Sentence Sermons (Christian Inspiration) #109 --- Self-Confidence

Quotations on Self-Confidence

When we can believe in ourselves as God believes in us how easily shall we surmount the difficulties which confront us.

—John P. Clyde, The I.S.C. Student, Ames, Iowa, Dec. 11, 1911.

What is confidence? It is a firm conviction that our work is worth dong; that we can do what is before us; that we can fully accomplish our task; that we can attain our ends. And that confidence perfects and rounds out to our virtues. What is life worth to a man who has no confidence, who has no courage, who is cast down at the first reverse; that man will never succeed in anything.

Life is a warfare; every day you must go forth to battle. We must fight; and to be successful in war we must have a soldier's confidence and courage. Warfare does not necessarily mean victory all the time; but it means for the brave victory in the end.

—David S. Phelan, Western Watchman, St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 30, 1909.

Faith is the first requisite of mental healthiness.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Nov. 27, 1937.

To trust in God is the first law of spiritual self-confidence.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Feb. 7, 1943.

Self-confidence is increased—rather than diminished—by confiding in the Lord.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Aug. 18, 1961.

Self-confidence is a moral muscle which requires development. It can only grow strong through use. If you never try, no one will ever try for you. If you don’t make a start, no one will give you the impetus. Only the ambitious achieve, and ambition without initiative is a useless possession. It has as much value as a gun without ammunition.

---Frank Hilton Greer, Oklahoma Farmer, Guthrie, Okla., Sept. 9, 1908.

Self-confidence is a great thing if you do not impose it upon other people as ego.

---Roberta Lyndon, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., Aug. 19, 1938.

Charles Joyner ranks distrust of yourself as the worst form of treason. Phrasing it differently, the highest ranking service is knowing how to trust yourself.

---Jack Williams, Sr., Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., Jan. 5, 1940.

You must believe in yourself and your mission. A single-talent man, supported by great self-confidence, will achieve more than a ten-talent man who does not believe in himself. Poverty and failure are self-invited. Fear of failure, or lack of faith in one’s ability, is one of the most potent causes of failure. Many people of splendid powers have attained only mediocre success, and some are total failures, because they set bounds to their achievement beyond which they did not allow themselves to think that they could pass. They put limitations to their ability; they cast stumbling blocks in their way by aiming only at mediocrity or predicting failure for themselves, taking their wares down instead of up, disparaging their business and belittling their powers. If you think success, talk success; if you resolve upon success with energy you will very soon create a success atmosphere and things will come your way; you will make yourself a success magnet. “If things would only change,” you cry. But what is it that changes things? Is it wishing or hustling? Is it dreaming or working? Can you expect them to change while you sit down and merely wish them to change? How long would it take you to build a house sitting on the foundation and wishing that it would go up? Wishing does not amount to anything unless it is backed by endeavor, determination and grit.

If you want to reach nobility you can never do it by holding the thought of inferiority, the thought that you are not as good as other people, that you are not as able, that you cannot do this, that you cannot do that. “Can’t” philosophy never does anything but tear down; it never builds up. If you want to amount to anything in the world you must hold up your head, you must look like a success, talk like a success, act like a success. Say to yourself continually: “I am not a beggar; I am no pauper; I am not a failure; I am a prince; I am a king; this is my birthright and nobody shall deprive me of it.” A proper self-esteem is not a vulgar quality. It is a very sacred one. Man was made to hold up his head and carry himself like a conqueror, not like a slave, as a success and not as a failure, to assert his God-given birthright. Self-depreciation is a crime.

When we believe in ourselves properly we shall be in line with Jesus. His self-confidence is the most sublime of which I can conceive. I want to encourage you to believe in yourself, to assert your superiority. It will make other people believe in you. But this I say and I want to say it with earnestness, consecration and power, that you cannot believe in yourself fully until you believe in Jesus. You may believe in all other men, mountain-like in their majesty, all other heroes who have stained our battlefields with blood and won our victories for liberty and religion, but until you believe in Jesus, love Him and serve Him, you know not, you cannot know all your boundless capacity. It is Christ who makes men. It is man’s contact with Christ that awakens him and reveals him to himself, and calls out all that which is best in him. Christ gives him thoughts to think, ambitions to realize, purposes to work out in life.

Something is required of every man relative to Christ. It is required in order to have our own self-respect that we deal with Christ in the light and not in the dark. It is not fair to a diamond to keep it in the dark. Before we pronounce upon it we must let it flash in the sunlight. Even so we should see Christ in the light. We should see Him as He is in the New Testament, as He is in the very best of His people in whom He has wrought His best work. We should not judge Him as we see Him in the dishonest confessions of the dishonest hypocrite. I am pleading for squareness and manliness. I am arguing for candor for broadmindness. It is never square, nor honest, nor manly, nor broadminded to judge Christ from the dishonest confessions of a dishonesty hypocrite. … If you are going to deal with Christ in candor, then you are going to be saved.

---Paul J. Slonaker, The Forest Republican, Tionesta, Pa., April 25, 1906.

There are laws in the spiritual realm governing living, which are so exact, so precise, that if you learn to apply them to yourself you will develop powers you did not know you had. You will develop a peace you never dreamed you could possess. You can have insights far beyond anything you ever conceived. And you can solve your problems with an ease and skill which will astonish you. … The Bible is crammed with workable procedures for meeting the problems of life.

What [should you] apply in [a] crisis? It [is] the law of keeping calm, and of practicing faith in the outcome. “In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15.)

Obviously a quiet mind is essential to a rational approach to a problem. One cannot think efficiently when the mind is in a tumult of emotional reactions. The first principle of clear thinking is quiet thinking. There is enough brain power in us to solve any problem when quietly and confidently we call upon our strength and intelligence.

In assuming an attitude of quiet confidence, regardless of how upsetting a situation may be, you set correcting forces in motion. Excitedly tell yourself that a matter is going badly, and you actually encourage that result. But keep calm and tell yourself that with God’s help and your own powers things are going to turn out all right, and you definitely stimulate such an outcome.

The reason for this is simple. You are thinking and believing, and no forces are more powerful than thought and faith. By thought you apply your own inner powers to the situation, and by faith you bring to bear the vast powers of God.

---Norman Vincent Peale, Knickerbocker News, Albany, N.Y., June 28, 1952.

Facing the future with confidence actually renders one more capable of utilizing the ability which he actually possesses to the greatest advantage. It leads to well-directed action and, unafraid to dedicate one’s life to the purposes which challenge, personal development is increased. Confidence is something which we may give to one another. It is one of the most contagious things in the world. A confident person readily transmits to his associates the same attitude. One individual sincerely believing in another is like a stimulating tonic, increasing that person’s belief in himself and thus enlarging his power to do. Confidence is nourished by success, and as success breeds confidence so confidence in turn breeds success.

—Belle S. Spafford, Relief Society Magazine, Salt Lake City, Utah, January 1939.

I would like to urge you to have faith in yourselves‑‑faith that you are very choice indeed‑‑not arrogant, nor conceited, or course. You have a right to have great faith in yourself. You have a right to feel that you are good, and that you are brilliant, and that you are growing, and that you are advancing along the path of life leading to salvation. I would like to urge every young man or young woman not to feel backward or too modest with respect to faith in yourself. There is not very much that you cannot accomplish if you are willing to pay the price, with the help of God your Father. I would like to plead with the young man or the young lady, who might feel a little despondent or discouraged, to try to lift yourself above it. Despondency and discouragement are not of the Lord. When times of discouragement and despondency come, we can be assured they are not of the Lord. Therefore, I pray that we can have the strength to live above them. Have faith in yourselves. You may have imperfections and weaknesses, and you may make mistakes; but you do not have to live with those mistakes. Put them out of your life. Put them out of your mind. Make your peace with the Lord who loves you deeply. It is not hard to make your peace with the Lord because you love the Lord and the Lord loves you‑‑it should not be difficult to make your peace with Him. Then make your peace with those whom you are responsible to. But do not live with your mistakes. They eat the best out of you that is in you. You do not have to live with them.

‑‑‑Thorpe B. Isaacson, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year, Provo, Utah, Nov. 16, 1960.

No man is an atheist who believes in himself.

‑‑‑Maury Democrat, Columbia, Tenn., Nov. 10, 1943.

Overconfidence is the most dangerous fool’s paradise.

---Milwaukee Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wis., Oct. 7, 1918.

It's fine to have faith in yourself, but don't let that faith be blind.

---Preston Citizen, Preston, Idaho, March 13, 1947.

A person is a failure only when he has lost confidence in himself. It is easier to regain a fortune than to regain morale. The value none of us can afford to lose is our faith. The only person who has really failed is the person who must declare spiritual bankruptcy. ... Real failure is spiritual insolvency.

—Eugene M. Frank, The Topeka Daily Capital, Topeka, Kan., June 24, 1951.

Be honest with yourself. What is your potential? If you don't allow yourself to believe what you see, you will be blind to your own assets.

A successful Christian wrote, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13.) Who am I? I hope your answer is one which expresses your faith in yourself. You are important.

What am I? Again I hope your answer is one which expresses your awareness of your ability to do things of value. To believe in self is to believe in one's abilities! Where am I going? With faith in God and self, to the top of the mountain of success.

—David Holland, Beauregard Daily News, DeRidder, La., Feb. 12, 1988.

You can't afford to be your own worst enemy. And taking the battles inside–firing mortar shells into your very soul–is potentially one of the most damaging of all human activities.

—Jeffrey R. Holland, Latter-Day Sentinel, Salt Lake City, Utah, Oct. 15, 1988.

Faith in one's self may of necessity be concerned with the whole chain, but it also depends on one link at a time. Faith is not only confidence in a moral process but it is also fidelity to each moral act.

—Floyd Poe, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Jan. 4, 1950.

Self-confidence is not remotely related to a loud and noisy self-assurance. It is an expression of faith that God gives us the ability to accomplish the tasks to which He assigns us and to be equal to the spiritual testings that confront us. ... Once we have learned that we are as big as the tasks that God assigns, we shall have gone a long way toward accomplishing those tasks.

—M.E. Lazenby, Christian Advocate, Chicago, Ill., May 23, 1946.

More men have failed from lack of self-confidence than ever failed from overconfidence. Have a supreme confidence in yourself. It is the best gift God ever gave you. When you violate your own confidence you have lost your best friend.

—Elmer I. Goshen, Inter-Mountain Republican, Salt Lake City, Utah, Jan. 6, 1908.

Suggestion is that which we receive from another, while auto-suggestion is that which we give ourselves. It is an idea dropped down into the subconscious that makes it bring up that which strengthens or weakens us, according to the idea. We are tremendously suggestible. We can no more escape their constant attack than we can brush away from us the air we breathe. They pour in upon us through every waking sense from the outside world, and swarm within us, awakened from our own internal store of life experience.

Whether the suggestion is internal or external in source, its acceptance, development and resultant action proceed wholly within one's self. It is to be noted that the suggestion must be made one's own idea before the machinery of the body will start toward making it real. This effectively disposes of the idea of some people that others can direct evil thoughts toward them with harmful effect, or wish troubles toward them against their own will. In other words, "malicious animal magnetism" cannot affect you unless you lower your mental guard and make the evil thought your own.

The suggestion of inferiority is one of the most harmful of the day. The idea given to us when we were children that we would never amount to much has ruined many a career. Some have overcome that complex by plying themselves with suggestions of success. The suggestive statement of teachers, parents, doctors and others of weaknesses is harmful. ...

Auto-suggestion at its best is picking out the kind of a man that you want to be and give yourself that ideal to work toward. Happy the man that gets a great goal and sets himself to win it.

The Bible is full of suggestion and auto-suggestion. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31) is a great suggestion. "I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13) is a fine auto-suggestion. "I will" is the finest auto-suggestion a man can give when the Spirit of God calls him to live the life of a Christian.

—E.L. House, The Shreveport Times, Shreveport, La., Oct. 20, 1925.

If we want to face tomorrow with confidence we must do our best today. The man who refuses to give his best efforts to the tasks of today will not be prepared to meet the demands of tomorrow. When you do the tasks of each day well, you may be certain that tomorrow will not ask of you a task which you are not prepared to perform. This may be trite, but it is still true. No man can give his best to the duties at hand if he divides his attention between the problems of yesterday, the hopes of tomorrow and the duties of today. I am saying what others have been saying for generations, and that is to live one day at a time.

—Robert V. Ozment, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., July 7, 1965.

True self-confidence is based (1) on confidence in God, and (2) on personal efficiency.

—Eldert A. Smith, Autumn Leaves, Lamoni, Iowa, November 1913.

Self-confidence of the right sort is a valuable asset. It is based upon a correct understanding of one's own powers, abilities and characteristics. It is entirely compatible with Christian humility.

Humility does not demand that a man shall deny the existence of the talents that the good Lord has given him. It does not demand that he shall distrust and depreciate the abilities that are his. It does not require him to sit in the gloom of obscurity with his eyes on the ground when there is work for him to do that he can do and should do.

Those who are fearful and distrustful will often refuse to attempt to perform duties that are easily within their capabilities. Even if they attempt to perform such duties the suggestion, ever present in their minds, that they are not equal to the task will lead to defeat them. "It is dangerous to claim too little as it is to claim too much."

Those who have the right kind of self-confidence are allied with enthusiasm, vigor, hope, determination. Success comes mostly to those who expect to be successful. The steady nerve and accurate vision belong to the one who is sure of himself and knows what he can do. The right kind of self-confidence is coupled with confidence in God. He has assured us that if we will do our duty we shall never fail or fall. "If God be for us, who can be against us?" Why doubt or fear? Having each examined himself and accurately gauged his own capabilities, let us move forward courageously in the performance of any duty that may devolve upon us.

—Elbert A. Smith, Autumn Leaves, Lamoni, Iowa, August 1911.

The attitude of belief is one of trust.

Confidence is a prerequisite for entrance into the school of lasting love.

The believer builds. The town knocker runs a doubly destructive machine. Doubt knocks on the inside; grumbles knock on the outside.

In spiritual matters, there is but one promise made to the unbelievers--they shall stop growing, and to stop growing means to begin decaying.

A tendency to believe is a heaven-making quality. It is the meekness of progress.

—George H. Brimhall, Long and Short Range Arrows, Provo, Utah, 1934.

He who has lost confidence in himself has lost the beginning of hope.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Dec. 9, 1933.

A man who has no faith in himself never believes in another man.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Oct. 1, 1935.

You can always tell that a man is not sure of himself when he talks too loud.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., March 25, 1939.

Most doubts would die if we did not dodge them.

—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Sept. 3, 1905.

A characteristic of successful people–I believe the standard of success a man comes to is based intrinsically. By that I mean it comes from within the individual. "What is the most noble thing within me? That's what I'm going to do." The Savior is our model and we can only be ourselves. Be unique.

—John M.R. Covey, As A Man Thinketh, Provo, Utah, March 16, 1970.

It is an exceptional combination to be filled with confidence and still have a fair measure of one’s own limitations. Modesty with genius makes for the finest personality.

—Frank Francis, Ogden Standard-Examiner, Ogden, Utah, Aug. 3, 1924.

How do you acquire faith? First, by having faith in yourself, and second, by refusing to be cast down by difficulties. Those who meet with reverses must deny defeat. Those who suffer must resolve to overcome their sufferings. The will to achieve must be cultivated. Determination must abide.

—Frank Francis, Ogden Standard-Examiner, Ogden, Utah, Dec. 25, 1926.

People should think well of themselves and believe in themselves. But believing, they should never rest on their honors, but push on to accomplishments.

There first great lesson will be self-discipline. By that is meant the gaining of self-mastery. Unless a young fellow goes out prepared to master himself, he will not make much of a success of life. Those who must have someone to force them to do their duty will find in their lack of self-control a serious handicap.

Hold to the joy of living. Keep smiling, laugh, make existence cheerful. Refuse to be defeated, whatever your burden, whoever you are.

—Frank Francis, Ogden Standard-Examiner, Ogden, Utah, May 23, 1928.

Have confidence in yourself only after you are entitled to.

—B.C. Forbes, Forbes Magazine, New York, N.Y., June 26, 1920.

In greatness, there's usually a lot of self-confidence veneered with humility.

—Roberta Lyndon, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., Oct. 15, 1939.

It's the people who are not egotists, nor fools, nor afraid, who've drawn the line of self-confidence correctly down their personal makeups.

—Roberta Lyndon, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., Nov. 5, 1939.

The value of a man's services are apt to be commensurate with his faith in himself.

—Duncan M. Smith, Morgantown Daily Post, Morgantown, W.Va., May 21, 1906.

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