It’s time to get our confidence back.
People-pleasing has always been one of my weaknesses. It’s easy for me to slip into the trap of defining my worth based on how “liked” I am. Even though I hate to admit it, I have sought validation from others to prove my self-worth. And specifically in singleness, I have sought this validation from guys.
When you’re in a relationship, you are used to getting validation, especially if it’s a healthy relationship. But when you’re single, that validation really isn’t coming in anymore. And it’s easy to fight for it to prove our worth.
We can think that if our crush asks us out, then we all of a sudden feel fantastic about ourselves. But then if he isn’t interested anymore, we can let that define us. This need for someone’s approval is a double-edged sword – to either make you feel absolutely fantastic about yourself or to make you feel totally worthless. And for a while, this validation was my kryptonite – with it I was everything, without it I crumbled. And this is just not healthy.
We all got bandaids to cover up our internal wounds.
I compare it to a bandaid. A bandaid covers up a wound, but only momentarily. The bandaid serves as a temporary crutch. It never really fixes the problem, it just covers it up.
For me, my bandaid was validation from others. This validation covered up an identity problem. But it never fully let me live in the freedom of who God created me to be. The more energy I put into defining who I am with approval, the less energy I was putting into seeing myself the way God sees me.
The bandaid of validation needed to be stripped off, so I could truly heal. We can only heal a wound when we stop relying on something to heal a wound that it was never meant to fix, and we can open ourselves to the true Healer.
True healing comes from taking off the bandaid and giving access to what actually heals.
Here’s the cold hard truth: boys cannot be your bandaid. You will never be able to feel fully secure in yourself when you rely on others opinions of you. We cannot rely on other people to tell us what we are worth.
The man you are trying to get admiration from didn’t create you. He didn’t plan everything about you and knit you in your mama’s tummy. He didn’t orchestrate every little beautiful detail about you, including your quirky personality, crooked nose, and sometimes-snort-when-you-laugh kind of laugh. This man that you so desperately want to want you did not create you, so he cannot be the sole dictator of your worth.
Instead, the creator of the world thought you were a good idea. And since he created you, HE should be the definer of your worth. No one should have the authority to tell you what you’re worth. Only your Creator should have that power.
How to actually believe in your worth
So you might be asking: Ashley, I understand that my worth comes from God. not how others view me. But how do I start walking in that belief?
In order to believe in our worth, we need to shift our focus. We need to stop focusing on being liked. We need to stop putting our energy into saying the right thing, acting the right way, or wearing the right thing to be liked. Instead – we need to shift our focus to God, and what he thinks about us.
We are supposed to “hold every thought captive” (2 Corinthians 5:7) Instead of thinking: What is he thinking of me?? Is he staring at me? Is he interested?, shift your thinking to: What does God think of me right now? What does he say about me? How does he view me right now?
We need to shift our focus.
Live in the person God thinks you are, not the person this guy thinks you are. Instead of focusing on getting guys to like you, focus on how loved you are by your creator.
Don’t get discouraged if this is hard at first. Breaking a thought-pattern that you’ve been used to for years is difficult. But slowly but surely, you’ll find you even have more confidence than before. And instead of using these people as a source for your self-worth, you’ll be able to love them as brothers in Christ. You’ll be able to actually walk in the freedom of the person you were created to be. This sounds like a way better gig than the anxiety that comes from relying on others’ opinions for our self-worth.
People’s opinions will always change – but God’s will stay the same.
Here’s the beautiful thing about shifting our focus to what God thinks of us – his opinion never changes. Maybe one day you’ll be looking super tan and with no acne, and you’re popping off in this fabulous outfit, and then you get three guys to ask you for your number. That is great!
But then what if the next day you didn’t have enough time to get ready in the morning, and you kind of sort of resemble a homeless man, and you’re walking with your friend who did have time to get ready, and then your friend gets asked for her number instead. In that case, you’d feel like crap.
One day you felt great, the next day you felt like poo. All because of an opinion that changed, and how much of your worth you placed in that opinion.
Let’s walk in the confidence of who we were created to be.
No more are the days where I place my worth on an unstable foundation. Instead, I want to put my confidence in a place that doesn’t change. My focus will be on the opinion of the One who CREATED me and has the authority to tell me how valuable I am. The more I focus on that, the more confident I feel, the more peace and contentment I have with myself. And that is healing the very wound that validation was trying to fill in the first place.
We need to take off our bandaids so our wounds can heal. We need to give access to the true Healer by stripping off what we’ve used to fix our problem. It’s time God to work his magic, and for us to finally walk in freedom. It’s time to take off the bandaid.