Get Rid Of Your Self-Confidence Problems Once And For All

The day I moved to Nashville in the Spring of 2000 after twenty years in South Florida, my head began spinning.

A few weeks before while playing golf with my new Pastor and boss, I asked about my responsibilities on the first Sunday. He casually told me that someone else would be leading the music, and he would like me to sing a solo. When I asked who the worship leader would be (since that was to be my primary job), he replied Michael W. Smith.

I said, “Oh, and you want me to do a solo.” He smiled and said, “Yep.”

I could feel my self-confidence crumbling as I realized Randy was not in Kansas anymore. I was in Music City, USA and my paying job was to be a musician (and a leader of some of the best musicians in the world) and I had to put up or shut up. I had walked out on stage alone in front of thousands of people my entire life to sing, no big deal, but not with Michael W. Smith sitting on the front row. My stomach tightened at the thought.

Somehow I managed it, and after three, count ’em, three services, I mean solos—my family, my new Pastor’s family, and Michael’s entire family went to lunch at the stunning Legends Golf and Country club together. As I washed my hands in the locker room, head spinning, Rick, my Pastor, came in and instantly realized I was a bit overwhelmed.

He then told me one of the most important things anyone has ever told me.

“Randy, this town will mess with your head. There is only one real thing you need to do to survive. Michael W. Smith, his family, and all the rest of the celebrities and recording artists you sang for this morning need you to be Randy. Don’t try to be someone else to impress them. Don’t try to be what you think they want you to be. Just be Randy. Be yourself. That’s what they need from you. They need YOU. The real you. The “what they see is what they get” you!”

I’ll never forget this conversation. It instantly bolstered my self-confidence.

I realized I could do that. I could be myself. And if that’s what everyone needs, no matter their notoriety or lack thereof, I could do this.

Inevitably over the past twelve years in Music City, the only time my stomach would tighten up, was when I forgot this simple truth.

Don’t work at being something you are not, simply be yourself.

Offering ourselves to others is the greatest gift we can give.

Question: What thoughts come to mind for you?

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55 Responses to “Get Rid Of Your Self-Confidence Problems Once And For All”

  1. I want to hear you sing one day. I’ve known you for half of those twelve years and still haven’t heard you sing :-)
    Mark´s last blog post ..Our office furniture budget is low this year

    • @Mark, Thanks, Mark. Yes, it is a weird stage of life for me, almost all the people in my life today have never heard me sing and many do not even know I spent most of my life as a musician.

  2. Thank you so much for this reminder, Randy. I have recently been striving to be more “true to myself”…to be who I am, and not who other people want me to be. That can sometimes be a tall order, but it is a must in ministry. People need their leaders and servants to be genuine, and if we are not providing that, we are misleading and misrepresenting. Excellent post…and excellent reminder. Thank you.
    Tom Eggebrecht´s last blog post ..25 Awesome Things About Summer

  3. Lindsey Gilstrap May 23, 2011 at 10:36

    Great post, Randy! I do genuinely just want to be me and this is a reminder that I believe we all need from time to time!

  4. Thanks for this! :) Love you guys!
    Jim Drake´s last blog post ..The Mystery Of God

  5. On point as usual Randy. Great post. Personally the times I’ve been “fake me” the connections never lasted. The benefit of just being you is that genuine relationships happen and it leads to lasting connection. Thanks for continuing to speak the language of the artist to artists. I appreciate it and you.

    • @adam herod, Thanks, Adam, for joining the conversationand your quote rings so true, ” Personally the times I’ve been “fake me” the connections never lasted. The benefit of just being you is that genuine relationships happen and it leads to lasting connection.”

  6. “Offering ourselves to others is the greatest gift we can give.”
    Thank you….I so needed that reminder right now! Awesome!
    bluegoose´s last blog post ..Curiosities of the Civil War – a book review and a give-away

  7. Thank you for giving us permission to be who we were created to be. Sometimes, that’s all artists need!
    mandythompson´s last blog post ..Are you my ideal reader

  8. Thanks Randy! i’m finding out more about the real me as we speak. trying to be transparent and myself as much as i can. offering myself is very difficult right now as i want to keep to myself alot which is not in my nature. thanks for always speaking to the hear.
    Chuck Harris´s last blog post ..the debtor’s ethic…

  9. Hi Randy,

    First of all, I know how talented you are and I am sure you did great. I do think it is amazing how God stretches us though.

    Your story reminded me once when I flew from Lima to Miami with some famous Latin singer on board. While we were waiting for our luggage, I chatted with his wife for a few minutes and she was telling me some of the famous friends they had. I remember asking her what that was like and she said something like, “They’re just normal people.” BTW, she was normal too.

    Concerning the point of your post, I do think being authentic is very importants these days. People want and need real and esp. in leaders.

    Many blessings to you as you that!

  10. Randy, I think this is one of the most important blog posts you have ever written, at least for me. I often find myself succumbing to the temptation to be something or someone else. In this times I find myself (at least on the good days) reminding myself that all God needs me to be is the very best version of me, not an poor imitation of someone else. Or even a good imitation of someone else.

    Thanks for writing this. These are geat words to start the week.

  11. Randy,

    I love this story and found it very inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

    Terri

  12. I remember you telling us that story – only I missed the “Be yourself. That’s what they need from you. They need YOU. The real you.” part of it, although I’m sure it was there. It’s interesting how we can make idols out of people so easily.

    Not that I have a handle on this or anything as I still do that on occasion. well, I do that a lot really. I can sing in Handel’s Messiah every year, sing a duet in my church even, but sing in front of someone like smitty? — I’d have bladder issues. I wouldn’t even sing at the cove in front of you – so there — :)

    My fears stem from – what if this great at thus and such person – sees or hears me do that and they hate it? – I’m convinced I’ll die because we all know my value is derived from what other people think yadda yadda yadda….. idolatry pure and simple.

    Great advice rarely lives easily. Good post Randy. Thank you.

    • @Deana, I will add Randy, that I have chosen to suck it up if you will, over the past few years and just allow myself to be out there and critiqued for better or for worse. THAT is a lot more freeing than hiding back stage. Allowing myself to feel intimidated and yet act in direct opposition of that feeling — life changing.

      • @Deana, Good, Deana, good!! Keep it up!!! I think it is okay to have heroes (not idols) and Smitty has been that to me and he continues to be that even as we have come to know one another! We need heroes, they need us to be ourselves!!

  13. Randy,
    Great post and great point to remember.
    Michael H Smith´s last blog post ..A Frustration of the Worship Leader

  14. Aren’t seasons interesting? I didn’t know that you were a musician, either, Randy. But than again, although I’d hesitate to use the term musician, I once spent most of my time leading worship & singing in groups. Haven’t done that in over a decade.

    I think that any place can “mess with your head.” But I can see how the situation you went through was particularly “gut-churning.” What a blessing to have such a wise & caring pastor.

    His advice to you was spot on and something that I hope that I’ll remember. Many of us spend our entire lives trying to be who we think people want us to be. So sad and co-productive to God’s plan for our lives.

    “Don’t work at being something you are not, simply be yourself. Offering ourselves to others is the greatest gift we can give.” This sounds quite biblical and is loaded with wisdom.

    Thanks for sharing this…and being you!
    Melinda Lancaster´s last blog post ..Feeling squirrelly

  15. Randy, Oh, how in needed to be reminded of that truth. I guess I am always afraid of “What if they reject the real me?” I can handle rejection of an image that isn’t me, but sometimes I work to protect the real me, the one with all the warts and flaws and weakness. You have reminded me to be myself. Thank you. After all, the creator liked the real me a lot. Perhaps, someday I will learn to tolerate “the real me” and trust people enough to be real all the time.
    Ken´s last blog post ..Four Commitments of Dynamic Communicators

  16. Randy,

    As one who spent several years trying to be someone other than himself, I give this post two thumbs up. RIght on. Great advice for creatives.

    Recently, I sat under a wise speaker who stated that giving the presence of God into another is the greatest gift and the practice of true charisma. I’m learning this can not happen unless you exist as yourself.

    Thanks Randy,
    Bryan
    Bryan Patrick´s last blog post ..Accountability – A Tool For Motivation or a Tool For Excuses

  17. ‘Tis some of the most truthful, best advice ANYONE can hear. Thanks for being real, Randy!
    Fred McKinnon´s last blog post ..The Big Announcement- Refuge Is Coming

  18. That is a GREAT word, Randy! I preached the message at our church yesterday…only the 2nd time a woman has preached at our church. The first time was me several years ago. One of our elders spoke this to me before I spoke yesterday, “Try to be someone else and you will flop. Be yourself and God will move mountains!” It is a pleasure to read everything you write!

  19. Randy, great reimnder! I was raised to be a people pleaser and remember when I was insecure so I tried to get people to like me by being someone I am not or trying to compete with people who have other talents. People who are comfortable with themselves draw others like magnets because they don’t focus inward, but outward on the other person.
    Agatha Nolen´s last blog post ..Betrayal

    • @Agatha Nolen, Thanks, Agatha! What a great quote: “People who are comfortable with themselves draw others like magnets because they don’t focus inward, but outward on the other person.”

  20. Danny Davis May 23, 2011 at 17:07

    Hey Randy
    Dude – awesome post! I had to do a devotional in staff meeting today (once a year, and I dread it for the whole year). I totally ripped you off – read most of it verbatim, and followed up with Psalm 139:13-16 from The Message. I got great feedback from a bunch of our staff, and even our lead pastor said “Killer word today, Danny.” (a major compliment) So I wanted to give you credit… And thanks for giving me something to say that I can SO relate to. As a result, I was able to steal your story, and be authentic in my presentation of it – the best of both worlds! Thanks man –
    Danny

  21. “The “what they see is what they get” Randy” is a pretty cool dude.
    Jason´s last blog post ..Day 142- Hehn and low

  22. Hi Randy,

    We have never met but via twitter and your blog, I am your friend.

    I am an insecure creative on a deadline this very minute. Your blog today ministered to me. Soothed something inside of me. Whispered to me, “I called you on purpose. Keep going.”

    Blessings,
    Angela

  23. A truly great reminder, Randy. It isn’t always those with the greatest talent or visible gifting that succeed. It’s those who know how to be themselves and can put that on display for people in an honest fashion. Good stuff, man. Needed to hear that!
    David Santistevan´s last blog post ..If Worship Is A Lifestyle- Are You Living It

  24. Beautiful, Randy. So well said. Thank you. I’m learning the gift of being myself (and being confident in that person God made me to be). It can be incredibly liberating. For so long, I thought that I needed to be someone else. So it’s sometimes tough to be okay with being me. Thanks for sharing this!
    Jeff Goins´s last blog post ..6 Proven Ways to Fuel Your Creativity

  25. Randy – This is such a great post, and an even greater truth to live out fully. So much of the assumption of modern Christianity is that personal change is ALWAYS desperately needed – and that’s oddly translated into an understanding that we need to literally become someone different, then give God glory for that. Our sin needs to change, but not our core personality. I so appreciate this reminder that God created us just like we are. Every pastor and artist needs to read this post!

  26. Definitely need this one this morning! Thanks for your well thought words. Particularly – you balance the need of a self confidence with the need for continued personal growth. I’m learning that God doesn’t expect me to be anything other than a more holy version of myself. Authenticity seems to be built on that principle. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here, Randy!

  27. Yeah me too… I never knew you sung!

  28. My wife and I were having this very conversation – with a bit of a twist – just this past weekend, as we drove to minister at a friend’s church in Greenville. Most churches DON’T want their worship pastors to be themselves! They try so hard, through excessive supervision, committees, poling for opinions, technical advice to take whoever they have – whatever their giftings and natural leanings – and create a product out of a person. Sadly, they miss the fact that if they let someone actually minister out of their strengths, and not only BE, but DO who they ARE, the overall body would be FAR more blessed by it in the long run. Thank for the post, bro. Hope I get to see you again sooner rather than later. We have a lot to talk about.

  29. I see the same thing in Branson, MO a lot, as many of the singers and musicians attend the same church as I. You can usually tell who are being themselves and who are putting on a show. Those putting on a show usually don’t last too long before God steps in and brings things back down a notch.

    Love the simple advice he gave you.

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