Thursday, September 29, 2011

Posted by Laurel Garver on Thursday, September 29, 2011 17 comments
Periodically I fall into these ditches of apathy, where I have no desire to write or even blog. Every idea strikes me as stupid and I'm absolutely certain I have nothing of value to add to the already burgeoning blogosphere. I read thirty blog posts and comment on three. I feel afraid to be honest about it, because I worry it might be catching. Who wants to be the person turning others' inner worlds into one big "whatever"?

I can stupidly assume others don't get tied up in these neurotic knots. But who's to say they don't? Nothing like apathy to keep you from breaking the silence.

Instead, they (and I) can pretend. "Fake it till you make it," right? Confidence is really just a big con, after all. Pretending you have what it takes. That you're invincible. That death isn't lurking closer than anyone wants to admit.

I don't know about you, but this approach to confidence never works for me. My own soul screams at the fakery. I can remember Samuel picking a king for Israel and having God tell him, "man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

The word "confidence" literally means "with faith," believing something is true. But believing what? There's the rub.

One can be quite confident that life is futile. Or that suffering is an illusion. Or any host of things. This kind of "negative confidence" leads, as one might expect, to negative outcomes.

Your confidence is what you believe. Not a mask you put on, but a set of truths you live into. Becoming more confident doesn't involve developing a better facade, but discarding lies and genuinely discovering and hanging onto better truths.

Here are a few I'm hanging onto today:
~No one is alone; If I'm in this world, I have a part to play.
~Evil prevails when good people do nothing.

What ideas have given you "negative confidence"? What better truths do you desire to hang onto?

17 comments:

  1. Two excellent truths!

    I think we've all been through those moments where we doubt our own worth. It's a sad and scary place to be, but like the scripture you quoted, "man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." What comforting words!

    And Laurel, for the record, I find your words well worth the time to read them. I love your blog!

    Oh, and my truth? Real failure is not failing to succeed, but rather failing to try. :)

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  2. Love this post, Laurel! And, I agree with you and with Janet. My truth: "The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:5-7
    I have a ton going on right now, so I'm sort of clinging to this!

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  3. Okay Laurel, have you been looking over my shoulder or what? Been battling this or similar for a while. Some has to do with a busy schedule that seems to do nothing but tread water rather than get to what I really want to do...On the other hand, been procrastinating and having a hard time getting motivated. An odd mix in some ways I suppose. All the while, the confidence factor has figured in to this equation too.

    What has helped is knowing that I am called to write; that's my bottom line. Also get a boost from blogging and writing friends, new and old, (you included of course!:) - their encouragement and support. Just had someone new comment on my blog about how much they were learning from my blog. That was a nice boost.

    For the record, I enjoy your blog, and always come away with something. Haven't been around much, sorry about that. Been tangled in that busy thing I mentioned...

    Have a great weekend!

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  4. Great post Laurel! I have been there, when I can't find my confidence and wonder if I have anything to share. But deep down, I believe we all do. But you can always tell when I'm struggling, because I don't blog as much. ;)

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  5. I think, too, sometimes we might just have to step back and absorb. To take in the life around us. I think, for me as a writer, it's actually necessary. So it might feel like a lack of confidence, but it's really just a different phase of the whole process.

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  6. I def. go through slumps like that, but I ride them out and wait for them to end. :)

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  7. Janet: Thanks for your kind words. Glad you found a life-giving truth to believe in that gives you confidence to keep trying and not give up.

    Kelly: What great verses. It sure can boost your confidence to hang onto to the truth that God cares and sustains you.

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  8. Karen: I decided to break the silence, figuring others probably struggle with the same thing. I think perhaps my crazy August that sucked away so much energy has contributed to my recent apathy. Getting back into the groove has involved just what you mentioned--remembering some basic things I believe about calling, and receiving encouraging words (like yours!).

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  9. Carolyn: I've forced myself to keep blogging even when I really don't want to. The funny thing is, keeping up that routine usually helps slumps to pass faster.

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  10. Joanne: For sure one can't be creative without periodic breaks to refill and refresh. I just may be one of those types who needs to do it a little more often than some. :-)

    Laura: Interesting. You're probably right that one can't make oneself care by sheer force of will. Joanne's "rest cure" for apathy might be a very helpful thing.

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  11. I think our confidence is continually challenged no matter what stage of the game we're in. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. Ultimately we need to believe we're doing what God has called us to do, and the outcomes of our efforts are up to him.

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  12. You are not alone! I've felt that same kind of apathy, multiple times. Thanks for the post on confidence, though. That's something I definitely lack and can't fake well. But you're right, it's not about faking, it's about believing.

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  13. "Becoming more confident doesn't involve developing a better facade, but discarding lies and genuinely discovering and hanging onto better truths." Beautifully said Laurel. Stiping myself down to my truth, not what others are telling me, helps me stand strong in the way I am meant to live. Wonderful post, again!

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  14. Wow, Laurel, you're making me think this morning.

    Negative confidence, believing that nobody cares.

    Positive truth, the belief that we're all connected whether we feel that connection or not.

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  15. Elle: great point. I believe it was Mother Teresa who said, "God has not called me to be successful; He has called me to be faithful."

    Shelley: Thanks, friend. I hope this post helped build your believing.

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  16. Lynn: Thanks. Here's to better truths that build us up! (And great new profile pic!)

    Angela: When those moments of apathy have come, my inner voice is not weak but quite forceful and confident about negative things. Seeing it for what it is helped me get a better handle on it.

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  17. Fantastic post - I love the bit about faking it. It's true! Sometimes just faking it can give you confidence. I know I often have severe crises self-doubt.

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