It’s pretty easy to spot someone who is confident in a crowd. They have a certain “way” about them. From the way they walk, speak, and carry themselves even when they’re simply listening, I think we can all attest to having been able to point out someone who is confident. There’s something that even draws you to them. Amirite?
Now, confidence is definitely an attractive quality in a person, but just to be clear, when I say “confidence,” I don’t mean obnoxious, cocky, or inconsiderate. There is a definite difference between the two. I define the characteristic as, “a bold sureness of oneself, that remains respectful of others around them.”
Have you ever been inspired by someone like that? Someone you’ve crossed paths with at a party briefly, or been introduced to by a friend, maybe it’s even someone you’re close with. You’ve seen the way they just are and thought, “You know, they’re awesome- so sure of themselves and what they do and say; I’d love to be more that way.” That isn’t a bad thing; not at all!
But let me ask you this…
Have you ever been JEALOUS of someone like that? And thought, “Man, they’re SO sure of themselves, and I am definitely NOT. I wonder how they feel about having to interact with someone like me?” Or, “I wish I was more like them. That way I’d be more popular and well-liked. I’d maybe I’d even like myself more…” Now that IS a bad thing. But you don’t have to get stuck there, my friend. Keep reading.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am a very confident person. I’ll also be the first to admit that I have NOT always been this way.
I remember growing up, trying to feel comfortable in uncomfortable situations, wishing I could develop opinions and be completely certain of them even if others contradicted them, wanting to actually like and appreciate my own body… but it wasn’t easy, and trying to FORCE myself to have that kind of positive and secure outlook on everything was difficult to do everyday.
I grew up with guys, so I didn’t have many friends that were girls because I didn’t know how to be friends with girls who weren’t into sports. Honestly, I wasn’t very welcomed by them either. I had a mum who struggled with body dysmorphia that affected the way I saw myself growing up.
The few girlfriends I did have, didn’t have the same style as me, watch the same shows, or listen to the same music (minus the Spice Girls of course) which made me feel like an outcast. Maybe you can relate to that feeling of seeing yourself as less-than, as second-best, as never really fitting in anywhere.
What I learned as I got older, is how uncomfortable most people actually are, and how you aren’t an outcast simply because you’re seemingly “vastly” different from everyone else.
Different is beautiful. When you choose to EMBRACE yourself rather than fight, ignore or define yourself by others, you can begin to see and feel how free and great you truly are.
How did this shift happen in me?
The biggest component was defining my worth in God above anything or anyone else. God certainly then used my own stubbornness in my favour, by strengthening my resolve to like what I liked without having to defend it, but also respecting how others felt, and being able to encourage them in their own opinions as well. I also had great influences through friends I saw as mentors. I chose to be inspired by their confidence, rather than feel jealous or dejected by them.
I also asked myself how I wanted to help contribute to the world. Confident people, in my opinion, are given a unique “responsibility” to use their influence for good, rather than bad. A responsibility that not all realize or exercise wisely, but it’s there nonetheless. I want to encourage individuality, boldness, uniqueness, weirdness and creativity in the world because there are so many platforms that exist that work tirelessly to do the opposite.
When you are confident in yourself, you appreciate yourself more, you appreciate others more, and you consistently (not always but more so than not) feel better about yourself.
So, what about you?
If you’re reading this, I know it’s because there is something inside of you that is struggling to be confident, comfortable, and accepting of who you are, in some way or another. I’ve been there, and I can pretty much guarantee that if you asked anyone, you would find how common it is. Take heart in that. That despite feeling out of place, lacking confidence, you aren’t alone in that.
Something you need to understand, is that to admire someone for their confidence, as I mentioned before, is not a bad thing - but admiring someone for who they are is not going to improve that part in you. Be inspired by confidence. But let it propel you to take action in and for yourself.
You are too smart, too beautiful, too powerful to hide away and live life at a distance. Be bold, and know that you are already completely embraced for who you are by God.
Who you are -who He has DESIGNED you to be- is exactly what the world, your friends, your family, needs. Those quirks you have, the faith you have, the passions you have? God has comprised you uniquely and fondly, with a divine purpose. He sees past the right now and knows the glory in store for you.
Label it cliché if you want, but no one can ever be you, nor can you be anyone else. That’s how God designed all of us. So, the things you don’t like about yourself? Talk to God about them. Not by complaining, but genuinely asking Him why you are more this way or that way. And let Him show you how wonderfully you were made.
I think we need to be asking God less about making us how we think WE ought to be (because let’s face it He’s a way better Creator than us) and ask Him for boldness and confidence to be who HE wants us to be!
Because I guarantee, as His child, you have power, might and worthiness written all over you; and those are definitely worth being confident about.
So here are two things I really want you to do:
1. I want to encourage you, pick ONE thing you’ve struggled to be bold about in the past. (I think even just posing that question, I’m making a few of you uncomfortable and squirm in your seat a bit, hey?) But pick one thing that you really want to be more confident about, be confident in, and take a chance on yourself to exercise that thing in some way. Maybe it’s a secret talent of yours, maybe it’s someone you want to compliment but don’t feel you have a voice to give, whatever it is pick that thing and …
2. Ask God to give you the confidence to pull at that thread, and make the choice to take a bold step in that area. It will force you to put yourself out there a bit, but trust me, it’s worth it! What you gain from doing that, it can’t be measured, and I can’t exactly even explain it perfectly, but I do know that it’s worth it. You’re worth it. And when you trust God with it, He will open the right doors and steer you towards the right opportunities to grow.
You’re going to need to get UNCOMFORTABLE to grow in confidence. . . just so you aren’t caught off guard - but know the growth and the empowerment that comes with putting yourself out there, and challenging yourself to become more confident, is something you’re WORTH going through for. Not just who you are today, but your future self and the things that you’re going to go through and opportunities you’re going to experience. That girl is worth fighting for today.
I’m excited for you. I hope you’re excited for you too.
Cheering for you,
Sam has been a key player in launching GIRL365, and one of the amazing writers who made our year of devotionals possible. She is genuine, confident and compassionate, and loves to put her skills to work as the Program Manager of Food for Families at CityReach Care Society. She also runs her own event planning business, Veil + Vow events, and is a youth and worship leader at @arcvancity. She's the bomb! And we are thankful that she has shared this Letter for all of us to be encouraged by.
Check out her Instagram accounts at @samstan_ley and @veilandvowevents