So for in this series we've covered confidence and self esteem as well as redefining what that looks like through the lens of Christ. (Check out those post here, here, and here).
So in this post we'll discuss why do we need both?
Self- esteem is the value that you assign to yourself which in turn fuels your ability to present yourself to the world around you with confidence. One is absolutely essential to the other.
In order to understand our dire need for a confidence and esteem centered on Christ we have to acknowledge that we emotional by default, and our emotions can often lead us astray. Particularly as women we tend to be cyclical in nature with our emotions. You might have a good week here, a bad week there, PMS could make that two bad weeks, but you can't ride the wave and let your confidence and self-esteem rely solely on your feelings.
For Example: Julia (not a real person) was the bomb.com in high school. She was the It girl. She was popular with great skin and hair, and great body to match. She was used to being the girl all the other girls wanted to be like, and all the boys wanted to be with. Julia graduates, gets married and has four children in a few short years. Her life still ‘looks’ perfect. But Julia isn’t used to looking like a frazzled mom. She hadn’t quite gotten used to the 20lbs she gained in love before she could adjust to the extra weight from her pregnancies. In her heart she knew that her husband and children were a blessing. For the first time in her life her confidence was not just low, it was completely gone. Based on external circumstances she found herself feeling unworthy, unattractive, less than, and undesirable…. all because her confidence and self-esteem was not rooted in anything below the surface.
So at this point in the series I'm going to marry the concept of confidence and self esteem. If you haven't read the previous post you can begin here and here...
What is Self Esteem?
Self-esteem is defined by your overall opinion of yourself — how you feel about your abilities and limitations. When you have healthy self-esteem, you feel good about yourself and see yourself as deserving the of the respect of others. When you have low self-esteem, you put little value on your opinions and your ideas.
For the sake of clarity please understand that confidence and self-esteem are not the same thing. For all intents and purposes confidence and self-esteem hold hands and hug, they love each other- if you don't have one the other won’t last long. If you don't have confidence in your ability to carry out certain task, eventually that is going to have a negative impact on your self-esteem. The opposite is also true, if you are not feeling good about yourself that impacts your ability to operate successfully in the world around you.
There are some interesting variables when investigating self- confidence and self- esteem. If your self-esteem is low your confidence will be low. You can have temporarily high confidence and still have low self-esteem but eventually the confidence will fade. It is not possible to have high self-esteem and have low confidence. It does not work because what is going on in your internal self eventually manifests itself externally.
There is a healing that must take place within you in order to unify both confidence and self- esteem. Although they are distinct in nature if you heal in one area, you will heal the other. If confidence is being certain in your abilities and your belief that you can be successful; then self-esteem is your overall opinion of yourself. Self- esteem affects how you feel about your abilities and your limitations. When you have healthy self-esteem you feel good about yourself- you don’t belittle your value, opinions or ideas.
Just like we exchanged confidence for Christ confidence earlier, let’s exchange Self- esteem for Christ Esteem. That looks something like this:
Christ’ -esteem is defined by Christ’s overall opinion of you- How HE feels about your abilities (Phil 4:13) and your limitations(2 Cor 21:9). When you have a healthy Christ- esteem you feel good about who God made you to be. You know without a doubt that you are worthy and deserving of every good thing. You no longer have low self- esteem because you now have Christ- esteem.
On a level from 1-10 how do you feel about your self esteem levels?
In the next post I'll talk more about how confidence and self esteem work together. Check it out here...
What Confidence is NOT (if you haven't read the first post, check it out here).
Before we can fully understand what confidence is, lets take a quick look at what it is NOT.
Confidence is not: your clothes, shoes, body type, income, hair, weight, children, or car. It is not likes on Facebook. It is not the newest latest or greatest whatever. It is not based on someone else’s words, thoughts, or opinions of you, be that of your family, husband, mom, dad, or best friend. Side note: the value and opinions of others must line up with what God says about you in order for you to receive it as truth .
Opinions should not shape who you are, but as women, when we are not confident and do not have our self-esteem intact we base our value solely on the opinions of others. We have been programmed to place weight from external circumstances into our internal environment, when it should be other way around. In reality, our internal environment should dictate our external circumstance.
The goal from this point forward is to establish a rock solid foundation on the inside of you. To build upon a concrete source of strength that cannot be shaken, stirred, or moved.
So what is confidence?
My desire to understand the hearts of women as it relates to confidence led me to multiple long conversations with a few leaders I trust and a few very close friends. I realized, even though teaching on confidence had been done so many times, a different perspective was much needed. I began to ask questions. As I asked women to dig deeper, I uncovered some very sensitive areas in the hearts of those I love dearly. My questions to these women revolved around their level of confidence? What were the hindrances to their confidence? And how they go about building up their confidence? I found many of them could go on about the hindrances to their confidence but not many were successful at building and maintaining confidence.
For the sake of honesty, I still struggle with confidence and self- esteem issues. I am learning to rely not on who I think I am or how I see myself, but on who I have come to know myself to be in Christ and how He sees me. As we journey together over the next few post, I am going to share with you my struggles and my strengths. I am going to share how Christ completely transformed me, someone who the enemy made every attempt to tear down. In return I am going to ask that you be brutally honest with yourself in regards to your experience with confidence. There will be a time to go back over some not so great seasons that you’ve experienced, but there will also be a time to celebrate the victory of who you are in Christ!
In this series of post we are going to lay a foundation so that you understand:
What confidence is not?
What confidence is?
What self-esteem is, and why do we need both?
I would love to know how you feel about your confidence levels? Please comments below. Find the second post in this series here.