My personal confidence level throughout high school was very high in the areas of sports, appearance, and social acceptance. I was the “life of the party” and the captain of my high school track team. However, my confidence level concerning my communication skills and intelligence was very poor. I did not believe I was smart. Remember, starting in kindergarten I had been told that I was stupid.
Although my parents never said these derogatory things, they never told me that I was smart either. This omission caused its own kind of damage. Toward the end of my senior year, I thought that I was not smart enough to go to college. I set a low standard for my life because of a lack of belief in myself. Instead of attending a four-year college or university like the rest of my friends, I chose to go to an auto/diesel mechanic school because I thought it would be easier and best for me since they provided more “hands on” training than “book” learning.
During the first week, I realized there was both book work and practical training. I decided to buckle down, open my books, and study. To my amazement, I discovered that I wasn’t as “dumb” as I once thought. I finished the entire schooling with an A average. There was just one major problem. Although I completed the bookwork, I had a terrible time with the practical shop work. It became obvious that I was not designed to work with my hands. I hated working with my hands, and the thought of getting my hands greasy totally disgusted me. This is always the joke around our family gatherings today, “Keith a mechanic? Ha! The guy who gets pedicures and manicures.”
My natural talents and abilities surfaced—networking, communicating, encouraging, and teaching others. When I was younger, I thought my time going to that technical college was wasted. However, in retrospect, I realize that it was during that time when I started believing in myself. I realized that I was intelligent. When I started believing in myself and my potential, I had the confidence needed to take action to apply to a university. Today, I have earned a master’s degree and a doctorate degree from an accredited university.
This brings us to our Results Triangle: Belief + Potential + Action = Results.
The Results Triangle
Because my belief was…I am stupid, my potential was crippled producing an action of not applying to a four-year college. The result was doing something I hated!
Now for the good news! When my personal belief changed, my results changed.
- Belief – “I am actually smart and I can go to a regular university.”
- Potential – This positive belief placed a demand on my true potential.
- Results – I earned a Ph.D.
Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes (Mark 9:23).”
The very foundation of confidence is built on what you think, know, and ultimately believe. Beliefs are nothing more than a by-product of what you have thought long enough about that you have bought into it—always remember that. What you believe is a collection of continual thoughts that have formed themselves into a conviction or a feeling of certainty. Your personal belief in yourself or lack thereof, will show up in the way you talk, walk, work, act, and the results you achieve in the earth.
Confidence Coach Challenge
- Take time to reflect on any negative experiences in your past that may have caused you to believe negative or wrong things about yourself.
- Work on building your confidence. We have produced many resources and tool to help you at: https://drkeithjohnson.com