When You’re Afraid of What People Might Think

Be Present by Holley Gerth

I stand in front of the mirror and lean in close. I pluck a stray from my eyebrows, pat down an unruly piece of my ponytail and wipe a lipstick smudge from the corner of my lip. I’m going to an event and somehow I believe that if I can make myself look just right then everyone will like me and I won’t be so afraid. We’ve talked about this before. 

By the end of the night the light is too dim to see any strays on my eyebrows, my ponytail has long since gone wild and my lipstick has been transferred to the edge of my mug where it will make trouble for a dishwasher later. And know what? No one cares. 

And I realize once again…

I can get so focused on being presentable.

And God is simply asking me to be present.

Yep, just show up. Be there. Dare to overcome the fear and reach out.

I do the same with my heart. Straighten up my worries. Tuck in my messes. Hide away my faults and failures. Or I simply don’t show up at all. I avoid the conversation, the step outside my comfort zone, the chasing-down-of-the-dream.

“I’ll wait until I have it more together,” I tell myself.

Here’s what I’m really saying: “I’ll wait until I believe I can do it perfectly because then it won’t be so scary.”

Sister, the day when we can do everything perfectly will come. There’s only one problem: we’ll be dead. Yep. If we’re gonna go for it in this life then being present always beats being perfect. God is not asking us to do anything flawlessly, just faithfully. He can make up for the rest. 

So, yes, put your “best” forward but don’t let insisting on perfection hold you back. We need you to show up. Because there’s a part of who God is that only gets shared with the world through who you are.

In other words, your presence is a present.

And it’s enough.

Because Jesus is enough in you.


Holley Gerth

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  1. says

    Your “Being present” article is wonderful! Good points were made about being present instead of trying to be perfect before you do something. I do this often and it defeats what I am trying to do.

    Thank you for writing this!

    Toni Star

  2. Ashley says

    Thank you Holley! God seems to be planting all kinds of things in front of me about taking a leap of faith, stepping out of my comfort zone, etc. lately. I won’t lie, it scares me to no end but I can sense that a lot of wonderful things are on the other side of the leap. At this point, I am praying Scripture about who I am in Christ over myself and then I need to sit down and pray about where it is that God is leading because I don’t have a clear direction on that yet. Thank you for the post!!

      • Diane Ruiz says

        Ashley, fear not, for God is with you. Just take hold of His hand and walk by faith…that’s what I keep doing. Praying first is a smart way to do any and everything that needs to get done. I will keep you in my prayers (as I do all my sisters in Christ) to keep pressing in and on. Blessings!!

  3. Teresa Martin says

    Wow Holley, what a powerful message and so true. Thank you for sharing and giving your sisters in Christ the courage to step outside of their comfort zone.


  4. Holly says

    Thank you so much for this Holley! You have no idea how much I needed this today. I got up so nervous. I’m giving a talk tonight and reaching for my dreams and woke up wanting to pull the covers right over my head. This so encouraged me. Dang girl, you have such a gift of exhortation! lol Just sayin. 😉 Thanks again!


    • Holley says

      It helps so much to be able to remind each other of what’s true doesn’t it? It’s a blessing to be able to do that with you!

  5. says

    Talk about an answer to my heart’s prayer (and journal writings today). I have been in this rut of worrying about everything on the outside without letting God just work it out. My timing is not God’s timing. “God is not asking us to do anything flawlessly, just faithfully.” Thank you Holley! Music to my ears.

  6. Debbie says

    Dear Holley,

    I really appreciate all the things you write, the sweet pictures and comments/graphics (or whatever the right word is :)))) –
    And today’s message is especially precious, encouraging, helpful to me where I am today.
    Thank you ever so much for your ministry. I will probably never have the opportunity to meet you here – but I’ll sure look forward to a sit-down-visit with you in Heaven!


      • Debbie says

        Thanks, Holley. :)
        And thanks for all the things you write and share with us. You really speak to my heart……………….
        If by any chance you’re ever in the very beautiful state of Washington and want to sit on my deck and look at the mountains and the Puget Sound – I’ll make the cookies and tea and you can put your feet up and relax!

  7. Gail says

    Oh Holley, your words today brought tears to my eyes. You are so right when you say that our need for perfection is more a need to be liked and accepted. I have been blessed with some family members and great friends who do love me the way I am. It is the people in my life who do not feel this way about me that I obsess with “perfection” when I am with them. When these people are family members it can pose problems when we meet. I ask my Lord for His Grace to help me through these times, and He’s always there to let me know He loves me…just as I am.

  8. Donna says

    Thanks for this Holley! I am forever doing this. I don’t feel good enough for anyone, when in reality I should focus on Jesus and if He says that I’m good enough, then I am.

    Thanks for your inspirational writings! I love them!!

    • Cindy Hampson says

      Hi Ashley, as i read your post I saw a little of myself and my struggles. I hope I am right in saying this – don’t be too careful. Trust God and enjoy the adventure. I think some of the excitement is lost if we are too careful that we do everything just right. As Holley said in her blog we are not perfect. Trust the Lord to get you back on the right path if you take a wrong turn. God bless.


  9. Cindy Hampson says

    Hi Holley,

    Thank you so much for your encouragement. I know these things to be true, but as another poster had mentioned, find it difficult to apply in situations where I don’t feel accepted. It fells so liberating to just be who God made me to be and be confident that what He made is good, but doubt myself and God when I feel judged in christian circles. I believe God is using it to bring me more freedom from what others think – but it is sooo hard.

  10. says

    I am so thankful for your encouraging, truthful words.
    It has been a long road to living in this world with authenticity.
    The more I let go of being a people pleaser, and living in His love,
    I am becoming genuine.
    His love shines in and through me, and gives me strength to be His beloved child.

    I have shared so many of your posts.
    Thank you for sharing your heart:)


  11. Nazila says

    My dear Holley, thanks for your beautiful post. It was more than a coffee for our heart, it was a remedy that I will keep handy for my heart.

  12. Diane Ruiz says

    I guess I’m a bit late, but I just saw this and I must say, I don’t show up….the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak….Each morning I wake up and spend time with God, encouraging my heart with His word, so that I can go out and meet the world; but then I just do what I can and not what I can’t (face the scary sides of condemnation, lies, hypocrisy). Please keep writing these posts Holley and I will keep walking by faith, holding His hand and looking for the pleasures of this life; the sudden glories of God that I’ve been missing out on.

  13. Carol says

    I’m reading this a little late, but, then again, not really because it was just what I needed to hear TODAY!! God bless you for your insight into the hearts of we the readers!


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