Overcome negative thinking with Scripture and tips from Dr. Norman Vincent Peale.
Most people appear self-sufficient, composed, self-controlled. But the truth is that most human beings are plagued with self-doubt, shyness, a sense of inferiority and low self-esteem. We are afraid of ourselves, of the future, of the world.
So how do you become one of the confident ones, someone who believes he is capable of great things? The Book of Proverbs says, “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence” (14:26). You could substitute the words awe, respect or love for the word “fear” and be close to the intended meaning. When an individual gets close to God, in loving harmony with God, then his weaknesses, his self-doubts and his shyness disintegrate.
If you want to increase your confidence, to reach more of your goals, begin by really getting to know yourself. Do you truly know what is in you, what you can do? Have you really become aware of your potential? Remember, you are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) by the One who created the galaxies and the rain forests. He wants you to be self-assured and successful.
But there’s so much wrong with me! you may be thinking. Here is a proven method for overcoming that kind of negative thinking:
1. Take pencil and paper and make an honest analysis of yourself.
On one sheet of paper, list all the negative things about yourself: your weaknesses, your failures, your faults, your doubts—everything negative. On another sheet, list qualities representing a picture of yourself as you would like to be. On one sheet, you have the way you are; on the other, you see the way you would like to be. Then put the first one away; the other one, fold and put in your pocket or purse. Read it a dozen times a day.
2. Pray that the Lord will empower you with great strength.
Visualize the strength flowing into you.
3. Go out and apply to your immediate problems the best of your diligence and intelligence.
Realize that, as a child of God, you have within you enough strength to meet any situation. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
Use prayer to rid yourself of the things that cause your lack of confidence. Build your confidence by repeating the Bible verse: “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid...for the Lord thy God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). Make a blueprint of what you aspire to be and hold it firmly in your mind. Then, commit your life into God’s hands and let Him bring out of you the powerful person within—the you who is able to overcome. “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence.”