Confidence is a Leader’s Friend

Confidence is a leader’s friend. A necessary asset to being able to lead in any capacity. In fact, it’s an expectation that many leaders feel like they can’t meet. Even the most capable and confident leaders have moments where they must fight for confidence.

The dictionary defines personal confidence as “a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.” This definition sounds like an internal feeling (self-assurance) that rises from external circumstances (an appreciation or demonstration of abilities or qualities).

Yet, if these external circumstances are the source of a leader’s confidence it will wax and wane with the circumstances that define it. Confidence is not something that can be maintained if external circumstances are the only defining factor. Instead it will become about striving for the next accomplishment, the next achievement, the next demonstration of the ability to lead. Genuine confidence needs to come from a deeper sense of who we are. An identity that goes deeper than what we do.

“Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life.” Ephesians 3:17 TPT

Genuine confidence that flows from who we are is contagious. People are drawn to that kind of confidence. And from that kind of confidence flows freedom.

Freedom to Experiment

It is true that confidence grows when we try something even though we are afraid. When we successfully accomplish something, we become confident at trying again. But what if we try and fail? Our confidence falters and fears become stronger. Freedom comes when we begin to see these moments as experiments. Experiments sometimes succeed and sometimes don’t. But either way we can learn something that will help us adjust the next time we try.

Freedom to Not Have Answers

We may think that confidence means having all the answers and knowing what is best. But sometimes we don’t know the best way. Confidence is being free to say that we don’t know. Then, we can seek the collective wisdom of others while being tenacious about finding our own answers. Confidence is not always knowing the way but being willing to find a way.

Freedom to Move Forward

Confidence in our abilities can falter when things don’t come through as quickly as we think they should. There might be another step or adjustments to be made. Patience and persistence may be required before we see the results. When leaders give up too early, they risk missing out on the fruits of the confidence that compelled them to step out in the first place. Inner confidence that stems from who we are creates a tenacity to see things through even if others doubt our choices or unexpected obstacles arise.

Freedom to Excel

All of this is not to say that accomplishments don’t matter when it comes to confidence. Or that our abilities or capabilities don’t influence our confidence. When we combine an inner confidence stemming from knowing who we are in Christ ALONG WITH the natural abilities and unique design that God created in each of us we see results. We will excel at the things we were wired to do well. There will be results – but they will not come from striving. They flow from an inner confidence, giving us the ability to do it again!

Growing in confidence is a journey. If you are looking to anchor your confidence deeper into who you are – let’s chat!

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Annie Perdue Olson

Annie is founder of Leading Better Together, guiding leaders through the relationship and people challenges that sidetrack ministry. With 20+ years of experience in nonprofit management and pastoral ministry she equips people and teams to work better together. She holds a Master of Arts in Human Resources and Change Leadership from St. Thomas University and received her coaching certification from the Center of Coaching Excellence.

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