Nona Jones speaking on stage

How to Protect Your Confidence During Times of Transition

Nona Jones, an international speaker, preacher, and author, discusses the issue of lack of confidence in society today and the impact of toxic comparison on personal confidence.

You can listen to this conversation with Nona on our podcast, Work, Love, Pray! Listen below or click here to find your preferred listening platform.

That’s such a great question. I think there are a few things we could point to, but one thing in particular is that there is a fictionalized, falsified idea of what it means to be good enough. There are so many facets to being “good enough” that it can feel unachievable. In the context of being a woman, for example, we are oftentimes not only judged by how we perform as an employee or as a leader, but we tend to be judged by how we keep our home, care for our family, or on our physical appearance. There is just this ever-shifting definition of what it means to be good enough, and that takes a hit on your confidence for sure. 

I would say that I am still finding it! I had a childhood where my mom regularly reminded me that she didn’t want to have me, so that definitely was a hit to my confidence. But then I had people in my life like my teacher, my youth pastor, people who spoke into my potential. They were the ones who really ignited a sense of confidence in myself. I thought that if these people see the good in me, even if my mom doesn’t, then maybe there is something there. So my confidence is a work in progress, for sure. 

Of course. As a professional woman, you derive a sense of identity not just from what you do, but for whom you do it. When you’re working for an organization, or on a specific team within the organization, you come to define yourself by those things, so transitioning away, in many ways, is like stripping away a part of who you are. Before I joined the team at Meta, I was in a C-Level role for a large nonprofit organization. I loved working there and thought I would work there for the rest of my life. But I was in prayer one day and, I heard the Lord say, ‘This assignment is over.’ It was a very surprising thing to hear because my boss, who was the CEO, had come to me and asked if I would be interested in being named her successor. 

To have the Lord say that my time at that organization was over definitely struck me as odd. But by the time I was about to transition away from that role, I realized just how much of myself I had woven around my title and my team brand. And then, when I later transitioned away from Meta, you know, it’s such a big brand and there were a lot of people who respected what I did. One of the questions I had to wrestle with was that if I’m not ‘Nona from Meta’ or ‘Nona from Facebook,’ do I even matter? Will people even want to talk to me anymore? I had to really wrestle through those things as I made each of my transitions. 

Oh, yeah! Let me share about what inspired me to write my book, Killing Comparison. At the beginning of 2020, I had two books that were scheduled to release. I had a full calendar of speaking engagements, and it was going to be an amazing year. Then, of course, the pandemic happened, and events started to get canceled and postponed. One morning I was logging onto a video conference for work, and I happened to just open up Instagram while I was waiting for people to join. Normally, I go straight to my notifications and don’t even see my newsfeed. But this particular morning, I happened to catch a glimpse of my newsfeed and saw a post from a friend of mine. She was sharing how excited she was because she was going to be speaking at a women’s conference that had gone virtual. 

It was a huge conference that normally met in-person, but it had gone virtual because of the pandemic. When I saw her post, I thought it was a cool opportunity for her. I scrolled down a little bit more, and another friend of mine had made the exact same post. She was also super excited to speak at this huge women’s conference that had gone virtual and tens of thousands of women were already registered. I kept scrolling and saw another friend make the same post and another, and another, and another. Because I don’t follow that many people, it eventually got to the point that all that was in my newsfeed were posts about my friends being a part of this conference. 

I went to the conference website and realized that I knew all of the speakers. I even knew the host! Seeing those posts made me wonder, ‘Well gosh, why wasn’t I invited to speak?’ So I started clicking over to my friends’ profiles, wondering how many followers do they have in comparison to me, or where else are they speaking in comparison to me. I started to do all of this comparison calculus, and was like, ‘Why her and not me? Why was I overlooked? Why wasn’t I invited?’

While I was in the midst of all of that and feeling so inadequate and not good enough, I heard the Holy Spirit ask, ‘Nona, why does it matter?’ And I was like, ‘Why does it matter? Because there’s this huge conference happening and I won’t be a part of it. Thousands of people are going to be watching all these speakers and they won’t hear me.’ And I heard the Lord say, ‘So you think you only matter to the extent of the invitations you receive to speak?’ I know the Bible says I’m fearfully and wonderfully made, that I’m a royal priesthood, a chosen generation. But as I was kind of regurgitating what I knew in my head, I felt like the Lord said, ‘Nona, your problem is not what you know in your head. Your problem is what you believe in your heart. You don’t believe what I have said about you. And because of that you are insecure.’ 

That threw me off because at the time, I was successful by every measure. How could I possibly be insecure when I had so much, had done so much, had achieved so much. It was through a process of inquiry, prayer, and hearing from God that I realized: you can be the most beautiful woman on earth, have the most money, have the most power, and be the most famous…and still be insecure if your identity is secured to an insecure foundation, which is anything subject to the approval or the opinion or the invitation of somebody else. If you are only as secure as the awards you receive or the degrees that you hold, or the job title that you have, or the zeros in your bank account, you’ll be insecure if and when all of that goes away. The fact that I was someone who was relatively accomplished and was then absolutely crushed that I was not invited to speak at something, let me know that comparison and it’s attack on confidence is something we all deal with. 

Picture of Nona Jones, author of Killing Comparison

Nona Jones is an international speaker, preacher, author, and the head of global faith-based partnerships at Facebook. Previously, Nona held executive leadership roles across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. A graduate of the Presidential Leadership Scholars Program, Nona was named one of Essence magazine’s Under 40 Women to Watch and Florida Trend Magazine as one of Florida’s “30-Something All Stars.” She is currently President of the Gainesville (FL) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and serves on the University of Florida Digital Advisory Council. She most recently served as Secretary of the Florida Juvenile Justice Association Board of Directors and on the Georgia Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force. She is a graduate of Leadership Florida and the Presidential Leadership Scholars Program, a unique leadership development initiative led by President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush. Nona and her husband lead a church together in Gainesville, Florida.  You can follow Nona at