Confidence has been on my mind a lot lately and in many different arenas, mostly because I see a great abundance of a lack of confidence in the people who are around me. I see my young boys lacking confidence in their academics, sports and skills. I see students who are timid, even scared to stand up for what they believe in their writings, their talk and their walk on and off campus. So many people live in a non-confident world, a constant feeling that they are not good enough to do something great.
I see this glaringly in my own life in the sport of volley ball. I love playing volley ball! It’s a sport that I could seriously play every day of the week and not grow tired of it. There is something about the sport that thrills me. But I would say that I am definitely not great at the sport. The league team I am part of right now is a good team, probably the best team in the league. Honestly I am the worst player on my great team. Some games I play really well. I get a terrific set to which I can approach and smash it down under the ten foot line, but mostly I only hit the ball with a medium swing, slightly timid. I have a confidence problem. If I was confident in my ability and was truly able I would hit the ball hard every time I attacked it.
To become truly confident I must practice, a lot. Confidence and practice must go hand in hand. Practice coupled with confidence will always result in superhero ability. I have had people tell me that if I just have enough confidence; if I just speak it out loud then it will happen, I will become great. Wrong. Confidence without practice will result in Pride and failure. I can be confident that I can speak Spanish but until I learn, “practice,” Spanish I will never have the ability.
The opposite is true also. “If you just practice enough you will be the best volley ball player there ever has been. Well not exactly. Practice without confidence will result in timidity and failure, this I have seen in my life and many others. People who know the “material” but don’t have the confidence to “speak” it.
If we are able to mix our practice with confidence we will be able to accomplish great things. As we travel to Seattle to plant a church we have to “practice,” learn, read, discover, ask, listen, etc. and mix this practice with the confidence that God is with us and is calling us into this. It is within this symbiotic coupling of confidence and practice that we will be completely successful.
I am trying to figure out what term to use to describe this symbiotic relationship. We can’t call this practiced confidence because that would infer that confidence only comes out of practice, it doesn’t necessarily. Some times we have to be confident just so we can practice. But we can’t call this confident practice because that would infer that we have to be confident to practice and that just isn’t true. Some times we have to practice to gather confidence. It needs to be a word that speaks about the relationship of practice and confidence; neither being more important that the other.
Maybe it should be called pracadence – that sounds like something you would wear in your mouth when you’re old. Confitice? Sounds like some thing the boarder patrol might do to you. Hmm I’ll have to think about this.
Whatever it is called it is something that we need to embed in our lives. Knit confidence and practice together with a strong bond, you will never be disappointed.