Pride is all about me, but confidence is a realization that God has given me abilities and created me to fill a unique role that no one else is called to fill. Borne in humility, confidence is a recognition that life is not about me but about using the gifts and abilities I have been blessed with to their fullest. And it’s not just using the gifts to benefit me, but to help my team and impact others.
Dungy, Tony; Nathan Whitaker (2011-02-21). Uncommon: Finding Your Path to Significance (Kindle Locations 369-371). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.
In eighth grade, my parents introduced me to a vocal coach. I had a pretty decent voice, but I couldn’t consistently stay on key. I remember standing in front of her the first time.
“So…people tell me you have a good voice.” Mrs. Mui stated.
“I don’t know…I guess.” I remember shuffling uncomfortably underneath her stare and the weight of the complement.
Her face softened, just a bit, just for a moment. “Your voice is a gift from God. Don’t feel bad about it. Don’t apologize for it. Just learn how to use it.”
Even now, two and a half decades later, I still struggle to accept complements. I used think that a certain level of awkwardness when receiving complements conveyed some appropriate level of humility. Now, I realize I was just trying to mask pride of a different sort, one that uses awkwardness to drag out the complement and allow me to savor it. I had to do that because, although I was proud, I lacked confidence.
Now, I realize that confidence in who I am and who God made me to be allows me to truly receive the gift of someone noticing when I and my team operate in the sweet spot of God’s design. I can simply say, “Thank you. We worked really hard on that project. I appreciate the fact that you noticed.” and then I can move on to talk about them and hear their story.
Confidence frees us from the curse of worrying about ourselves and allows us the blessing of genuine interest in others.
“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
photo by Mike Blyth