Cultivating Confidence

June 23, 2010

This morning I attended CultivateHer, a ministry started by Jenni Catron and designed to encourage and develop women leaders in both the corporate and non-profit spaces. It was my first time to attend, and I am so glad I dragged my rear out of bed this morning and cleared the time in my schedule. I met some amazing women and left encouraged in my calling as a leader.

Jenni shared about Deborah, the Israelite judge who, through her obedience to God’s command, led the nation of Israel to a place of peace that lasted forty years (Judges 4-5). Specifically, she talked about Deborah’s confidence as a leader, and where that confidence comes from.

As a woman and a Christian, I think the number one challenge I have with confidence as a leader is being sure of what I am called to do, and I think this is a challenge many other women share. During the discussion time after Jenni’s talk, this is primarily what the women at my table focused on. It’s hard to be sure of what you’re good at, what your gifts are, and to define your purpose or calling.

While I don’t have an answer to that challenge, I am encouraged by this verse:

Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”

~ Galatians 6:4-5, The Message Bible

Could I line out for you in one sentence what I am called to do? No. I wish I could. My sense of purpose has changed as I have grown and matured in my walk with God and as he has brought me through different seasons of life. Even so, I can take steps today to draw near to God and to make a careful exploration of who I am and the work I have been given.

Rather than striving for something, anything that seems to fill that void or answers the question of what I am called to do, I can focus on developing the gifts that God has given me. Rather than waiting for a “eureka!” moment, I can I can learn to understand my personality and how I work with others. I can develop my skills, and I can actively put the skills I have to work. For example, I’m a freelance web designer, which means that I make my own schedule, and I can choose to serve others with my time. I also know that when Mackenzie gets here, motherhood will become central to my sense of my purpose.

What does this look like for you? How can you grow in confidence? What is your number one challenge as a woman leader? I look forward to hearing your responses in the comments.

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