The first step that I took was I attended a small group meeting at the church where we have been attending. Since we are new to the church, I felt a bit intimidated. But I made sure not to hold back. When that internal voice started to whisper to me that I was new and should probably just keep quiet and be an observer, I silenced it by speaking up and sharing in the group. When they offered to pray for people, I volunteered to receive prayer. I moved from inaction to action, and I did not let my insecurities get in the way.
The result? I received amazing words of encouragement from being prayed for and am entering the beginning stages of friendship with a few ladies in the group. God is amazing! He does not want us to be perfect. He wants us to be brave and trust that he can work through us. I am starting to see confidence as having two sides to it: God can and does use me, but he also desires that I take action. At the same time that He desires I take action, He gives me the power and strength I need to do it. In other words, he desires action for us and simultaneously equips us for it.
The second way I took a risk today happened at Goodwill. I headed there to get a refund for being overcharged the other day. Please do not judge me for asking for a refund from Goodwill. The principle of the matter was not the money-- it was the investment of time I had spent at Goodwill deliberating over 5 sweaters that were all calling my name. I finally pared it down to 3 sweaters, paid the bill and left. When I got home, I looked over the receipt to discover I had been charged for 4 sweaters. I maybe wouldn't have been so upset had I not already spent 20 minutes in the store narrowing down my final purchase to only 3 sweaters. When I returned to Goodwill today with my receipt, 2 days after the purchase, I did not expect there would be any problem. I was pretty floored when the manager told me there was nothing they could do since the transaction had happened 2 days ago. What? I left the store feeling upset. And then I remembered some helpful advice from a bargaining guru (check out the video below), and I returned into the store prepared to be a bit more firm in my request.
After I entered the store, I went right up to the manager and explained my story and how I was so upset because I had spent a long time in Goodwill narrowing down my choice. I explained how there were in fact 5 sweaters I wanted to buy that day, but after spending 20 minutes deliberating, I settled on 3. I also explained that I really liked Goodwill and wanted to continue giving them my business, but I was just so frustrated with this experience. I then made an offer, (as she suggests in the video)-- "I don't even need a refund; I will take store credit." At this point, the manager could see that I was pretty upset (and perhaps a little crazy) and said it was just fine if I wanted to go pick out another sweater. I thanked her profusely and 20 minutes later, I had a sweater in hand that I liked. I will definitely be wearing this sweater, and it will serve as a reminder to me that I need to continue taking risks and being confident in 2015.
Have you taken a bold risk or made a confidence move? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.