Thursday, January 13, 2011
The Bold and the Confident
For years in performance reviews, my “opportunity for improvement” was to “become more aggressive.” One boss in particular went on and on about it. (When I did get more aggressive with him, he complained, “I didn’t mean with me!”)
I suspect this has a lot to do with the middle child syndrome – my role as peacekeeper and mediator. To this day I get highly uncomfortable with conflict.
But quiet and shy doesn’t mean passive. I’ve also been known to take career risks – enormous career risks – when I’m convinced something is the right thing to do. I can get rather passionate on certain topics, and I’ve been known to give rather passionate speeches when that’s both called for and needed, and I care deeply about the topic.
So when Bonnie Gray over at Faith Barista asked how God is calling us to be more bold or confident, as part of her ongoing blog carnival on faith, I had to think a moment. Then for more than a moment.
The short answer is, I don’t know.
But there’s a longer answer.
While the surface looks placid, a lot of things are “afoot” in my life right now. My work has changed considerably in the past three months, requiring a considerable number of split-second decisions. I’m beginning to tackle subjects that have been left alone for quite some time. I’m starting to challenge people who make statements with no evidence or facts. None of this relates directly to my faith or what I think I’m being “called” to do; it’s just part of my job, although I think of my work as part of the whole of my life, not something compartmentalized away from everything else.
Almost by accident, I discovered I was talking more openly about my faith than I realized. Pete Faur stopped by to talk; he lives in Arizona but years ago lived here in St. Louis. We shared a few war stories about some common work experiences, and then he asked me about my faith. It turns out he’s been following my blog for a while. And he wrote a blog post about our conversation.
I don’t shout about my faith; I never have. I try to live my faith, with a mostly imperfect result. To me, faith is more about who we are and how we are, and less about what we say.
And if I’m being called to do anything, it is to live my life more boldly, and live it more confidently, because I know who it is that my life is about. And it’s not me.
For more posts on the call to boldness and confidence, please visit Bonnie Gray’s Faith Barista.
Photograph: Lion’s Look by Petr Kratochvil via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.