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The Right Kind of Confident

by Holly Swafford


"Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;"

2 Corinthians 3:5



“You need to be more confident.”


Anyone ever heard this from your friends or family? I only wish I knew how many times I have been told that in my life. “Be more confident,” everyone says. Easier said than done. I was a very shy, inward, and self-conscious young person with a shell that I didn’t like to come out of very often. Confidence was something I knew I lacked, but I had just accepted that fault as part of who I was. My older brother had a very outgoing personality. He made friends with everyone and could talk to anyone. I couldn’t. I usually didn’t talk unless someone talked to me. Being an evangelist’s daughter made my life pretty hard as an under confident girl.


But, as the years went by, I grew in confidence in some areas. I started talking more to people—even approaching people myself to meet them or say hi—doing things that before I would have been terrified to do. Three years at Heritage Bible College brought with it a drastic change in this area of my life as well. While I still struggle at times to “be confident,” my friends would say that I have come a long way. This is a small glimpse at my struggle with confidence.


I don’t think I am the only one who struggles with confidence though. In fact, I know that I am not. It seems to be an unfortunate pattern in women to be under confident in at least one area. Why is this?


It can be for a variety of reasons. Some are caught in the comparison trap, others are always trying to fit in with the popular crowd, some are seeking affirmation of other people, and still yet others can only see their own flaws and don’t really even like themselves.


I won’t be so pretentious as to say that I do not still feel under confident at times. It might be one of those thorns in the flesh that forever annoys me. But, I have determined to refuse to let it master me. And, I pray that you will refuse to let it master you. After all, what does it matter what others think, especially if it isn’t true? If you are doing what is right and doing your best, let them say what they will.


Here are a few thoughts I want to share with you to help build your confidence.


  1. Pursue Godly Confidence.

There is only one thing that can really begin to bring real confidence. Real confidence, I believe, can only be complete once one has found confidence in the Lord. This may sound cliche, but it is so true! 


You can gain superficial confidence from other things, but nothing really stays. There are those who think that the way they dress, carry themselves, or some superior talent they possess grants them a place among their peers. But is this actually confidence? The Bible speaks of the vanity of putting one’s confidence in earthly things like the flesh, gold, and princes, but then it says, “For the LORD shall be thy confidence,'' (Proverbs 3:26), and “In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence:” (Proverbs 14:26).


This kind of confidence comes when you know that your heart is perfect toward God. This is where real confidence starts–when you know that God is pleased with you. I can’t say it better than John already has: “Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God” (1 John 3:21). You are doing all that you know to do. You have given your self-consciousness, your insecurities, and your whole “you” over to God. You are His now, and your confidence comes from Him alone. You don’t have to be worried about what others think of you anymore, because you are more concerned with what He thinks of you. 


Self-consciousness and insecurity are two greatest enemies of godly confidence. But self-consciousness is really being always conscious of self, isn’t it? As Christians, aren’t we to deny self? Insecurity is lacking confidence, not just in self, but in the One who created us. Am I wrong in saying this?


2. Work on Yourself.

Are you struggling with confidence because you feel like no one likes you? This could be a lie from the enemy to isolate you. But also, do you try to be likable? Are you kind to people? Do you try to be friendly to everyone and not just the popular people? Do you do your best to make others feel loved?


Sometimes a little work on yourself can improve your confidence. I don’t believe in complacent confidence that doesn’t see any room for improvement. I have seen those who face everyone with an attitude of “This is me. Like it or not. I don’t care if I come across rude, unpleasant, or stuck up.” This is overconfidence—and it doesn’t work from what I have seen.


Taking care of your appearance is also a great way to boost your confidence.  Think of it like putting on your favorite outfit – it just makes you feel good, right?  Looking clean and put-together doesn't have to be fancy or expensive, but it can definitely give you a little extra confidence as you go about your day. And remember, confidence and humility can go hand-in-hand!


3. Be Balanced.

Humble and confident…Humility doesn’t always talk about your own flaws and shortcomings, just like it doesn’t boast of strengths and successes. In some cases, girls make an idol out of their insecurity. They turn to self-pity in order to claim the attention and affirmation of others. In an effort to look humble, they become arrogant.


Confidence is not equivalent to arrogance, which is a common misconception. In some cases, I think girls are afraid to be confident because they don’t want to seem prideful. However, there is a vast difference. You can hold your head up without having your nose to the sky. You can even like yourself!!! It’s not wrong. Just don’t think you're better than everyone else or claim the acclamations of others for your own. Give glory to God for the gifts He has given you. The psalmist gave glory to God exclaiming, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works and that my soul knoweth right well” (Psalm 139:14).


Be humble. Be confident. Be who God created you to be! He did it well, so glorify Him for it!


 

Hey friends! Exciting news from the PV Team: Holly's brand new book, Victorious, is finally here!


This book is all about empowering young women like you to live a life of victory in your faith.


We all face challenges as we grow closer to God, but the good news is, we don't have to fight them alone! In Victorious, Holly and her friends share their personal stories of overcoming obstacles and finding strength in God.


These inspiring testimonies will show you that victory is possible, no matter what you're facing. You'll be reminded that God's by your side every step of the way, cheering you on!


Get your copy of Victorious today! You can find it on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Victorious-Stories-Young-Obtained-Victory/dp/B0CXP37S1S.

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