What words come to mind when I say, "CONFIDENCE"? During this past year and half, this is one word that we didn't hear a lot. As the vaccine became available, and people were starting to feel comfortable with reopening, you began to hear it more and more. Confidence means, a feeling or consciousness of one's powers or of reliance on one's circumstances; faith or believe that one will act in a right proper, or effective way. So, in other words, you realize that it comes from a feeling of assurance. That assurance can be from your own or someone else's ability. As I started this blog, I had to do some introspective work and ask myself, where does my confidence come from and how does one lose confidence? If it has been lost, is it possible to regain confidence?
Being a woman of faith, I say that my confidence comes from God. Okay, but again, as I did introspection, do I really know what that means? It sounds good, right? I have asked others, and they said the same thing, their confidence comes from God. However, no one could explain to me how. I find it intriguing that as people of faith, we are quick to say something but not understand what it means fully. Does your confidence come from the fact you know God and who He is, or who He is in your life? Maybe it comes from the fact you understand He created you, and so you TRUST or have Confidence in the fact. Maybe you believe He will protect or has a plan for you. Honestly all of those sum it up, but let's dig a bit deeper. What if your only understanding of God is that when you were a child you lost both your parents and found yourself in a foster care system in unhealthy situations. What if the only knowledge of a father is the one that promised to pick you for weekend visits but would never show up. What about you want to get married and yet you have had failed relationship after failed relationship. What if you suffered tremendous loss during this season of COVID, either financially or a loved one? Where does your confidence come from then? Most of us can relate to one of the scenarios I just laid out.
So, my question is, "how do you lose your confidence when you are stating that your confidence comes from God?" Jeremiah 17:7, “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him." I won't speak for others, only myself in this. When I have lacked confidence because I have felt let down or disappointed by God, or how things have worked out I have then taken matters into my own hands. This is the time, I decide maybe out of frustration, heartbreak, or desperation that I need to do more. I will work harder at and become more educated, I will work on or read as many relationship books as possible so I'm not ignorant next time. I devise a plan that will help me to be happy (whatever that may look like). In doing this, you realize that you are now putting the pressure of confidence in other areas of your life. Now my confidence must come from my knowledge, or maybe people I have surrounded myself with and yet again, the cycle happens, although this time, my disappointment comes from myself or other people. So again, the question must be answered where does my confidence come from?
Can I have a transparent moment right here? Honestly, I have started to find more confidence as I embrace the fact, that I may not always feel confident at all. I know that probably doesn't make much sense to you, but as I have surrendered to the fact, that I don't always know the right answer, or exact direction of my life, that I may not always trust myself, and or others. If I believe, which I do, my life has been laid out by a God, I must trust Him, even when my confidence is low. The past year has brought so many lessons. How to push out of comfort zones, how to face uncertainty and maneuver through things that are uncontrollable. It has been a season for me where I have found that my comfort in people, things, or ideals won't sustain my confidence. So, what do we do when we have lost our confidence? We also must understand where it comes from to begin with. The question we must start with is where does our confidence come from?
There are 5 things that hold true regardless of how you lost your confidence, you can regain it. Confidence is essential to you becoming all that you are purposed to be.
1. Don’t stop Learning- My husband always says, "we win, or we learn!" We don’t fail, we learn. This was particularly powerful for me because I had a fear of failing. To the point that if I didn’t feel I could do it then I wouldn’t even try. If I wasn’t good at it immediately rather than fail, I would give up (before I could fail). My Dad use to say, "you will never fail Hollie unless you fail to try!" So now I say I’m going to learn. So, with every disappointment, for every insecurity learn from your trials, and mishaps.
2. Know where your CONFIDENCE comes from - The only way you can have true confidence is understanding and knowing where your confidence comes from. As a woman of faith, my confidence, is established based on my relationship with my creator. The one that formed me and knitted me in my mother’s womb. The one that decided what I would look like and what gifts and talents I would have. The deeper my relationship is with God the more I have confidence in HIS ability and not my own. I can push my limits because I serve a limitless God. How about you?
3. Create a declaration- When you begin to declare something, you hear it and begin to believe it. This is critical to building your confidence. As you declare things that may not be true at this moment, you will begin to see them manifested in your life, because as you begin to hear it, you begin to believe it.
4. Stop looking for Man’s validation- So many times, we are waiting for someone to validate us, when we have already been validated in various ways. If you are a doctor you don't need me to validate your performance, you have the education to be confident in your diagnosis. If you are a mother of three, by the time you've had your third child you have confidence in your skillset because you have experience. When we look for man's validation to build our confidence, then we are doomed to doubt. For those that are people of faith, there are two important verses I want you to consider for this. You don't need man's validation when you have your Creators!
a. In Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart, I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” If God knew Jeremiah in this way, doesn’t that mean he knows each one of us?
b. In Psalms 118:8-9, "It is better to put your confidence in God, than in man. It is better to put your confidence in God than in Princes." God created you, he has established you, and when your confidence is in HIM you can walk in "GODfidence" (Joy Morgan)
5. Disconnect from Social Media- Okay so maybe this is one that is far-fetched, but at least monitor your time on social media. Remember that for every "perfect" picture it took 100 bad shots. We forget that the reality of what we see is only a portion of the story. People will show their best side and then our confidence decreases because we can't compete or compare. So, when you feel our confidence lacking, then it's time for a detox.
To regain your confidence, you must know how you lost it! What triggered you to feel inadequate? Where did you place your trust and confidence in? Begin to take steps to understand who you are, what are you passionate about. Gain knowledge and wisdom in who you are. If you don’t like what you see today, YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CHOOSE SOMETHING DIFFERENT! Every day is a new day, a new start, an opportunity to build your confidence.
The root of my confidence is God, the trunk is my family and friends, the branches are my job, interest, and activities. Storms have knocked me down torn me in pieces but since my roots are strong, I get back up and live to bloom another day. You have that same ability; you just need to know where your confidence is rooted.