When you grow up hearing how lacking or inadequate you are, confidence can be a mountain climb on a wet, slippery morning. As your repertoire of all things ‘not quite’ expands, you try not to hate ‘So and So’s child, whom your mother has said is so much better than you. You don’t know how come they’re better, but you know, because you’ve been told, that you don’t measure up.
You try your utmost to perform. To do well. Maybe then you’ll be worthy. But you never do, and you never are. As the years pass, your limbs stretch, and so does the lump of self-loathing, heavy against your chest. You’re not even conscious that you don’t love yourself. You only know that you’re just another unremarkable person that the world really shouldn’t pay much attention to. Because, what do you have to offer, your ‘not enough’?
You dream, like the rest of them, but your dreams never really take form, because your imagination has been smothered into obedience. Keep quiet and behave. Don’t make a fuss. Don’t draw attention to yourself. Don’t speak unless you’re asked. Focus.
Because your aura attracts your kind, you end up in oddly matched relationships, always straining, always reaching, but never quite fitting. Never being, and definitely never enough. So you walk around with a broken heart, and your self-confidence perpetually under your shoe soles. You can never really accept compliments, because people don’t mean them, and if they do, they’re only misguided. They don’t yet see how utterly ordinary you are. They’ll see, soon enough.
But hopefully, one day, you’ll learn. After you’ve cried and you’ve stumbled and you’re tired, you’ll learn. Words of affirmation will filter into your person, light a slow fire in your belly, and their flames will flutter up to warm your heart. You will find that acquiescing knees take nothing away from your worth. And that letting others take center stage, praying and pushing them to success, does not mean you will be left behind; you are not in a sprint or in competition with anyone. Your lamp will give light, as long as you light it.
You will learn to wait your turn and be at peace in your wait, because your time is your time, and your destiny is set in it.
You will learn to be confident in God and who He says He is.
You will understand, that there is nothing you have that you were not given. And that your worth is not found in money, a job, designer clothes and things, and neither should your confidence be perched on them.
You will learn that confidence is owning your truth and your struggle, no matter how uncomfortable. It is realising that appearances and those for whom you keep them for don’t matter, not really.
You will find pride and clip its wings, keeping grace before you and remembering that you are only better at things, not than people.
You will finally, finally understand what it means that when God made you, He made you complete. And that, your wholeness as a being whose source is God, your inviolable dignity as a human person, is enough.