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What makes the difference between a winner and a wannabe? Winning coach and pastor Tom Mullins sums it up in one word: confidence. Taking lessons learned on the playing field and wisdom learned from the Word of God, Mullins shows how to create a life worth living, even in the toughest times. This thoughtful guide helps you find the courage to face the challenges of life and then shows you how to overcome them. Packed with insight and inspiration, The Confidence Factor empowers you to develop the winning edge in ...
What makes the difference between a winner and a wannabe? Winning coach and pastor Tom Mullins sums it up in one word: confidence. Taking lessons learned on the playing field and wisdom learned from the Word of God, Mullins shows how to create a life worth living, even in the toughest times. This thoughtful guide helps you find the courage to face the challenges of life and then shows you how to overcome them. Packed with insight and inspiration, The Confidence Factor empowers you to develop the winning edge in the game of life.
"Tom Mullins greatly impressed me when I met him in person, and I pray that his devotional book will be a blessing to you." - Dr. Billy Graham
"Helping people feel more confident is a tremendous gift that few leaders pass on to others. Tom Mullins has that ability. Every day I watch him uplift people. Now it's your turn. Read this book and give your confidence a boost." - Dr. John C. Maxwell
I was sitting at a basketball game in Lexington, Kentucky, but I wasn't there to watch the Wildcats. It was "Pistol Pete" Maravich, one of the greatest college basketball players of all time, who drew me to the coliseum that day. He scored more points than any college player in history. Even before the three-point line became part of the game, Pete Maravich averaged forty-four points a game.
Earlier that day it was reported that he was injured, and as I awaited the start of the game, I wondered if he would play up to his caliber. During warm-ups, I noticed he had a bad limp, but when the whistle blew, Pistol Pete started lighting up the scoreboard in legendary style.
Kentucky double-teamed him all night, but they couldn't keep him from scoring. I grinned at a friend sitting beside me. "Pete is 'in the zone,'" I said. By night's end, he had scored forty-four points. His injury had no hold on him, nor did the opposition. He was unstoppable.
When a player like Pete Maravich is in the zone, he believes he will succeed. As a result, he usually does. Sports greats are notorious for this.
Michael Jordan lived in the zone, especially during championship games. He won six NBA Championships with the Chicago Bulls because of his uncanny ability to sink the make-or-break shots with seconds left on the clock. When the game was on the line, no one wanted the ball more. He believed he would come through.
With seventy-one holes behind him and the world before him, Jack Nicklaus sunk his putt on the eighteenth green at Augusta for a record-winning eighteenth professional major tournament. No golfer played in the zone more than Jack. He is the only one to win each of the four Grand Slam tournaments at least three times.
His ability to make the perfect shot or sink the decisive putt earned him an amazing seventy-three PGA tour victories and a combined twenty-six professional major championship titles (between the regular and senior tours) before his 2005 retirement. Yet I know Jack is an extremely focused man in other areas of life-and I know this springs from confidence.
I remember challenging Jack to a free throw contest one afternoon following a high-school football practice where I coached his sons. He agreed and we made our way to the gymnasium. I grabbed the ball and jogged over to the free throw line where I made eight of my ten shots-pretty good for an old football player.
Then Jack stood up and took the ball. Intently he fixed his eyes on that rim then lowered his gaze to the ball. He took a few bounces then tossed his first shot. He made it ... and then proceeded to make the other nine in the same fashion.
After seeing him sink ten consecutive free throws, I encouraged him to keep going as long as he could. Meanwhile, I tried everything I could to distract his shot-clapping, yelling, stomping my feet. It didn't matter; he was in the zone-so much so that he sank thirty in a row before finally missing.
I mention these athletes because a common factor lies at the core of their great accomplishments: confidence. Without question it is the difference maker in any sporting event, from basketball to golf to the Olympic Games. It sets the great athletes apart from the rest.
Incidentally, confidence is equally vital in everyday life. It can set you apart and make the difference between a good and bad decision or between having an optimistic or pessimistic attitude. Ultimately, it determines whether tough times make or break us.
Filled with confidence, we find courage to face challenges and to overcome them. We see clearly to do what is necessary. That's because confidence enhances our perspective. With it we see the upside of our circumstances. We see potential in others, and we see it in ourselves. We see the ultimate impact of our actions. These encourage us to move forward despite our fears or shortcomings. Confidence gives us stamina; it boosts our endurance. It reminds us we can keep on hanging, even if only by a thread.
Finally, confidence helps us perform at our highest level. With it we remain focused on what is most important.
The Foundation of Confidence
I was struck by the words of Edward Teller, the famous nuclear scientist, who said, "When you come to the end of all the light you know, and it's time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: Either you will be given something solid to stand on, or you will be taught to fly."
Life is full of both darkness and light. Circumstances can lead us into green pastures, and they can lead us through unknown valleys where shadows are far more prominent than sunlight. In either case, confidence is necessary in order to have the attitude we need to take action-and often that crucial confidence must be found in something greater than ourselves. That's why faith is so important.
There's no doubt that great athletes-the Pete Maraviches and Michael Jordans and Jack Nicklauses-are confident in their athletic abilities. They should be. Their abilities enable them to succeed most of the time. In the same way, there's no doubt some of us are better equipped than others for dealing with life's ups and downs. These are admirable qualities we're talking about, and there is no downplaying the value that exists in acquiring them. But no matter how self-confident we are, no matter how positive or strong-willed we stay, our armor still has chinks. The sudden death of a loved one. The discovery of a lump. The loss of a job. A false accusation. Whatever it is, when it hits us, our confidence can quickly fade.
Sometimes it seems impossible to find confidence when we're staring at an X-ray of a malignant tumor or weeping over the grave of someone we just lost. Sometimes strength and hope seem so far away and the day's reality seems so close. In such times we would all like to summon another source of strength. We want a foundation to stand on that is more stable than our own resources can provide. By faith, we have one.
Our Source of Confidence
The goal of this book is not to help you discover where you lack confidence. I think most of us already know that. This book, however, will help you to rediscover some of the truths that can be forgotten when life's pain and pressures mount. The goal of the book is to remind you of the true foundation of your confidence-in yourself, in relationships, in crisis, in tomorrow. With this firm foundation, it is possible to stand strong, no matter how fierce the wind.
Even the most confident individuals can lose sight of the truth. The psalms are filled with honest cries for help from a king who at times preferred to die rather than face his troubles. David confessed time and again that he couldn't stand-that he didn't want to stand-without God's strength.
The great prophet Elijah, who called down fire from heaven and executed 450 false prophets, asked God to take his life just two days later. He was overcome with fear and fatigue. God replied, "The journey is too great for you" (1 Kings 19:7 NKJV), and then He provided Elijah with new strength and direction. The prophet's confidence was restored (1 Kings 18-19).
When the journey seems too much to bear, we have a choice. We can rely on our wits to see us through, or we can summon something far steadier. Our bodies and our wills can withstand a lot. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. But God never intended that we take this journey alone. Nor is it His purpose for us to crawl from trial to trial our entire lives. He gave us Jesus so that we can stand and walk through each day in confidence no matter what comes our way.
Can we actually live in the zone? The apostle Paul, who maintained a great attitude and displayed confidence almost beyond belief, lived there. He understood the true source of his contentment, peace, and strength. To the people of the church at Philippi he declared, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:13 NKJV).
Paul's source of confidence, no matter what he faced, was Jesus. Jesus assures us, "I came to give you life and to give you the winning edge" (John 10:10 COACH). I want to live with that winning edge. And I want you to live with it as well.
The goal of The Confidence Factor is to help you to discover the confidence that Paul discovered and to help you understand that Christ came to give you the winning edge in life. Then you, too, will discover and fulfill your destiny and impact the world for Christ.
I designed this book with short chapters so it could be used as a personal devotion or a group teaching tool. If you take each new principle in small doses, carefully considering how it applies to your life, before long you will see a tangible change in your attitude, your self-confidence, and your faith in God.
My hope is that as you read this book, each chapter adds more confidence and greater purpose to your journey. As we observe people who lived out their faith despite hard and sometimes impossible circumstances, my prayer is that you would aspire to follow their example in your own life. At the end of our time together, may the true Source of confidence, Jesus Christ, become more accessible to you every day until God's ultimate purpose for your life is fulfilled.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. -Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
Excerpted from THE CONFIDENCE FACTOR by TOM MULLINS Copyright © 2007 by TOM MULLINS. Excerpted by permission.
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Posted July 3, 2007
If you are looking at yourself for courage and confidence you are looking in the wrong place. Where should you look? Tom Mullins explains how to go through all the ups and downs of life with courage and confidence. Read and apply what you learned from this book and you will be amazed at how your life will change for the better.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 31, 2011
No text was provided for this review.