There's something about the cowardly Lion that resonates in me.
He's such a beautiful, majestic creature. He was made to rule. Yet, instead, he hides behind the trees and uses a lot of noise and rattling of the bushes to frighten people into thinking he's brave and strong.
His lack of confidence in living up to who he was created to be shows up in a hurry. Dorothy swats him on the nose and the tears spurt out in buckets.
Everyone...Dorothy, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man are stunned! What!!!!! A LION afraid of a puppy, a teenage girl, a bag of straw and a hunk of metal?
But, don't be too hard on the Lion. Each of the characters has a story to tell about confidence. They will change your life if you listen.
Dorothy Gale - Confidence in Your Uniqueness
Unless you have led a woefully neglected life, you've at least watched the movie "Wizard of Oz".
You know that the main character, Dorothy, is searching for hope, meaning and belonging in a black and white world full of storms, and wickedness and cruelty. Does that sound like your life?
The characters of Dorothy's everyday life, fill her dream life with rainbows, technicolor and adventure.
Dorothy is searching for meaning outside of the world she lives in. She doesn't realize that the most important gifts she possesses are right within her arm's reach.
So often, we are just like Dorothy. We believe our significance lives inside of the things we accomplish, the places we go or the letters after our name.
Buried under all of the years of self-doubt and believing the lies of other people, exist all the treasures we need to create a life of significance, meaning and legacy.
In your life, your experiences have given you riches no one else possesses. Your point of view is unique. Your way of interpreting and communicating life-at-large is unlike any other person.
However, many, if not most women, will search for ways to fit in and stand out at the same time. We are told that we need to have a unique message and mission, and in the same breath told to dress - live - talk - like the rest of the world. If you aren't in - you're out.
Dorothy learns the lesson that all she ever needed was already inside of her. She "had the power" all along.
Once you being to understand that what makes you unique also makes you powerful, you begin to use what you already have to make a difference in the world.
Galinda or Glenda - Confidence in Your Journey
Oh how desperately I wanted to be the beautiful blonde woman in the billowy blue dress! I wanted to be the one with great wisdom and insight. I wanted to be the one everyone loved.
My sister's name is Glynda. I always saw her as the magical one with all the gifts and talents. Me? I was just the quiet sister in the background.
My childhood memories are filled with wanting to be someone else - anyone else. I was so much like Dorothy - living in a make-believe existence.
It's pretty embarrassing now - but, I really thought I wasn't enough. If I couldn't be Galinda (or Glynda) - I'd never be enough.
The true beauty of Galinda is she knew there are some lessons we can't learn from a book, or from someone else's story. The only way to learn some things, is to walk down the road.
She could have told Dorothy to click her heels and fly away home, but Dorothy would have returned to Kansas as the same woman she had arrived. Dorothy had to learn by life lessons how to release everything that was in her.
Kindness. Wisdom. Confidence.
She's teaches you and me the same thing, if we listen. You have learned more than you give yourself credit for, Dearest Lamb. Trust the journey. Learn the lessons. Then, you'll never be the same.
The Scarecrow - Confidence in Your Wisdom
Ah, the beloved, fumbling Scarecrow.
It's interesting to me that we first see him hanging in a cornfield tormented by crows.
Throughout his story, he wants a brain. Something to prove that he is wise and understanding. Yet, we also see him discovering ways to get the troupe out of trouble. We see him develop strategies to save them all. And, we also see that every time he doubts his own good, common sense, he gets into trouble.
We are like that, Lovely. You and me. We doubt our own good, common-sense.
Women in business often believe they can't be truly successful unless they have a lot of letters after their name. Or, unless they have the mark of approval from an industry leader or Influencer.
When we place all of our confidence in the marks of approval from traditional institutions, we absolutely discount the good sense God gave us.
Now, if you're a doctor or lawyer or in some profession that requires a college degree to be licensed - by all means get the license.
However, never think you can't be highly successful - greatly influential - and create massive impact - if you don't have a degree of some kind.
Confidence in your own wisdom will take you far. By all means, take the course and learn more about your chosen field. But don't let THAT keep you from standing tall and strong.
Don't allow the crows of doubt eat away at your confidence. Shoo them away. Climb down off the pole that keeps your stuck in doubt - and get on the road to discovery. Use your current level of knowledge, your intuition and experience to direct you where to go next. Claim your role in the world.
Everyone else knows how smart you are. It's time you believe it, too.
The Tin Man - Confidence in Your Love
Our deeply loving and sensitive Tin Man. He thought his tears were a weakness. He didn't know that his great love would glue all of the travelers together.
Because he didn't think his love was real - or enough - he didn't see that it was the very thing that made him the strongest of the bunch. And, it wasn't because he was a tree cutter and carried around an ax.
Because life has a way of raining on us, we can look at our sensitivity to the situations around us as a reason to hide away. We can use our emotions as a weapon for good, or an arsenal of destruction.
The Lord has made us to be emotional creatures. He gave us tears. He gave us feelings. He instructed us to love one another, to serve one another and to give.
Our emotions will either cause us to rise above a situation or to be destroyed by it. The Tin Man was found rusted in a forest. He didn't pay attention to what was happening and found himself shut down and unable to move or truly speak.
Marshaling our emotions - learning to recognize they are a signal not a strategy, will give us confidence to interact with people in a more powerful way.
Your love - your kindness - your mercy - are not reasons for people to use you as a doormat. They are the reason people are drawn to you over and above others. Use your power for good.
The Cowardly Lion - Confidence in Your Calling
And now we find ourselves circled back to where we started. Always the way, yes?
Our beloved Lion was afraid to be who he really was - a king.
If you are a Christian, you wear a crown. It's all over the Bible:
Crowned with Honor - Psalm 8:5
Kings and Priests - Revelation 5:10
Rule and Reign with Christ Jesus - 2 Timothy 2:12
You decide whether to wear your crown or hide it in the closet. You decide whether to walk in authority over the situations of life, or let them drive you into the trees. You decide whether you will wear your crown with confidence - or not at all.
You see, it's what you believe about who you are that is the key to ever increasing, ever serving, ever transforming confidence.
You can have the degrees, the skills, the talents, the accolades, the applause and the recognition, but if YOU don't believe it - it doesn't matter.
"Be a first rate you - not a shabby imitation of someone else." It's one of Judy Garland's most famous quotes.
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