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Defeating the Confidence-Killing Monster

I have a pet peeve…. and I admit I’ve seen way too much of it in me. Moi. I. This guy. And I think my “expertise” now enables me to see it when it’s at work in others too. Like a bad haircut it robs SO much of the good we’re meant to do. It’s a monster. No better word for it! And this monster is a confidence-killing monster! 
It’s the same monster that once led someone I trusted to give me honest feedback and lovingly point out the effect of the monster on me, “Jeff, I see you as a Porsche. You’re so gifted. So much to offer. But, for some reason, you’re driving like an old beat up VW. And I don't know why.” 
Ouch. Right? But, better to know. They were right!

 Too often gifted and good people with so much to offer the world let this silly little voice get inside of their head. “You’re not that good.” “You don’t have anything special to offer.” “Others do. You don’t.” Call me crazy, but I honestly believe each of us has a purpose to fulfill. We have something the world really needs that we get to offer. But, call most people crazy. Most people don’t use what they have! They don’t bring their best work, build their best business, sing their best song, write the best book, sell their best goods…. Why? Because the crazy monster voice they’re listening to tells them, “Stay small!” “Play small!” “Be small! “You’re just plain small!” The late Myles Munroe (who sadly died in a plane crash in 2014 ) powerfully said, “The greatest tragedy in life is not death, but a life without a purpose.” Do you agree? And what keeps so many from that purpose? Even if they want one and have one? As Munroe said,

“The wealthiest place in the world is not the gold mines of South America or the oil fields of Iraq or Iran. They are not the diamond mines of South Africa or the banks of the world. The wealthiest place on the planet is just down the road. It is the cemetery. There lie buried companies that were never started, inventions that were never made, bestselling books that were never written, and masterpieces that were never painted. In the cemetery is buried the greatest treasure of untapped potential.”

Wow! And this monster that kills confidence wants you to think you don’t have what it takes! 
What can be done about the confidence - killing monster? How do you defeat it NOW instead of letting it linger and fester? 

1. Realize it exists. (Become aware!)

So much of what keeps us from living our purpose isn’t our skill, gifts or even opportunity. It’s the confidence-killing monster that causes many gifted and otherwise strong people to do things like

  • Hesitate to speak up in groups. (“They won't care what I think”)

  • Avoid calling someone they don’t know. (“They’ll think I’m lame!)

  • Not try something new. (“I’ve never done that before!”)

  • Hesitate to ask for what they need (“They’ll say ‘no’ I’m sure!”)

  • Not make decisions (“What if I get it wrong?”)

  • Not do things where they’ll get rejected (“I don’t think I can handle the criticism!”

That, right there, is the confidence monster! Do you realize that it when it manifests in your life?Are you ready for it to stop affect you and stop?

2. Recognize its voice when it speaks. (Become mindful!)

Know this is the monster when you’re telling yourself things like

“Who do you think you are?

“Why do you think you can do this?”

“There’s something wrong with you.”

“You’re not very smart.”

“You aren’t so good.”

Sometimes this questioning voice goes way back for us. It may inherited from a parent who didn’t know how to properly affirm you. Or, you experienced pain when you “stuck your neck out” and tried something once. Maybe you vowed not to try again.

Are these things really true? Really? Whatever the case, this lack of confidence voice can either win the day or be recognized and defeated.

3. Redefine why and who you're doing it for. (Get out of yourself!)

Sometimes, our lack of confidence comes because “it’s all about us.” Its all about “our success.” “Our image.” “Our needs.” It’s incredible how the confidence - killing monster starves and withdraw when we make it more about serving others. We break free from “me” and turn our attention to “thee.”

I’ve personally seen people who once thought they could never speak, write or lead become world-changers when they realized the powerful impact their work and their voice could have on others. Serving God. Serving others. Solving a problem.

Redefine by asking:

Who will lose out if you don't step up?

What good will be lacking in the world because you don't step forward?

Why would you deprive the rest of us from becoming the best of us?

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