How can single men or women build their confidence?

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How can single men or women build their confidence?

Aug 14, 2006 |John Thomas
Question

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?

Answer

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.

Blessings,
JOHN THOMAS

Copyright 2006 John Thomas. All rights reserved.

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