Throwing Off Self-doubt; Embracing Confidence
Julianna Zobrist – Christian songwriter, speaker, and author – has a well-established reputation as a fashion muse that isn’t going anywhere fast. But ask her what she thinks of it, and the response is telling. “I have no idea how I feel about it! People are always like, what do you do in the fashion field? I have no idea. I say ‘Nothing!’ I just like it, and I have a strong taste for myself. Target tshirt with Gucci shirt. That’s sincere to me, but I find that it’s really fun and refreshing for others, which is where we’re connecting.”
In a social media landscape increasingly flooded with airbrushed, edited, and paid-for perfection, Julianna campaigns hard for life lived in self-expression – without particularly caring what people think of our choices.
“We have to start allowing self-expression to be just that, self-expression. Not others-expression. We’ve got to learn the art of fitting out, not fitting in. Circumstantially, we’re all very different. But the common denominator is that fear and insecurities are present. I’ve never met someone who’s confident who isn’t in tune with their insecurities. People ask me ‘how do you pull it off?’ Typically referring to the fact that it looks like I get dressed in a Crayola box. I flip the question on them and said ‘Who’s saying you can’t?’ It’s so interesting to me because nine times out of ten there is no answer. Not finances, time, family, religion, or anything. The hesitation, and the biggest hurdle I realised we were struggling with, is our own self-doubt. It’s not even coming from someone else.”
Julianna, who grew up in in rural farmland near Iowa City, lived her early adult life navigating how to celebrate who she was for herself, in the shadow of a minister father. That journey of figuring it out is on display in her song-writing, and, more recently, her book ‘Pull It Off: Removing Your Fear and Putting On Confidence’. “For the most of my life at the start I tried so much to make others like me. As hard as I tried to make others like me and be clear in the way I’m communicating, there will always be someone who finds something they don’t like in me. It can be depressing at first, or you can allow it to be liberating. You know what? I can’t live my life for other people. We’re too fickle.
As Christians, we will be known by the love we have for each other. Not because of how we parent, or don’t dye our hair, or use kale in smoothies. If we can embrace our unity before God, made in His image, loved by Christ, it’d be easier to not tell others how they should be living. Or tell them that God will be more pleased with you if you eat more kale.
I hope people get from this book that they are so loved and that they are intentional, that God doesn’t need them to grow one more day to be like them, that they are perfectly intended to be the imperfect person that they are, that that becomes their catalyst and springboard for creativity and expression and communication and vulnerability, and stepping out into the world, into this courage and confidence and brilliance that He’s given us.”
Listen to the full interview in the latest Height of Heart podcast: