I'm a 26-year-old Christian guy, and my question is related to self-confidence. I always hear
about how women are looking for confidence in the guy that
they want to date or potentially marry, but what is to be done if
that "guy" doesn't have confidence? Many times lack of
self-confidence has kept me from having meaningful
relationships with women because it causes me to second guess
or over-analyze how my actions might be viewed by the woman
or the other people around.
For those who haven't had the blessing of a family who
instilled confidence in them, how can single men or women
build their confidence? How do you face the fears that always
hold you back?
If there had been a Boundless Answers 16 years ago, this
would have been one of my questions. I was 26 and, despite
having had a couple of tiny career accomplishments under my
belt, I really struggled with self-confidence. It always surprises
my wife when I mention this, because her perception was that I
was beaming with confidence. She was mistaken. I'd look around
in awe at guys who asked girls on dates without any fear, who
were starting their own — their own
— businesses, getting married, racing up corporate
ladders, and who really believed they could pretty much
accomplish whatever they dreamed. I feared stepping out of my
comfort zone and taking on new challenges because I just knew
I'd fail, and besides, there were so many more talented, smarter
and more gifted people out there who could do whatever it was
so much better than I could. Let me give you three pieces of
advice that helped me.
First, beware of what exactly self-confidence
means. From a biblical viewpoint, our self, at least
in terms of our "flesh" (the old man or the old nature), is not
anything worth putting confidence in. As Paul said, our
competence comes from God and is not
self-confidence, but rather Christ-confidence.
Self-confidence, confidence in what we can
accomplish apart from God, leads to pride and robs God of the
glory that rightly belongs to Him alone. So put your confidence
in the right person — Christ — not you. Check out
these Scriptures here and here.
Second, find an older Christian man who exhibits the kind
of Godly-confidence you'd like to see in your own life and ask
him to be your mentor. Just get around him. Soak up everything
you can from him. That was key for me in developing my
confidence. What I realized by spending time around confident
men is that they were just regular guys, like me. I had thought
there was some confidence "gene" that I had just missed, but
these men showed me that wasn't the case. They understood
that sometimes failure is just a part of life, you can't control
every outcome, and if things didn't turn out the way you'd
hoped, it didn't mean life was over. They just got back up and
got going again. I needed to see that in action.
Third, make sure you marry a cheerleader. No, not
necessarily a real cheerleader, but a woman who believes in you.
I can't emphasize enough the importance of this in my life.
Countless times when I've been faced with some dream or
challenge that seemed impossible for me, my wife would look
me in the eyes and say, "I know you can do this." Those words
have often been the thing that tipped the scales in my decision
to move forward on one thing or another. It breaks my heart to
meet men who have wives who don't believe in them (and
vice-versa). The wives have no idea how much their confidence
(or lack of) in their husbands affects them. If a wife believes in a
husband, he can leap tall buildings. If she doesn't, he often
won't even try.
Copyright 2006 John Thomas. All rights reserved.