How can we be more confident in our identity as Christian women? What does it mean to have godly confidence instead of self-confidence? We’re kicking off the new year with this conversation with Confidence Coach Trish Blackwell on how to let go of those things that steal our confidence so that we can fully step into our calling as daughters of God.
WHAT YOU'LL LEARN:
- [1:17] The difference between being a confident person and having Godly confidence
- [5:00] Balancing God’s supernatural work and our own security
- [9:13] What keeps women from stepping into Godly confidence
- [12:07] Making the daily choice to follow God
- [18:06] How God’s compassion helps us to cultivate confidence
- [21:43] Practical tips to develop Godly confidence
- [29:39] Bringing compassion into our inner dialogue
- [31:58] About Trish’s book + her giveaway
- [35:12] TODAY’S LISTENER SUBMITTED QUESTION: What is the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian using brain science to rewire their thoughts?
[1:17] The difference between being a confident person and having godly confidence
Let’s talk about the difference between being a confident person and having godly confidence. We often hear about the importance of being self-confident when trying new things, but Trish shares about how godly confidence brings an inner security that allows us to be much more bold and courageous.
When she was younger Trish had trouble understanding the inner security found in godly confidence. She was a high achiever and an athlete, and experiencing so much pressure led her to develop an eating disorder. She experienced a lot of insecurity about how she looked and how she showed up in the world. She wondered if she was good enough, and the message she would hear from her loving and well-intending Christian support network was that God made her how she was and therefore she should be confident in that.
It wasn’t until she felt the Lord lead her to speak on confidence that she understood what she had been missing. She had been seeking security, assurance, promise, and purpose, and these are all gifts of godly confidence. Trish explains that her job was to show up and be herself. She had to trust that the Lord would help her to nurture the fruit that He wanted to grow in her life.
[5:00] Balancing God’s supernatural work and our own security
Equating security with confidence really spoke to me. We are already secure and successful in Christ because He has given us that gift. There is that tension of knowing that God has big things for us and He wants us to achieve them, while also balancing the feeling that God is doing supernatural work in us.
Trish shares that she has come to find that she needs to live every day in His presence and let it be His power. Rather than focusing on our achievements and our schedules, we need to keep in mind the abundance of joy, the drive, the desire, and the ideas that are literally from the Lord.
Holding our place and being different, bold, and courageous is crucial for godly confidence, she says. As we are told in Psalms, we need to be “bold as lions”.
The word encourages us to be strong and courageous, which Trish interprets as going out into the world and doing hard, scary things. She thrives on that, and it’s exciting for her. The other side of that, however, is the encouragement to trust that God will open invisible doors and get her to a level that she would never have been able to achieve in her own human ability. She has to be strongly courageous in her faith that she takes the action and He does the work.
[9:13] What keeps women from stepping into godly confidence
Often what keeps us from stepping into godly confidence is being busy or distracted. Trish shares that she has so much confidence in the promises of God in her life and what she feels like He has stirred in her heart. She cannot wait to see what God puts in her life. When she is listening to the voice of the world, however, there is a lot of comparison and pressure that creeps in. It is hustle culture that tells her to do more.
She points out that Jesus did not run places. He walked; he went the long route. He allows himself to be interrupted. If we look at the voice of God versus the voice of the world, the world is tired. It is weary, desperate, and messy. It is certainly not a good voice to listen to, but when we scroll through Instagram we can get convinced pretty quickly that it is the voice. Trish suggests that we need to make the daily choice and decision to follow the voice of God. The brain is an opportunist. It is always looking for a shortcut and to convince us to move toward pleasure versus what actually matters. Trish loves that we have the opportunity to make daily, conscious decisions about the voice to which we will listen.
[12:07] Making the daily choice to follow God
Of course we can make the decision to follow God, but the voice of the world is never going to go away. No matter how much godly confidence we have, the voice of the world will remain. It is important not to fall into the trap of thinking that there is something wrong with us when that voice resurfaces. The truth is we are human. This is part of our sinful nature, and God will continue to grow and change us. It is a battle every day to decide what our confidence will be rooted in.
Trish finds so much encouragement in the statements she mentioned earlier about being strong and courageous. For years, she beat herself up and told herself she should have known better, or that she shouldn’t feel a certain way or struggle with certain thoughts. She eventually realized that those thoughts and feelings are part of the human experience.
She shares that we have over 60,000 thoughts a day, so there’s a good chance there will be some negative thoughts in there. Trish tells herself those “trashy thoughts” are not from God. She reminds herself that she is loved, and she does not allow her thoughts to be held captive.
We don’t have to be confounded by the overwhelm of telling ourselves not to think certain ways, she says. We are human beings, and this is all part of daily spiritual management.
[18:06] How God’s compassion helps us to cultivate confidence
Trish describes her previous thoughts of going down so far in the narrative of being undeserving that she believed God was disappointed in her. She thought she needed to be better, to read her Bible more, and to achieve. It was a cycle of self-sabotage where she would beat herself up because she felt like she wasn’t doing enough. She was very critical of herself, and she thought that attitude was helpful in the name of “tough love”.
She had to do some deep work in order to bring compassion into her own narrative and her relationship with herself. Initially, she felt like she could not bring kindness or graciousness into her own thoughts. Not only was this false, but it was also a rejection of the gift that God was trying to place into her life.
Many of us are nice, understanding, loving, graceful, and compassionate to others – but we are tough on ourselves. We can choose to live in that narrative for years like Trish did, or we can call ourselves out on this lie and allow ourselves to do the deep work to actually receive love. We need to make the decision that we are willing to receive it, because that is the whole point. We are so undeserving, but it is an incredible gift that we get to be washed with God’s love.
[21:43] Practical tips to develop godly confidence
Trish has a whole masterclass on the five stages of confidence, and she has also developed something called the confidence formula. She provides a brief overview here, and you can find more information on her website. She also shares about her confidence journal that provides massive shifts.
The confidence formula consists of three parts: slow down, simplify, and strategize. Slowing down simply means to create time and space to think and to be with God. Simplify can mean in a larger sense to simplify our life. It can also mean to simplify our thought patterns and overwhelm. We need to remember that confidence is simple. Extraordinary change happens not from doing extraordinary things, but from doing ordinary things with extraordinary commitment. Our habits create our future. When we strategize, then, we are creating a plan to slow down, simplify, and solve our problems.
So many of us get sidelined because we are stuck in comparison and criticism, and it feels so deep and messy. We think we have tried to strategize for years without success, but really the strategy needs to change. It can stay simple, and Trish provides the confidence journal as an example. It allows us to reframe toxic thoughts, as every day we can wake up and identify the most anxious thought we have. Anything negative, overwhelming, or not from God will cloud our thoughts and distract us for the whole day. A mismanaged mind is going to create a mismanaged life.
Trish shares a story about her past as an athlete. She stopped trusting herself and started overworking. Looking back now, she sees that her mind was a mess and she was not managing her thoughts. She had to ask herself if her beliefs were helpful or true.
Trish notes that we have to ask ourselves what is keeping us from living in joy and living in the total presence of God. What is distracting us? What are our toxic thoughts? Then we can write it down in a phrase that a young child could understand. Next, we need to think about what the truth is. What would the Lord say to us? What would a prayer partner say? What would our pastor say? What about a coach or a friend? This sequence allows us to rewrite the sentence, reframe it, and give ourselves a new neural pathway.
Trish then goes on to take a keyword from that reframed sentence and find a verse to support it. This is a fun way to pull scripture into a journaling process, and then pray over yourself with that new affirmation. This process can allow us to intentionally affirm the godly confidence that we have in scripture and in the promises of God. We can push back against the fears and anxieties that the enemy is presenting.
[29:39] Bringing compassion into our inner dialogue
When Trish was starting to integrate this process into her life, her pride was telling her that she didn’t need to journal. She thought she didn’t have time to journal, and that she should be able to manage her thoughts in her head.
What she realized, however, was that this was a spiritual discipline. It was mental hygiene. She doesn’t get frustrated with herself for needing to brush her teeth, so why should she get frustrated about journaling? It’s like “brushing your brain”, and there is nothing weak or silly about that. It was a life-changing mindset shift for Trish.
[31:58] About Trish’s book + her giveaway
Trish’s book is called Straighten Your Crown, and it is about rediscovering God’s love, stepping into godly confidence, and understanding our worth. The world is not going to straighten our crown, and in fact it may try to knock it off. The crown cannot come off, however, because of our identity in Christ.
If you follow Trish on Instagram, screenshot this podcast episode, and tag Trish and me in your story, you will be entered into the giveaway to win a copy of the book. Let us know your thoughts about the episode, and be sure to use one of the custom Straighten Your Crown gifs in Instagram stories. You can find them by typing Trish Blackwell into the gif search bar.
[35:12] TODAY’S LISTENER SUBMITTED QUESTION: What is the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian using brain science to rewire their thoughts?
Today’s question is: What is the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian using brain science to rewire? I’m not about to give up on God, but I guess it kind of bothers me that seemingly non-Christians can grow and be transformed more than a Christian who doesn’t know how to renew their mind. I’m also not sure how to answer a friend’s caution of going “too far” and learning about brain science, because there is supposed to be mystery surrounding God and His ways. I feel like I know the answer, but I can’t articulate it to myself let alone others. Can you put words to this, Alicia?
I love this question, because at its core it is asking why there are people who are able to make changes in the world who don’t know God. I’m going to take a similar stance to that as I answer this, in that there is no difference between a Christian and a non-Christian using these brain science techniques to renew their minds. It’s a scientific thing, just like if you wanted to lower your blood pressure. In that case you would exercise more, or eat fewer trans fats. You would do all the things that your body physically needs in order to change.
From a scientific standpoint, it makes no difference whether the person using brain science principles to renew her mind is a Christian or a non-Christian. The difference for Christians, and where the power comes in, is that we have the Holy Spirit guiding us. We have the Holy Spirit showing us those places that need to be changed and shaped. We have the Holy Spirit giving us the answers of fulfillment, satisfaction, promise, and hope. God can direct us back to those promises in the Bible, and we can use that to rewire our minds.
So, can a non-Christian find effective change by doing these kinds of mindset techniques? Of course they can. Will it be as in-depth, comprehensive, and truly soul-enriching as change that is led by the Holy Spirit? Of course not. Their change is not God-directed. It’s just on the outside.
I also think another big difference to note is that as Christians, we are motivated to renew our minds because we are doing it to please God. We know our actions start with our thoughts, and we want to live a life for Him. We want to live a different sort of life than one that is based just on what our flesh wants to do every day. In order to do that, we need to change our minds and thoughts. We know this is part of His calling for us. This is part of His commandment.
Romans 12:2, Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
It says in Romans 12:2 for us to change our lives by changing our thoughts. We can’t just wish things could be different, or pretend that they are. We literally have to get in there, get to the root of everything, and change our thoughts to make that difference. We are under a different sort of admonition to change and to be changed, but we also have this incredible power to be able to change our minds. To me, that is the biggest difference between those two.
Now, in terms of going “too far” with brain science, I think this is another really interesting question. I disagree with it because to me, from a scientific standpoint, understanding brain science allows us to learn about how God wired our bodies. We can learn about how He made our brains work and how we perceive our reality. It’s along the same lines as learning about how our hearts work, or how our muscles contract, so we can show up as our best.
Again, as Christians, this is an incredibly important part of our bodies to learn. Understanding how our minds work is vital. When we understand that our actions are dictated by what our mind says, and we understand how those thoughts got there, that will result in massive spiritual transformation as we submit that to God and let Him do that work in us.
I don’t think we can go “too far” in learning about how the brain works. No matter what we learn about the body, the natural world, or finance, there is always that mystery. God created this process. It’s his intellectual property. So I’m not going to pretend to know everything about it, ever. I’m going to learn as much as I can, as somebody who is curious and wants to grow, but there is always going to be that mystery at the end of the day. I leave that to God, and I know that I can’t control it. I’m not using that science to hurt others or to hurt myself. I’m using it in a way that is going to grow me.
So again, by learning about the brain, we are learning how to better manage our thoughts. We are learning to show up as a brighter light in this world, to show up in relationships, to love others better, to be more kind to ourselves, and to create a better world. I truly believe in learning as much as we can about the brain and about how God wants us to use our thoughts to change our lives.
CONNECT WITH TRISH:
OTHER PODCAST EPISODES ON GODLY CONFIDENCE:
- Ep 20: Mindset Matters: 6 Steps to Making Good Decisions with Confidence
- Ep 54: Conquer the 5 Biggest Spiritual Growth Obstacles
- Ep 65: Identity Pt 1: How to Stop Negative Self Talk + Walk in Your Identity in Christ
- Ep 70: What Do You Really Need? Listening to Your 4 Parts of Self (Free Meditation)
- Ep 83: Mindset Matters: My 3 Step Tool to Manage Your Emotions for More Calm + Confidence
- Ep 101: Transformation Stories: Finding Spiritual Growth, Confidence + Healing with Kelly, Lakeisha, Sam and Tirza
- Ep 106: How to Hear God’s Voice in Your Life
- Ep 120: The Truth About Finding Contentment in God During Trials with Nicole Jacobsmeyer
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