A girl asked me recently at a post-speaking engagement Q and A: “Why are you so confident?” I was shocked at the question not because she shouldn’t have asked it but because of her absolute conviction that I am indeed confident.
Now it does take a certain amount of confidence to get up on a platform and communicate, don’t get me wrong. But the reality is that there’s a cost like there is with every job, career, opportunity and season in life. For me, the cost is behind the scenes, in the quiet, secret place. A place I rarely allow people into. A place of vulnerability.
The truth is that I do struggle with confidence. I have thoughts almost every time I speak that seem to surround me, calling out my self-doubt. An inner voice that whispers “you’re not good enough”, “you can’t speak to all these people”, “what have you got to say?”. Over time, I’ve learnt to answer that alone I can’t offer much but with Jesus, I can. I’ve learned that His voice is louder than any other…but I have to choose to listen!
I still struggle with confidence and often those thoughts but the difference is that I now know how to combat the problem. I begin to hold those thoughts captive and respond with truth (2 Corinthians 10: 5). This is the truth that God delights and rejoices over me with singing (Zephaniah 3: 17).
I said to the girl at the Q and A: “The reason you see a confidence in me is not because of a self-help book, it’s because of my trust in Jesus. I know in my mind and heart who He says I am.” My relationship with Jesus is key to everything. That doesn’t mean I don’t still struggle and experience crippling self-doubt at times. It’s just that I now know how to respond. Some days it’s easier than others but His voice is the One I choose to listen to.
So, when you are struggling, as we all do, instead of allowing negative pathways to form and take root in your brain, respond with the truth. Hold those thoughts captive and react with what He says: that you are wonderful, gifted, loved, valued, chosen, desired and have purpose. Read scripture over yourself – I dare you.
And the added bonus is that when we as youth workers stand strong and firm in the truth of God’s word, people notice. More importantly, our young people notice. It is a powerful way of displaying a real and active relationship with God. We want our young people to be able to see what real and lasting confidence looks like, rather than what the world offers, which is superficial and temporary. For me, one of the key ways of maintaining confidence is an ongoing conversation with God, where I am truly vulnerable with how I feel and what I am facing. It doesn’t always give a quick fix but it creates a space where I can be honest and in return focus on the response of my creator.
I never want to get to a place where I don’t need Jesus. I never want to rely on myself, on my own strength (believe me, it doesn’t work). Instead, I will keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith. I need my creator in every way and I love that I do!
#confidencevsselfdoubt #speaktruthandlove #selfhelpbooksdontsolveeverything #scripture #beconfident #beassured #iamyours #knowwhoseyouare #notafraidtosayistruggle #thankful
Grace Wheeler – British Youth for Christ National Evangelist