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If you’ve tried desperately to overcome your shyness or struggled with social anxiety, you don’t need me to tell you how paralyzing that can feel.
Overcoming shyness and social anxiety is HARD ya’ll.
Shyness is fear. Social anxiety is fear.
There are plenty of lengthy, technical definitions you can find to explain what these two terms mean. But let’s face it. It’s essentially just fear.
Both shyness and social anxiety are fearful reactions to people and situations. And you are reacting in a fearful way because you lack self-confidence.
From a Christian perspective, we know that God did not promise us a spirit of fear. So, how can a Christian hope to overcome the fear that causes shyness and social anxiety?
In this post, I’m going to dive into how to build self-confidence the Christian way.
What Does the Bible Say About Shyness?
Very simply put, God is the Christian key to overcoming shyness and social anxiety. And although the Bible doesn’t expressly discuss shyness, there are so many verses in the Bible where God addresses fear and anxiety, which are at the core of shyness. Here are few:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”Philippians 4:6-7
“Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.”John 14:27
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”2 Timothy 1:7
“But now, this is what the Lord says…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”Isaiah 43:1
God did not create us to be ruled by fear. He wants us to live joyful, abundant lives. And we cannot do that if we are in a constant state of fear.
You know what Gods says about you? God says…
“…I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”Jeremiah 31:3
“…He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”Zephaniah 3:17
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”1 Peter 5:7
You see. The great God of the universe loves YOU. You are His beloved. But you need to receive this truth, and start acting like you believe it.
“The Lord is on my side, I will not fear. What can man do to me?”Psalm 118:6
Moses, the Shy Biblical Leader
As mentioned before, the Bible doesn’t outwardly mention shyness and social anxiety as human struggles. However, shyness and social anxiety are just side effects of a bigger issue, which is usually rooted in fear.
By far, the Biblical character that most closely resembles a shy, socially anxious person is Moses. God gives him a pretty big task, and Moses is just not up for it.
How many of us have felt that way? How about a boss who tells you to give a presentation you don’t feel comfortable giving? Or being asked to give a speech at an event?
Moses’ response to God’s command to go confront Pharaoh was:
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”Exodus 3:11-12
And even after God reassures Moses that He would be with him, Moses still frets.
Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.'”Exodus 4:1
Here he is doubting God, first of all, but also doubting Himself and making excuses, based on fear.
But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.”Exodus 4:10
Every time I read the above passage, I resonate so strongly with the fear and anxiety that Moses is feeling. I’ve been there. And even after God reassures him again, Moses still pleads for God to send someone else.
The story of Moses is a great example for shy and socially anxious people who are looking for a Biblical example that most closely reflects their struggle.
How to Build Self-Confidence the Christian Way
So, how do we begin to build self-confidence as Christians?
The first step in building self-confidence the Christian way is to learn to believe who God says you are. You have to believe what He says about you to your core.
Let what God says about you be louder than the voice inside that’s telling you that you’re nothing. That voice is NOT from God. You know who it’s from. Ignore it! Stop listening to those lies.
However, as we all know, it’s never that easy. Trust me, I know.
I’ve been a shy girl since birth! Ha! So, I know all too well the lies the enemy can whisper to us in our darkest moments when we feel so small, weak, timid, and useless.
But the only way out is to allow the Holy Spirit to drown out that voice.
Change Your Focus
One thing I’ve learned in recent years is to refocus. Change the focus from overcoming shyness and social anxiety to finding ways to live joyfully through the shyness WHILE trusting God to overcome the fear for me.
What does that mean?
Oftentimes, when you are struggling with low confidence and self-esteem, you think you cannot be happy until you’ve overcome it. You feel as though you must wait until you’ve completely beat it and overcome it before you can truly experience happiness and success.
Well, that’s just not true people.
While you teach yourself to lean on the confidence of the Father to help you overcome your fears, you are still allowed to experience joy and success.
So, spend some time focusing and leaning into God and the joy of the spirit. And trust God to be your strength when you are weak.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”2 Corinthians 12:9
I love this verse. It tells us to be glad in our weaknesses because that is when God’s power will cover over us and strengthen us.
Click here: God is Waiting on You to Do It Afraid
Can God Still Use Me If I’m Shy and Lack Confidence?
YES! YES! And YES!
God is so good that He meets us right where we are. He doesn’t have a long list of goals or achievements for us to reach before we can have a relationship with Him.
He doesn’t turn you away if you’re too quiet, or timid, or nervous.
He pulls you in, loves you as you are, and uses you as you are WHILE working to build you into the Christ-like person He designed you to be.
Isn’t that amazing! God can use you even in your weakness.
That’s why in my 7 Ways to Share Your Faith if You’re Shy post, I say shyness is not an excuse to not share the Kingdom. Because the Bible does not say “Only share the good news if you are bold and super confident.”
You don’t have to be “fixed” to be used for God’s kingdom. Please remember that.
How to Stop Being Shy and Quiet?
First, are you shy or just quiet? Introversion and shyness are two different things. And being a quiet-natured person is not a bad thing.
There is value in being a quiet person; knowing when to hold your tongue, only speaking when the time calls for it. If everyone were extroverted, no one would ever stop to listen.
It’s the fear that you want to stop, not your quiet spirit. God doesn’t want to change your personality. Just improve upon it. The goal is to be yourself, even if that’s quiet-natured, but WITHOUT fear.
So how do you stop being shy? If you didn’t catch the answer before. Here it is again.
God is the key to all your fears and anxieties.
Click Here: 7 Ways to Share Your Faith if You’re Shy
Steps to Build Self-Esteem and Confidence as a Christian
Okay, that all sounds good. But HOW DO I DO THIS?
How do I manage to overcome shyness, build self-esteem and self-confidence, all while loving myself and allowing myself peace and joy?
Well, below are 7 Steps You can Take to Overcome Shyness the Christian Way:
- Pray every day about it!
Converse with God daily about your fears. Hand them over to God, and rest. Let Him do the work.
2. Find Bible verses to encourage you. Speak them often.
I’ve shared some in this post. But find some Bible verses that get you going, that boost your confidence, and remind you who you are in Christ. Write them down and put them somewhere where you will see them often.
3. Exercise Your Courage
Set tiny goals along the way that will allow you to exercise your courage, and practice getting outside of your comfort zone. But the key is to take baby steps.
4. Give yourself a break.
It’s easy to get into these slumps where all you can do is think about how shy you are, and feel worthless, and spend all your energy researching ways to get over it. But we need to give ourselves a break. Stop spending so much time thinking about your weaknesses. Stop trying to fix yourself all the time. Just breathe and enjoy who you are and where you are in life right now. God’s timing is perfect, and He will get you where you need to be when it’s time.
5. Be forgiving of yourself and don’t over-analyze.
Sometimes we set goals for ourselves, and we fail. We miss the mark. Well, that’s okay! That’s part of the learning process. Don’t over-analyze. Learn from whatever the mistake is and move on. There will be other opportunities to grow.
6. Talk to God right before you act, calling on the spirit to strengthen you.
Right before you do something that requires courage, whether that’s praying for a friend in person, or sharing the gospel with a stranger, talk to God literally right before the act. Call on the strength of the Holy Spirit.
7. Do all of these steps CONSISTENTLY.
The key to growth is hard work and persistence. God will see how serious you are and honor that.
To recap, the Christian key to overcoming shyness is God.
But you have to let God do His job. The “cure” will not happen overnight.
But you CAN live joyfully through the shyness and insecurities. The key is finding peace in God and trusting Him even it feels like a long journey.
The Bible tells us not to fear. And God does NOT want a fearful life for you. A fearful life is NOT God’s plan for your life.
So reach out to Him, seek Him, and rest in His joy and peace WHILE He works wonders in your life.
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