The scripture of the day comes from Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” It’s a popular verse and I’m sure you’ve heard it before.
Now, the reality is you technically can’t do all things, especially because you’re human. But what the apostle Paul is saying as he writes this book to the Philippians is that you can most certainly endure all things, meaning whatever pain or discomfort or struggles get thrown at you, with Jesus as your foundation, you can find joy and contentment even in the midst of a major storm.
If you read the few lines before this it will give you an even better context. “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Paul writes this letter while he’s in the Roman prison and after he had been beat up multiple times for promoting his faith.
Paul had a lot of confidence in who he was because he knew whose he was. He knew nothing in life provided lasting satisfaction. He knew things that hurt would only sting temporarily. This gave him a lot of freedom and motivation to pursue what God wanted for his life and change from a Jewish man who was murdering Christians, to arguably the biggest promoter of the Christian faith. And he did it without worry of what others would think, without worry of what would happen to him, without worry of the outcome. He was content “in any and every situation.” To me, that’s pure confidence.
There are various types of confident people. There are arrogant confident people. There are quiet confident people. There are confident people who seek or maybe even naturally just gain the spotlight. There are silent people who don’t want any attention and you would never guess are super confident people. There are people who know how to turn on both attributes when it’s needed, depending on the time and place. Despite externally what it might look like, what we think is right or wrong, or what motivational speakers around the world like to tell you, the power of confidence doesn’t truly come from within. As Paul repeatedly says in the book of Philippians, the power of confidence comes from God and living our lives in Him.
When you discover this, Phil 4:13 also shows that you can definitely do way more than you think you can, once you break the human cap that you’ve put on yourself and tap into the God given potential that he’s blessed you with. I can personally attest. I’m doing way more with my life than I would have ever imagined. We are all conditioned certain ways and for whatever reason when I grew up, I had this “not me” attitude. When I discovered God and started pursuing Him, I slashed that old mindset with a whole new set of confidence and discovered I can do a lot more things through Christ who gives me strength. Now my attitude is “why not me” and I just go for it.
But here’s what’s helped, knowing these three things about confidence:
#1: It’s not about believing you will win all the time.
In fact, that’s not even your focus. When I think about my best performances and achievements in life, I know for sure I wasn’t thinking about winning. That’s false optimism. You can’t control that. In those times I was thinking about having fun, doing my best, giving all the effort I could, being in the moment, staying relaxed, and focusing on the process not the outcome. In the end it’s all in God’s hands and he’s the only one that predicts the future and controls the outcome.
#2: Confidence is a skill that can be built.
If you’re not a confident person right now, you can change that. Its gained through experiences. You grow in confidence from successes and failures. Honesty, I’ve probably learned more from my failures. Great athletes, entrepreneurs, champions, fail. And sometimes a lot. When you realize that losses are only going to sting for a little bit, you get better at overcoming them. The best hitters in Major League Baseball strike out too. Then don’t dwell on
the strike out though. They know they have another at-bat coming and they look forward to getting back up to the plate.
#3: God’s Opinion in the only one that matters.
Can I tell how much freedom this truth brought me?
Do you know why I can be the only one at a party without a drink in my hand? Because I don’t care what others think. God’s opinion is the only one that matters.
Do you know why I’ll fall face first in water at American ninja warrior and get back up again ready for the next challenge? (Oh trust me that stung for a little bit). Because God’s opinion is the only one that matters.
Do you know why Amber and I found peace when we started this company and were barely making ends meet, in survival-mode, wondering what the heck we were doing? Because God’s opinion is the only one that matters. We “learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”
Now tell me, are you still afraid of what others might think about you? Are you still afraid you’ll look bad? Are you afraid you’ll let someone down? Are you afraid it’s not for you?
God’s opinion is the only one that matters. Go for it. If not you then who?
It’s hard and you have to remind yourself daily. So here’s a Be Great 8 Action Step:
Write your own personal credo. A credo is a personal statement you recite daily, at least every morning to start your day, and every night before you go to bed so it seeps into your subconscious. Read it. Recite it. Memorize it.
When I wasn’t a confident person I learned this tactic from a great book called, Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude, and started doing it daily.
I started with thanking God for the life he gave me. I confessed my weaknesses and asked for his strength and confidence to take on risks, learn new things, and find courage to become a better person every day. I committed to doing his work and focusing only on his desires and opinions for my life.
I still wake up to this day every morning with this credo popping into my head and now it’s such a habit, the words just flow without forcing them.
Your mind is your worst enemy, but it can also be your best ally. Defeat it and you’ll move mountains. Let it win and you’ll stand at the bottom looking up. And if you can trust a common man like the apostle Paul who completely changed his life around from his experience meeting Jesus, then you too can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.
Don’t take my word for it. Try it yourself. Be confident today. And it may just be an absolute game changer for you and everyone in your life.