Do you struggle with confidence? How do you find confidence? Are you born with it? Do you build it up? Does it come from achievements, athletic abilities, or having a spouse? Does it come from how you look, from raising kids, or a booming career? This has been an interesting topic that has come up a lot lately and one with different opinions on.
For me, confidence in the past has come from how well I thought my life was going, my appearance, and what others thought of me. But that isn’t a solid foundation to sustain confidence from. Those things are ever changing. Some seasons in life are slow or mundane. You won’t always feel pretty and comfortable in your own skin. I know I put a lot of pressure on myself and still sometimes do, to always have fresh highlights, tanned skin, nails on point, clothes fitting just right, to feel good about myself. And you won’t always feel super loved by everyone. Not everyone will like you or understand you, and that’s okay. Not everyone is meant to and some people come into our lives just for a time. So how do we find true confidence outside these things?
I have purposely not showed up to social events or have felt so insecure showing up alone because I didn’t feel like I was enough without that ring on my finger or a baby on my hip. I have felt so embarrassed at my age still being alone, that’s it’s easier to just stay home on my couch with my dog. But I know God didn’t intend for me to live life this way. He didn’t create me, for me to than cower down to life, feeling less than. I wanted the titles of wife and mom to find confidence, but many have those titles and still feel lost, less than, unloved, and disconnected. So, it has to come from a deeper place within and not from the world and others.
Comparing ourselves to others will also destroy our confidence and joy. If we constantly wish we had something someone else has or measure ourselves based on our assessment of what we see on the outside, it will zap our energy. If we are bombarded with images of other women whom have features, people or things that we are insecure with, in ourselves and wish we had, than we won’t feel confident with what we do have. (Sometimes it’s good to take a social media break if it’s doing more harm than good in your life.) I think the most confident people take pride in who they are, are grateful, and have a strong sense of self and the person they are and know what they uniquely have to offer the world. Being strong and confident in your own path and journey is sexy. It’s not always easy, yet it’s easy to see and admire other’s lawns, but let’s focus on our own grass and make it the greenest we can.
I think confidence will ebb and flow in life, but at the core is the unique person God created and His unconditional love for us. He loves us fully with all our quirks, vices, struggles, and issues no matter what. Just being us is enough. We don’t have to try and earn His love. It just is. While culture tells us we need to earn it and always achieve and do to gain notoriety, just being our authentic selves is enough. And there is confidence that comes from His love and knowing He made me with special skills, passions, feelings, and thoughts. I’m my only me.
Confidence is rooted in full trust and hope. Do we put our trust and hope in things, self, other people? I will let myself down at times and rejection from others is part of life. As I have delved more into my faith, I have put my hope, trust, and ultimately confidence in Christ as I have gotten to know Him more. Many see God as a harsh, judging, condemning Father especially if that was your experience with your earthly father. But I have learned that is not Him at all. He is loving, caring, gentle, and patient. A Father who died for His kids and came to serve. He lived a humble life of 33 years on Earth to show us unconditional love, which is so rare in todays’ society.
But, confidence is something I have to daily fight for. To seek God and what He says about me. To push past my comfort zone. To fight past the fear and doubt. And I still have days my thoughts beat me up. But I remember the love God has for me, the plan He has for my life and I re-center my thoughts on that and I walk in that confidence versus what I see and feel around me.
Ways I have personally cultivated more confidence in myself:
-Delving into my faith and relationship with Jesus
-Taking up new hobbies or activities
-Stepping out in faith in new areas of my life
-Working out more and feeling strong in my body
-Spending time reflecting, learning, and growing as a woman
-Being grateful for what I do have and things God has answered prayer on
-Finding silver linings to less than desirable situations
-Having adult conversations and admitting fault, responsibility and apologizing if need be
-Paying off debt on my own
-Being aware of my thoughts and feelings, but not letting them control me
-Trips alone exploring a city and yourself is very empowering
-Enjoying my own company