Part of de-cluttering my heart includes letting go of my self-confidence. “Why let go of your self-confidence?” you ask. While having self-confidence is necessary, it can be limiting. I used to feel that I need to boost my self-confidence to overcome whatever it is that holds me back from realizing my full potential. So I enrolled in classes that will develop me in my strengths, and exposed myself to influential people so that their self-confidence would rub off on me. But I found that sometimes, this kind of self-confidence can be polluting and cannot be sufficient in carrying me through the toughest of times.
The Danger of Self-Confidence
I was in 3rd grade when I began to cultivate my self-confidence because I felt the need to earn money. And this need was not due to poverty, but it was because of the fear that my father might leave us anytime, hence I developed this coping mechanism in case it happens.
So for me to earn, I made money by selling pulvoron and yema (some Filipino sweet treats), and other small items like stationery, to my classmates. And from that moment on, I became unabashed and started building up my self-confidence. I craved for attention and had a greater desire for achievement, so I ran for a post in our Student Council and aspired to become the president of our Glee Club. From highschool to college, I took a summer job teaching children piano lessons. My self-confidence was honed continually since I need to market my piano lessons. I remember having to boost again my self-confidence to be able to blend with my college schoolmates who were rich or in the upper class society.
It was self-confidence that made me land the post of Assistant Manager as my first job, considering that I have never had that experience at all. This led me to become a good sales person.
Self-confidence is also what made me become a Bank Manager at the age of 25. Just imagine having to to handle assistant managers, supervisors, and staff who were older than me. It was pressuring. My way to hold steady my self-confidence was to be full of pride, ambition, and survival.
Little did I realize, this self-confidence slowly created a monster out of me. I used my overbearing self-confidence to pursue my very high worldly ambitions that eventually led me to compromise and commit sin.
You see, self-confidence devoured my heart and brought me much frustration whenever situations don’t go according to my plans. It made me disregard and ignore God in my life. Self-confidence made me rely on my own strength. And it was exhausting and lonely. I have discouraged and hurt people along the way just to lift myself up.
How I broke free
My life was devastated as I continued in my sinfulness. Until I went through a recovery program in 2017 that helped me turn my life around. And one of the things I learned, to break free from the vicious cycle of sin, is to declutter my heart. I discovered that no matter how solid my self-confidence is, I still have the inability to control my behaviors and cannot completely change my attitude and character on my own. I came face to face with the truth that only God can transform me when I accept who He is and what He offers for me. This brings me to the realization that my sinfulness is great and I need God to help me repent and to teach me His ways. And when I fully surrendered to His plans for me, He causes me to keep moving towards Him and the path He has prepared for me. If you also want to experience this today, I have written here steps to guide you in decluttering your heart.
“I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD.”
~ Psalm 40:1-3 New Living Translation (NLT)
Now, I never meant that you should not develop your self-confidence. You still should. But how can we shift our self-confidence that is limiting into something that is sustaining beyond ourselves?
“Turn your self-confidence into God-confidence!”
When we start to recalibrate our perspective and look away from ourselves to fix our eyes on God and who He is, our confidence rises up to levels that are beyond the natural.
It is not automatic because our sinful nature will still fight its way through and wrestle back to claim you. Yet, we are certain that we are victorious and we can attain God-confidence through:
- Fully surrendering that you are a limited being and He is the limitless and unlimited God.
Our strength begins at the point of our surrender in God. Yes, we may weather through any storm that life brings us because we have resilience and grit, but soon enough you will experience the exhaustion because you have been exerting so much effort and you are bearing all the weight. However, when you acknowledge this weakness and recognize that only GOD can completely fill you from the inside, you will experience that regardless of your exhaustion, you will still have the strength to carry on.
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
~ Isaiah 40:31 New International Version (NIV)
- Staying in the truth and promises of Jesus Christ.
You can pull up so many resources that will build up your will-power and self-confidence when life becomes tough. But it is only in the truth of Jesus Christ and the promises He has given us that will hold us up when we cannot find the will to go on. With hopelessness being one of the things that robs many people today of love, joy, and peace; it is staying in Jesus Christ that will fill our hearts with overflowing hope by communing with Him in prayer and worship, meditating on His Word, and being with people who will inspire you and guide you in growing deeper in God.
“Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”
~ 1 John 5:5
- Living out the Word of God.
Growing in your God-confidence doesn’t only rely on how much you know about God, but how much you are living out His words. As with everything, anything you know—no matter how brilliant or compelling it is—will always remains theoretical until you put it in practice. And that is just about true with knowing and studying the Bible. You can memorize Bible verses more than the greatest Bible scholars, but until you live out these verses in every aspect of your life, you have only puffed yourself up with knowledge. And it can be a struggle for you stand steadfast in the most challenging circumstances in your life when you only “know” but never “do.”
“Do not deceive yourselves by just listening to his word; instead, put it into practice. If you listen to the word, but do not put it into practice you are like people who look in a mirror and see themselves as they are. They take a good look at themselves and then go away and at once forget what they look like. But if you look closely into the perfect law that sets people free, and keep on paying attention to it and do not simply listen and then forget it, but put it into practice—you will be blessed by God in what you do.”
~ James 1:22-25 Good News Translation (GNT)
My Inspiring Powerful Presence
I went through a total transformation from the inside and out. My mindset completely changed. I chose to become an eagle soaring high rather than be a duck that quacks (always complaining).
Since this transformation, many noticed my radiance. Today, working as a certified image consultant, I would get compliments from others that I am more beautiful now than when I was before, and some feedback I get from my motivational talks and training programs mention that my countenance and confidence inspires them to be confident too.
Slowly, I am beginning to empower other people, from all walks of life, to attain the same confidence I gained. The powerful presence I received surprisingly helped me obtain good business contracts.
“Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”
~ Psalm 34:5 New International Version (NIV)
My Source of Confidence in Sustaining a Minimalist Beauty Lifestyle
The reality is that it is a struggle to maintain a minimalist beauty lifestyle in our culture and context today, where busyness and productivity are part of increasing one’s self-confidence. It is easy to give in to the convenience of our usual way of cluttering our homes, our schedules, our lifestyles, and our minds and hearts, than re-order our lives so it would be less hectic and make room for the things that truly matter. There is also the challenge of having some of our family and friends not fully supporting a minimalist lifestyle. We really need a compelling GOD-confidence to pursue this mission that is life-changing.
I can say these because I have experienced it myself. However, sustaining a minimalist beauty lifestyle is possible—and there is only one way.
This confidence and powerful presence is not because of what I have achieved in life, but it is all because of God.
I could have never enjoyed the life I have now—both personally and professionally—if not for what Jesus Christ has done for me, and what He has made me to be. Understanding how God designed me and discovering my purpose in Him gave me a renewed sense of who I am.
I can only depend on the strength of God everyday to sustain this minimalist beauty lifestyle of de-cluttering, not only my home and office, but most especially my heart. I no longer rely on my own wisdom when it comes to planning my life, but I always have to go back to God first and foremost. Because I have experienced the power and goodness of God in my life, I can never go back to my old lifestyle. I have finally found joy and peace in Him. This is GOD-confidence—having God within me.
“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”
~ 2 Corinthians 4:6-7