Today, I’m taking a bit of inspiration from Burl Ives and The Little Engine That Could. While I drove my kids to the sitter’s this morning, we sang along to some classic tunes by the beloved children’s folk singer of decades that passed long before I took my first breath. The last song to play before I dropped off the kids and switched the radio to Dave Matthews was “The Little Engine That Could.”
“Just think you can, just think you can,
just have that understood
And very soon you’ll start to say,
I always knew I could.”
Those lines had my brain rolling along for a bit. Thoughts arose of confidence and self-doubt, of faith and discouragement, and the roles they play in achieving our goals.
The children’s diddy oversimplifies the concept, of course, but it does speak a nugget of truth: our mindsets drive our actions. There is only so far you can take yourself toward a goal you don’t believe you can achieve. On the flip-side of that coin, there are few forces that can defeat you when you believe you can succeed no matter what.
Confidence is born of faith. Faith in the abilities and passions God instilled in your unique self. Faith in your willingness to try. Faith in God’s promises to be your strength and wisdom. Faith in your destiny to make a unique, unrepeatable contribution to the lives of anyone within your reach.
If you know who you are in the eyes of God, if you know your Maker and therefore your makeup, it is not vanity to believe in yourself. Instead, it is foolhardy to doubt.
I don’t know about you, but there are few things that carry me forward with more joyful strength than the opportunities to look back and say, “I always knew I could.”