Day #10: Confidence

But I have understanding as well as you;
I am not inferior to you.
Who does not know such things as these?
-Job 12:3

It’s hardest to write what you don’t feel. In all honesty, when I looked at my notes for today’s topic, I wanted to skip Confidence. I’m not feeling very confident at the moment. No reason; I’m getting miles of positive feedback right now that should put my confidence through the roof. But emotions are fickle things, they don’t always follow logic. Which is perhaps why I’m turning to Job for insight on confidence. As a book, Job is mostly an argument between friends and at this point, it’s getting heated. Just before this, Job made the sarcastic comeback, “No doubt you are the people, and wisdom will die with you,” (meaning, you will be the death of wisdom). For 37 chapters, Job’s friends insist he must have done something to be abandoned by God and there must be some “everything-happens-for-a-reason” feelgood conclusion to the tragic death of all his children and livestock and also his sudden painful acne. Through it all, Job’s confidence gives him resilience. He argues that everything doesn’t happen for a reason, that God is not out to get him, and that God loves him. He stays confident that he is no less deserving of love that anyone else and, after 37 chapters, God jumps into the argument to take Job’s side. Sometimes, confidence is the willingness to insist you are deserving of love and dignity—even when you don’t feel it, you keep speaking it as truth. Because somewhere deep down, you know it is.

Takeaway: Ugh, now you (I) have to go live out the confidence you (I) don’t necessarily feel. Borrow a cue from Job’s resilient strategy—“I have understanding as well as you,” he says. Job gives himself affirmation to get through this argument and to insist on his worthiness. Write down five quick affirmations for yourself. Any topic “I have great eyelashes,” “My home is just perfect for me,” “I like that I went to the gym yesterday,” “I noticed a robin this morning.” Pick one of those affirmations and write it 10 times (or more). Because it’s true, every time. And sometimes you just need to hear it 10 times to remember that it is.

 

Gathering the Stones is providing 40 days of reflections on resilience during Lent. Check back for new reflections every day (except Sundays).

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