Question: For as long as I can remember, I have been extremely shy and self-conscious. I constantly worry about what others think about me. I don’t feel worth much and have a very hard time asserting myself. I know this isn’t good but I don’t know how to change. Any suggestions? Elaine in CA.
Answer: Being aware of your problems and wanting to change is a very good first step. God has an answer for you, but first you must understand what your problem is.
Most of us tend to see a person who thinks too highly of themselves and is self-absorbed with their talents, abilities, beauty, or success as being self-centered and full of pride. On the other hand those who tend to be more self depreciating and self-conscious, we may view as more humble and meek.
However, the truth is, both individuals have the same problem, just experienced in opposite ways. They are both self-absorbed. One person thinks too much of themselves in a positive way, the other person thinks too much of themselves in a negative way. It is good that you have begun to realize the bondage of such thinking. There is no freedom to love. You are too worried about you, and how you will do or be received, to use your gifts, abilities or talents to reach out to another person in love.
These words may seem hard, but if you try to solve your problem the traditional way, by focusing more on your good qualities, or trying to think more highly of yourself, you aren’t really addressing the inherent self-centered focus of your life. We are to be God-centered, not other-centered or self-centered people. When we take our eyes off ourselves, and put them on Christ, then we begin to see ourselves as he sees us. What does that mean practically?
1. We are created in his image and for relationship with God. We are special to God and he made us with dignity, value, and purpose (Psalm 8:5-8). No one is worthless, and each of us is designed to fulfill a special purpose that only we can do.
2. Although we have sinned, and made some terrible mistakes, God has still put goodness in us. (1 Corinthians 4:7). These gifts, talents, and abilities are to be used to benefit and serve others (1 Peter 4:10). When we are caught up in morbid self-consciousness, our fears (of failure and rejection mostly), keep us from discovering and using who we are, and the good qualities we have, to serve others and glorify God.
Now, the next step is to put into practice what God says. You probably know these things already, but knowing these truths is not the same as believing them. How would your life be different if you believed that God put good qualities in you? What might you do differently in your relationships with others if you believed that God has a purpose for your life and that you were created with dignity and value?
I encourage you to ponder those truths and then live like you believe them. Watch what happens in you and in your relationships. You may be in for a big surprise.
For more help on this topic, see my book, How to Find Selfless Joy in a Me-First World.
Have you heard about the FREE training happening soon?
Be sure to save your seat in our upcoming free training with Leslie on Tuesday, December 5th
Change Your Story, Change Your Life: Moving from Breakdown to Breakthrough
Ask Your Question
Have a blog question you'd like to submit?
Morning friends, Thanks for your prayers. I have definitely needed them. Time is going by so quickly this month. I’m making some headway but still have a lot to go. Pray I can focus, focus, focus, this week especially. We are heading to San Diego on Saturday for a week’s vacation, taking our granddaughters, so…
Morning friend, This is a busy week this week for me. A lot is happening and I’d appreciate your prayers especially Thursday, Friday and Saturday during our conference. Next week I will be leaving for a cruise that we booked pre-covid and are finally able to go. My coaches will be answering some of your…
Morning friends, I’m up at our little cabin in the White Tank Mountains of Arizona. It’s an entirely different world than Phoenix up here. It’s rustic, green and reminds me of a lot of Northern Michigan or Minnesota. My granddaughters are here for the next few weeks, so we are having fun planting flowers, reading…