Confident and diffident both trace back to the Latin verb fidere, which means “to trust.” Both have to do with the amount of trust a person places in someone or something. The word confident adds the intensifying prefix con-, which means “plenty of,” whereas diffident adds the prefix dis-, which means “the absence of.”
Confidence means that someone has plenty of trust.
Diffidence means she has an absence of trust. . . .
Confident women are lionhearted; diffident women are mousy and sheepish. Confident women act in a bold manner; diffident women remain paralyzed by fear. Confident women dare; diffident women don’t. Which type of woman would you rather be?
Um, the confident woman, Captain Obvious.
Of course you want to be a confident woman and not a diffident one! I want to be a confident woman. I want my daughters-in-law and my granddaughters to be confident women. I want my friends to be confident women. I want you to be a confident woman.
The question is, how? How do you transform your can’t-do into a can-do? How do you turn your cowardice into bravery?
Telling a woman who feels diffident to “just be more confident” is like telling an emaciated refugee to “just eat more.” It doesn’t work. The refugee needs to find a safe haven and a good, reliable food source before she can sink her teeth into something that will satisfy her hunger.
We cannot deal with our lack of confidence by simply resolving to be more confident. Looking within—as self-experts advise us to do—is a nonsensical solution. The reason we’re looking for more confidence is that those cupboards are bare. . . .
The Bible’s code for confidence is based on where I actually place my trust and not on my emotions; it doesn’t matter how bold or fearful I may feel. I may possess all the positive energy and confidence in the world, but if my trust is misplaced, that confidence is foolish and fragile. On the other hand, even when I feel afraid, I can choose to embrace smart, strong confidence. As the psalmist declared, “When I am afraid, I will trust in you” (Ps. 56:3 CSB).
Heavenly Father, please forgive me for my cowardice and lack of faith. I trust you and place my confidence in you. Amen.