Do not, therefore, throw away your confidence for it carries a great reward. — Hebrews 10:35
This post is dedicated to those still facing the fires in Fort McMurray and anyone facing their own fires in life. Continuing from our conversation on both the skill and virtue of confidence earlier, confidence does have a great reward.
Its reward is that we have the capacity to contribute and live fully, freely and fiercely in times of both trial and triumph. With it…
- We have the strength to face what life brings.
- We act with self assurance.
- We treat others as trustworthy.
- We bless and are thankful for our mistakes as teachers.
- We practice patience in striving for mastery.
- We fully express our talents and ideas.
- We maintain a positive attitude.
So, the rewards are great. Then, what does it look like to foster, advance and encourage confidence within our students, colleagues, clients and constituents? What does it look like to be a beacon of it in the face of disaster? In the face of economic challenges, natural disasters or the trial and tribulations of life… what does it look like to build cultures of confidence in the classroom, in companies and throughout communities? What immediate and daily practices can we “sharpen the blades on” to champion confidence.
Recently, I had my first day back teaching at College since my brain bleed. I had concerns about my abilities; great concerns. How would I react physically and emotionally? It has been months since my last college teaching experience and I humbly bring it to the classroom; and have for the last 20+ years now. With my road back, I still must pace the spirit of thunder within.
The students showed up on the first day and did not know each other nor really know the nature of the course they were about to take, Organizational Behaviour. They are taking it as an elective. There was much uncertainty in the classroom on many levels. Strangers meeting, taking a strange course. But I knew I had at least one one ally. Confidence.
I was not confident in my ability to do what I used to do; whether accurate or not. But, I knew that confidence is a virtue, a strength of character that can be accessed at any time. So, I did. I had confidence in confidence. I had confidence that every student had access to it too. I simply had to engage the students as people. Yes, people. I had to believe in them, believe in the course and believe in confidence. The conversation was engaged. The students responded. The first class was a success.
Still, I was tired afterwards; very tired. That being said, confidence had my back. Some would say this is “fake it til you make it”. I respectfully disagree. There is nothing fake about confidence. I would suggest it is more about “believe it and you’ll see it”.
It happened again that next evening at supper time… where I had committed to volunteering an hour to speak with a group of youth at a community center. Again, they did not know what was coming. Nor, did I. I was also physically drained from the day (part of this road back to health) and I did not know what was left in the tank. But I had confidence. I had access to it. I believed in it like I know the ocean exists. It exists, with or without me. I sat for some, stood for some, but believed in confidence throughout. The session was engaging. The kids were great. The lesson was reinforced, for me.
Confidence stands at the ready. It is not unlike a guardian angel; or an arrow in our quiver… when we quiver. It is ready to be used. When we find ways to use it, we become an example of it… and it is contagious. It is a “keeper for life”.
So, my question to you is this. Well. actually… questions. As an educator and/or leader in any capacity, how can you personally access and believe in confidence in such a way that you both practice it and thusly become an example of it? How can you engage it in a way that it becomes its own constructive contagion? How can you engage it in conversation and commitment alike? What daily practices will help you sharpen those blades in both yourself and others? How will you achieve a new understanding of the pre-existent nature of the virtue of confidence?
You can access it at work, play or rest; in healthy balance.
Have this conversation with yourself and others. Explore the ocean that is the virtue of Confidence. It is there. Dip your toes in it. Submerge yourself in it. Learn to swim in it. Both doubt and arrogance are waste lands. Confidence is an oasis. Find that oasis and live there. Invite and engage others to do so too.
To the people still facing the fires in Fort McMurray or the fires in our lives anywhere, I hope, pray and wish you access confidence in your time of need. It has a great reward. And to those of us who can help, let us have the confidence to do just that through our service and donations of time, resources and money.
Peace, passion and prosperity…
Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™
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