There is a very tiny line between confidence and arrogance, between being a confident person and being a proud person. And because of that tiny line, a lot of people choose to be timid, cowardly and often tongue-tied when it comes to living their lives…And that is because they do not want to either offend God or offend the other person.
But typical of everything in the world, confidence is a skill that must be cultivated, it is not a gift that you receive once and for all. That is why, each time God appoints a leader for his people, he begins by admonishing him or her to be STRONG AND COURAGEOUS. In other words, the habit of being mentally strong and courageous from the heart is something they must consciously conceive, nurture and live by.
And that attitude of being strong and courageous based on what God has said, is what is called CONFIDENCE in our context…And that feeling of superiority over others and in ones capacity to do things without God is called PRIDE in the same context.
Take for instance Paul the apostle, felt that he was the least of all saints, yet he also felt that he could do all things through Christ who strengthened him. That in a nutshell, gives us the picture of how to be confident and at the same time not be arrogant.
So, in nurturing the seed of confidence that is in you, you must avoid these 10 things:
1. Refusing to express a strong body language reduces confidence
People see you before they hear you, and because of that, the way you speak, the way you stand, and even the way you pose matters in the school of confidence. When people see you crossing your arms while talking to them, or avoiding eye contacts with them, or not smiling freely, or looking down all the time, they make a mental note of you as a weakling who is not confident. So, avoid those like a plague!
2. Refusing to express your opinion in a group knocks down your confidence level
There are those who will rather melt than say a single word in a group. Instead of saying their opinion, they will boil on the inside and curse those who are expressing theirs in their hearts. My dear friend, opinion is the cheapest commodity ever known! So, dare to express yours in your group or committee and you will be surprised that your view would have added value to the discourse.
3. Avoiding new people shrinks confidence
The commonest way of knowing a shy, timid and fearful person is when that person meets someone for the first time. For the most part a confident person will not wait for the other person to say ‘hello’ first. Instead, he will break the ice of silence by saying a cheerful, “Good morning!”
In the autobiography of Sam Walton, founder of the Walmart range of companies, he said that when he floated his first store, he formed a habit of saying a cheerful “Good morning” to any one he met on the street. Little wonder, he ended up building the biggest retail business in the world today.
So, instead of you avoiding new people, dare to smile at them and wish them the very top of the day, and you will be surprised how that person will gravitate towards you!
4. Depending on others to think for you hinders confidence
My dear friend, the reason why God gave each man or woman his or her own brain, is that God wants everyone to think for himself or herself. And that is because you are responsible for your own actions. And every action is preceded by a decision.
Take note that you can consult with people, you can google the internet for facts, you can even seek the opinion of an expert, but at the end of the day, your decision will be yours to make. If you hand over that responsibility to others, it will show you to be a person with little or no confidence.
5. Fear of being rejected
Confident people, especially trained and confident sales men and women are never afraid of being rejected because they know the difference between themselves and either their products or services. They know that rejecting what they offer does not mean that they are being rejected. That was why Jesus told his disciples to shake off the dust of any city that rejects their message and simply move on to the next city. So, if you find yourself not wanting to do a thing that you know you can do, simply because you are afraid of being rejected, then kindly know that you will need to re-focus your confidence-beam on the fact that the favor of God will see you through.
6. Having no personal boundaries with people
You can not afford to allow your mind to be a dumping ground of some sort and be confident. You cannot afford to let people talk you down freely, insult your sensibilities at will and repeat those whenever they want to and be confident. Yes, agreed that someone might catch you unawares once in a while, but if you notice an individual who is always disrespecting your person, you must learn to stand up for yourself, you must learn to say words like these, with a sense of politeness mixed with firmness: “I will not have you talk to me like that” or “Is that how you talk to everybody?” or “that kind of language is not acceptable in my vocabulary”
7. Focusing too much on your past failures
When you focus too much on your past failures, you will begin to lose the juice of confidence. And that is because whatever you focus on grows and multiplies. So, understand that those events of old might have failed, but you are not a failure…You are the kings kid going somewhere to shine! So, when you are ever tempted to remember a failed event of old, simply pick the lessons and remind yourself that: “that event might have failed, but you are not that event!”
8. Focusing too much on physical looks
Confident people know that they have to take good care of their physical looks, because how you appear determines how people approach you. But they also know that they cannot afford to get paranoid about them. They know that they cannot spend every hour on the mirror just to check out how they are ‘still looking’, they know that they cannot be going around asking people’s opinion about how how they look. And that is because they basically understand that the world is not a beauty pageant, and people are too interested in themselves to remember your own niceties.
So, don’t be the timid guy who has to consume steroids because he needs some biceps, triceps and six-packs, or the timid lady who has to over-make up just because she wants to be physically approved or affirmed by a friend…Such mannerisms only expose a weakling and not a strength.
9. Detesting successful people
Confident people rejoice when they hear the success stories of others. As a matter of fact, they are happy at the testimonies of victory shared by others because, such testimonies only help to persuade them on the fact that, if God can do it for so-and-so, then God can do it for me also, for it clearly shows that it is POSSIBLE!
But weak-minded people detest successful people and either cook-up a story to minimize the degree of their success, only because they lack the confidence to know that one persons success cannot and will never hinder what God has planned for them.
10. Refusing to place your orders
Finally, don’t be like the elder brother of the prodigal son in the Bible, who was afraid to place his orders before his father, simply because he thought his father was going to say “no” to them and only got jealous when his brother kept asking for more and surprisingly, getting them.
Friends, it does take some level of confidence to ask for a thing, either from God or from man.
If it is from God, then understand that grace has made all things available for you; you only need to learn the pathway that grace has carved out for each of the blessings…And if it is from man, then know and remember that the FAVOR OF GOD surrounds you like a shield, and that that favor also goes ahead of you to make the crooked paths straight.
The floor is now open for your comments:
It is now your turn to let us know one more thing you have discovered that we need to avoid, if we want to be confident and not arrogant…I certainly will love to hear from you!
God bless you, really good!
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