“What’s on the surface always looks like one big party but inside there is a little boy looking for help and guidance.”

Where True Confidence Comes From

Top music star Chris Brown, who appears outwardly to be successful, has admitted to feeling like a lost little boy inside.We love his honesty!

Despite our outward achievements, many of us feel like we are playing at being adults rather than actually being grown up. Why is this so?

Many of us have not been supported in making the journey from being dependent children to becoming adults who are confident enough to face the world. As a result, despite our calendar age, we are still ‘children’.

It is ironic that we admire stars such as Chris Brown for being confident because, as he himself reveals, a lot of this confidence is a performance. Inside, many ‘stars’ are not as confident as you might think.

One of the musical stars of the country music TV series Nashville , Hayden Panettiere, who admits that she struggles with confidence issues referred, in a recent interview, to Beyonce’s alter ego, Sasha Fierce, explaining it as a way that Beyonce handles her own confidence issues by creating a character to hide behind.

But why do we need to hide behind imaginary people in order to be confident? Why can’t we be ourselves? When and where did we learn that who we are is not good enough? And have we EVER even taken the time to really get to know themselves?

It is no wonder many of us we feel like lost, little children inside!

So what can be done?

Becoming A TRUE Adult ( The Parenting Cycle)

A TRUE adult is defined as a person who leads herself by knowing herself and her mission.

The path to TRUE adulthood has at least two major stages.

Firstly, you need to discover WHO YOU ARE and IDENTIFY YOUR LIFE MISSION then you need to ESTABLISH PARTNERSHIPS at home and at work to help you achieve your mission.

One stage needs to be completed before the next – if you do not know your mission then what is guiding you in choosing your major life partners?

Many of us launch ourselves into the second stage of partnering others when we have not been helped to complete the first stage of discovering who we are. It is no wonder we do not know what we offering to our partners and we end up in ill-conceived relationships that often don’t last!

This site deals with discovering who you areĀ  – and our sister site, (still under construction), deals with finding the right partners for your life’s mission.

This two stage explanation of attaining adulthood is GREATLY over-simplified but if we can understand it then we can understand where we or anyone else has gotten ‘stuck’ along the way often through no fault of our own.

The Ideal Family

In the perfect world we would all come from the ideal family with both a knowledgeable father and mother playing complementary roles in bringing us up.

Today many people believe that male and female roles are interchangeable. Whilst it is true that anyone can do the cooking or wash the car, men and women have been designed for different, specific and complementary roles in marriage and parenting. Challenging this idea has brought us nothing but the identity confusion we see all around us today.

In an ideal household fathers use their God-given authority to name their children (establish identity) and claim them as their own (giving them a sense of belonging/ validating them).

Mothers teach their children – especially their sons- the principles of life to equip them to go out into the world prepared.

These acts by the father and the mother are ESSENTIAL to building a person’s confidence.

The less validation and guidance a person has received from his or her parents (or ‘qualified’ surrogates) the less TRUE confidence he or she is likely to have.

God knows that many of us have come from homes that are far from this ideal and He has made provision for that.

One of the most amazing revelations we have had is that God has systematically planted people in our lives as stand-in parents to help make up for the deficiencies in our biological upbringing in the areas of helping us know who we are and giving us the affirmation we need to face the world.

These people are ‘spiritual’ fathers and mothers.The journey to significance and discovering a healthy identity is a spiritual one hence the term spiritual parent.

Why am I so certain of what I am saying? Because I have been called to be a spiritual father to over 40 young men and have seen many others either fulfill or misinterpret their missions as spiritual parents.

For a practical example of spiritual fathering take a look at Kwame’s Story .

Time To Grow Up

Let’s return to Chris Brown. He, like too many African men, grew up without a father and his mother may have spent more time encouraging him to exploit his talents for fame and fortune instead of teaching him the principles of life (which she herself may or may not have fully known). It is what it is – we are not playing the blame game.

Chris Brown’s tweet (above) cuts to the heart of the two steps to TRUE adulthood we outlined here – he himself has not been validated and is not TRULY an adult himself. Now that he is a father how can he pass on to his child what he himself has not received?

Musician Usher also grew up fatherless and also had a Mum who pushed him into the spotlight. VH1’s Behind The Music reveals that he went in search of his biological father and asked his mother to stop being his manager and play the true role of a mother as he tried to put his family back together.

Usher did this just when he was to become a father himself.He needed a father to help him complete the first identity discovery stage of the journey to adulthood in order for him to step into the second stage of partnership with his wife to father his own children!

Ronaldo, the ace footballer, had a son with an unnamed mother that he gave his name to and now plays father to him as a way of healing his own broken relationship with his own father. In effect, he replaced his father with himself and used his own child as a stand in for himself in his journey to adulthood!

He did not need the boy’s mother because he has always had a good relationship with his own biological mother. She did not need to be ‘replaced’ in this game of happy families. You can see all this in the film of his life.

These remarkable actions by these stars and countless other ‘ordinary people’ show us how, in the absence of getting the validation we need from biological or a spiritual parents, we find creative ways to TRY and heal ourselves especially when confronted with the reality of being parents ourselves.

True Confidence

If truth be told, the ultimate source of true confidence is the Ultimate Parent Himself. We are ALL made in God’s image and He yearns to reach out and restore His relationship with us as a Father to His children. The Bible says we are fearfully and wonderfully made and that we are the apple of His eye. He loves as so much that He sent his own Son to bring us back to Him – if we choose!

Thanks for reading. Continue your journey HERE

Kwame’s Story

Sometimes we pause and remember those who have helped us to get to where we are in life. Kwame thinks back to the way he was in his late twenties and how one ‘spiritual’ father helped turn his life around. This is his story. TEN YEARS AGO: A young man, Kwame, struggled to live up…