We Need More Than Self-Esteem, We Need Holy Confidence

by | Sep 3, 2020 | Faith, Women | 6 comments

holy confidence


I’m part of a panel at a women’s event and those of us on stage are asked, “Do you ever struggle with confidence? It looks like all of you have it all together.” I’ve been asked this before, told this before, and it still surprises and startles me. Because I can see my insides. I know my messes and my crazy, mistakes and stumbles, how I’ve wrestled with depression and anxiety like wild alligators, how my heart has the scars to prove it.

The woman who gets the microphone first is lovely and confident, outgoing and articulate. By the time it’s my turn my heart is pounding, I’m sweating and I feel like I have something in my nose (which always happens when I’m speaking in public). I tell the audience all this and they laugh with me, thankfully.

Then I also say what God has been putting on my heart, what has been saving me from myself, what has been making me stronger and bolder in ways that are catching me by surprise. I declare to this group of women and to my imperfect self, “What I’ve been realizing lately is this:

The world tells us we need to have self-esteem but what we really need is holy confidence.

I’ve especially needed to learn this as an introvert. I battled self-doubt over my ability to make small talk or feel comfortable in groups. But slowly God began to show me I’m created as an introvert, that what I saw as flaws were actually strengths. I listened well, had deep empathy, knew how to champion one person at a time. Research also now shows we’re created as introverts and extroverts with differences in our brains and nervous systems.

Before I spent years studying what it meant to be an introvert, before I became comfortable in my God-given skin, I tried to prove I was enough. Perfect enough. Good enough. Experienced enough. Smart enough. Pretty enough. But it’s only when we come to the place where we can finally say,

‘I’m not enough but Jesus is’ that our hearts get free.


The reality is in spite of our strengths and being wonderfully made, we will still sometimes fall short of the expectations of others and ourselves. But it doesn’t matter because our scandalous God, our gracious Savior, declares we are beloved and chosen and empowered anyway.

Self-esteem says we can do it.

Holy confidence says, in spite of us, God will.

ts when I’m still sometimes insecure and afraid, when my heart is pounding, my hands are sweating and it feels like there’s something in my nose, that’s the Truth that I really need to know. Maybe, just maybe, I’m not the only one.


Holley Gerth




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  1. Liz

    This is pretty insightful. I work in customer service and interact with people all day long which has always seemed so odd to me as my career choice when I am an introvert. But there are a lot of strengths to being an introvert that I never really considered until God pointed them out. I listen well and am very observant and tactful in finding solutions to people’s problems. And I constantly have to reach out to God for strength and guidance in these situations because this also a weak area for me. God turns my weaknesses into his strengths and uses my strengths to show compassion to others.

    • Susan Tanyi

      Liz, I’m so glad you found this article insightful and relatable. As an introvert myself, who wasn’t always comfortable in my God-given gifts, it’s so freeing to know that what I thought was a weakness, is actually God’s innate strength.

  2. Lathyra

    Soo good! 💕

    • Susan Tanyi

      Thank you Lathyra! 🙂

  3. Kyona

    Thanks for sharing this link with me Lathyra! Awesome read! I related to just about everything!

    • Susan Tanyi

      Kyona, we’re so glad you were inspired by this article and found it relatable 🙂

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