awesome, me or you?” was the argument Christ had to settle.
Notice Jesus didn’t shut them down for their confidence but simply asked them if they had what it takes to do the big thing God called them to do. Spending time with Christ on a regular basis allows him to bring the greatness in you to the surface for you to discover, but it also brings the confidence to do what God is calling you to do.
Guard Against Opinions.
Don’t let other people’s opinions chip away at your confidence. They may not sabotage your confidence but it will chip away at it. The young leader has to do their best to not be ruled by what other people think, but instead be ruled by what God thinks. You’ll get opinion from everywhere. If you live only by other people’s opinions you won’t be confident.
The reality is a hundred opinions of others of how great you are to “build your confidence” doesn’t compare to the weight of God’s opinion of who you are. What others say about you is no match for the mind of Christ in you. That mind comes from confiding in God, trusting in God with your calling and your future. The danger is once something is chipped away enough, it has potential to be discarded. But God says this, “Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised (Heb. 10:35–36).
Insecurity always shows up in a person’s life. It can possibly be disguised, but it can’t be hidden. I have found a direct correlation between my security in my relationship with Jesus and my security with other people. If I’m insecure in my relationship with God, then I will be insecure in my relationships with others.
On the other hand, the more secure I am with God the more secure and confident I will be in moving forward in God’s plan for my life. Remember, You “can do all things through Christ who gives [you] strength.” You can do all he calls you to do, because he will equip you for his call, and strengthen you when you need strength most.
If you are facing insecurity in leadership, remember “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it” (1 Thess. 5:24). Insecurity is when I’m focused on what others think about me, but security is when I’m focused on what God thinks about me. The more I am anchored in God’s “yes” for my life, the more you truly find out how God made you to be, and the more you will never want to be anyone else or do anything else.
Be on the Offensive.
Leaders who are lacking confidence are defensive of their performance. They are sensitive about their positions. They are constantly aware of others’ authority and try to control others around them to protect their position, performance and authority.
Leader’s who want to grow in their confidence move from a posture of defensiveness to an offensive position. Confident leaders celebrate others’ performance and champion them forward. Confident leaders hold an offensive posture by giving authority and responsibility away to others allowing the community to celebrate their collective potential.
Find Inspiration in Other Confident People.
Seek wisdom from other leaders who have gone before you. I love that the Bible is full of leaders who felt unqualified and who were lacking the skills and education to do the job.
When I feel overwhelmed or insecure, I read the stories like those of Gideon, Moses, Joseph, David or Joshua repeatedly to supply me with great encouragement. Find knowledge from mentors who are farther down the road than you.
Read books on topics that interest you and from authors you want to mimic or learn from. Continue your education. Join a network. The more you grow in experience the more competent you will feel in your role.
Discover God’s Perspective.
Insecurity rearranges everything you see and hear in leadership. Maybe the chaos you’re experiencing as a leader in your organization, family, etc. is because you are listening to the wrong voices or you are focusing your eyes on the wrong things.
If God holds everything together, then being held by God means you should be the most secure person. A lack of confidence could mean that you are feeling outside the grip of God. Focus on Christ and experience your foundation will become firmer.
Confidence is not what you do with God, but what God does with you, so don’t limit God by your insecurity. When God affirms you it’s not just for a moment but to put you in a place of extreme security in him. Confidence in him is what sustains you.
This article originally appeared on AlanPastian.com.