Living with Confidence

Sally and I sent a letter to my daughter in law the other day with this story included. While I am not sharing the letter we sent I thought that we would share the story with you, our readers.

From the book Love Your Life; Living Happy, Healthy and Whole

By Victoria Osteen

Pages 39 – 41 

One of my favorite stories is that of Rachel Smith. Long before Rachel Smith won the title of Miss USA in 2007, she was making a difference in the world around her. Bright and articulate, Rachel graduated from Belmont University magna cum laude and stepped out in the direction of her deepest passion-helping underprivileged children. She worked as a volunteer, helping young girls in Africa.

Later that year, Rachel represented her country in the 2007 Miss Universe pageant in Mexico City. It had already been a difficult week for Rachel as the Mexican crowd booed her repeatedly at the mere mention of the United States.

The night of the pageant, she gracefully walked out for the evening-gown competition, wearing a gorgeous dress and stunning high heels. Suddenly her feet slipped right out from under her on the highly polished stage floor and she dropped straight down on her backside-right in front of a live audience and millions of television viewers around the world. Rachel got back up, smiling brightly through her embarrassment, and finished her walk.

When it was her turn to answer a question during the final phase of the competition, the crowd started booing again. She chose a judge to ask her a question, and the judge asked, “If you could relive any moment in your life, what moment would you relive?

How many times have we thought about our past mistakes and failures and said, “If only I could have the opportunity to relive that time in my life, I’d do it differently. I wouldn’t make the same mistakes.” Think about it: If you had the opportunity to change the most embarrassing moment of your life, wouldn’t you? I know that if I had been Rachel and had just slipped and embarrassed myself in front of millions of people on global television, I might have responded to the question by saying “I’d like to relive my life about ten minutes ago in a different pair of heels!

But Rachel didn’t think that way. In fact she wasn’t focusing on her past failures; she was focusing on her strengths. With a huge smile and all the confidence and dignity in the world, Rachel told the heckling crowd that the moment she would relive was when she was working with orphans in South Africa. What a great choice! Instead of reliving the moment when she was at her lowest, Rachel chose to relive the moment she was at her highest. The crowd continued to boo as she kept graciously smiling. “Buenos noches, Mexico!” she said. And then she winked at the booing audience and gracefully walked back to her place in line.

Rachel didn’t win the competition that night, but she won a victory that she will take with her the rest of her life. She overcame the negative, booing voices and walked away with an impressive title of fourth runner-up. The competition was over, but the story of Rachel’s fall was all over the news and the Internet, and had over two million replays on YouTube.

We’ve all fallen. We’ve all heard voices trying to tear us down, but just like Rachel, we can’t replay the falls. Fortunately most of us will never fail on worldwide television. Most of us will never see our most embarrassing moment on You Tube. But sadly, many of us will allow the fear of failure and embarrassment over our past mistakes to rob us of our confidence and our God-given destinies.

Don’t make the mistake of replaying the negative images on the YouTube of your mind. Like Rachel, replay your victories. Replay your accomplishments. Replay the good things God has done in your life. Get right back up again and keep moving forward.

People boo for so many reasons. There may be critics at your job or in your family. People may be jealous or insecure, or they may simply misunderstand you. Maybe they aren’t even booing you; maybe they are booing something you represent. Don’t let the opinions of other people steal your confidence or cause you to shrink back.

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