Authors: Sadie Robertson
THE MONOPOLY MAN
If you are like me, you have probably played the game Monopoly. But do you know the story behind the game? Someone told it to me, and I want to pass it along to you.
In 1929, America was in a very bad situation because the stock market had crashed and people hardly had any money. A man named Charles Darrow could not find a regular job, so he took every little odd job he could find to support his family. One day, he sat down and invented a game with play money. He made the game so people could pretend to buy and sell real estate—something most people could not even dream of during those days.
He started the game by drawing on his kitchen tablecloth, then he improved it by using little pieces of material or scraps he found, then improved it again by building and painting its pieces. Family and friends soon came to his house to play the game, and it became very popular because it gave people without much money a chance to dream of being involved in high finance.
Eventually, Darrow was able to sell his board game, starting at four dollars each. Then he tried to sell it to the Parker Brothers game company, who turned him down because they counted fifty-two things that were wrong with the game—fifty-two reasons they thought their customers would not want to play it. But Darrow did not give up. He went on to manufacture the game himself. Later, Parker Brothers had a new president who found out about the game and offered to manufacture it and give royalties to Charles Darrow. Those royalties made him the first game inventor to ever become a millionaire.
Live Original Challenge
What’s the hardest thing you have ever done or the hardest day you have ever lived? How did you get through it?
Is there someone in your life whom you shouldn’t give up on? How can you continue to love that person?
What small steps have you started taking toward your passion or your dream? Are you determined to keep going and not give up, no matter what?
Why do you think it’s important to never give up?
Anybody can quit.
Only a real champion and a person of character and strength can keep going and refuse to give up.
Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you!
Confidence Is Key
ave you ever met someone who is really smart or talented, but they act like they don’t know it or like they don’t believe in themselves? They walk around looking at the ground. They slump and slouch, they mumble, and they avoid other people. Often, the biggest problem these people have is that they lack confidence. They may be great students, athletes, or musicians, but if they do not have confidence, they don’t become everything they can be and they don’t inspire anyone else. Instead, they just go through life being above average in some areas, but not truly great.
In this book, I try to offer a lot of encouragement about ways to live original and ways to live a good, happy life. Confidence is the key to actually being able to
all of these things. It’s the difference between “average” and “great.” I believe you can be great. It’s not always easy, but if you can develop a strong sense of confidence, you will take a huge step toward greatness.
A former football player named Joe Namath says, “When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things.”
I have not ever met Joe Namath, and I
don’t really know anything about him. But I like what he says about confidence, and I totally agree with him. I hope this chapter will encourage you to become a confident person so you can do amazing things with your life and have fun!
SHE HAD CONFIDENCE
One of my all-time favorite movies is
The Sound of Music
. I just love it. When I was in the fifth grade, in our middle school choir program, I sang a solo of one of the songs Maria sang in the movie. Ever since then, it has been “my” song and it’s a happy, upbeat tune called “I Have Confidence.”
In the song, Maria is on her way to the Von Trapp family’s home for the first time. She knows she will work as the governess (like a nanny) for seven children, and she knows their father is a military man. But there is a lot she doesn’t know about her new job, so she is excited and scared at the same time. She also has questions and doubts about whether or not she will be good at being a governess.
As the song goes on, Maria moves from being worried to figuring out what she will do to teach the children and to earn their respect. By the end of the song, she has a plan based on simply showing them she has confidence in herself. She knows that they will never respect her if she does not respect herself, so she decides to find in her heart the courage and confidence she needs. The song is like Maria’s personal pep talk. She starts with admitting that she is intimidated by her new job, but by the end, she is ready for it.
I love the way Maria sings “I Have Confidence” because it shows us that reaching a point where we can really be confident
does not always happen quickly. To get to that place, we sometimes have to face our fears, think through what we need to do, tell ourselves to just get courageous, and take a step of faith—then believe it will work out well. That’s the way Maria found her confidence, and that’s how you and I find ours too.
CONFIDENCE TAKES TIME
In many ways, I was confident when I was little. In the video that shows my five-year-old self standing on the coffee table talking like a little preacher, I said, “If I become famous someday, I will not just remember about myself. I will remember God. Let’s give it up for G-o-d!” But when I was young, my confidence was like a roller coaster; sometimes it was high and sometimes it was low. I figured out at one point that if I let another person’s words or actions affect my confidence, I really was not confident at all. At that time, I did not know how to hold on to the confidence I did have and keep it strong, but I eventually learned. Now when something happens that might cause me to lose my confidence, I can see the dip coming: I know my confidence is about to sink. Maybe someone says something rude to me, or maybe I make a big mistake or don’t perform as well as I would like at school, in sports, or at my job. As soon as I recognize the temptation to lose my confidence, I have to fight against it.
Defending my confidence is kind of like defending my team’s goal in a basketball game. I play a lot of basketball, and unlike football, it’s a sport in which every player has to play both offense and defense. When it’s my turn to be a defender, I work hard to make sure the other team does not score. I try not to foul, of course, but
I try to get in their way or force them out of bounds so they cannot be successful against me.
In the same way, I don’t want anything that would steal my confidence to be successful against me either. Most of the time, preventing a dip in confidence is not about physical or athletic skill; it’s about a battle I fight in my mind, with my thoughts. If someone says something about me that I know is not true, I just tell myself what is true. If I make a mistake or feel like I have failed at something, I tell myself I had a bad day or was not as prepared as I needed to be—but I will do better next time. I have a sign in my room that says,
IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO START THE DAY OVER.
I love that sign because it reminds me that even if I mess up, I can start over right now and do better next time. No matter what happens, I remind myself that God created me, He loves me, He is with me, and He is on my side. All those things are true for you too. And if you believe them, they will make a big difference in your life.
A GUARANTEED CONFIDENCE BUILDER
When I was in eighth grade, I had to make a decision about whether I was going to be confident or not. A girl started picking on me for some reason. This was about the time
first started, so maybe she was jealous of that. I’m not sure, but I definitely got a little hate from her.
During that time, I felt more insecure than ever before, and I
started getting quieter—a little reluctant to speak up or stand up for myself with the kind of strength I’d had in the past. I knew that the Bible talks a lot about standing up for what’s right—and sometimes that means standing up for ourselves. The only way to be bold and stand up is to have confidence. I talked to my mom about this. She always seems confident and does not seem to worry about what other people think. My mom told me she dealt with girls who were mean to her when she was in junior high school too, just like most girls do, and that it was not really about me.
Sometimes we get in our own little world and think,
I’m the only one going through this
. That’s why I think it’s important for girls to know that almost everyone goes through something like this in her life. If something like this is happening to you, you are not alone and it really is not about you. When people say or do mean things, it’s not because you have something wrong with you; it’s because the other person is struggling with their own insecurities. My mom reminded me of this and helped me to see that maybe this girl was going through some tough things in her life and projecting them onto me. She also told me that all I could control was how I acted and how I let the girl’s words and actions affect me. She encouraged me to be as kind as possible in return, but at the same time she helped me to be strong and told me that speaking up for myself when necessary was okay, just to do it with love.
Mom turned out to be right. Later, this girl and I sat down for a heart-to-heart talk, and she shared with me some tough things she was going through in her life and apologized for the way she had treated me. I was proud that this girl trusted me enough to share these things with me. I knew the only reason she was able to trust me was that I had worked hard on myself, trying not to let the things she said or did hurt me and striving to remain kind to her despite
the way she treated me. This was not always easy, but I knew it was what God was asking of me. I was rewarded with her actually apologizing—something I never thought would happen.
During that situation, I quickly saw that I needed a major dose of confidence, and I knew exactly where to get it. I had a whiteboard in my room. On it, I wrote the Bible verse that is at the beginning of this chapter: “Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you!” (Hebrews 10:35). I read that verse over and over, every single day, for a year.
At that time in my life, I had several opportunities to speak in front of groups, and I was always really nervous about doing it. One of the prayers I prayed most was, “God, give me confidence.” Because I had gotten the truth of Hebrews 10:35 into my heart and mind, I knew I would be rewarded when I became confident through Him. For me, becoming confident took a lot of praying and a lot of focusing on what God’s Word means for me personally, but it worked. Now I totally stand up for myself—and that girl from eighth grade doesn’t bother me anymore!
My best suggestion for anyone who wants to become a more confident person is this: find some Bible verses that relate to you and go over them and over them until you are actually living them. In most countries of the world, it’s easy to get a Bible or to find one online. If you have this book in your hands, you can also probably get a Bible if you don’t already have one. You can even Google “scriptures on confidence” and come up with a good place to start. Finding out what God thinks about you and what He says about your life is one of the most important things you can ever do, and the place to learn those things is in His Word. The Bible has been the biggest source of the confidence I have developed, and I believe that if you read the verses you choose for yourself and get them into your brain and your belief system, they will do the same for you.
NEW EXPERIENCES IN NEW YORK
The things I have mentioned in this chapter helped build confidence in me. Little by little, they gave me the courage I needed for experiences I never dreamed I would have. One goal I have had for myself for a long time and try to encourage others to also aim for is
confidence. Real confidence does not come and go. Real confidence is inside you, and it stays with you no matter what you go through.
In September 2013 I needed a consistent level of confidence more than ever before. I was invited to something called Fashion Week in New York City. To explain it simply, Fashion Week is a time when fashion designers show everyone their new designs. Everywhere you look, you see media people, makeup artists, hairstylists, design assistants, and designers. And you see models—