by Jade Herrin
I would venture to say that genuine confidence is a desire of the human heart.
In every sphere of life, people are having conversations about confidence. There’s talk about it in the business world, the realm of psychology, education, and in the Church, because people know it’s valuable.
“Confidence is key.” Yeah, awesome. But what about those of us who don’t feel confident? What about the people whose confidence has been bruised by all the times life isn't giving you lemons but throwing them at you? What about the people whose confidence has been crushed by abuse, crippled by fear, or paralyzed by anxiety? Is there a way to be confident again? What do we do when our confidence seems like it’s gone forever? Here’s what you do: take a deep breath and know that you’re not alone. There’s a conversation to be had.
My friends have called me “confident” over the years, and for much of my life, I really did feel this sense of confidence within me. But that was before I had truly met difficulty and hardship face to face. This (unpleasant) introduction led me into a season of my life where my anxiety was so bad that I couldn’t get out of bed, couldn’t keep weight on, couldn’t breathe.It was me in the ring with anxiety battling it out. I’m talking bloody face, black eye, and purple lips kind of fight. My confidence was stripped from me by my opponent.
For months I tried to get my confidence back by doing more. I served more at church, met up and encouraged more people than ever, tried hard in my relationships, and worked to get the highest grades possible in school. I even expanded my world creatively to see if I could find my confidence in a different part of myself. In a general sense, I was crushing life and “doing the most” in a good way. The issue was that I was trying to achieve confidence in what I was doing, not in who I was as a person. Confidence isn’t achieved, it’s BELIEVED.
Confidence is not something you can go out and gain by doing. You can’t win it, buy it, or even work for it. You have to BELIEVE it. You have to believe in who you are and what is on the inside of you. I’d love to tell you that I woke up one day full of confidence and with anxiety behind me--That I all of a sudden believed in myself again. But I would be lying. I had to make major adjustments in my life and reevaluate all I was involved in. I had to start from scratch and start a new everyday journey. For me, that looked like therapy, rest, and an open line of communication with people who were going to speak life into my heart. Gaining confidence and learning to walk in it is a process and it’s vital to remind yourself of that.
One of the best decisions I’ve ever made is centered around a conversation with myself. I look at myself in the mirror and say “Jade, look at me in the eyeballs. You are beautiful, strong, courageous, and you lead anxiety, anxiety does not lead you.” Every single day I do this. No matter how I feel! It starts with me. Day by day anxiety loosens its grip and confidence is more clearly mine.
I’m aware that people who don’t believe in Jesus will read this, but the reality is that true confidence is found in Jesus. It’s what He says about us that we have to believe. Confidence comes from resting in His words—there is no doing or striving necessary. In a time of brokenness, heartache, and loss, His truth about who you are will keep you moving. It kept me moving.
If you find yourself in a spot currently where you’re walking through something really difficult and don’t feel confident, I get you. I understand. I want you to know that it won’t last forever and that you’re gonna be okay. Confidence will come one day at a time, one conversation at a time.
Let’s keep talking about it.