What defines confidence for everyone is so different. Is confidence being able to speak out about what you believe in? Or being able to keep quiet to really show that you’re not swayed by other people’s words. Is confidence the same thing as courage? What distinguishes those?
For me confidence just means having the bravery and guts to be different, to be anything that the society doesn’t view to be normal or acceptable. But the more I think about it, the definition of confidence seems to change. The feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust. Confidence is trust, faith, belief, assurance according to the dictionary.
Self confidence is something that I, like many of us in our society, struggled with. Or I should say struggle with, present tense. It’s a constant fight to give myself value and worth. It seems to be the trend these days to have confidence in yourself and never let anyone knock you down. I am by no means a girl who is extremely out of the norm. I attend one of the best universities and am a part of a respected academic program. I like to watch netflix; go out once in awhile; dream about a perfect boyfriend; rave about bad professors; and invest a little too much money on lululemon and pedicures. Nothing about me yells that I struggle to have confidence, or that I should struggle to have confidence. I am blessed with more than I deserve. I should feel confident.
Yet I find myself having to need validation and affirmation that I am indeed this “above average” girl that I look to be. I find myself obsessing in the things that I “should be” for a girl like myself. I feel good when I am told that I am beautiful and wanted, and I am sad when I’m not told those things. I am what people want me to be.
I become “that christian girl”, “the fun party girl”, “the flirty asian girl”, “the girl who spends money on others”, “the smart one”, “the chill apathetic one,” among other descriptions. I start conform to the things that people want me to be, and I argue and justify with myself that I don’t struggle with self-confidence because becoming something for someone I love is not conforming to the societal normalcy and expectations.
“Am I trying to please people or please God? If I was still trying to please people I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10)
Becoming the things that others want to be has the same effect that the boundaries of society has on people. My idol is the approval from people, especially the ones I love. When you choose to let society dictate your identity and who you should be, that is when you start to idolize the thoughts of people, not God.
I am so busy trying to be what people need me to be that I lose who I am, who God planned for me to be. I start seeing that I do not trust in God to make me the woman I am supposed to be. I trusted society. I don’t have the confidence in myself, I don’t have the confidence in God, but I had it for the expectations of our secular world. That was where my confidence laid, and that was my idol.
No one can ever know the individual struggles we all have within ourselves, with our self-confidence. I always find a way to justify and deceive myself. I always find an excuse to take the easy way, to let the society decide who I should be. However, God knows. When we start to seek out our identity within God, while getting to know God, you see that we gain the confidence to be ourselves because that is what we were meant to become.
The process of how I changed my worldview of my confidence was slow and gradual, a work in progress, and will be a work in process as long as I live. But the first thing is confession. In order to accept that we are having trouble finding our self-worth, you have to communicate with God. We have to get used to telling Him things even when we think He’s not there (which is a lie from the enemy). You may feel like you’re meeting a dead end, but you have to get past that and persist, once you pass that first threshold you can feel God all around you. You learn to feel God’s presence through the fellowship with your sisters and brothers in Christ, through your friends, and soon enough within your personal relationship with God. You feel his presence through the peace he gives you after starting your day with a prayer,persisting of prayer (Luke 18:1), and stopping to listen for His voice
Different things work for different people but for me it was my lifeway church community, my weekly accountability with my sister in christ, my house church, and my roommate and friend, who inspired me to seek out God in everything I did. It was the people around me who were completely and utterly in love with God, they made me want to seek Him out and want to talk to Him. That was the start of my walk with Christ, my journey to breaking down my old self and rebuilding the new within Christ (2 Corinthians 4:16).
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)
I jot these things in hopes that when I give myself these excuses again, God will turn me back to this blog I’m writing right now. That I would not make an idol of something else. Conforming to the needs of the rest of world by sacrificing our identity and trust in ourselves, is just making the world our idol, because we’re letting the needs of the world become our excuse to stopping God from forming us into the women we were meant to become.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)