Friday 17 October 2014

Confidence and breaking chains

I choose this picture because I'm not confident about it, I see fat face and messy hair,
I suspect you might see a fun time and shared love

I've been pondering the topic of confidence quite a lot recently and then a couple of Sundays ago at church it was the topic of the sermon and that of course felt very apt. The pastor started by presenting the question 'are you confident?'

My first thought was I'm confident in Christ and His abilities but not so much in myself. On thinking more I realised that my confidence in myself is situational and the more I think about it the more I realise I have lost confidence over the years.

I actually think I'm a bit of a conundrum, as when I reflect back to years gone by I can remember times of being very confident and forward, like when I was 14 and I received bad service in our local petrol station. I asked to see the manager and told them the service there was appalling and if they employed me I would make a difference, I got the job, became a supervisor by age 15 and stayed there until I went to Uni. Definite confidence in my abilities as a worker.

Then there are other memories of being a tween at someones party and sitting hiding behind the curtain and crying for the duration of the party. I didn't think I fitted in and to be honest pondering it now I realise that I was crying out for someone to find me and care - they didn't! No confidence in whether I was likeable.

I've worked hard on this needy nature and the desire to be loved and wanted and there has been immense progress but there are still times when my insecurities raise their ugly head and I think I'm being left out on purpose or that I'm not liked. I don't enjoy being like this but there is only so much you can change yourself, so now when the 'woe is me' feeling appears I just try to apply logic and speak to trusted friends to look for the common sense.

There are probably two areas where I still lack confidence, one is in my ability of lose weight and the other is in my ability to be a good wife. I married a man who is not good at verbalising his feelings and is not very demonstrative so this makes it incredibly hard for someone like me to be secure in her marriage and feel loved. I'm always looking for ways to be a better wife and of course the difficulty there is that I apply my interpretation of what a good wife is, rather than meeting dh's needs.

The weight issue also links to this and all the time I feel fat and frumpy I limit how I interact in my relationship and how uninhibited I am willing to be. I know I miss out on opportunities because of my perception of my size. A few weeks back there was a community day where I live and lots of fun activities were organised but rather than launching myself in and enjoying the team games, rafting or rounders I hid for fear of embarrassment or being too fat/ heavy to join in. I could probably spend the whole day listing all the things I don't allow myself to join in with or try, for fear of being too fat. Total lack of confidence in my body.

I suspect that if you asked people who knew me just a bit they would say I am a ballsy and confident woman but if you asked those who know me on a deeper level they might say not so much so. It really is quite strange, you can put me in front of 150 kids in an assembly, ask me to train 50 adults or give me a near impossible work deadline and I'll get on and do these things without a care in the world. However ask me to have just a few people over for dinner, to squeeze into a crowded space or to put myself out there for a voting competition with the chance of winning a blogging award and I'll be backing away as fast as anything.

From writing this today I have come to realise that I need to explore a bit more about the areas I am confident in and those I'm not and try to find the route cause of my lack of confidence in some areas. What is it I am scared of anyway? Why do I allow myself to be held back from things that might just be fun? How can I break down these barriers and change?

Years back a really good friend once said that if I ever lost weight she would dread to think just how confident I might be, as my size was the only thing I let hold me back. I wonder if I'm scared of that legacy she spoke over me and subconsciously I worry that I won't like me anymore if I lose the weight? I think it is time to break the chains and to be a big girl and just see who I might be if I shed my protective layer.

Anyway enough navel gazing for today, what I took away from the sermon at church is that the confidence I need is in God. I must remain firm in the things that I do know, that Christ died for me, that He loves me, that He accepts me as I am and that He is sovereign and above all else.

I need to take my difficulties and turn them into prayers and when I really believe my prayers will be answered and I'm willing to do the hard work then God will answer my prayers and in His time things will change. In the meantime all these trials that I go through will help to shape me and mould me towards the person God intends me to be.

These are some reminders of bible scripture to help me along this journey -

  • Proverbs 3:26 - For the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught. 
  • 1 John 5:14 - And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 
  • Romans 15:13 - May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. 
  • John 16:23 - In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.

Does any of this resonate with you?  Are you holding yourself back because you are scared? Fancy joining me in breaking some chains?
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