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Insecurity isolates, berates and imprisons.  TRUE confidence allows us to DREAM BIG and to pursue our passions with peace, assurance and purpose.

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One massive problem with insecurity (20 reasons why I declared war on insecurity) is that it keeps us from fulfilling our destiny.

It *keeps us stuck in a rut of second guessing our gifts and talents, it *highlights our weaknesses instead of our strengths, and it is highly contagious.  When we approach life (and even our areas of talent) with insecurity, it *becomes the model we offer our kids as they develop ways of thinking and living.  And that is not good for anyone.

These final three posts of our series are focusing on breaking out of that rut, and learning to RUN with TRUE confidence as we offer our passions as gifts to the world.  

As we discover, develop, and share our passions, we become more AWARE of all the amazingly unique ways God created us.  We are then able to boldly serve others with our passions (instead of staying stuck in the cage of insecurity).

This is part of what TRUE confidence lived out looks like.

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So here are 5 ideas to DEVELOP YOUR PASSIONS: (feel free to do one or all…just do something!)

1.  Start a “vision/passion” journal.  This will become a place where you process  thoughts and ideas surrounding your passions.  This is a place to record new ideas, and build on old ideas.   A place to brainstorm and a place to pray.   Make it a “dream factory”, a quiet place where you can dream BIG and begin to put your thoughts into action.  Hold nothing back here.  Because when we know who we are in Christ, we can DREAM BIG.

2. Find a place of inspiration and do regular “walk throughs” to feed your passion, creativity and vision.  For me, (living in the ‘burbs and without a surplus of time to travel) that’s often the store, Anthropologie.  I am inspired by their unapologetic colors and unique expression.  I don’t often buy, I just walk through and soak it up.  The environment inspires me.  Your place of inspiration could be a museum, a park, a nature trail, a garden, a book nook or an old church.

3. Look AHEAD: Where do you want to be in 1 year with your hobby/passion?  (use your vision journal for this)  In what ways do you want to have grown and developed?  It could be in knitting, running, cooking, gardening, writing, singing, painting, speaking, reading…anything!  Work backwards from that time marker, and set monthly goals that will help you get there.

4. Invest in a subscription to a magazine that orients around your interests, strengths or hobbies.  Create time in your schedule to read it weekly.  Enjoy it.  Be refreshed.  Read it with “purpose” eyes.  Ask God for ideas on how you can intentionally grow and “steward” your strengths and passions.

5. Attend a conference on the topic of your hobby or strength.  I have this hobby of blogging, and last year, I attended Allume.  It was one of the highlights of my year, and changed the way I blog.  I try to do something every year that develops my skills and passions with professional insight.  This year, I am praying about attending a conference that will develop my skills for speaking and writing.

Motherhood is a calling, and it is of utmost importance.  It may seem extravagant to get away from home to do a conference or to take time for any of these ideas.  (And truly, I believe there are seasons to be ACTIVE and seasons to simply BE…pray for wisdom, I sure am.) 

But there is something of great value when you can invest in yourself and in the gifts and passions of your heart.  It may be that you get away for an hour, or a day (or 2), but the point is that you grow and develop as an individual, not just a mom.  

As you develop your passions, there will be an extra bounce in your step, and an extra boost of energy that you will have as you re-enter the wonderful daily grind of motherhood.  (There are also endless ways to incorporate your kids into your passions in a way that gives them positive exposure to culture, a heart for serving others, and a vision of what it looks like to steward God-given gifts.  Maybe a post on that later.)

What are YOUR thoughts on this?  Which of these 5 seems most “do-able” for you in your stage of motherhood?  I’d LOVE to interact with YOU in the comments section!

Come back for the final post of the “Confident Mom Series” as we talk about intentionally “sharing” your gifts.

If you are just joining us, welcome!! You may want to check out these posts to see what we’ve been talking about:

Finding and Keeping TRUE Confidence

Seeing Past Cosmo-Confidence: Looking For More

The 4 R’s to Letting Go of Insecurity