Friday, November 25, 2016

The Courage Equation: Part Two

Part two in The Courage Equation:

The second invariable-1CY or Confidence in Yourself

Confidence in Yourself

Confidence: belief in oneself and 
ones powers and abilities.
Capable: having power and ability, 
efficient, competent

“A constructive critic truly cares for that which he criticizes, 
including himself…” --Neal A. Maxwell

I tell you that with confidence in God we move naturally toward confidence in ourselves and here’s why: With confidence in God, you believe you were created perfectly for your path, this stops the lie of “you’re not good enough” and gives us courage to try. 

With confidence in God, you believe no matter how hard the path may be at times, it was perfectly designed to make you the strongest and most beautiful version of yourself, which stops the lie of “you’ll never succeed” giving you the courage to get back up when you fall. 

With confidence in God, you know you are not alone, which stops the lie that because of your mistakes “the light will never be yours again”, and gives you the courage to reach out and grasp the Savior’s hand.


The 3 truths in 1CY or Confidence in Yourself are reinforcement truths. 
They are the steal beams that rise up from the strong foundation of confidence in God. 

These truth’s are: 
The truth of God’s mirror
The truth of pursuing your dreams
The truth of loving the journey

God's Mirror

“Satan does not care about those who are content with mediocrity. 
He works hardest on those who are close to a breakthrough.”

“If you do something for the right reasons, 

nothing can stop you.” —We Bought a Zoo

Truth #1: God’s mirror is very different than the world’s mirror. 

When you look in a mirror, you may be looking at what you perceive as image flaws. Maybe you don’t like your hair, your skin, your weight, etc. I want you to think about where you got the idea of who decided what perfect hair, skin, and weight is supposed to look like. It came from the world and it isn’t truth. If you could look in God’s mirror, the mirror that let’s you see yourself as He does, the image you see would be exactly the same as the one you see in your mirror right now, but the way you felt about it would be very different. You would see how unique you are. You would see someone who is loved for exactly who she is. You would see how your individuality brings light to the world. You would embrace your true beauty. God wants you to take care of the gift of your body yes, he wants you to be physically healthy so you can feel good, but he doesn’t want you to decide how you should look based on a picture in a magazine or a woman on the big screen. The next time you look in the mirror, try to ignore the mold of the world that makes you think you should look a certain way and try to see yourself as God does, as His beautiful daughter with tremendous power and potential. You have every right to love the woman God created, in fact you are meant to.
Confidence is a good thing. It is not arrogance. It’s not arrogant to be confident in ourselves and the fact that God created us perfectly, he created everyone perfectly for their plan. It’s not arrogant to find joy in expressing your talents and bringing beauty into the world. It is not arrogant to feel good when you do good, or bring light into the world for others to be uplifted by. Arrogance is jealous of others successes. It is seeking to think yourself better than someone else. In truth, it is far more arrogant to look in mirror and care more about fitting into what the world thinks looks good, than to care about what you bring to the world by just being you.
It won’t always be easy to see yourself as God see’s you, but as you continue to trust Him, and that He made you perfectly for your plan, true confidence will come and be reinforced day by day.


Pursue Your Dreams

Every person wields an influence. 
“It is what we are and what we radiate that affects the people around us…”

The world needs your light. 

“No good deed, no kind word can be spoken without its effect 

being felt for good upon all…”

"What you do by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”—Zig Ziglar

Truth #2 Pursue Your Dreams

When we trust that God made us, that He has given us talents and abilities to discover and use, we begin to find ourselves drawn to things we may not have been brave enough to try before. I promise you that as you begin to go after your dreams and goals, your confidence will grow. Especially when you fail and get back up.
Go after your dreams! What you do will have a profound effect on those around you. President David O. McKay said that “as a rock that has been thrown into a pool starts a wave from the center which continues to enlarge until every part of the shore is touched, so your deeds…continue to radiate and touch many hearts.” The world needs your light, it needs your unique beauty. Somewhere in the world is someone you are meant to touch. You may never know their name, or what it was about you that affected them for good, but when you share your gifts, talents, and beauty with the world, the ripple effect will be far greater than you can possibly imagine.

With every achievement, with every goal met, the joy and confidence you receive will be sustaining and motivating.

"Love" the Journey

“Come what may and love it!”—Joseph B. Wirthlin

All that we endure purifies our hearts, makes us more charitable, 

and ultimately brings us closer to Jesus Christ.

“Discouragement is not the absence of adequacy, 
but the absence of courage.” —Neal A. Maxwell

Truth #3 “Love” the Journey

Truth #3: It is possible to love the journey even though it will be littered with road blocks, detours, potholes, and miles of construction, because it will also be filled with bright and beautiful views of paradise, true friendships, light, lessons, growth, love, and hope. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You will fall down once in awhile. Sometimes others will push you down, but you don’t have to stay there. You can choose to get back up and dust yourself off. Pres. Uchtdorf said that we all “experience feelings of guilt, depression, and failure… We can feel so burdened by our failures and shortcomings that we begin to think we will never be able to succeed. We might even assume that because we have fallen before, falling is our destiny…but, our destiny is not determined by the number of times we stumble but by the number of times we stand up, dust ourselves off, and stride forward.” It is paced progress, not a race to the finish.

Orson F. Whitney said  “All that we suffer and all that we endure…purifies our hearts…and makes us more tender and charitable.” I believe it also brings us closer to Jesus Christ, because once you accept the gift of the Atonement and all it’s implications, how can you not love him more deeply? He has suffered everything you have ever suffered times billions, just so He can understand your needs and take away your pain. 

To love the journey does not mean we will never feel afraid. Courage is not the absence of fear, and discouragement is not the absence of adequacy. Courage is the acceptance that something is more important than what scares us and remembering that God makes us adequate for any challenge. can love the journey even when we don’t always like it. We can love it for what the hard times teach us, for the goodness we see in those around us, for the potential.

"Repeatedly I have been impressed to learn 

that to reach a goal never before attained 

one must do things never before done." 

-Richard G. Scott

How do I gain more confidence in myself and my path?

Remind yourself daily that God made you perfectly for your plan.

Replace negative thoughts with a positive thought and action.

Make a two column list: on one side list goals, talents, ideas that awaken you. On the other side list your “motive”.

Direction first, and then velocity.” (Neal A. Maxwell) Ask for help from God first, then family, friends, and mentors. Take the first step.

Daily reminders: It will take practice to get better at ignoring the negative shouts of Satan and listening to the quieter truths of God. Remind yourself daily of the truths you learned today and repeat the truths that God whispers to you consistently. Write them down and say them aloud often. God made you and he doesn’t make mistakes. 

Every negative thought that comes in that can be replaced with a positive action do it. Replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts is necessary and when you can add action to it, it becomes tangible. In short you find a way to prove the negative thought wrong. Grab hold of your courage and keep trying. 

I’ve heard the phrase: “I don’t have any talents.” so many times. This is just another lie. Everyone has talents. Not all talents are easy to spot but it does not mean they’re not there. I’m willing to bet that every woman in this room at some point in her life, even if it was way back when she was ten years old, has had moments when she felt something inside her awaken when faced with a new idea. A spark of desire to try something. How do you know that little spark, before you doused it with doubt, wasn’t a hidden talent waiting to be discovered? God prompts, he doesn’t force. Your talents are for you to use or lose. It’s your choice and you’ll never know until you try, fail, and keep trying. Make a list of everything you can think of that excites you or has excited you in the past that you wish you had tried or want to try to achieve. 
Not sure if your goal or dream is right or worth pursuing? This is where the other half of the list comes in. List your motive behind the dream. Your motive will help you know if it’s right. Are you doing it so you can feel more confident about the woman God made you to be, or to put yourself above someone else? Are you searching for a way to be an influence for good in the world, or just to achieve wealth and stature? List your motives. A strong motive will move you forward in ways you never before imagined and bring opportunities that help everything fall into place.

Narrow the list. Don’t try to tackle every goal on the list at once! Pray for guidance and then start with the one goal/dream you are most drawn too—in my case it was the one that scared me the most—and flesh out the motive and what is needed to achieve it. Take it back to God. Ask if it’s really right for you and listen to Him, not Satan’s doubts, for confirmation. As the feeling of rightness inside grows, nurture it by seeking advice and encouragement from trusted friends, teachers, mentors. Get a priesthood blessing—or several—take classes if necessary. It will require you to try things you haven’t done before. It will require you to get up when you fall, and take the hands that offer to help you up. But do it, for your sake and for the sake of the world that needs your ripple effect.

The Courage Equation

1CG (Confidence in God) + 1CY (Confidence in Yourself) = Courage

Courage based on true principles, on the truths discussed, is sustainable. Courage based on worldly opinions and lies of the mold are not. Does it require constant effort to maintain true courage? Of course it does, remember “Satan works hardest on those closest to a breakthrough.” But never forget, no matter how loud he shouts, you have God on your side and He will help you succeed gloriously!

True Courage gives you power:

Power to know you were created perfectly for your plan and need not fear the path ahead.
Power to know that with God’s help and wisdom you can succeed in any righteous desire at the right time.
Power to know that you are never alone. 
Power to love and be confident in the woman God made you to be.
Power to know when your motives are good, God will help you achieve your dreams.
Power to “love” the journey, all it’s ups and downs, highs and lows, and the beauty you bring into it just by being you.

These truths helped me and I hope they can help you too. It can be a day to day thing, especially if you are like me and struggle with anxiety or depression. For the first while your goals may be as simple, yet challenging as get out of bed, and that’s okay. I had many goals like that in the beginning. Life is real, it’s raw, and it’s hard, but it’s also beautiful

I still race against anxiety and depression. I still sweat buckets when I have to stand in front of a crowd and talk. (Disposable nursing pads and electrical tape work wonders under the arms—just so you know). 

I do not fit “the mold” of perfect mom, wife, friend, or writer. I’m me, Kelly Parkinson, She Who Sweats Rivers, and I’m good with that. 

“Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: 
for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” —Joshua 1:9

*If you would like to download the PowerPoint slide show you can do that here (scroll to bottom of post. It's available in both PowerPoint and KeyNote for Mac users).
*If you would like to watch a YouTube video containing snippets from the So You Don't Fit the Mold conference you can do that here.
*If you would like to learn about the next event for women coming March 2017 entitled, Women Are That They Might Have Joy, you can do that here. *As of 12/2/16 it only lists the speakers from So You Don't Fit the Mold. The speakers for the March conference have not been set in stone yet.*

*Reference list used in presentation:

“You Matter to Him” —President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, General Conference Oct 2011
“Not Withstanding My Weakness” —Neal A. Maxwell, General Conference Oct 1976
“In Praise of Those Who Serve”—President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, General Conference April 2016
“You Can Do It Now!”—President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, General Conference Oct 2013
“A Plea to My Sisters” —Russel M. Nelson, General Conference Oct 2015
“Beware of Pride”—President Ezra Taft Benson, May 1989 Ensign
“Developing Talents”—Gospel Principles Manual (chapter 34)

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