Welcome to “Athlos” a weekly blog which examines pillars of personal excellence and regularly brings together the worlds of Christian spirituality and sport.
The Message of Confidence
“Let another praise you, and not your own mouth, a stranger, and not your own lips”-Proverbs 27: 2
The Source of Confidence
Is self-confidence the same as arrogance? It depends.
“On what?” You may ask. I think it depends both on the source and on the messenger. By the source, I mean to say that no successful person has ever accomplished their goals by themselves, no matter how talented or experienced they may be. Someone, somewhere along the line has helped every one of us, even in the smallest of ways.
Persons of faith, unashamedly give credit to God, acknowledging the place of grace on life’s journey. Others see success through “3D” lenses of determination, diligence and discipline. The emphasis here is on personal effort and sacrifice. Perhaps, the issue is one of “both/and” rather than “either/or”. Maybe we need divine favour and diligence to merge, seamlessly combining heavenly and human contributions.
What gets more controversial is when we start talking about our own past, present or future success. Is that acceptable? Again, it depends. Take as an example the recent comments from the brilliant manager of Manchester City Football Club, Pep Guardiola, who predicted, months in advance, that his team would win the English Premier League title for a fourth consecutive year. Is that self-confidence or is it arrogance?
Proverbs 27 above is instructive. It discourages self-praise and promotes adulation from third parties instead. I am not convinced, though, that the Proverbs are trying to prevent you from saying anything good about yourself. I sense that underlying this wisdom principle is the question of your inner spirit and posture. Are you boastful? Do you want to make yourself look good? Do you acknowledge the part that others have played in your victories?
This may be the root issue. So, let’s embrace self-confidence. At the same time, let us be mindful of the destructive nature of being haughty. The sweet spot is somewhere in the middle.
The Spread of Confidence
Confidence that is grounded in humility will spread freely and rapidly.
If you were inspired by this blog, please consider sharing it with one other person today. To learn more about these and other related themes that promote the cultivation of an integrated inner self, read UNBEATABLE! which is available on Amazon in print and as an e-book.