There are many many messages in the world that tell us we are not enough. I was watching a talk show that talked about a new trend of tattooing freckles on the face because it gives a look of youthful innocence. This was crazy to me because though I think freckles are cute, many people I know who actually have freckles don’t like them. One of the hosts on the show brought up that we are often tricked into wanting the exact opposite of what we have. Got curly hair? Better get it straightened. Talk a lot? Be more meek. Too quiet? Speak up! Curvy? Lose some weight. Skinny? Let’s get you some butt and hip pads.
In light of the constant assault on our self image I think its important that women regularly pay close attention to how we feel about ourselves. Our confidence level is key to our self image, and thus the health of the relationships we have with ourselves and our families. Below are a few things that can help us build our confidence.
- Know who you are and what you have to offer. If you know nothing else, know that you are a daughter of the King. You’re a child of God. You are made in His image and that makes you amazing. As someone who is made in His image, He has given you gifts and talents reflective of His nature. These gifts and talents are uniquely yours because no one else can share them with the world the way that you can. Revel in that. As a child, I thought that I didn’t have a talent because I couldn’t sing, dance, or draw. But God is not that basic. Gifts are as diverse as snowflakes. I know now that one of my gifts is being encouraging. I’m an exhorter and I love it. It floats my boat to tell people they’re wonderful or see something in them that they didn’t see. Maybe you’re especially comforting, or a great writer. Perhaps you’re super organized, a great graphic designer, or a great cook. Whatever it is, recognize it and do it. A lot. If you don’t know what your gift or talent is, think about what you do naturally and/or what you enjoy doing and go from there. Operating in your gifts is a sure way to boost your confidence.
- Ditch the negative self talk. It is super easy to talk to yourself in a way that is destructive and counterproductive. “I can’t believe I did that.” “Ugh, I’m so fat.” “OMG, I’m such a bad mother!” Many of us are guilty of mentally beating ourselves to a pulp without so much as a “My bad” to soften the blow. If you are saying things like the statements above to yourself then you need address your self talk. I have to check in with myself on a regular basis to avoid this pitfall. Though it may seem harmless, it is not. One way I check myself is to ask this question: Would I say this, in this way to my best friend? If the answer is no, then I know I am being mean to myself and I need to change my thinking immediately.
- Comparison is the devil. Listen, if I had $1 for every time I compared myself to someone else when I was younger I’d be rich by now. It’s something I rarely do now, but I still have to be mindful. Comparing yourself, your husband, your job, your kids, your (fill in the blank) to someone else’s is a slippery slope to a low opinion of yourself and everything God has blessed you with. Every single time I get ready to compare my situation to someone else’s, God quickly reminds me that the grass isn’t always greener and to appreciate what I’m working with. I’ve learned that I can celebrate you without envying you. If God blessed you, that means I’ve just moved up one space in line to get my blessing so there’s no need to compare. Can I get an Amen?
- Do your best so you can be your best. If I’m honest, I don’t do my very best nearly as often as I should. I do stuff at work at the last minute like all time. I rarely vacuum behind the couch. You get the idea. When I know I haven’t done my best it erodes my confidence. This is something I am working on. One of the ways I’m working on it is by employing a tip I came across the other day. The tip was to accomplish the three most important things on your to do list before you check your email or social media. I tried the rule today and it worked. I didn’t feel like doing that first thing, but once I got it done, the feeling of accomplishment motivated me to move quickly to scratch the next thing off my list. Avoiding procrastination and embracing hard work are ways I’m working to increase my confidence.
- Appreciate your progress. Sometimes I can get frustrated with myself for not being ‘there’ yet- wherever there is. I haven’t gotten to a certain point in my career yet. I haven’t lost the baby weight yet. I haven’t been able to keep my house clean for more than 3.2 seconds yet. What I am learning these days is to appreciate the journey. Now if you know me in real life, then you know that’s not how I normally roll. I am characteristically all about the destination. BUT, I’m learning there is something to be said about relaxing and enjoying the ride. The fact is, for most of our lives we are going to be on a journey. There will always be something to improve and a need for growth in one area or another. What keeps me enjoying the journey now is recognizing that though I’m not ‘there’ yet, I am making progress and that’s something to appreciate.
What do you do to maintain a healthy amount of confidence? Let us know in the comments!
As always, I hope you found this helpful.
Yours in bliss,