In between my first coach and my last coach, God placed another important person in my life. That person was Ms. Regina B. Key, my eighth grade teacher at Houghton Grammar School in Cambridge.
Ms.Key was not only a great teacher, but she was a great leader who truly loved her students and the Lord. Every morning our day would begin as we stood and pledged our allegiance to the United States flag and said our The Lord’s Prayer.She gave us what we needed, not what we wanted, and she wasn’t concerned about being politically correct.
Ms.Key nominated me for my first non-athletic award—the John F. Burke Citizenship Award—given to the eighth grade boy and girl that displayed good character and sportsmanship.
Perhaps most importantly, Ms. Key gave me the confidence to speak in public—a skill that has been with me throughout my adult life as a teacher, coach and motivational speaker. She selected me to deliver the keynote speech at our eighth grade graduation. The speech was named “All Aboard For Space” and I spoke about America’s race against the Russians. I practiced that speech for weeks with my sister Trudy. I looked into her eyes and her smiling face the entire time. It was one of those days I will never forget.
I didn’t see myself as a leader, but Ms. Key did. That’s what leaders do. They help others see who they can become and where they are going, and then they give them the tools to get there. They help others do things that they wouldn’t normally do. They push them, stretch them, and help them fulfill their God-ordained purpose.
Because of Ms. Key’s faith in God and the confidence she had in me, I was well prepared for the transition from grammar school to high school and beyond.
Confidence is a life skill that can be learned,practiced, and mastered. And just like any other skill, once you master it,everything else in your life can change. At the same time, true confidence only comes from understanding who we are in Christ and what we have been called to do with our lives. Here are seven principles that can help you lay a solid foundation of confidence:
1. Know Who You Are. You are a child of God created in His image (Genesis 1:27). There’s no greater confidence builder than understanding that powerful truth.
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5/NLT)
2. Know Whose You Are: Being a child of God means you belong to God—not as His property, but as His valued creation. But you have to accept His Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1:9) and submit to His authority (Matthew 28:18) if you want to lay claim to the full confidence that comes with that divine relationship.
“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.” (Galatians 3:26/NIV)
3. Know The Truth: God’s Word must be the foundation for everything you do. Confidence is only sustainable when it is rooted and grounded in His unshakeable truth.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14/NIV)
4. Know Where You Are Going: You have a God-given purpose (Jeremiah 29:11) and that purpose drives your goals. If you know where you’re going (and it’s in the direction that God has laid out for you), you can walk confidently knowing that everything is going to be okay even when things are not going as planned.
“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3/NIV)
5. Know Your Strengths: You have definable gifts and talents. Play to them. Work to make them even stronger.There’s a reason you have those strengths and God wants to use them for His purposes.
“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts,according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” (Romans 12:4-8/NIV)
6. Know Your Weaknesses: Have a sober self-assessment of who you are (Romans 12:3) and where you fall short. Acknowledge those areas of your life that are holding you back so you can improve on your weaknesses and dive deeper into the confidence of God.
“He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.” (Isaiah 40:29/NLT)
7. Know Your Source: All of your talents and abilities come from God. If you try to claim them as your own, your confidence will be sitting on shaky ground and will not be able to withstand the adversity that you will face on a daily basis.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above,coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17/NIV
This is an excerpt from “The Seven C’s of Leadership” by Mike Jarvis and Chad Bonham. Order your copy by visiting: www.coachmikejarvis.com/7C.