Pray for me, I texted a friend. I was facing a big day, yet felt vulnerable and insecure in the situation. I really wanted to go home where I felt more comfortable, or at least to a corner where no one would see me and I could have a good cry. But I couldn’t. I had to do the work I was there to do.
I had to show up.
A lot of us face situations which are out of our comfort zones. They are work situations, family situations, or social situations which we can’t avoid because of responsibility or commitment. Sometimes these commitments bring an element of insecurity, vulnerability, embarrassment, discouragement, or even shame. You want to avoid the situation but you must follow through and, perhaps, you’re even the leader for the situation. The challenge lies in showing up when everything in you wants to run and hide.
How do you maneuver situations like this? How do you muster confidence when you feel like you have nothing to draw from? Though this applies to work or social situations, it’s also a big part of parenting. Here are 3 principles to equip you when you need to show up for commitments and responsibilities despite insecurity and doubt.
Three principles of showing up
1. Fake it until you make it. Courage is what you rely on when confidence is lacking, so you fake your confidence until your emotions or belief system follows. When you feel unsure and scared, show up and do the work or fulfill the responsibility you’re given, even though you feel ill-equipped. When we walk through uncertain situations with courage, we gain strength because we somehow we make it through, even if we feel we didn’t do it quite right.
Many of us parents use this principle in the parenting journey. We do the best we know until we know better. (For a helpful handbook so you have more confidence, get a copy of Fledge.)
2. Reach out for support and community. In my recent scenario, I texted a few, trusted friends who prayed for me. It gave me a sense of strength, knowing I was not alone. Perhaps prayer isn’t what you need, but you need another person to help you prepare or overcome your anxiety about a situation or relationship. Reach out to a friend, mentor, pastor, or counselor who can help provide emotional and mental support for you.
3. Remind yourself of your strength. We all have strengths in certain areas of which we can claim confidence. Though showing up in areas outside your strengths exposes your weaknesses, reminding yourself of what you are capable of or have done in the past helps you in areas where you feel vulnerable. We all have overcome fear and made it through hard situations. Tapping into those strengths help us in our areas of weakness or vulnerability.
God will meet you in your strengths. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says God’s strength perfect in your weakness.
If there is a situation, responsibility, or relationship facing you in which you feel ill-equipped, anxious, or insecure, access the resources you have rather than focusing on what you don’t have. We learn from all situations, even those in which we mess up. Showing up when you don’t feel like it is the first step to courage and success.
Father, thank you for equipping us in all areas of need. Thank you for being our strength in our weakness. Amen.