Over the past decade, my confidence level has went from:
“ Meh, I’m alright” to
“I suck.” to
“Get it together, Cortney” to
“Girl, get up and act like you got it together” to
“Alright CJ, I SEE YOU GIRL.”
When I tell you life for me ain’t been no crystal stair?! (Langston Hughes reference – look it up lol)
To say that my relationship with myself has been a boomerang effect would be an understatement. The longest period through that evolution was the “I suck.” period. Everywhere I went, that was my song. (But that’s a blog for another day.) Thankfully, I’ve done some of the work I needed to do to get on the right track. It’s a daily practice. I’ve got the best support system and I know that the journey will only continue to get better.
Unfortunately, that’s not the current case for everybody. Everyday someone is struggling with believing in themselves. Living with self-doubt. Constantly self-sabotaging. Never feeling that they are enough to be in this world, have that job, be with that cute guy or start that business.
Well, I say not so fam. Don’t live life like that. Take it from someone who spent entirely too many years putting herself last in her mind. Change your mind! Start the journey to a healthier relationship with yourself.
- Believe in yourself ENOUGH. Even if it’s 25%. That’s better than the zero percent it was yesterday. The Bible talks about having faith the size of a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20). Have you seen one yet? Put it on a table, walk away and see if you can find it again. That’s just how small it is. Approach one situation a day with faith in yourself at least at that 25% mark. And just like that mustard seed your faith in yourself will grow.
- Root your confidence in something other than yourself. I know that the whole concept of confidence is to have so much of it in ourselves, but let’s not forget why we are truly here – to be the salt and light of the world. Matthew 5:16 says to let your light so shine before men so that men may SEE your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. But you can’t be that light by hiding it! The only way we can be THAT light confidently is when we remember it is not by our own might. None of us are living this life in our own power. So many times we don’t go out into the world confident because we forget (or never knew) that we are covered by Jesus and backed by heaven. We don’t put God first. We walk out on our own and then look back for God’s help. The God above is looking out for you. He wants you to prosper. When He goes before us, what do we have to fear? Why should we diminish our light?
- Have a ‘just do it’ attitude. Fear will literally cripple you into the point of no return or in this case no action. That’s the enemy’s job. To fear you out of your destiny. Put some grit in your teeth, tough it up and talk yourself into it. You could go 15 minutes telling yourself that you can’t do it. But in the 30 seconds where you feel like you can, do it then. You’ll spend less time talking yourself out of things and more time hyping yourself up. It’s not that fear won’t ever show up again. It’s the fact that you are confident in your past wins, your current determination and the wonderful future you have before you.
- Say no without regret and receive a no without punishing yourself or taking it personally. If you’re the type that always says yes or is super accommodating of everyone else over yourself, start giving people the gift of no. This thing is two-fold. When we begin to say no to others, it gives us a little power back when we had previously given up our time for things we didn’t want to do. They’ll find someone else to do it. When others say no to us, it is not the end. It gives us the opportunity to find other avenues. Once you master the gift of no, it will give you the confidence to say other things that need to be said.
- Encourage someone else and encourage yourself. Eventually you’ll start listening to your own words. I had given so many other people advice about believing in themselves that day after day I asked myself why I didn’t say those things to myself. I started trying to combat the negative talk I had drilled into my mind and replacing it with better things. When you wake up in the morning, write down three things you’re grateful for and one sentence of affirmation to yourself. When I started doing this, some mornings, it looked like “I am a strong and powerful woman capable of God’s best for me.” Other mornings, it was simply “I am a loving person.”
More than anything else, the things you tell yourself matter.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:21
If you like telling yourself things that kill your spirit, you’ll always be negative and never go after anything better. But if you want life-affirming things in your life that encourage and strengthen you, speak those things into your life and act on them.
You don’t have to go through life not trusting in yourself. You’re not here just to take up space. Live boldly. Live confidently. Live encouraged. You have everything you need already inside you.
P.S. When everything else fails – LOOK the part. Sometimes, just taking a shower, putting on some clothes that look good and looking back at your reflection in the mirror gives you a boost of confidence too! Don’t take your outward appearance for granted either. 🙂
All my Love, CJ