Episode 65: Confidence and Faith
The word, “confidence” gets thrown around so casually these days that it can be easily seen as something of lesser importance or value but genuine confidence is a real power and can transform your life in amazing ways. Confidence is synonymous with certainty. Faith is defined as “the assurance of things hoped for and not seen” – sounds like certainty to me. Certainty = confidence = faith. We’ve been taught that faith can move mountains. In this light, when you cultivate confidence (faith) you create a real power that has the potential to accomplish the impossible. Come join me today as I talk about confidence and faith!
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Okay, today – confidence and faith!
I’ve been studying the Book of Mormon this year and through all the accounts and the experiences of the people I’ve noticed this beautiful trend and powerful truth.
Faith moves mountains.
We know how important faith is. It’s talked about nearly 600 times in the scriptures but what is faith?
“The Apostle Paul taught that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”In other words, being confident in things that aren’t seen or being certain in things that aren’t seen.”
There’s a sweet primary hymn called, Faith and the lyrics start with this, “Faith is knowing the sun will rise lighting each new day.”
Faith is assurance, knowing, confidence.
Confidence is synonymous with certainty. What we’re really craving when we talk about confidence is the feeling of certainty that things will work out and faith is another powerful word that sums up confidence perfectly.
It’s having faith that things will work out beautifully.
Faith moves mountains really means Confidence moves mountains
Pause for a moment and think about these accounts of faith and while I talk about them insert confidence where faith is placed:
1.) Peter walking on water
2.) In the New Testament Christ heals the 10 lepers and one came back and thanked Him and He tells him, “Arise, go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole”
3.) Nephi and the golden plates – “I will go and do the things
which the Lord hath commanded,
for I know that the Lord
giveth no commandments
unto the children of men,
save he shall prepare a way for them
that they may accomplish the thing
which he commandeth them.”
4.) The woman with the issue of blood – one of the most powerful examples of faith – where He says He felt virtue leave Him – and He tells her, “daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole, go in peace”
In each of these examples they exercised faith to accomplish the task at hand. Faith gave them the power to move forward, to create miracles, to do accomplish the impossible.
President Harold B. Lee: “The greatest miracles I see today are not necessarily the healing of sick bodies, but the greatest miracles I see are the healing of sick souls, those who are sick in soul and spirit and are downhearted and distraught” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1973, 178; or Ensign, July 1973, 123).
Everyone of us has something or many somethings we’re struggling with, where we might lack the faith to believe that you can overcome your trial – whether that’s an illness, a physical burden, or an unseen but acutely felt internal burden, a lack of self-worth, of knowing that you’re a likeable, loveable, and worthy.
We all need reassurance/confidence that we can and will be healed and be able to overcome and triumph against these struggles and trials.
Faith is another word for confidence. Confidence is another word for faith.
So many of us lack confidence in ourselves and what we can do or become. We fear we’re not enough. We fear we don’t have what it takes. We look around to others and see those people doing what you really want to be doing and you feel a sense of despair and longing because you fear you might never have that and something inside you calls for it.
In these moments I encourage you to remember the example of Peter walking on water.
Peter once he recognizes the Savior walking on water calling to him, beckoning him to come to him leaps over the edge and starts taking those first steps. His eyes are locked on the Savior as he starts doing the impossible. He has confidence, certainty, faith that because the Savior is asking this of him he can do it.
Faith precedes the miracle.
But then he second guesses himself. His primitive/natural man brain kicks in and starts doubting. He’s probably thinking things like, “what do you think you’re doing? This is impossible! No one can walk on water! You’re going to get swallowed up by the sea, you’re going to drown. You can’t do this. You’re not the Savior. Who do you think you are?”
And I don’t know what his thoughts were, I’m guessing what went through his head because so many of our doubting thoughts are so similar:
You’re not enough
You can’t do this
Who do you think you are?
So he doubts this miracle – doubts can be replaced with insecure, unsure, uncertain.
If confidence is synonymous with faith then doubting is synonymous with insecurity.
He’s not feeling secure, certain, sure that he can do this so when these thoughts flood his mind, he does shrink, he falters, he falls and he starts to sink.
Thankfully the Savior is there to catch him, to reassure him, to help him to the safety.
Peter, on his own could not walk on water YET. He didn’t have enough faith in his own abilities much like we doubt our own capabilities and capacity.
But the Savior is always there ready to catch us from sinking, to save us, to help us, to show us the power of faith. To teach us that we can be certain in Him.
For so many of us we doubt or abilities to press forward and accomplish the things we’re after. You can say that you have a lack of faith in yourself and in the task at hand. In those moments it’s so important that we remember that we don’t have to do it alone or take on the task all by ourselves.
There is power and security in this scripture,
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (phil 4:13)
Not just some things, not just a select few, not just certain people even. This scripture is for you.
You can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you if you have faith to believe it’s possible.
Here’s what I love about possibility. It’s so forgiving and encouraging.
We are naturally doubting creatures. It’s in our primitive wiring. We’re designed to doubt, to fear, to be cautious of anything that’s different. Which is why the natural man is an enemy to God.
We’re asked to rise above our primitive wiring and build our faith and capacity to become. And Heavenly Father knows that we’re not there yet. We’re still learning and growing so He offers us help.
He reminds us that we don’t have to do it alone we can borrow His strength, His faith, His power to accomplish the impossible.
So instead of trying to believe that I can do all things because I don’t know that I could, in fact, we’d probably be pretty quick to list off all the reasons why we couldn’t do many things so instead we just have to try on the possibility that HE could.
With all our knowledge of Him and the miracles he’s wrought is it possible that He could do all things?
That’s more easily swallowed and believed, right?
So then, is it possible that with Him, like Peter, you could do difficult things?
So then, is it possible that through Him, you could do difficult things?
Do you see how the progression helps build your belief and your faith?
You don’t have to have all the faith, all the confidence, all the certainty now. The scriptures tell us you just need to have the faith of a mustard seed
In the Book of Mormon Alma teaches us that it’s okay if we’re not there yet, “Even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe.”
And with that desire, – even the tiny mustard seed sized faith makes the difficult things become possible.
Russell M Nelson said, “Faith is the antidote for fear”
We don’t fear things we’re certain of. For example, you can be terrified of spiders and seeing a spider in the open makes you want to cringe but when you go to the zoo and you see a spider in a safe and secure enclosure you’re not afraid of it. You might even get close enough to examine it. You’re acting on faith that that glass barrier is going to keep you safely away from it.
You’re certain that the spider can’t come close to you because of the enclosure.
Faith then is synonymous with certainty which is really another word for confidence.
When you’re confident fear isn’t an issue.
Faith and confidence dispels fear.
Knowing this does it change the way you think about confidence? Does it increase your motivation to cultivate this power? And it IS a real power, in fact, Boyd K. Packer once said, “Faith is a real power not just an expression of belief”
Just as confidence then is a real power not just a pretty tagline or expression of speech.
Jeffery R Holland said, “First and forever fan the flame of your faith because all things are possible to them that believe”
In other words, learn to create confidence for yourself. Build and increase that capacity to feel confident.
All things are possible to those that have faith, to those that are confident.
So what about those times when you’re not confident and you’re not able to summon the faith needed to accomplish the task in front of you?
Neil L. Andersen said, “Your faith will grow not by chance, but by faith”
You need to make the decision to believe.
It sounds so simple and yet we fail to see the immense power behind your agency. Your agency to choose is your greatest superpower. There is power in believing. When you choose to believe, to be faithful, choose confidence you allow it to grow and knowing that faith is a real power, that it really does make the impossible possible isn’t that an area you want to choose to increase?
Make the decision to believe.
Thomas S. Monson once said that, “Faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time, for one will dispel the other”
You always have a choice of what thoughts to put at the forefront of your mind, which thoughts you choose to focus on and believe.
When you indulge in your doubts and give into your insecurities faith isn’t present. You lose the ability to feel and create that power.
Elizabeth Gilbert said, “When you argue for you limitations you get to keep them”
And knowing this, do you really want to keep them? Is this something you want to increase?
Most of us don’t want to believe those thoughts consciously. We just think they’re true. So what if you questioned them? What if you thought, “what if I’m wrong about that?”
What happens then?
When you start questioning these limiting thoughts you open yourself up to potential and possibilities. In other words, you’re beginning to grow your faith, your confidence and when you focus on this you start to feel that power once again in your life.
*** Holland said, “When problems come and questions arise, do not start your quest for faith by saying how much you do not have, leading as it were with your “unbelief.” That is like trying to stuff a turkey through the beak! Let me be clear on this point: I am not asking you to pretend, to act on faith you do not have. I am asking you to be true to the faith you do have. Sometimes we act as if an honest declaration of doubt is a higher manifestation of moral courage than is an honest declaration of faith. It is not! So let us all remember the clear message of this scriptural account: Be as candid about your questions as you need to be; life is full of them on one subject or another. But if you and your family want to be healed, don’t let those questions stand in the way of faith working its miracle.”
What you have already is enough. Faith as small as a mustard seed – have you seen a mustard seed by the way? Teeny. That’s all it takes. A thought, a question even, could it be possible that…and then it IS possible that…
That’s the beginning of faith, of power, of confidence!
Faith and confidence is knowing that it’s going to be okay, that you’re going to be okay – more than okay. It’s makes everything possible.
But it is a decision. You have to choose which beliefs you’re going to grow and emphasize.
Do I want to argue for my limitations? Or am I going to focus on my faith?
Do I want to continue to feel insecure and focus on my fears and doubts? Or am I going to question those and build up my confidence?
This is why agency is your ultimate super power. You have the choice to create how you want to feel. How you feel moves you into action.
Do you want to take action from insecurities or do you want to take action from faith, power, and confidence?
This doesn’t mean to imply that you’re either doubting yourself or completely believing in yourself because for most of us we’re not there yet.
And that’s why I love possibility and curiosity. It’s the bridge between fear to faith.
It’s like Peter and his task of walking on water. I’m sure he was fearful at first but he had curiosity and faith – he probably thought something like, “if the Savior is calling to me, inviting me to come to Him it’s possible that I could do it.” I’m sure fear was right there too, it always is and offering him thoughts like, “yeah but…it’s the sea, you could drown, you can’t do this” and then because Peter, knowing the Savior might have thought something like, “but if He’s doing it and I’ve seen Him perform many miracles then it’s possible that I could do it”
Did Peter believe outright that he could walk on water? Or is it more accurate to believe that he utilized curiosity and possibility to create the faith he needed to leave the ship and venture into the unknown?
You don’t need to have complete faith yet. Complete confidence yet.
You just need to be open to curiosity and possibility at first.
That looks like this:
I wonder if I could…
It’s possible I could…
And then from there it grows into I can and I will…
Henry B Eyring said, “Faith always defeats fear”
That faith is a choice. Confidence is a choice. It requires effort. Effort to choose to believe. Effort to choose faith over fear.
Fear is easy. You’re hardwired to feel fear. But faith and confidence requires your attention and focus. It requires your intentional energy to focus on it.
We might not have the Savior right in front of us, with our eyes locked in His but we can and need to focus on our faith, to keep our mind locked on that strength, on His strength for us to maintain the courses of accomplishing the impossible.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “Please doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith”
Faith is a real power. Faith can move mountains.
“Faith is the moving cause of all action” – Joseph Smith
Now think about that with Confidence as faith
Confidence is a real power.
Confidence can move mountains
Confidence is the moving cause of all action.
You have a superpower.
It’s possible you can do all things.
Increase your faith and you increase your confidence.
You increase your faith by choosing to believe.
Okay you guys, amazing stuff here. Practice this, choose to believe and then stand back and watch in awe as you notice miracles happening all around you.
Have a great week, my friends!
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