Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thoughts: On Confidence

This sign has been hanging in our bedroom, but this week I moved it to a more high traffic area  in our house. I want it to be a reminder to me more often, and I spend a lot of time in that tiny kitchen of ours.

"Confidence: Coming to understand who you are spiritually."

One of my Public Relations professors at BYU made this sign for me, and all the other students in her class that semester. We did an intensive research project with her that really was monumental for me in my life. She works for a publishing company, and we helped her with an initiative to research attitudes regarding some unpublished Church History materials, in hopes of showing the value in making them available to the public, specifically LDS women. Publishing took one year from the time we conducted those research initiatives, but she did eventually accomplish what she set out to do. You can read more about her experience here, and see the now published materials here.

The project's goal was to give Mormon women more tools to help them realize their worth and potential. Throughout that semester, our professor let us know she was obsessed with this one certain concept: The importance of learning to understand the way the Spirit of God speaks to you, and learning to feel and follow that Spirit is the most important thing you can do in this life. If you can feel and hear that Spirit, which is accomplished by the way you live your life and the person that you choose to be, and if you follow what you feel and hear, then you will understand and accomplish your individual purpose.

So, confidence. That is how I define it now. Confidence is coming to understand who you are spiritually. Not just being comfortable with who you are, but knowing who you are. For me, the number one definition of WHO I AM is this: I am a daughter of God, who is loved. Because I know that, I don't question my value based on outside factors that the world sometimes throws at me. There are days I feel that I am not doing well enough at my job. There are days when I don't feel like I'm doing enough for my family and my friends. There are days I'm disappointed in myself. There are days when other people treat me in a way that could potentially damage my sense of self worth. But I don't let those things take away from my happiness and confidence. I have confidence because perspective tells me that I am bigger than those things. Failures, challenges, or people that temporarily make me feel inadequate are not a reflection of who I am

I distinctly remember the best compliment a friend ever gave me: she told me I had just the right amount and kind of confidence. This came after I had had this quote in my mind for two years, and been working toward really developing my understanding of who I am spiritually. 

I know that I am a child of God, and I know that my purpose is to live in the right way so that I can live with Him again. I know that. I hope that if you're reading this, you know the same thing. The best way to find confidence is to gain a spiritual sense of who you are. The best way to gain a spiritual sense of who you are is by praying to gain that, and by reading this book. The best way to keep confidence is by constantly following the Spirit of God and growing closer to Him.

Note: I love this sign. I have been missing it, and my parents sent it across the country with my brother's family when they visited last month. That was such a sweet thought from my parents, and I am so happy to have it hanging in my home now!

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