Helping people regain their confidence in one form or another has been my profession and my passion for over 10 years. The “job” has taken different forms at different times. Some have yielded paychecks, others made me wealthy in spirit but the theme has been consistent and the truths I have learned on the journey are universal.
Looking bad, feeling bad, being bad. Bad, bad, bad. These are the three confidence killers I have found at the root of many peoples low self esteem. When any one of these parts of self are out of whack, our confidence sinks like the great Titanic. The good news is that even when we hit an iceberg of ugly or sick or sin, we can still patch things up and continue our voyage, just as strong as ever.
Let me first establish that the confidence killers I will talk about and the methods for changing them are based on the understanding that each of us have a personal best. It is not other peoples measure of our best or their expectation of what our best should be; it is ours alone, and thus serves as a frame of reference we can only measure within.
Looking bad. Working with weight loss and hair restoration clients has taught me that when someone doesn’t like the way they look, it gives them shame and shame robs confidence. This goes for every appearance frustration someone can have: missing a tooth, hair, bad skin, overweight or a general feeling of frumpyness. It is NOT vanity to want to look as good as you believe you can. If anything outward improvements reflect a sense of personal value. Others sense that and put their confidence in you as well.
- Pay attention to the little things: manicure your nails, whiten your teeth, put on lotion, freshly shave and smell good
- Commit to fix that one nagging outward insecurity- that scar, tattoo mistake, missing tooth, whatever distracts you!
- If it’s not a 10 get rid of it. If you feel stylish and handsome/pretty when you put it on, it’s a keeper. If you make excuses for why you keep that outfit, like a bad boyfriend… get rid of it. You’re better than that.
- Get professional advice. Not sure what to wear for your body type or how to style your hair, what colors you look good in, how to clear up your skin or get your hair back? Ask someone who does.
- Decide to find, love and accentuate your best features
- Be willing to invest in yourself. Sometimes change costs money… decide how much you value your confidence and the investment should make sense
Feeling bad. It’s hard to focus on heaven when you feel like hell. In other words, it’s very difficult to pursue ambitious goals or take risks when you feel tired, sick or have painful symptoms. When I have energy, mental stamina and feel fit, my confidence is through the roof. Life can be a battle in many ways and feeling sick or tired is like showing up to a gun fight with a dull knife. When I managed weight loss clinics, I saw first hand how diet effects mental sharpness, creativity, mood, overall health/healing and energy/stamina, sex drive, which ALL in turn give us the fuel to conquer our giants and enjoy life to the fullest. I firmly believe our body is the equipment we have been given to carry out our God given purpose. If it’s broken, then naturally our confidence in our ability to win our personal races takes a hit. Get fit. You’re better than those big pants and tired mind. Even a few steps in the right direction will perk your confidence, as your inner man says “yes! I’m doing the right thing!”.
- Read books on health/weight loss/healing
- Start some form of exercise
- Get more sleep, eat more vegetables and “fast” from fast food
- Quit fad diets and make it a goal to be strong and healthy
- Make yourself accountable to someone who cares about you who can support your commitment
- Join others on this journey somehow to create a support system that will nurture success
Being Bad. About that shame thing. As polar opposites, shame and confidence just can’t co-exist. They will duke it out in your head until one of them gets knocked out! A conscience is a terrible thing to waste. Sometimes we don’t feel like holding our head up and can’t pin down why. There are two types of “being bad” that will rock even the most successful, fit, geniuses world. 1. Actually doing bad things that your conscience tells you not to and 2. Believing bad things about yourself that aren’t justified. If we are “being bad” then how can we expect our inner man to stand up and walk tall as if we know we are good? The “bad” can range from simply being negative and thinking judgmentally about others to lying, cheating, breaking laws or hurting people in word or deed.
- Gut check- let that still small voice have a moment on the floor and really really listen and refuse to make excuses
- Confess- to yourself, to those that matter and even to God and ask for forgiveness
- Promise-yourself and others to be better
- Act differently- now. Don’t wait. Change. The way you think, the things you do or the way you treat others
Now, on believing bad things about yourself that aren’t justified. As a women’s counselor, it was obvious that when someone believed they were bad, it was a wall between them and their potential. Only the truth could break it down. Find the source of the negative voice in your head. Who told you, you were bad? Do they deserve to define you? What trauma happened that broke you? Does that event deserve to write your future? You must discover the truth about yourself in order to confidently step into your dreams.
- Read books that renew your mind, renew your outlook and renew your faith
- Spend time with people who renew your mind, your outlook and your faith
- Settle on the truth that you were born for greatness and forgive those who’ve held you back. Choose to take that power back.
- Act in a new direction and feelings often follow… Decide to let yourself look your best and feel your best so that the new you is expressed
Look better, feel better and be better. You were born for unique greatness. Confidence is your birthright!
“Self confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings”