**If you would like to listen to this blog post, scroll to the bottom for the audio version.
Let me share something with you. I was a hesitant and shy girl growing up.
Confidence was something I only dreamed about. I had NO idea what it felt like. To me, it meant, putting on a mask of self-assurance in hopes that people would like me.
When I looked around at the people that I thought were confident, I saw women that walked in this world with ease. They didn’t care what people said about them.
Oh, how I longed for not caring about other people’s opinions! I wanted that confidence.
Honestly, looking back, I was an unconfident mess growing up. Whenever a decision was to be made, I just took what other people told me I should do or what they said I was good at, and went with that. One thing I was really good at... looking like I knew what I wanted and what I was doing. But the whole time I would be scanning the people around me wondering,
“What do they think of me?”
“Do they like me?”
“Am I good enough?"
Becoming a parent just intensified this. If you are constantly worried about what others think, do, or say around you, it’s really tough to feel confident about who you are and how you parent.
If you don’t know who you are, what your abilities and qualities are as a parent and how to navigate this world with those… well my friend, it is nearly impossible to figure this out with children around constantly crying and vying for your attention.
All you can see at this point is how much you lack and where you are failing.
I would have to say, my self-confidence took a nosedive when we moved to a town in which I knew no one. I had two young kids that I was forced to stay home with because there were no acceptable daycare options. There were no acceptable daycare options because I couldn’t find a job. I couldn’t find a job because I had no daycare (yes, that was a maddening situation).
Did you catch that though? Nobody was hiring me. Strike one for the confidence booster. I was at home all day being a SAHM, which I did not want to do but thought I should want to do because people said I should. Strike two. Plus, we just moved and I had no outside world contacts near me which made life extremely lonely. Strike three.
There was nothing in the world around me that I could gain my self-confidence from.
Yep. I know. That’s kind of screwed up, isn’t it?
If the world around me was where I was looking for confidence, well then, I was not going to find it.
I was never going to be enough.
Never an “enough” mom. Never enough wife. Never enough nurse, friend or human being.
What does the world say is “enough”? Well...
and so much more…. all at the same time.
See, telling yourself, “I’m not good enough” only leads to self-deprecation, which leads to destruction. What ends up happening is we become all consumed by how we are not measuring up to the worlds standards, that we completely loose sight of something vitally important…. measuring up to God’s standards.
You know, I don’t believe God creates just for the fun of it. He is the master planner. So if you are here, you are important and he has a special plan for you. The bible states in Jeremiah 29:11,
“For I know the plans I have you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
This is my very favorite bible verse and the one I say to myself every morning as soon as I wake up. It is a great reminder that I’m here for a purpose and God has a plan. Part of that plan was to have Jesus die for my sins and wash away all that wasn’t enough.
It helps me keep my focus on God so that I can live out that purpose. But, it also gives me confidence in who I am.
Confidence is about who we are. Not about what we have, don’t have, what we do or don’t do.
The definition of confidence is a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities.
Do you catch that important word? Appreciation. You need to appreciate how God made YOU! You need to have the APPRECIATION of your God given abilities and qualities to live out your plan.
So I want to give you another definition (because I find them so fascinating and am amazed at how words are so powerful). Appreciation is recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.
Are you recognizing and enjoying your qualities? If you don’t do this…I’m guessing you’re lacking confidence.
That’s why I was such an unconfident mess in early motherhood. I didn’t recognize my God given abilities. Nobody would hire me, remember? So, that must have meant that I was not able to do my job so no one wanted me. How could I enjoy my qualities? I didn’t have any friends to point out any good qualities to me, so how could I even recognize to enjoy them?
Ladies, here is what you need. I know this because I was there in that miserable, unconfident pit also. You need to recognize your abilities. You need to enjoy your qualities. All of them. And believe me, you have many.
How? Good question.
Make list of at least twenty (yes I said twenty) things you appreciate about yourself. No, not a list of what others say they like about you, or what others say you have accomplished. This is about what YOU appreciate about yourself.
Then, when you’re done, look at that list and pray over it. Thank God for every quality and ability he has blessed you with. Every week, keep adding to the list. Keep praying over it. Before you know it, you’ll be able to recognize and enjoy your God given abilities and qualities.
That is confidence my friend. And you so deserve it.
Please, feel free to share this post with any body that you see needs a boost of confidence.