A New Kind of Confidence

Frederick and I made it home safely late last night and are still processing all of the wonderful experiences we had in New York City. I’ll post a little about our trip tomorrow, but today we need to catch up with our online Bible study, Behind the Eyes by Lisa Whittle. Check out Lelia’s blog for more thoughts on this week’s chapter: Ms. Confidence.

Hello, my friends! Today we are reflecting on an ever-elusive concept for me: confidence.

I have struggled with it all of my life. In our study questions, Lisa asks us what our personal idea of confidence is. For me, confidence is being comfortable in my skin. Not afraid of speaking up or saying what I think. Not fearing the judgment of others. Ease and contentment with where I am.

Do you know anyone like that?

They are very hard to find.

So many times we cloak ourselves in posturing, or roles we think we are supposed to play. Letting our friends see the messy parts of our lives is not an easy thing to do.

I think Lisa makes a great point on page 50, when she says, “The reality is that no matter how confident we as women want people to think we are, there are moments for all of us when the layers are not quite thick enough to keep us completely insulated. We were not made to live in a completely self-reliant state, regardless of how empowering that sounds.”

Hmmm.

When we insulate ourselves, we are doing just that: insulating ourselves. Not only from what we would perceive as negative things, but positive things as well. Holding back on our true feelings, our fears and insecurities, gives others a false image and keeps them from coming close.

This tends to make a girl lonely. I don’t know about you, but I’ve gotta have my girlfriends.

And some of our most precious times together have been when we expose our NEED for one another.

I have not always been good at this. In fact, I learn a little more each day about how to be comfortable in this skin. Relying on God and not people has been a huge key for me.

But I still struggle. I am a naturally shy person. And my childhood was not exactly one that promoted good self-esteem. But understanding that I am esteemed by HIM has freed me in so many ways.

I’m redefining confidence in my life. I no longer look for self-confidence. I strive to root my confidence in HIM.

That’s a good self-image.

Comments

  1. says

    Wow! Thanks for this! I love the last statement. Along with you I have been encouraged to find my confidence in Him not in self! I too struggle with self confidence more times than not! You are a blessing and your transparency is reaching and helping others! Love to you this day!

    I think I should read this book soon. I have read so many good posts about it!

    Living confidently in Him,
    Nicole

  2. says

    I’ve always struggled with self confidence too. Just the other day I started thinking about when that feeling ever started and why? I had a great upbringing….loving parents, Christian home…etc. but somewhere along the way I developed a lack of self confidence. I was always shy. I’m coming out of it somewhat and beginning to be more confident.
    I think the last statement you wrote is absolutely true. Our confidence is in Him. The closer we are to Him and know His ways and His Word, the better we’ll feel about ourselves.
    This sounds like a great study!

    Oh, I’m so excited to hear all about your trip. Wasn’t the Top of the Rock amazing? I do hope the weather was nice & clear so you could see the views we saw.
    Also, St. Paul’s is a place I feel is not talked about much. We found that to be such an uplifting experience.
    Glad you and Frederick are home safe and sound.
    Love,
    Valerie

  3. says

    Yeah! I love what you wrote at the end.

    “But understanding that I am esteemed by HIM has freed me in so many ways.

    I’m redefining confidence in my life. I no longer look for self-confidence. I strive to root my confidence in HIM.

    That’s a good self-image.”

    Excellent truth. I’m learning to do the same. Slowly and in His time.

    Thanks for this post and for stopping by this week. Appreciate YOU!

  4. says

    It sounds, by reading many of today’s posts, that alot of us have struggled with the same issue. I’m so thankful to know and have hope in the confidence of God.

  5. says

    As you should…root your confidence in Him alone. I, too, am learning to trust his assessment over the world’s. It’s been a lifelong lesson but finally beginning to take shape.

    Great thoughts, here. I’m so glad for God’s shaping, aren’t you?

    peace~elaine

  6. says

    Oh girl, that’s it….. confidence in HIM in ME…..

    I LOVE that….

    Thanks for coming by for a visit. I always love it when you stop by!

    I can’t wait to hear about your trip.

    You mentioned a book by Richard Foster. What’s the name of the book????

    I am SO glad you are enjoying the book. I thought you would…..

    Love & hugs sent your way!
    Julie

  7. says

    Laura, I, too, have struggled in this area so much.

    And I think what you pointed out is so true too:
    ~And some of our most precious times together have been when we expose our NEED for one another.~

    When we expose our true selves, struggles and all, people can identify with us, and they then realize that they are not alone in their own struggles. We are all flawed, and we were designed by God to need to lean on each other. But if we never let anyone see the “real” us, then they and we would miss so much blessing, amen?

    I look forward to hearing about the time you and Fredrick had in New York.

    God Bless,
    Amy:)

  8. says

    I like how you put that when we don’t share our struggles with people that we can miss out on good things too. Seems like we are always protecting ourselves from pain, that we forget that we can recieve blessings and closer relationships by sharing our struggle.

    Thanks for that reminder.

    Carol

  9. says

    Great post.

    I would’ve never thought you to by shy considering your profession and the “public” contact with others.

    Can’t wait to hear who was missed most: mommy or Fredrick. haha

    Love ya, sweet friend.
    Paula

  10. says

    Thanks for sharing! I so relate to not having a thick enough skin. I always worry about what others think — always. Even though at times I try to pretend it doesn’t matter.

    Glad you are home safely!

  11. says

    Laura, first welcome home to you and Fredrick. I’m glad to know you both had a nice time and made it home safely.

    Second, what a wonderful lesson in confidence: I like that she asks what your personal idea of confidence is because people define things differently. I also really like the part you quoted on Page 50 – how true! But my favorite thing is when you defined what happens when we insulate ourselves – WOW!!

  12. says

    Laura,
    I loved your comment on my blog — that while you always admired those who wore “confidence,” you now see those women through a different lens…a more empathetic one. Girlfriend, that is one of my biggest prayers for this first section of the book…that we, as women, will begin to see our sisters with eyes of grace for each other. And that we will recognize that all of us struggle, all of us have secret places, all of us have hurts. And that sometimes what we see in others does not reflect what is really going on inside their souls. Not that we look for things in others as a probe to find out how “messy” they are, but as a way to love each other in a more intimate and God-centered way with greater understanding and support. Grace. We, as women aren’t very good at giving it to each other. Maybe after looking at these “characters,” we will begin to give it more freely. I think our relationships will change if we do.

    But first…we gotta choose to be vulnerable. We gotta decide to be real. And it’s a tough one for all of us.

    Thank you, as always, for your heart and for your insights.

    I love you! Your profile picture makes me smile, thinking of meeting you at She Speaks. I saw your shyness, but I know inside is a woman of strength! 🙂
    Lisa 🙂

  13. says

    I love what you said about insulating just being insulating. We do funny things that we think will protect us while all along we are hurting ourselves instead. I need my people too, and when I act like I don’t, then it hurts even more.

    I am loving this journey.

    Glad that you had a good time in NYC and look forward to your post later about your trip!

    Liz

  14. says

    I love how we are transformed through his word and as we get older. You are beautiful. I enjoy your sharing. Looking forward to hearing about NY. I love NY. We were there in June for our 30th Anniv. Connie

  15. says

    I loved you post. So true!

    These statements:
    “This tends to make a girl lonely. I don’t know about you, but I’ve gotta have my girlfriends.

    And some of our most precious times together have been when we expose our NEED for one another.”
    I so agree. I don’t know what I would do without my girlfriends. They are real friends… they know me, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
    On this journey with you,
    Lynn

  16. says

    Your so right, confidence in Christ is where it’s at!

    I enjoy girlfriend time,too but sad to say I only have one that I feel comfortable with to share the real me.

  17. says

    Your thoughts of “insulating” ones self in this post intrigued me. You are right with this. I know I have a whole new perspective on this confidence thing! WOW!

    your pictures of New York were great too! Thanks for sharing!

    In His Graces~Pamela

  18. says

    Thank you for this.
    To see that you too struggled with shyness as a child. I have for a long time, still do a lot. Like I wrote on my blog, when I go up to sing in front of church, I put up that front of confidence. Sometimes I feel it coming from God as I have gotten comfortable with what He has called me to and I know the confidence is from Him, because He is leading the worship through me.
    There are other times, when I have been struggling that I put up a confident, in control front, just to lose it all when I get in the car to head home.
    I will see you in a day or so to read your next post!
    God Bless,
    Heather

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