Got challenges? Don't we all. Life is filled with obstacles on the pathway to realizing our goals and purposes. How do you conquer them?
Well, for a quick fix, I look for something in my power wardrobe. When I wear clothes that fit well and look great on me, I feel empowered and confident. Power clothes shield me from people seeing me in my unvarnished weakness. Like, the crippling insecurity that often comes from . . . well . . . for instance—heading to a writer’s conference to mingle with peer professionals.
I spend a lot of time preparing for writers’ conferences. They keep me focused on my writing goals, providing a deadline for completing projects. I look forward to networking with other writers. Mentoring and being mentored. Growing in my skill sets. Crossing thresholds of new publishing opportunities that might present for me.
All this anticipation fuels my writing fires—until about two weeks before the conference. Then, though I may have my files, proposals, and conference plan in order, a mountain range of doubt looms before me. These obstacles in my path lead me to question everything I’ve just spent weeks preparing.
“Who do you think you are, a REAL writer or something?”
“You always confuse your tenses and use too many commas— what a joke.”
“You have nothing original to say because it’s already been said.”
“You can’t run with the big dogs at writers’ conferences—you need to stay on the porch.”
Confidence shrinks back. Uncertainty rises-up. A mole-hill becomes a mountain of fear and doubt. That’s where the power wardrobe comes in. I put my confidence game face on. A mask, in fact. I set my face, like flint, to power through the stones, rocks, and boulders that cause me to stumble in weakness on my way. No one will know I shake in my boots behind my mask of confidence, facing the challenges before me. I look sensational in this outfit with a nifty floral pattern!
My computer and files are packed. My power wardrobe is carefully chosen to fit, masking my inner turmoil. But, all is vanity because . . .
My mask is removed at the end of the day.
Sometimes it falls off in the heat of the fray.
That's not such a bad thing; it leads me to pray,
And Jesus responds, "There's a better way."
When I seek to walk in my purpose and calling as a writer, I struggle with confidence going forth. No amount of sensational looking power clothes will overcome the root of my insecurities. The mistake I make is wearing a wardrobe like a mask to just get by.
Masking your confident-to-the-calling shortcomings will not do. There’s nothing wrong with selecting a great looking wardrobe for a writers’ conference. We should present our best selves in outward appearance. Yes—do look sensational.
It’s not about externals. You’ll go all the way to genuine confidence, rather than the mere façade of it, if you give quality attention to packing your internal wardrobe—the closet of your heart. That’s where true confidence roots, producing fruitful and fragrant blossoms that attract and influence. No nifty floral patterns are necessary.
Clothing yourself in the head-to-toe skin-sufficiency of Christ is the bedrock power of true confidence to the task, whatever that is. Be it writers’ conferences or just waking up in the morning, put Christ on in the spirit, before worrying what clothes you’re going to pull out of the closet.
And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. Galatians 3:27 NLT
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ
may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV
As a writer, no matter the challenges before you, God calls you to take each one in His wisdom and strength. The crossing of thresholds involve risk—like arriving at a writers’ conference and passing through the doors to the registration desk. Or sitting across the table from the editor or agent you hope to impress. Slip into the skin-sufficiency of Christ when crossing the thresholds of your life and divine calling. The point where risk meets Confidence.
Prayer Journal: Thank you, Lord, that my calling in You is sufficient to the task and the compass to my purpose. You have promised to complete the work You have begun in me. I shall go forth in joy. You will lead me in peace. The mountains and hills of obstacles will break forth before me and be turned to praise by Your hand. I will shout with joy as I know you are cheering me on to accomplish all You have called me to do. Philippians 1:6, Isaiah 55:12
This post was originaly published in September, 2017 at Pageant Wagon Publishing and Almost An Author.
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Writer-speaker-dramatist, Kathryn Ross, inspires Christians to develop a Family Literacy Lifestyle producing readers, writers, and thinkers who can engage the world from a biblical worldview. Join me in creative, informative literary reflection and instruction about all things books, publishing, the power of story, and the glory of God to transform lives through His Story.