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This Universal lack of Self-Confidence

Most people have a sense of inner timidity, doubt, and inferiority — don't you?
It's a terrible handicap. Here's the Cure!


PROBABLY you are afflicted with a serious handicap. It's more nearly universal than you'd suppose!

Most people call it "lack of self-confidence." Psychologists call it "inferiority complex." Millions suffer from it. It's a principal reason for countless failures. It brings worry, frustration!

Those plagued with it are somehow afraid to push on to success. They shun the acceptance of responsibility, limiting the success they should achieve in life. They shrink from making decisions, from acting on decisions, from leaping out where they realize they should. They constantly fear insecurity, often flee from reality. They bog down to mediocrity.

But of course they try to hide this embarrassment from others.


The Psychologists' "Cure"

My father has told me about a book he read in his late teens, titled, "He Can Who Thinks He Can." It was one of the "inspiration" books published in those years — several by this same author, Orison Swett Marden. These books had a profound influence on my father.

He has told me how, as a boy, he was always a follower instead of a leader — filled with a feeling of inferiority. Then, at age 16, away from home for the first time on a summer vacation job, his employer continually expressed confidence in him — told him he was destined to make a big success in life — fired him with ambition and zeal.

For the first time he began to believe in himself. Confidence skyrocketed. These "inspiration" or "pep" books implanted the idea he could accomplish anything lf he only thought he could, prepared diligently for it, worked hard and energetically at it, and stuck with it thru thick and thin.

Perhaps you've heard him explain, in his broadcasts, how he studied intensively, "burned the midnight oil," adopted a rapid, "hustler" walking gait, generated boundless energy commensurate with a belief in himself that displayed intense "cockiness," and simply "oozed" self-confidence and conceit. But because he studied incessantly, thought intensively about what he was doing, and worked industriously, he was becoming successful — unusually successful, in his field for a young man his age.

He had gone, as the few who leap out of the inferiority rut usually do, over to the opposite extreme. That's human nature. But he has also told you, over the air, how terribly he had to suffer, later, to have this cancerous disease of belief in himself cut out, and replaced with THE ONLY RIGHT KIND OF CONFIDENCE! More of that, later.

My Father had adopted the psychologists' cure for inferiority. And then he had, in turn, to be cured of that cure!

It's human nature to go from one wrong extreme to the other. Instead of finding the REAL CAUSE of his troubles. man has tried to deal with the effect. Many popular modern writers and philosophers have written books and articles telling people how to overcome this timidity and inferior feeling.

The methods usually recommended for developing confidence include positive thinking, the desire to reach others and the expression of SELF. The doubts and fears will flee, they say, with faith in yourself .

To cultivate this faith, you must free yourself from hesitancy and anxiety by "kidding" yourself into believing you really haste the assurance you lack. This means flattery of the self, careful coddling and pampering of the self.

Among business men's groups, speakers' clubs, lodges, and women's clubs, these practices are followed. There is the usual insincere flattery, on-the-surface discussions, empty, useless and profitless conversation.

The real objective behind this practice is what other people think of you! The only goal set forth for gaining self-assurance is that of gaining more friends, having people "think well of you," and the acquirement of material possession. By telling yourself "I'm pretty good" or, "I'll make it all right, I don't need anybody else," the "moderns" assure their eager followers that they may have plenty of self‑confidence.

The ways of this modern society, of flattery, back-slapping and hand-shaking each other into believing in themselves leads to the false values and the synthetic foundation for REAL CONFIDENCE. The flattery will begin to take effect. The one being flattered begins to really believe in himself. He begins to think these things are really true about him, and perhaps he is the best speaker, the most personality-filled and competent man in the group after all.

What a letdown it is — what a disheartening SHOCK it is, when this individual finds all the pseudo-confidence has fled, that he cannot meet a difficult situation, and all his ego and trust in SELF is shattered! Then, after being swept to the heights of self-confidence and trust in the SELF, he is dashed to the gutter of despair and hopelessness — feeling himself to be a complete FAILURE.

Part of the heritage our father has bequeathed to my brother Dick and me is this very lesson he had to suffer so terribly to learn. And he has passed that lesson on to the vast radio audience. God help us all to heed, and avoid needless suffering by the cruel teacher, EXPERIENCE!

For this is exactly what happened to him. God was calling him for a very special mission. So God took away his business — his success — shattered his self-confidence — plummeted him from the heights of egotistic conceit all the way down to the deepest chasm of despair, disillusionment, and feeling of utter failure. Then God was able to reveal to him the only REAL confidence, and start him toward REAL success!


The Right Kind of Confidence

What does GOD say about the way to confidence? WHY, THE EXACT OPPOSITE, OF COURSE!

God said through the prophet Isaiah that the wicked man had to forsake HIS WAY! God tells us to THROW SELF AWAY — not to pamper and fondle it. God says to GET RID of self — man says to FLATTER self. Man talks about positive thinking," and God says to forsake even your own thoughts! (Isa. 55:6-9)

The wisest man who ever lived, under the inspiration of God, wrote many scriptures concerning the differences between those following the customary way of this world and those who were willing to listen to the instructions of God. Solomon knew the difference between confidence in the SELF and the right kind of confidence. He called the person who trusts in his OWN heart a fool! (Prov. 28:26)

Jesus Christ directed one of His parables toward those who TRUST IN THEMSELVES. Christ said those who exalt themselves shall be abased; and those who humble themselves shall be exalted (Luke 18:9-14)

The real test of one who has the RIGHT KIND of confidence comes when the "chips are down." The man who sets his jaw and says: "I will NOT quit!" despite all the handicaps and apparent obstacles, is the one who has the quality for success Solomon wrote, "If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small" (Prov. 24:10).

How can YOU have this kind of strength and confidence? God plainly says He will RESIST the proud, but give grace to the humble. His instructions for finding the only true source of confidence is to BE CLOTHED WITH HUMILITY! (I Pet. 5:5-6) And so, once again, we see that GOD'S WAY is the exact opposite from man's way!


Confidence in Others?

In this modern age of pact-making and peace parleys, you are constantly seeing men putting their confidence in one another. Nations place trust and confidence in allies, who, perhaps a few short years later, become their bitter enemies. Strange though it may seem, this, too, is another extreme. Because of the widespread lack of confidence in SELF, people begin placing their confidence in other people!

At this moment, the United States is putting her confidence and trust in many foreign nations, two of which were our hated enemies a few short years ago. What is the reason? IT IS BECAUSE THIS NATION HAS FORGOTTEN ITS GOD!

God shows that putting confidence and trust in another man is also an evil — and commands man NOT to put his trust in a fellow human like himself! "Put NOT your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish" (Ps.146:3-4).

David wrote in the Psalms that it is better to trust in The Eternal than to put confidence in man! (Ps.118:8-9)