I have a little secret to tell you–one that, if we were to meet right now, you might not believe–but here it is: I used to be really insecure.
No biggie, right? Isn’t every teenage girl insecure? Don’t all girls spend their teen years groping for a sense of identity? Sadly, I notice that all too often. And while I watch the teens around me (including my 3-years-ago self), seek confidence in oh-so-many places, my heart breaks for them.
Sweet friend, if you’re looking for confidence in relationships, materialism, approval, or even music, you’re looking in all the wrong directions.
But here’s the good news: The secret to confidence really isn’t a secret at all! No matter what causes your insecurity—no matter what pain you’re going through that steals your sense of worth—the solution to a confident heart is the same for each of us.
I said I used to be insecure. That’s not to say I don’t feel inferior or shy at times, because I do. But I’ve found the secret to a bold heart, and I can’t tell you how liberating it is.
So, are you ready to unlock the secret to confidence?
Here it is…
Stop looking for confidence.
Yep. That’s it. Stop trying to be confident.
The minute I stopped trying to act perfectly, be the best, or gain the approval I craved, my life flipped upside down.
But I didn’t stop focusing on those things by myself. I didn’t magically wake up, decide to stop thinking about being confident, and suddenly become secure in my own skin. In fact, I didn’t even mean to find confidence when—or how—I did.
Let me explain:
When we first moved to New York, my parents took short walks around the neighborhood every morning. After some coaxing, I decided to join them on one of their early-hour adventures. It was brisk and invigorating outside, and I happily poured myself a mug of hot coffee as soon as we got home. When I settled down in the stillness of my room, nothing seemed more inviting than my Bible. In fact, I longed to open it. So I did. And I couldn’t stop reading.
Nearly every morning after that, I woke up with a quick walk and locked myself in my room with nothing but Scripture and my coffee. Now, subtract the shivery walks, and my mornings are just about the same.
Little did I know that my decision to take a walk in the freezing cold would transform my whole life. I didn’t plan to read my Bible that morning when I got home. More than that, I definitely didn’t expect the radical changes that took root in my life as a result. The more I dive into the Word, the less time I have to focus on my insecurities, and confidence comes naturally.
Sweet friend, the secret to confidence is so simple. We make things so much more complicated than they are, and it’s not helping us.
I’ve seen the Pinterest quotes– “Just love yourself, and everything else will fall into place,” or “stop caring about what others think and fall in love with you.”–But those things aren’t working. Girls aren’t becoming confident by loving themselves–or doing anything else the world suggests.
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will trust in the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:7, NIV).
Let me tweek those confidence tips a bit:
“Seek JESUS and everything else will fall into place.”
“Read Scripture and understand what GOD thinks of you, and the world’s opinions won’t matter.”
“Love Christ and love OTHERS, and you’ll know exactly how to treat yourself.”
You see, when we focus on ourselves and try to feel better in our own skin, we only end up in a mess of constant overthinking and anxiety.
When we try to find security in ourselves, everything falls apart. We forget that Jesus never said to look at ourselves for help. In fact, Galatians 6:14 says our eyes are to be on the cross of Christ. Our boasting—our confidence—is in Him alone.
“But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (ESV).
Confidence comes from knowing who you are in Christ, and clinging to His grace when you fall short.
Confidence comes from a heart that trusts the Lord and cares about the things of heaven more than the things of earth.
Confidence comes from trusting that Jesus loves you, and no one can ever change that.
Ever since that morning of Bible study, one simple truth has rung clear in my mind: A relationship with Jesus brings all the security in the world—even when everything else falls apart.
The minute I chose to ground myself in Him, my confidence grew, and it continues to grow every single day.
Jeremiah 17:7 says “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him” (NIV).
Look to yourself –> lose confidence.
Look to Jesus –> be victorious.
“With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God, to help us and to fight our battles” (2 Chronicles 32:8a, ESV).
Let me tell you a story:
In November, I took a trip to South Carolina for an art festival at a Christian university. My friend and I were competing in music, and we spent every hour together. We woke up early, ran to breakfast, rushed to the practice rooms, played for the judges, hung out with friends…it was awesome.
But, as the hours of that week wore on, we lost energy. Our supply of adrenaline ran low. And, the more we interacted with other people and compared notes, the more we overthought every minute.
My friend and I spent our days feeding off of each other’s insecurities, and the more we talked about our weaknesses, the weaker we felt. We started focusing on our problems and worrying about people’s opinions.
By the end of that week, I wasn’t the same Abigail I usually am. I had no peace. My moods were a rollercoaster. And I kicked myself constantly because nothing I did–no pep talk or amount of self-comfort filled the gaping hole of insecurity.
It wasn’t until a few weeks later that I realized what happened (Other than the fact that I was sleep-deprived): I spent zero time with God that week. I prayed for my competitions now and then, but that was it. I didn’t read my Bible or even take notes in chapel. As soon as I stopped focusing on Christ, my focus turned inward and I spun myself into a pit of insecurity. I inflicted pain on myself and my friend for no reason. All in 5 days.
Though I wish I could redo that week at times, I’m thankful for the valuable lessons I learned. One of them being this: Building confidence takes time, but losing it is a split-second disaster when we take our eyes off Jesus.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him.”
I know the miseries of insecurity. I’ve gone through the tears and journaled my feelings of self-doubt. I’ve kept my mouth shut in public because I was scared what others would think. I’ve chickened out of activities because I didn’t want to look bad.
Insecurity is a vicious cycle, and it cannot be defeated without the Word of God (both the written Word, and Jesus, the living Word).
Sweet friend, I don’t want you to waste your life searching for confidence. I don’t want you to fall apart in tears because you’ve tried so hard to hold everything together. Not when you have the key to confidence at your disposal.
More than anything, I want to see you thrive and enjoy life to the FULL, because you found security in Jesus. Will you please, please, run to Him?
“Allow your desperation to direct you to the one who satisfies.” -Jonathan Pokluda
I know it sounds cliché. It seems too simple–too good to be true. But believe me, it works.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him.”
Remind yourself of this truth. Post it on your wall, repeat it in your mind. This is your key to a confident life.
Do you struggle with confidence? Maybe you’re battling self-worth or perfectionism. Sweet one, I would love to talk with and pray for you. Feel free to contact me here.
If this post helped you, feel free to leave a comment! I love hearing from you.