I am facing a problem that is very common among young people – lack of confidence in myself. Trust is built since childhood, but both my parents are shy and uncertain persons, and often feel inferior towards other people and they have not allowed me to be myself. I became very confused. For example, when it comes to meet new people, I do not know what to do and how to behave. And especially I often have negative emotions, I want to vomit and I am afraid. I read in the Psalter of the blessed Saint Mary that it is very important to know yourself, that lack of knowledge is “poverty”. But for me it is very hard … I am lost in my own thoughts and I feel that it only harms me. I’m a very shy person, I do not know how to react to compliments in different situations in society. I prayed for it and I had a period of significant spiritual improvement. I felt that I know who I am and that I can fight with my emotions. But now, a few days ago, the negative states of anxiety have returned back. I feel lost, hopeless and I feel physically sick, because I can not eat and I started to have stomach problems. What to do?
Have moderate feelings about you
In the Epistle to the Christians from Rome, Apostle Paul writes:
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. (Romans 12:2-3)(NASB)
Even if the author of this passage refers to cases when someone over-values himself or herself, the same truth applies to those who under-value themselves, they begin to lament and to indulge in this state. To have moderate feelings means to think about yourself in accordance with the reality, no more and no less.But how can such a thing be done?Already in the same text, the author gives a solution, namely, to not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.This will may be known only from the Holy Scriptures. Begin reading the Bible so that this transformation and renewal of your mind may take place and thus not to despise yourself, but to have moderate feelings about your own person.
Use the mirror for the soul
When you want to know how your face looks, how you are dressed, how your body looks, you go and look in the mirror that can show only the exterior.But how to proceed when you want to look into your soul, so that you can appreciate your character and attitudes?There is a mirror, only one and that is God’s Word.Here’s what Saint James says in this regard:
But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:22-25)(NASB)
Study the Holy Scriptures daily and seek to understand the message of God in depth. Only then you will get to know your spiritual condition, wrong attitudes and other shortcomings that make you and those around you suffer.More than this, in God’s Word, you will find solutions, that being applied will make you happy in what you do.
Seek to know the Lord Jesus Christ
Do not be concerned only with your own person, so that you may not change it into an idol.Exaggerated concern for oneself is selfishness. When you look for the good of others, when you look after their benefits, you allow your own soul to bloom and to enjoy at the relationships with others.In fact, to look after others means to have Christ’s mind. The biggest concern of the apostle Paul wasn’t the knowledge of his own person, but of the Lord Jesus Christ.He said this:
That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:10-11)(NASB)
Knowing Jesus can be achieved by studying and applying the truth of Holy Scriptures.
Do not put your trust in yourself
Self confidence is not a virtue because in most cases it comes from un-belief in God and arrogance. Put your trust in God and then you will always have triumph, in any circumstance, as written in the Scriptures:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!” For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not approach you. You will only look on with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. For you have made the LORD, my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place. No evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent. For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, that you do not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and cobra, the young lion and the serpent you will trample down. ”Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With a long life I will satisfy him and let him see My salvation.” (Psalm 91:1-16)(NASB)
To have peace and joy in the soul in any circumstances:
- Study deeply and systematically the Holy Scriptures
- Do not trust in your own person
- Put all your faith in God for all things
- Seek to know and reflect the character of the Lord Jesus Christ
- Have moderate feelings about you
- Do not be overly concerned about your own person
- Seek to meet the needs of others and to serve them according to these needs
As for the fact that you do not know what to do when you meet new people or when they compliment you, I will write an article in a few days presenting some tips in this regard.
I invite the readers of the portal to share their own experiences on how they have overcome the states described by the author of the question, when they faced with such states.
Translated by Felicia Rotaru