Build confidence internally, not externally…

“Confidence isn’t thinking you are better than everyone else, it’s realizing that you have no reason to compare yourself to anyone else.”

Maryam Hasnaa

What is it that you can honestly say you do well, and with great joy and competency, that you don’t feel the need to compare yourself to anyone else?

When you find this, and are comfortable with being quietly competent without the need to compare yourself to others in a fashion that diminishes their skills and gifts, you have achieved what I define as confidence.

So much of our world today is built around the need to prove ourselves better than others. That is the antithesis of confidence in my mind. I would strongly argue that if you feel the need to do ANYTHING that puts you in a position to be dependent on either the “likes” of others, or in a position that directly puts others down, that you are lacking in true confidence.

So how do you achieve confidence in a world that is built on comparison to others? Find what brings you joy, that which you do well, and that you can do in a manner where the only comparison is within yourself and your desire to grow and improve. Confidence is built internally, not externally.

Compared to what?

“The fastest way to kill something special is to compare it to something else.”

Craig Groeschel

Do you remember that thing that you dreamed about forever, saved up for years? Perhaps it was a new car, a new house or a new apartment. Maybe it was the new role at your work or a job at a new company, or even a new relationship. It was SPECIAL!

Then something happened. Somehow that thing that was bright and shiny and special lost its luster. It wasn’t special anymore, in fact, it became just like everything else, just a part of the background of life and a new bright shiny object took its place.

Why does this happen? How does something that at one time is very special and pursued become something that is easily put aside and taken for granted? Teddy Roosevelt said that “comparison is the thief of joy” and he was so very right. The minute we take the thing that is special to us, and compare it to what others have, or we think that they have, our own thing becomes tarnished. The more we compare, the darker the tarnish becomes.

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians that, “But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” 2 Corinthians 10:12

How do we ensure that we focus on the gifts we have, and not get lost in the comparison to what we think others have? How do we ensure that our gratitude is focused on the gifts and blessings received? There will always be a desire for more, for new, for something better, and at times that can be okay, but only if you are comparing within and against yourself and not to others.

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