Chances are, at some point in your life, a lack of confidence has deterred you on your path to reaching your potential. Whether that’s in an area of creativity, relationships or work, doubts, nerves or fear can arise.
My battle with confidence began early in high school. I decided to take music in Year 8 because I loved singing (in the shower) and felt inspired by watching friends play the guitar, so I picked one up. After learning some basic chords, then came an assessment… the fun part… performing in front of everyone… how daunting! With my heart pounding out of my chest and body literally going numb, I survived… phew! And passed – wooooo! By Year 9, the audience grew from one class to three classes and an auditorium full of people. I decided to only sing for this performance but when my name was called, again, my heart was pounding, limbs frozen, I could barely breath and tears came streaming down my face because I couldn’t run away. And yes – everyone in the auditorium could see this. Safe to say, after that experience, I dropped out of music, stuck to singing in the shower and stopped playing the guitar my parents had generously bought me.
It took me seven years to pick the guitar back up, and to decide to fight the battle of creative confidence once again.
So why does fear always seem to be the roadblock to the hidden potentials of the gifts that we have been blessed with? Let’s dig a little deeper into my experience.
This battle, as physical as it felt, was all in my head. Here is what I was thinking:
“I’m not good enough.” This was a common thought that would often deter me from trying harder, if at all. I would hear it a lot and tend to fall through with goals and tasks as I believed it. Comparison would often be the root cause to the “I’m not good enough” belief. It causes us to put our gifts on a measure they don’t fit into, when we were blessed to stand out – in order to be more like someone else. After years of bottling up unexplored emotions of shame and guilt, the fear of judgment was bound to start affecting other areas of my life.
Here are some tips that I have discovered for overcoming these mental battles:
1. Step out of your comfort zone.
After years of remaining in my comfort zone because the battle in my head was always winning, I decided to start fighting back. I started by picking up my guitar again with a close friend who taught me some basics. Stepping out of your comfort zone doesn’t have to be daunting. It can be a little step, then another, then another. Next thing you know, you’re comfort zone is all the way back there… just don’t look back!
2. Focus on the next step.
Keep your thoughts focused on what’s in front of you. We are designed to keep moving forward, learning and growing through all of our experiences. When we understand and surrender to our design, it creates a lot more ease in our lives.
3. Positive self-talk.
Remember the truth. The truth is, you were blessed with gifts from God and he gave them to you to bless others. And this will look completely different and unique to the will he has for you. Remember that if you are leaning in on God’s will for you, he will be proud of you and creatively inspire you. I had been trying to write a song for a year before I came to the Lord, and within a week of coming to him, I finally wrote my first song!
4. Express yourself.
With a close friend, with God or with a pen and journal, constantly express yourself. Get what’s inside, out. I found doing all of these improved my confidence and creativity.
Friends, the war is real. The mind is the battle ground for the enemy, and your thoughts are what he targets. We’ve all been told a lie before, and probably believed them (Santa Clause…) The enemy fathers lies, so if we aren’t aware of the truth, we can easily be deceived. The enemy also knows our strengths and the gifts we have been blessed with, and will often make us think that they are our biggest weakness. And so often, our creative purpose can be exactly what we thought our biggest weakness was.
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