I recently preached at a conference. Ultimately, I sensed the Lord was on the message and He moved on people’s hearts by the time I concluded. However, as is typically the case for me, it was quite a journey to get to that final moment with a sense of peace. On occasion I have shared what the sermon writing process looks like for me, and on even rarer occasion I have shared what the sermon writing process FEELS like. Below is a Tweet I made recently.
Those of you who have wielded a microphone, in front of a crowd, standing as the epicenter of attention, can certainly relate to the above. I have learned through this process that confidence is not necessarily perpetual. Along the way there are moments in which you doubt yourself, question the direction you are headed, and feel the deep urge to retreat. Confidence isn’t about never having those feelings, it’s about not surrendering to those feelings. Being confident doesn’t mean you never second guess, it simply means you don’t give doubt authority.
For the record, it is very possible to be both humble and confident. That’s probably another blog for another day. Everything in scripture points to the idea that a person who is synced up with God should feel great confidence navigating life. I personally believe it is a vital aspect in carrying out God’s assignment.
Below are FIVE thoughts on how to increase your confidence.
Preparation Breeds Confidence
Be prepared. It really is that simple. Giving your best has less to do with the “moment of truth” than it does with the hours invested with no one watching. When you have done the work, your chest sticks out a little further and your head lifts a little higher. However, preparation is not just about how many hours you logged for one specific event (or sermon in my case). Preparation is about the whole of your life. Legitimate preparation is about a life dedicated to personal development. When I preach a message at a conference, the people aren’t just getting the few days / weeks I devoted to that specific sermon, they are getting a lifetime of study, devotion, and commitment. Confidence comes to the person who not only prepared for the moment, but lives a prepared life.
A Good Memory Fuels Confidence
When doubt or insecurity comes knocking, you would do well to remember all of the times it came knocking before, yet you still succeeded. We spend an inordinate amount of time fixated on what could go wrong rather than remembering what all has gone right. Live in your hopes, not your fears. Consistently, intentionally, remember all the victories along the way.
Healthy Ideas About God Bolster Confidence
If you believe God is for you…if you believe deeply that He wants to move in and through your life…if you are certain He is with you…if you lean into His grace…if you know He wants to use your life for His glory even more than you want Him to use your life for His glory…
Simply stated, if you are confident in God, it’s much easier to be confident in yourself.
Affirmation Instills Confidence
My guess is, through the years multiple people have affirmed you. You likely have several trusted, respected people in your life who have expressed their belief in you. Maybe I’m being presumptuous, but through the years you have likely had a few people encourage you regarding your talent, your intellect, your passion, your calling, and your potential. At some point you have to believe them more than you believe your own insecurities. Allow those voices to become prophetic fuel to your soul. Those moments of affirmation are more than quaint compliments. They are likely the Holy Spirit speaking to your heart through various voices. Don’t disregard them. Don’t offer an internal rebuttal. Allow the affirmation of meaningful people to become meaningful to your soul.
Defying Doubt Fortifies Confidence
Through 20 years of preaching I have learned to not let the moments of doubt stop the process. Instead, they are an understood part of the process. Doubt may have come attempting to stop progress, but instead I receive doubt as an invitation to dig deeper. I’ve turned doubt against itself. Along the way, every time I rebel against doubt or insecurity or fear, I strengthen my resolve in the future.
Whatever arena God has called you to…
Whatever gifting He had imbedded in you…
Whatever assignment you are destined to fulfill…