I’m a confident person. Oh, I come by it honestly . . . I’ve had my parents’ example and encouragement every step of the way. I mean, look at them.
But I’m not here to talk about my experience. I’ve had a secure family, parents who love each other, siblings that encourage, and a network of supportive friends that is beyond compare. By God’s grace, I have been the recipient told many kind words I don’t deserve.
Yet I know most of the world is struggling with not feeling “good enough,” always feeling they need to measure up.
Maybe that has been your experience.
Maybe you feel like everyone’s better . . . maybe you see more failure on your horizon . . . maybe you’re scared of taking risks . . . maybe you don’t see your life as a success.
First of all, those are LIES. You ARE special and your life DOES have meaning. Jesus says he delights in you.
But confidence is a subtle feeling and if you don’t feel like you’re enough, you will never have confidence.
Here are three things I do to bring back my joy and give me confidence when my self-esteem begins to sink.
1. Remind Yourself: There will ALWAYS be someone “better”
Let’s get this straight right away. There will ALWAYS be someone prettier than you, more athletic than you, and smarter than you. There will always be a girl with nicer legs and there will always be a guy that seems to have it more together.
I think it’s crazy when I talk to girls who I think are gorgeous (like, perfect 10s) and they begin to tell me how insecure they are about their hair, their nose, etc. and how they just wish it was like so-and-so’s.
My brain marveled when I heard one guy tell me how he felt so insecure around his friend who was a “total-I-got-it-all-together-stud” and the next week the “total-I-got-it-all-together-stud” told me how he wished he could be as cool as other guys.
People say we shouldn’t compare ourselves with others, but frankly, I think it happens no matter what. The difference is what we do after we compare. If you find out so-and-so couldn’t get fat if she tried, acknowledge that is cool, and move on.
No one is perfect. So find your special skill, strength, beauty, or uniqueness and find joy and healthy pride in that. Not everyone can make people feel as understood as you can, not everyone can sing like a lark-angel.
Acknowledge that there will always be someone “better” (in your opinion) and be happy for them! Then. Be. You.
2. Speak Truth
There will always be people that want to tear us down. Maybe it’s a sibling, a back-stabbing “friend,” a teammate, even a parent. Maybe we tear down ourselves with negative self-talk.
People can have a massive effect on our self-esteem, and if we’re believing the negativity people are telling us, we need to fight back with TRUTH!!!
Read God’s words and enjoy who HE made you. In his eyes, you are precious. You are perfect. You bring him delight. He formed your body, your brain, your soul . . . it doesn’t matter what the world says, you’re perfect. I’m perfect.
But it does matter what the world says! You say.
No. It only matters when we let it affect us.
I know. It’s easy to be affected. That’s why we have to run to Jesus and remind ourselves of TRUTH! The more confident I am in who Christ made me, the more I find what other people think doesn’t matter.
BIG GOD. small people. small God, BIG PEOPLE.
3. Take Little Steps
Ok. So maybe you’ve experienced a lot of failure in your life. Maybe you don’t finish anything you start, maybe you’ve never achieved a goal you’ve set.
Accomplishing goals brings SO much confidence, but when we miss the mark we set for ourselves it can destroy our self-esteem.
The key? Start small. Very small. Very, very, small.
If your confidence is at rock-bottom, you NEED to win. Set a goal you know you could make if you were blind, the apocalypse happened, and there was no food in the fridge. (You get my drift. No “maybies” when you start.)
I smile when I think of the ridiculously small goals I’ve set for myself. I like to win, ya know? So why not have a goal of making your bed every day for a week? 😉
Start small and kill it. As your confidence increases, so will your goals!
Yeah, I have taken some big risks and fallen flat on my face. Embarrassingly flat. But I had such a big bank account of success, I was able to pick myself up and keep going.
The cool thing about goals, is that we get to set the rules. 🙂 Why not play the game in our favor? I totally do.
Learn Who You Are
We can beat ourselves up year after year because we don’t understand ourselves . . . how we work, how we think.
Maybe your dad wants you to be a dentist and you love working outdoors. Maybe your older sister/brother is organized and motivated, while you loose everything and jump from project to project.
Often parents or friends can make us feel badly about being different from them. A jovial 60-year-old woman I met confided in me that she was upset she could never do things right.
“I try to be organized but I just can’t.”
Truth is, like you, this woman had AMAZING strengths. When I met her, all I could see was a personality that warmed every room, a loving mom, and passionate business woman, but she only saw that she couldn’t do things her sister did easily.
“What’s wrong with me?” She asked.
Nothing’s wrong. You just work differently!! If everyone were an accountant, who would become fighter pilots and physical therapists? If everyone were organized and analytical, who would be the life of the party?
You aren’t your dad. You aren’t your cousin. You’re you!
If you don’t know who you are:
Yeah, I am lame (with a capital “L”) at a lot of stuff. The cool thing is, I don’t have to be good at everything!
You don’t have to be good at everything. Hallelujah, that’s freeing!
In short, if you don’t feel confident, it’s not because you don’t have reason to be. Nick Vujicic has no arms and no legs, for Pete’s sake, and he’s confident! (He also ended up with a babe of a wife, for the record.)
If you’re not confident, you have the power to change it. In fact, you are the only one who can change it.
Learn what makes you unique, remind yourself what Jesus thinks about you, set up the rules so you win, and get used to someone always being “better.” It doesn’t matter who they are.
Be the best you.
To all of you who are feeling insecure tonight, I wish I could give you a big hug. I wish I could show you the awesomeness you have hidden inside of you.
If you can’t think of anything wonderful about yourself, have a friend (or a couple friends) write down what’s wonderful about you. Read that list. Read truth.
I’m excited for you,
P.S. This post is in response to a challenge from Tony Conrad–blogger and fellow tweeter.
I totally do not have time for this, but challenges always have appealed to me so here’s day one of the “A-Picture-A-Day-For-Five-Days-Challenge” (my only regret is that the name isn’t longer).
The goal is straight forward enough: write about a picture a day for the next five days and tag a different blogger each day to offer them the challenge!
Might Elanee Smythe over at Elaneesendeavors.blogspot.com be interested? #Challenge