Straight Talk, by Joyce Meyer

Need Confidence?

Don't be afraid to make mistakes, and if you do, recover quickly and press on.
People who feel safe are free to take chances in life—even if it means failing at times.

When you know you are loved for yourself and not just your performance, you no longer need to fear failure. You are free to explore and find out what you are best suited for. Trial and error is the road to success, and you can't drive that road as long as your car is parked.

Some people are naturally confident. For those of you who are not, I have developed several keys that will help you live more confidently and boldly.

Realize you are loved. Do not fear being unloved and be assured that God loves you unconditionally. Everyone desires and needs love and acceptance from God and others. Concentrate on those who do love you and forget about those who don't. Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in choosing your circle of friends.

Refuse to live in fear. Fear is an epidemic in our society. The Bible instructs us in Hebrews 10:38 to live by faith and not draw back in fear. God wants you to walk in the Spirit, not the flesh, and that applies to your emotions. You cannot walk in the vanity of your own mind, in your feelings or in your own will and experience victory in your life.

Choose a positive attitude. Confidence and negativity are like oil and water; they do not mix. Being positive or negative is a choice—it is a way of thinking, speaking and acting. Both come from a habit that has been formed in your life through repetition. Why not believe something good is going to happen to you? Why not think positively and walk with confidence?

Put setbacks behind you. You are not a failure because you try new things and they don't work out. You fail only when you stop trying.

Many people are confused about what God's will is for them. I recommend that you pray and begin trying some things. It won't take long before you will feel comfortable with something.

Our destinies unfold as we take steps of faith. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, and if you do, recover quickly and press on.

Don't draw comparisons. Confidence will be impossible as long as you compare yourself to others. Your joy comes from being the best you can be. Confidence begins with self-acceptance—which is made possible through a strong faith in God's love and plan for your life. Celebrate your uniqueness.

Be willing to take action. Whether you are by nature an introvert or an extrovert, there is nothing wrong with your particular personality. God created all of us different. Search your heart and ask yourself what you believe God wants you to do—and then do it.

Avoid "if only" and "what if." There are countless people who are unfulfilled because they have spent their lives bemoaning what they did not have. Refuse to live in the tyranny of "if only." One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to stare at what you have lost and fail to take inventory of what you have.

"What if" is just as devastating as "if only." Negatively anticipating a future experience can be more devastating than actually living it. Run to God's Word, which strengthens you to take steps of faith, no matter how you feel.

I encourage you to pay attention to your thoughts and choose to think on things that help instead of hinder. It releases God's power to help you be the confident person He wants you to be. I believe these seven secrets will help you along the way.

I've learned a lot on my journey about what true confidence is, and it is a pleasure to share things I've learned that can help you. God has a plan for your life, and He wants you to live it to the fullest.

Hold your head up and be filled with confidence about yourself and your future. You have what it takes.


Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and one of the world's leading practical Bible teachers. She has written more than 70 books, including the popular Beauty for Ashes and Battlefield of the Mind, and her most recent, The Everyday Life Bible (all FaithWords). She is also the founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. and the host of Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. To read past columns in Charisma by Joyce Meyer, log on at www.charismamag.com/meyer.

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