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  • Writer's picture​Sharon Jimerson

5 Ways to Build Your Self-Confidence

Ephesians 3:12

“In Him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”

Self-confidence is understanding that you trust your own judgment and abilities, and that you value yourself and feel worthy, regardless of any imperfections or of what others may believe about you. As a young woman from rural Mississippi, I often felt out of place. Throughout high school, my interests did not conform with the status quo of my classmates. I enjoyed reading, painting, reciting poetry, listening to rock music, wearing vintage and Afrocentric clothes, and rocking various natural hair styles. During my senior year, I even dyed my hair blue to show school spirit as track captain! My individuality was often frowned upon, which negatively affected my self-esteem in how I express myself through activities, music, fashion, and hairstyles.

It was not until I attended college, particularly my sophomore year, that I felt comfortable being myself and expounding on my creativity. As I grew in my faithful relationship with God, I became more self-aware that God’s love for me accepts for me who I am. The keyword is faith. It’s through faith that we can experience freedom and confidence in its entirety. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” As a young child, I noticed that I was different from girls my age, and it took me several years to be happy and comfortable within myself to feel confident in how I express myself through my content on social media and in the clothes or hair styles I choose to embrace. I had to learn that God made each of us exquisitely in his image. Although the challenging world of life, self-confidence is something that you learn to patiently build up and strengthen, especially with the power of God.

As these examples show, low self-confidence can be self-destructive, and it may manifest itself as negativity. Self-confidence is having faith within yourself. Often when we lack confidence in ourselves it is because of what we believe others will think of us. Perhaps others will laugh at us or complain or make fun if we make a mistake. Thinking like this can prevent us

from doing things we want or need to do because we believe that the consequences are too painful or embarrassing.

So, how can you be more confident? Here’s your step-by-step guide:

1. Be Specific.

First, you must acknowledge your insecurities to overcome them. Let’s be specific. What do you lack confidence in? What are you insecure about? Once you clarify your insecurities, it will not feel so overwhelming as you’ll have something tangible to tackle. Maybe you feel doubtful that you will excel in your job interview, get accepted into the college or university you have been looking forward to attending for some time, or wear that new outfit you have been too anxious to wear in front of others?

Take a moment now to reflect, identify and put into a complete statement: “Where do I specifically want to have more confidence?”

2. Tap into Your Source of Confidence

This aspect of your journey is personal, and it varies from person to person. What gives you confidence may not be the same for another person. Now, how can you discover what gives you confidence? Remember those times in your life that you felt the most empowered. Now, focus on what specifically made you feel empowered.

3. Stop Comparing Yourself

Lack of confidence comes from a gap in where you see yourself and where you think you should be. Whether you compare how you look to your friends on Instagram or compare your lifestyle to that of your friend’s, comparisons are not healthy. In fact, a 2018 study published in “Personality and Individual Differences” revealed how people who compared themselves to others experienced jealousy. The more envy they experienced, the worse they felt about themselves. It can be a vicious cycle unless you recognize it early and face it directly.

When you notice you are drawing comparisons, remind yourself that doing so is not helpful. Remind yourself that life is not a competition and focus on aspects of yourself that you admire the most. On a daily basis, write in a journal 3 things you have done well that day or why it was a good day and express how it made you feel.

4. Find A Support System

Although your image of yourself does originate from what you feed your mind, but your beliefs about yourself may also come from your environment. The people you surround yourself impact your self-esteem. While confidence is an internal state, you can also boost your confidence by the company you choose to keep. Reflect on the friends and family you invite in your environment and decipher if they are a contributing to your lack of confidence or constantly supporting you to become more confident.

5. Practice Self-Compassion

Self-compassion involves treating yourself with kindness when you make a mistake, fail, or experience a setback. Speaking to yourself harshly, will not motivate you to do better.

By thinking “Everyone has trouble with school sometimes,” instead of, “I’m so stupid. I I’ll never understand this,” is an example of having self-compassion and can help you feel good even if when you do not perform as well as you initially hoped. Rather than criticize yourself or call yourself names, try speaking positively to yourself like you would talk to a friend you trust the most.

Finally, becoming more confident starts with YOU. YOU are the key to realizing your full potential. YOU have the power to choose confidence over self-doubt. There is a light at the end of every dark tunnel. Rely on God for strength and healing. Allow yourself the grace and compassion to essential for you to grow. You are worth it!

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