Excerpt: 'The Confident Woman,' by Joyce Meyer

Joyce Meyer, an enormously successful minister and author, has a new book, "The Confident Woman: Start Today Living Boldly and Without Fear."

The book is a faith-based answer to how women can throw off the shackles of insecurity in order to lead a full and authentic life.

Meyer says the confident woman has these traits:

The confident woman know that she's loved.

The confident woman refuses to live in fear.

The confident woman avoids comparisons.

The confident woman does not say "If only" and "What if"

Ways to become confident:

Break away from other's expectations.

Learn to cope with criticism.

Have an opinion.

Refuse to pretend.

Chapter One: Confidence

What is confidence? I believe confidence is all about being positive concerning what you can do -- and not worrying over what you can't do. A confident person is open to learning, because she knows that her confidence allows her to walk through life's doorways, eager to discover what waits on the other side. She knows that every new unknown is a chance to learn more about herself and unleash her abilities.

Confident people do not concentrate on their weaknesses; they develop and maximize their strengths.

For example, on a scale of 1 to 10, I might be a 3 when it comes to playing the piano. Now, if I were to practice long and hard -- and if my husband could put up with the racket -- I could, maybe, transform myself into a middle-of-the road, level-5 pianist. However, as a public speaker, I might be an 8. So, if I invested my time and effort into this ability, I might just be able to get to a level 10. When you look at it this way, it's easy to see where you need to invest your efforts.

The world is not hungry for mediocrity. We really don't need a bunch of 4s and 5s running around, doing an average job in life. This world needs 10s. I believe everyone can be a 10 at something, but our problem is that we often work so hard on trying to overcome our weakness that we never develop our strengths. Whatever we focus on grows larger in our eyes--too large, in fact. We can turn something into a huge problem when, in reality, it would be a minor nuisance if only we viewed it in perspective with our strengths. For example, let's say you are not a "numbers" kind of person. You struggle to figure out a 15% tip at restaurants, and your checkbook hasn't been balanced since 1987.

You could obsess about your inability to "do the math." You could buy Math for Dummies and other books on the subject, and maybe even take a class at the community college. But your math obsession could eat up time that could be devoted to stuff you're great at--like teaching Sunday school, creative writing, or raising funds for charity. In other words, you might rob time and effort from the 10s in your life just to bring a lowly 3 up to a mediocre 5.

Wouldn't it be much better to delegate the math stuff to someone else? Use an online bill-paying system that has built-in ways to catch errors or overdrafts? And you can always ask your dining companions to help you with figuring a tip. There are even tip guides you can carry with you.

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