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That's focusonthefamily.com slash careers. We all have some area of our lives where we are not sure of our adequacy, and so I just say, okay, it's learned behavior. You can learn to be confident, but we learn through what we were told as a child or through authority figures or by failing and somebody poking fun at us about that. So it's all learned, but the thing is it can be unlearned. Well that's Deborah Pigay, and she joins us today on Focus on the Family, and your host is Focus president and author Jim Bailey.
Thanks for joining us, I'm John Fuller. John, something I tried to drill into my boys as they were growing up was kind of a healthy identity in Christ, right? That's where it all starts, and boy, as parents, that's the one thing you have to do with your kids as best as you can. And they need to know that their worth isn't in their behavior or in their activities, sports, whatever. Their identity as Christians is in Christ, and I'm convinced we adults need to hear that from time to time as well. It's so easy to drift and look for security and things outside of God.
It might be the nice car, the nice house, the title, whatever. But left on our own, we'll always struggle with insecurity and lean into those things that are the more worldly applications, rather than knowing who we are in Christ. And today, we're gonna have a great chat with someone who will help you really understand your confidence, not in yourself, but in your relationship with Christ and what the Lord can do with that kind of strong, healthy confidence.
Yeah, we can have peace apart from all the external stuff that we think is gonna satisfy. And Deborah Pigay, she's got a background in the corporate world, she's a Bible teacher who speaks internationally, she's a really popular guest here at Focus, and returns today for a conversation about a book that she wrote called, 30 Days to a Stronger, More Confident You, Secrets to Bold and Fearless Living. And you can click the link in the episode notes or call 800 the letter A and the word family to get your copy. Deborah, it's so good to have you back. Thank you so much. It's just a delight. I'm just honored at the opportunity to be here.
Let me start here. You seem like a ball of energy. Is this how you are all day long? I am. My husband says I'm like that hummingbird.
He has some pet hummingbirds and they just buzz around all the time. I can see that. It's just fun to be with.
Thank you. I enjoy life. Yeah, that's good. Where do you think that came from? Romans 8 28.
You know I'm a walking Bible. Everything works together for my good. I mean the stuff that just that I can never figure out. I mean some things happened even on this trip that I can't figure out what the good was, but I'm like in the scheme of things when it's all said and done something good is going to come out of that. That is a thriving attitude though, but not many people possess it. Well I know that's why I'm on a mission to make sure that people do.
I don't tolerate disappointment very long and sadness because why wouldn't God as allowed it every day a day for me was already written in his book. Yeah. I mean it really is the basis for what we're talking about here. In your great book, 30 Days to a Stronger, More Confident You, one of the things you say you have to do first is to diagnose your level of insecurity. Now I don't know, I mean John do you feel insecure in some areas? All the time around you.
No, I'm serious. I think back to being a teenager which is kind of where it really hit a high level. Everybody's insecure. And it just continues.
But it never really leaves I don't think for a lot of us. No it doesn't. So what's that that check that you recommend people do to say how insecure are you? Well first of all I say what let's just talk about what insecurity is because that means to be not sure.
Okay that's what the word means, not sure. So we all have some area of our lives where we are not sure of our adequacy. And so I just say okay it's learned behavior. It really is learned behavior. You can learn to be confident but we learn through what we were told as a child or through authority figures or by failing and somebody poking fun at us about that. So it's all learned but the thing is it can be unlearned.
And that's what I like. And it's really not about developing self-confidence because I'm adamantly opposed to that concept. Yeah self confidence.
Think about that. Confidence means with trust. Self-confidence means with trust in self.
Yourself. That's not good. The Bible says he who trusts in himself is a fool. So I'm not trying to be a fool.
That's good. I would also say insecurity seems to be rooted in comparison. I mean that's a problem and our culture is rife with comparison right?
Absolutely. What we drive, where we live, what job we have, who our friends are. We're bombarded with the commercials. Every commercial and I consciously watch them now to look for that piece that says you're inadequate. You need something. So every commercial says either you need this new car or you need this type. You need whatever so that you can now be acceptable or or even superior. So we we do that. So many people buy by self-esteem.
You know I'm a CPA by training and I oftentimes help people with their budgets. And I see people buy things so that other people esteem so they can be esteemed. Because if I have that item and people esteem that perhaps they'll esteem me.
Your fingers right on it. I mean that's materialism. Let's get the scripture in here. David who we all adore and for different reasons but King David his brother was an example that you used in the book that that talked about envy. Yeah Eliab, David's brother. When God told Samuel to anoint a king the first thing Samuel did when he saw that tall handsome Eliab he said that's the one he looks kingly. And God says no no no that's not it.
Because later on when it was time to fight Goliath, David came down to the battlefield and we all know the story. But Eliab said what are you doing down here? And everybody was running from the giant.
But here's what I like about this story. Eliab's name meant God is my father. That's what his name means.
But he was running from the giant. How many of us do that? We say God is our father but we're afraid we have this giant of insecurity that makes us act like God is not our father.
Hmm that is good. We act like God is not our father. Just think about it.
If we really embrace the truth that God is omniscient you know he's always he knows everything he's always present and he's all powerful and we have that spirit in us. You show up differently Jim. You show up differently. You show up with confidence because it's not in yourself. You know that you have a spirit in you that knows everything.
Now you're not gonna know everything but you're gonna know everything you need to know when you need to know it. Yeah and envy is one of the three symptoms that you state of insecurity. What is the other two? Well the other two are people pleasing and workaholism and and you know let me just talk about that maybe just a little bit because people sometimes confuse that with jealousy.
Uh-huh. But jealousy is rooted in fear. Jealousy says I'm afraid that you're gonna take what I have and that's a form of insecurity as well but envy says I want what you have and because I don't have it I feel ill will towards you.
So that's rooted in discontentment. We don't have to be insecure about what God has given us. You know as a speaker we talk we sometimes compare you know or I'll look at people who are more popular than I am they have huge followings and I have to tell you this real quickly because the other day I said I just don't have anybody I'm I'm my father isn't a famous preacher or I don't have I say I'm nobody's daughter I was like I stopped writing my tracks.
Oh really? You of all people. Yeah you're nobody's daughter like oh you're not God's daughter oh okay okay but we have to learn how to be content with what God the track he's put us on and that and you show up differently as well when you know that because now you can be secure knowing if he's ordained my path how can I fail? You know what's a little scary about envy is it's in Galatians 5 19 it's the fruit of the other guy the enemy. That's one of his attributes is envy. Isn't that that's horrible. Well it's horrible but once we have to be a conscious of it so when I talk about assessing your level of insecurity ask yourself whom do I envy and why why do I envy that person you know but you ask me the question about what the other two were people pleasing insecure people like to please people because they're so afraid of being rejected and alienated that's a big deal we don't want to be rejected we don't want to be isolated we were born to be in community with people.
Yeah Deborah that one can be difficult because I think we can confuse that with the fruit of the spirit the right fruit you know where we want to be kind and considerate and people pleasing how do you distinguish where that line should be and where it's unhealthy versus you know spiritually good. Well you look at your underlying motive why do I want to pay for lunch for you all the time? I think that's a great idea. I think it's a great idea too if you're the one paying. I heard you just offered.
I think we're going to lunch today. Because we want to be accepted. Right and so if that's the motive it's coming from the wrong place. Right so you have to look at the why why am I doing this I'm always analyzing myself and questioning my motives the psalm says God desires truth in the inward parts meaning don't lie to yourself just understand what's motivating you you know really that's in Psalm 51 God desires us to be truthful to ourselves and so I have to ask myself that I've done things in my life to ingratiate myself to people I'll admit that I wasn't just networking I was really trying to get on their good side because they had great influence.
Right so there was motivation there. There was motivation there but what I forgot and I have to remind myself that favor comes from God not from my maneuvering my ability to network effectively. That is a huge statement I mean that I think Christians as well as non-christians get that one all muddled. Well we do and that's why you see that's why I'm adamant about people walking out the scriptures and making it a practical part of your life because there have been times I couldn't get favor with people and it's like oh you're relying on them you're so insecure and and not believing God that you think that person can have influence on your career and I can't I'm everybody's father I may not be everybody's Lord God is everybody's father so I don't have to know get somebody who knows that person who knows that person God's everybody's father. When again when you have that attitude you're walking in peace. Oh now that's a good word yeah because peace is the opposite of insecurity because it's anxiety producing to be insecure but once you just know and you just you just show up with that with the mindset that says I'm more than a conqueror I'm always winning I mean you need to say that cuz faith comes by hearing yeah I need to say that that I'm always winning. When you when you look at today's culture how much of that is in play right now when you look at the church kind of bending to cultural appetites?
In almost every area I am totally alarmed by the fact that now we seem to be more political than biblical think about that we are embracing things that are not all not always biblical because we're having alignment with a political party or whatever and I'm concerned about that I'm praying about it I'm not voicing out a lot about it but I know that prayer works and so we're gonna have to look at that how are we influenced by the culture because we are I think one of the greatest problems in the church is that the world has gotten in the church the church is more worldly and we haven't made the world more churchly but we've become more worldly. Yeah and that's the point workaholism this one's gonna hit a lot of people that idea that we derive our value our worth out of how long we work in a given day. Well I'd have to say I'm the first one who would have to raise your hand every job I've ever been on and I work for myself now my car was the last one in the parking lot and once I just asked myself especially when I worked at a church and everybody thought I did a great job and once somebody tells you do a great job you want to do a greater job so you can keep getting those accolades yeah so knowing you have to know when you're a performance oriented again it goes back to asking yourself why what's motivating me and I think I like the fact that everybody says she's a really hard worker she has her stuff together it's like keep saying that. Well it makes you feel good. Makes you feel good rather than just doing as unto the Lord you know you're working as unto the Lord you want to be excellent because that's what God requires no I want it to be excellent because everybody spoke of the fact that I was excellent so it's like that's let's keep that going that's not good it messes with your health you know really does it just it'll mess with your relationship Darnell finally put some guidelines so okay on Fridays you can't work late that's date night so whatever is going down you have to be done about five o'clock.
Good for Darnell. I like that but you're you're saying this is all rooted in insecurity whether it's envy people pleasing or workaholism that these are to get accolades from others and feel better about yourself. Right feel better about yourself and we do all kinds of things to feel better about ourselves and we have to be honest about it you when you ask yourself why am I doing this you have to be honest about what your intention is. And Deborah I'm wondering is there a balance between God and my part in what he's doing? Absolutely I love to tell everybody we are in a supernatural relationship with God supernatural I do what I'm supposed to do in the natural he puts the super on it yes I do what I'm supposed to do I go to school I get credentials I work hard but I don't let my faith rest there I have if it's because there will come a time when your credentials and all of that will not be sufficient for the task you could ask Daniel about that who had the ability to interpret dreams he was skilled in that anointed to do that but there came a time when he had to interpret a dream that the king couldn't even remember what the dream was he wasn't skilled in telling people what you dream he was skilled if you told him what it was then I can tell you what he meant and I learned from that I learned from what I read that story often because there would be many times there would be a gap between that what's required and what you have available that's where God comes in and put his supernatural impression upon it his supernatural influence so yes we are in a supernatural partnership with God. I love that I want to take us back to Roadblock to Confidence because you you mentioned perfectionism is one of those roadblocks I think I can relate to that but give me the definition of perfectionism. Well perfectionism is that thing that's that says it's got to be exactly right because it is really it's really rooted in the fear of being criticized so if I can be perfect then nobody will criticize me then I won't have to be reminded that I have some vulnerabilities some inadequacies so we strive with that that's what it's rooted in the fear that fear of being criticized is very real and you know what it just makes everybody crazy and the interesting thing is people relate to us on our vulnerabilities more than they do our perfections and so it really makes you more relatable when you can say I'm not really good at that you know that's why I willingly confess to people I don't I have to still battle fear it shows up I don't like flying I'm just you don't want to sit by me you might be embarrassed when I when we get turbulence you probably won't know I'm a Christian I was on a flight one time in this random stranger woman just grabbed my hand it's a guy hold your hand I'm afraid of flying I was like okay if that gives you some kind of comfort if you were that guy cuz I did that with a guy he was he was I'm black he was white and it was way way back when and I just grabbed his hand I said sir I'm sorry I'm gonna need to hold your hand it was fine but yeah I never knew that my gentlemanliness could be used in that way but that was great Deborah I do want to come back to something you mentioned there this idea of perfectionism and then earlier we talked about doing everything under the Lord with excellence so what's that you know for the person that struggles to discern where is it my perfectionism and where is it my excellence for the Lord motive perfectionism is based on you seeing me in the best light excellence is about making sure the project is done well it really is about understanding that because you have listen I ran a department once and I didn't want anybody messing up because I was the first woman to be in that department to hit that kind of a thing and one guy just kept messing up and I'm like don't y'all make me look bad when I was the goal there really to glorify God no it's like don't make me look bad okay that's not a good motive that's not a good so again that perfectionism you have to understand why what's driving that I'm trying to make sure I am presented in the best light and that I don't get criticized because it's excellent but for the wrong reason but when I just pursue doing something well I want to do this as unto the Lord because God deserves the best therein is the difference yeah how you attitude toward it yes explain why Christians today can find confidence in the promises that God made to ancient Israel I love this question because so many friends of mine that relate to the New Testament struggle relating to the Old Testament so how do those ancient stories actually play into this idea of confidence today oh my goodness the first of all the entire Bible is relevant for everyday living and I love the stories because they show us how to apply them I like it when David showed up to fight Goliath and he was so proportionately inadequate and he's in Goliath says I'm gonna take your head off and he says oh no I'm gonna take your head off because see you're coming to me you know what all your armor but I'm coming in the name of the Lord listen that gives you confidence he understood he got it he got it he knew that God was bigger than the Goliath he just knew it because God is not limited by those kinds of things and those Old Testament stories help us to realize God's not limited to stats and facts and all of that so even when you read about Abraham and the Bible says he didn't stagger at the promises of God he didn't consider his own body dead you know he didn't consider those facts those are realities but he said I'm not gonna focus on that my confidence is gonna be that the God who is promised he is able to perform that which he has said that's good stuff I read more Old Testament stories I'll just go back and read that I was just reading that the other day he considered not the deadness of his womb I'm like oh yes cuz I'm doing a study on facts and reality and how we just get so stuck in our education and we don't think we don't expect things above that we don't go outside of that realm my experience and especially women we won't apply for a job unless we have all of the qualifications they say a man will apply he has half the college you know bringing into a practical example you had a challenging financing project I think for a church how did how did God show up how did you rely on God it's a modern-day example of an Old Testament story probably well I several ways he showed up doing that project but we had a very complicated financing where they use what they call swap agreements I wasn't really familiar with that aspect of financing but I remember sitting around the table with a bunch of bankers who were trying to negotiate this 33 million dollar loan and I'm thinking God you got to show a big time today but you know what they asked me questions and and I didn't think I knew the answer not just say God help me just help me and he gave me a question that implied I knew the answer just like the answer was way up here and they said oh you're ahead of us I certainly want to say no I am so far behind you you about to run into the back of me yeah but God he's he's done that consistently throughout my mind when I was in corporate America just showed up with responses and answers that I didn't know I had and then I remembered that the scriptures say that he would not only bring things to your remembrance see there were times I wasn't it was never it was never in my memory I'm like what about those times what I read it says he will teach you and bring things into your remembrance so God would teach you on the spot you just got to get to that place where you expect him to do that and you don't expect with anxiety you show up with confidence knowing like whatever it is he's gonna bring me through this yeah that's so good let me press ahead with criticism that's one of the things that are examples of good habits of confident people that you're able to receive criticism whether it's at home or in the workplace kind of what you described earlier you use an example from the Bible about Apollos and how he managed criticism tell us about that story well you know that he was a Jewish teacher and it was Aquila and Priscilla that took him home and taught him a more excellent way because he hadn't really been filled with the spirit but he had knowledge of the scriptures and he was very powerful in that and they said that he took him aside now keep in mind these were tent makers blue-collar workers who took this man aside and said there's a more excellent way and he listened I'm impressed with his humility and it goes on to say that he was a great blessing to them you see we we can always learn from somebody everybody brings something to the table and so that's how you can increase other people's confidence I like to try to find the gold in people and and say you bring something to the table I know when people sometimes feel intimidated by me I don't like that so I try not to carry myself in a ways that people think oh I'm not good enough to be with her because you trust me you really are and and everybody brings something to the table and I like to be able to say well you've managed people and you've worked in that corporate environment sometimes giving feedback isn't well received I think you had another example where you were editing I think your company's annual report oh man something went wrong well you see and that's one of the great signs of habits of a confident person they can not only receive criticism and they can give that kind of feedback and a lot of people just aren't comfortable because they know how they will feel if somebody were to give them some feedback so they don't give any as well and so yes I did I did have an example I hired a guy and oh no this is when I was doing the annual report and it was my first year on the job and I edited it because I am a writer so I was making it more succinct and making it grammatically correct it always started a furor I'm telling everybody was upset how dare you change my work I'm thinking don't you want it to be good that's no that usually inspires people it's not correct don't you want to be correct yeah and so you know and I'm thinking I I don't think I would have responded that way I love input I asked for input all the time like evaluate it tell me how this went what can I do better I do that but that how did you go back and correct that situation did you have a chance to say okay I'm sorry oh absolutely I'm you know I'm sorry this is because they had never had anybody to do that and I'd seen some previous years reports and was one nonprofit and they weren't well done nothing it's my first year on the job this is gonna be good right I'm gonna prove no and yet and I had just gotten there was my first year on the job so I know this is what excellence looks like we're trying to take the organization to another level but it wasn't well received and so I said okay I guess next time I should have sat with that person before I just changed it and published it well from that you stayed in the book four principles that you derive from those experiences listen look learn and leave yes yes right those okay so the Lord gave me these one night when I was totally brain dead so I know it's totally from him how to receive criticism first of all you listen you don't interrupt you know when somebody's giving you feedback you don't say I well this is because I was doing this I justify just listen all right same letters that spell silent spell listen so be quiet stop talking and the other that's good look look for the truth look for the element of truth and what that person is telling you mm-hmm learn from it be open seek first to understand don't just be defensive but learn from it and then leave the unwarranted part leave it you don't have to embrace it just cuz somebody's telling you because sometimes people they can be as wrong as two left shoes yeah and so that's the yeah the untruthful you don't have to say yeah you're off on that one just don't say it just say thank you for that input because you know what that does that positions you as a person who's open to to input and people would be more likely to give it to you once you proven that you can't take that kind of input nobody's going to tell you I totally agree with that that's a management philosophy that I've tried to follow is you know let's just see the grains of truth and don't pay too much attention to the stuff that's emotional and we don't like being I don't like being criticized and but I don't like hearing the really bad parts but I know it's good for me yeah especially yeah those parts yeah you also use an acronym peace what does peace the acronym stand for well we know that peace is the opposite of being anxious and being insecure so Pete the P is for prioritized every aspect of your life according to God's Word what's important to God there's a certain amount of peace that comes with just knowing I'm doing the right thing and then the E is for expect more from God don't stop expecting things from people expect more from God well that works in medicine people oh absolutely that's a good reminder I and I wanted people to remember that it's in Psalm 62 my soul wait only upon God my expectation is from him I'm only expecting God my highest expectations from God a is acknowledged God in all of your decisions don't just make a decision in your own head acknowledge God he will direct your path if you do that and then C is to cultivate cultivate an attitude of contentment that's hard because we're surrounded with things that say don't be content and then E is to eliminate unrighteous behavior eliminate unrighteous behavior and that's a daily battle this is not something we just do one time and it's all done it's a daily battle and you know what because the Bible says righteousness and peace have kissed each other isn't that great it is good they have come together there's an intimate connection between doing the right thing and experiencing the peace of God and not being insecure Deborah this has been so good and the time has flown by thank you for being here and I want to remind you our listener that focus on the family is here for you our main goal is to help you develop your relationship with Jesus Christ that's job one we love talking about marriage and parenting and we believe that's right from the Lord's heart to promote the institution of the family if you don't know who Jesus is I want you to get in touch with us we have a great booklet online called coming home and it'll describe what it looks like to trust in Christ and of course we recommend you get a copy of Deborah's great book 30 days to a stronger more confident you partner with us in ministry by making a pledge of a one-time gift and we'll send you Deborah's book as our way of saying thank you we'll donate today as you can and request Deborah's book when you call 800 the letter a in the word family and as Jim mentioned we also have that coming home booklet and to get the free download just click the link in the show notes well coming up next time Jeff and Sarah Walton share how they learned to trust God through heartbreaking family troubles and that was something that I wrestled with often you know I think it was easier kind of a tug and pull on one end I was able to get out of the house catch my breath and try and transition compartmentalizing and go do work and then I come back and then it's entering into chaos and how do I enter back in how do we get back on the same path and the same track on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team here thanks for joining us today for focus on the family I'm John Fuller inviting you back as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ I was shocked when she gave me the divorce papers I was so done I had reached my breaking point I was desperate for a shred of hope so I called the hope restored team at focus on the family they they listened to me and they asked about what was happening in my marriage they encouraged me and my wife to attend one of their marriage intensives for couples in crisis and they prayed with us they helped me believe that my marriage could be saved I agreed to go but was very skeptical that anything could help us but the whole environment was so safe and non-judgmental I felt my heart start to open up as we worked with the counselors both of us still have work to do in our marriage but for the first time in a long time we have hope again focus on the family's hope restored marriage intensive program has helped thousands of couples who thought that their marriage was over find out which program is right for you at hope restored calm
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