Monday, November 30, 2009

Build Me Up, Buttercup


I’m going to tackle a tough topic today. One that has been plaguing me for quite a while now.

Ok, so some of you might prefer to skip on to the next blog as this one might not apply to you. But for many of us, having or lacking confidence means the difference between a manageable day or a great day.

In the past two weeks, I’ve gone on two interviews. The first one with a manager who told me she liked me and thought I would work for the position. My confidence soared. After a year of searching for a job, I thought I finally snagged one.

But then she told me she wanted me to meet her boss. “He’s good at reading people,” she said.

Not a problem, I told myself. I’d already aced her interview—how hard could the next one be?

My confidence built as I drove the twenty miles to meet this man who I needed to impress. I wore my best going-to-an-interview outfit, applied new make-up and bolstered myself with positive thoughts and words.

After ten minutes of talking with him, I felt the first drops of my confidence melting.

A week later, and no call, my confidence is now a pile of bones in the corner.

A roller coaster. A ski slope. A fast-moving highway. A dark tunnel. Pick one. That’s the confidence ride.

If you are a job seeker, a new mother, a writer, a new employee—the list goes on—you know what I mean when I say this: My confidence is either going to carry me through or let me down.

In this case—it let me down and I don’t like it one bit.

But I know why.And therein lies the problem.

I’m trying to do it all on my own. I’m my biggest cheerleader and critique all at once.

The guy hated me. I shouldn’t have brought up the hours. I’m a real idiot for asking a question . . .

Get my picture? I’m sure God does. I’m sure he’d like to remind me where my confidence needs to come from every day. And you know what? I think I might just let him have a try because I can't do it myself anymore.

Where is your confidence coming from today?


Jessica said...

From God, I hope.

I'm sorry about the interview. :-(

Greg C said...

Terri, put it behind you and forget about it. Trust me or better yet Trust God. I had a similar interview when I first got out of the Navy. The first interview went so well that I just knew I got the job. When I showed up for the second interview I got the impression they had already hired someone and they were just going through the motions because I was there. But things worked out for the best and a better position which didn't require me to move came open the very next week. I got that job and I know I would have never been satisfied living in that other place. God has a plan and things will work out.

Helen Ginger said...

Put the interview behind you. You may still hear something; you may not. Either way, it's done. Keep in mind that you went to the interview. You made it to the second tier. That's something to pat yourself on the back for. Most people don't get that far.

Straight From Hel

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

It has been years since I have been on an interview, so no real advice here! However just knowing the irrefutable fact that God is ultimately in control, even if we allow our human side to take over at time is such a comfort. The fact that you are seeking his direction put you ahead of the game in my book!

Keep plugging along my friend!


Sassy Granny ... said...

We've all been there, probably on more occasions that we fully realize.

Most of the time (now that I'm old), I discern the sinking feeling in my gut as a gift. My "knower" is alerting me to the fact that THIS whatever is not God's best for me. It helps a lot because I don't actually have to let go of anything so much as I'm not about to grasp it in the first place.

It's a process. Growing up in the Lord is sometimes strange and difficult, but we can trust His leading.

Besides ... something perfect is coming your way!


Andrea said...

I get it...we take our eyes off GOD just for a second and we have placed our value in that interview or whatever the situation. Our value comes from GOD and NO ONE can take it from us. The confidence of CHRIST resides inside you, unfortunately you are like I am sometimes and looking at other things (like the what if's?).
GOD may have just spared you from a nightmare job. We do not know what he has for you. I am certain HE has something better. Look through HIS eyes and not yours.
Much love and prayers, andrea

Deborah said...

I'm not out looking for a job, but I do understand what you are saying. It just seems to be way too easy for us to get our eyes off the Lord, and depend on our own strength and abilities. We KNOW better, but sometimes it takes falling on our face to get us back where we need to be....and come to think of it...that's a great position for getting back in touch with with the one who is really in control.
Just remember, he has the perfect job for you, and in His time, you'll find it.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Grab hold of that God-confidence, Terri! He wants you to have it!

Praying for you, Terri!

BeckyJoie at Leaders in Learning said...

You couldn't have said it better. You nailed it for many people. Thanks.

Lin Floyd said...

I always write in my journal after an experience like that to work out my frustration...just be thankful you didn't get the job and work in that kind of emotional climate with that boss. I just quit as newsletter editor for that very reason-even wrote a poem about it a few days back...see my lion sitting at a desk with a suit on.

ginny said...

I agree with everyone..put it behind you..God has a better plan for will happen.By the way, I hated that song,"Build me up Buttercup!" LOL!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

I think it's really important to evaluate each day, like you said. Today, it's in the right place. Actually, right now, it's in the right place. I'm pleased with that and focusing on right now, not what's going on all around me. Have a great day, Terri! And I hope you get that job!

Janna Qualman said...

I needed the truth in this post today, Terri. Thank you. Because he is the one who gives us all we need, no matter how much we expect from others and ourselves. If we seek him, he'll give it.

Keep at it, Terri. Each step of this is part of your journey, even if it doesn't lead where you expect it to.

Tamika: said...

Keep looking to the hill from where all of your help comes from.

I'm learning to thank God for the doors that He opens and for those that He closes.

Your breakthrough is not far friend!

Susan R. Mills said...

Great post, Terri. I can totally relate. I think I'll let my confidence come from God because, like you said, I can't muster it up on my own. Sorry about the job. I've been there so many times. It's tough, but something will happen for you.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Don't even worry about it. We all suffer from confidence issues from time to time, but the more we dwell on it, the more satan can twist things in our mind and make it worse.
Give it to God and draw strength in knowing that you are wonderfully made and God will take care of you.

Jan Cline said...

Our confidence has to lie in the promises of God. See my Simple Devotion blog post for today. God knows and that's all we need. (But it's still a struggle!)
Blessings to you friend.

Karen Lange said...

Our confidence is in the Lord, but circumstances often hinder us. We shouldn't allow them to, but it's easier said than done. I like to look beyond to see the bigger picture. Be encouraged that this is just a stepping stone to where you need to be, and what His will is for your life. Jesus is already in your tomorrows; nothing takes Him by surprise. You are an amazing work in progress, and this is just a small blip on the screen. Keep looking up and forward, good things are ahead:)
Hugs and blessings,

Jan Cline said...

Oh, and the new look of your blog!

Carmen said...

Looking for work is so hard and it can really shred your confidence. All things work together for good though, and like Greg said, God has better plans for you! Sometimes though, I just wish His timing was more like my timing...:) Who knows what He has saved you from?

BTW, love the fresh new look!!

Paul Greci said...

My cofidence ebbs and flows. When I'm feeling a lack of confidence, or struggling with inadequacy I tell myself that I am doing the best that I can do at this particular moment, and I take a breath. thanks,Terri.

Pat said...

And besides, Terri, if God wanted you to have that job you would have gotten it regardless of where you placed your confidence.

He knows your heart, and He knows it's not perfect and He loves and cares about you, regardless ...

Love and hugs,

And why can't these word verification thingies be easier to read?! ; ) (even with glasses!)

Amy Tate said...

I love your posts, Miss Terri! I so relate with this one. I have a difficult time wrapping my brain around experiences too. For instance, those times when I went through something like your interview, only to end up doing something else. I'm constantly asking God about the purpose of stuff. Maybe one day when we get to heaven, we'll understand. But until then, I'm with you. I'm tired of riding the yoyo.

Lily Robinson said...

Maybe they're waiting to hear from you... to see how badly you want the job. I figure if I'm good enough for God, well then whom shall I fear?

Jeanette Levellie said...

Oh Terri, my dear, you ARE a confident woman, do NOT listen to those lies from the devil. Please, please go in right now and call them and say, "I am checking on the status of my application. I would love to work for your company, and believe I'd be a benefit to you." Sometimes it's a choice between two qualified candidates, and they choose the one who shows more interest. Besides, you are forgetting the holiday hubbub. That guy was probably on vacation in Michigan visiting his grandkids, and just got back to town today!

I will pray for you, sweetheart. Don't give up, okay?

Love and hugs,

Journaling Woman said...

The only confidence I have is in God. When I try on my own, I am pathetic, miserable... do you see how it goes?

Re: Job hunt Do not give up. You will get what you need for a job.

I am praying and will not stop until you tell me you have a job.


Diane said...

Oh yeah! I hear you on this one. God's opinion of us is the only one that matters. When we try to look at what others think is when mine wanes. Great post! :O)

Hope to see you over at my new blog home

Jody Hedlund said...

Oh, I definitely have highs and lows with confidence! In fact, I'm blogging about my insecurities on Wednesday! I haven't completely figured out how to overcome them! Thanks for the reminder that my confidence needs to come from Him!

Anonymous said...

Oh, sorry about the interview.

My confidence fluctuates a lot too. and when I think about it, it is what keeps me humble when it is high, and hopeful when it is low.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

I'm on the same job quest as you. While I'm getting interviews here and there, a job has eluded me.

Now, before I go on an interview, I pray the Lord will watch over me and give me favor. I do my best. If someone else is selected, I ask the Lord to bless them and move on to other opportunities.

There are many highly-qualified people out there. In the publishing world, we're told rejection comes for many reasons. Our work may be stellar, but not the right fit for a publisher. The same holds true in any other field.

I'll continue to pray for a job that will bless both you and your employer.

Your friend,
Susan :)

Kathryn Magendie said...

My son went through this over and over while looking for a job - he finds out he is going to have a baby and then gets laid off! Terror! Job after job interview...I swear, Terri - the night he called me near tears and desperate, as low as he could be, so low I worried about him so much - we talked, and somehow he felt better (that made me feel like a good mom) - then, a week later, it happened - at his lowest point, the job came - and it was the Right Job -- I know this is simplistic, but, if he'd have taken any of those other jobs, he'd have been so unhappy - he'd have had a job, but not one that he loves, as he does this one.

That said, I've hated 99% of the jobs I had - hated them. So, we don't have to love our jobs -sometimes we just NEED that job....

Confidence is a tricky thing - I see this as an author. My confidence soared when BB wanted to publish my book, then I felt it slipping when someone gave me a so so review (I conveniently forgot how many really good reviews I received) - or my confidence dips when I see other authors seeming so much more successful in their sales and marketing than I am - or the writers who write vampire books and make millions and have millions of fans - I will never be that author, ever. But, do I need to be? or even want to be? I don't know - I just know that we put so many constraints and so many expectations on ourselves....

That man may not have hated you - he may have had a really tough choice between you and someone else - the idea that this woman really liked you and wanted you to meet the boss is positive -- you can't know what his dilemma was....doesn't make it any easier - I know.

A big hug to you- I haven't helped at all - just rambled away saying nothing helpful...

Heckety said...

Hoo boy! Do you ever hit the nail on the head! I've never had much confidence so a verse a good friend showed me years ago gets repeated a LOT- 'I can do all things through God.' And also, 'if God is for us who can be against us.' Isn't it as well that pages don't wear out through eyes reading or there'd be whopping great holes in all our Bibles I bet!

Anonymous said...

I believe the Enemy tries to steal our confidence because with it goes our hope, our faith and our belief that prayers are answered.

God bless is just a sign that it wasn't the right job for you anyhow.


Slendarella said...

Gosh, been there, lived that. Sorry to hear - but want to help you remember that God will put you in the perfect job. Guess this was the wrong one, dearest! Love ya, keep your chin up and your spirits high! Slendie

Katie Ganshert said...

Ugh, I hear ya sister. I'm always struggling with confidence, always second guessing myself. I'm not sure it will ever end.

But how true is your final sentiment. Our confidence will always teeter back and forth unless we can plug it into the source that never fails.

Analisa said...

My confidence is in God, not me. See I will mess up. God won't. I will say the wrong thing...He never does. I will take on the wrong job at the wrong place because it looks like a good thing. God will lead me to the places he wants me to be. This may mean less pay or whatever, but his plan is better than mine. I really trip myself up when I base my day on how I rate myself. I might be having a great day or a lousy one. That is when my focus is on me...and well I couldn't even pass up a piece of candy after I swore off sweets. God doesn't change his mind or alter his plans...he is all good all the time.

So can I ask you something? Whose confidence do you really need? Your own...or trust in His.

Janna Qualman said...

Terri, I love the bigger font! And it's perfect with "heart" leading into the heart itself.

T. Anne said...

(((HUG))) I get it. I get so tired of being my own cheerleader and you know what? I'm not that good at it, lol. Please Jesus *help* That's been my battle cry as of late. I'm praying for you!

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

ugh. i'm SO familiar with the feelings you've just described. i'm so sorry you're still going through this. i'm also glad you're blogging about it and getting those yuck feelings out someway. i know that all the waiting will be worth whatever god has in store....which--get this--might not be a job! i kept having to tell myself that his will might not line up with mine. and his timing CERTAINLY didn't add up to mine. anyway...i'll be praying fo you.

yes, sort of much as i can be without my family. my baby will be here wednesday, which i'm beside myself counting the seconds. i have missed her so much....probably the hardest thing i've had to do is leave her (and hubs) behind. *wiping tears even now* but i did find us a house, and i'm getting into a routine with my job. so that's all great. thanks for asking about me. :)

The Character Therapist

mamabear said...

I agree that with a holiday just over, you wouldn't necessarily have gotten a call just yet. If you don't get it, there certainly must have been a reason God had you go on the interview anyway. He orders all your steps. Maybe someone at the company had something to learn from you? We don't always know why we cross paths with people, but we can be sure there aren't any accidental meetings. Just keep praying as you start each morning, and trust that you're following his will. Rest in that. Really rest.

You are such a sweet person. I was glad to read that your daughter is still sweet with you and affectionate at age 25--even calling you mommy. I hope to have that with my kids too. You are such an encouragement to me!

Bless you!

Krista Phillips said...

Sorry about the interview! No fun at all!

Interviews are hard, because as interviewEE, you have to learn how to read who you're talking to too.

Okay, so we can say, "Just be who you are" but really, you're trying to be who the person wants you to be. Does that make any sense?

As a manager, I was looking for people who were friendly, honest, confident but not full of themselves, and able to have a good time. Obviously I had a lot of other needs, but these were some personality traits I knew would fit into our department.

Another managers might be looking for an ultra professional, super confident person...

In the end, if God knows the perfect job for you, so take heart and know that when it comes along, if you're seeking him, He won't let you screw it up!!

(BTW... the confidence thing is something I struggle with ALL THE TIME.)

SoulMate Coach Crystal said...

Being a widow has taught me that the ups and downs are all a part of life. Sometimes I feel great, like I can take on the whole world. Other times, sometimes only hours later, I feel like I don't know my right foot from my left. My comfort comes, first from knowing that God knows, understands and is always with me. Secondly, from learning to accept that I am a human being and sometimes I will feel bad. Sometimes my confidence will drop waaayyy low. BUT what I know to be true is, that this won't always be the case. Just like the world turns around, so will I. I'm learning to try not beat myself up,instead, I try to gently remind myself of the truth. And that truth is, with guidance from God, I will come through this rough patch, like I have so many times before. Be kind to yourself. I hope this helps.


Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Hey, Terri!

I had a silent contest at my blog today and you won! Woohhhoooo!!! Details are on Tuesday's surprise post. Have a great day!

Nancy said...

Terri - You sure know how to lay it all out in print. I do know how you feel about this one. What I want to know is, what is so bad about asking questions? Don't you need to know the hours? You also need to know the pay, but can never ask that one. It doesn't seem right that the employer holds all the cards. There's a cycle. It will turn to opportunities for employees one day. Until then, you have your confidence in the Lord and He holds that corporate world in His hands. Great post and blessings on the right job.

Julie Gillies said...

Oh Terri, I think we all struggle on some level with the whole confidence issue. (Especially if we're writers.)

Yes, it's been a week, but perhaps the company you interviewed with has a longer time-frame than you know. You may yet have the job. And if not, well, I know from experience that nothing in our lives is ever wasted when God is in the equation.

My fervent hope is that my confidence (and yours!) will increase as we continue to cling to Jesus.

Heather Sunseri said...

It is so easy to let the outside world affect our confidence, isn't it? Don't do it! Get it from God and use what you have within you already because of your faith in God!!!

Hang in there, Terri!!

Natalie said...

We all struggle with confidence sometimes. I'm so sorry about the interview. I am a terrible interviewee. It's so hard to have someone judging me face to face. Thankfully God has given me confidence building experiences throughout my life and I draw on those when times get tough.

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Oh, yeah, we all have confidence issues. Consider for a moment the period of query letters and submitting. If that doesn’t test your confidence..not to mention self-image, not sure what will. We can’t do it alone.
Best Regards, Galen

Imagineering Fiction Blog

Sharon Mayhew said...

I think everyone has confidence issues. If you put yourself out there in the world, you have to have momments of doubt. I rarely doubted myself as a teacher. I was good at it and I knew it. I had student data to prove it. But as a writer, I doubt myself all of the time. If I have something positive happen to me, I wonder is it because I did something well or is because they like me and didn't have the heart to say anything negative. You have to trust that God is leading you down the right path and eventually you will reach where you are supposed to be.

Best wishes with the job hunt. I'm going to become a follower so I can remember to check in on you. If you get a chance to check on my blog. I write for children, but my blog tends to be rather random. :)

sarah said...

Hey Terri, Way to go winning Kristen's contest. I am so thrilled you won. I struggle with things that feel like rejection too...but I know He's got that absolutely perfect job for you. He won't let you down. He sees what we can't. I think if the doors are closed's cause He knows you won't be happy there. I'm praying and believing. Stay strong, ok.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I have all confidence in you! You are well qualified for a great many positions, Terri. If he wasn't impressed, I'm not impressed and am glad you won't be working there. The right fit will come along. I know it must be incredibly difficult to reason all this out with God, but he's OK with the wrestling. Just keep pressing in and let him minister to your need in a way that only he can.

Love you.


Terra said...

I understand that actors and writers receive lots of rejections.
As a writer, I certainly have been rejected more times than accepted.
Yet the "yes" is so sweet.
I co-authored my first published book last fall, and what a joyful ride that is.
I continue to pitch articles, with rejections and "yeses", and consistently pray asking what God wants me to do, and that he will bless my words to be full of meaning and hope to readers.
So, keep on listening, polishing and submitting your work. After all, you are a writer!

Linda said...

Good reminder, Terri. Too often I rely on my own abilities and forget that it all comes from God. Hang in there, He's got a door that will open for you in His perfect timing.

Maria I. Morgan said...

Such a good reminder! God-confidence is so important! He knows the perfect job for you, Terri and will provide it!

lakeviewer said...

Hi. I came in from Journaling Woman, intrigued by the topic of this post. I teach an Autobiographical Writing class for the local college, and this topic is a hot one. We want to tell our stories, our journeys. The stories we tell have to include the bigger themes and the broader world that shape our journeys, so every reader is drawn in on her own journey.

日月神教-向左使 said...