A few decades of promoting increased self-esteem, pop psychology’s answer to all that ails society, has led to the converse. People seem to feel more disillusioned with themselves and life now more than ever before. If rewarding us with trophies, medals, or cheeseburgers every time we do the right thing doesn’t improve confidence, what does?
1. Choose Your Background Noise Intentionally
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Have you noticed that if you listen to a sad love song, it can make you feel, well, sad? If you are struggling with confidence issues, start owning the background noise you allow. If you listen to negative news reports, sad/dark music, and/or watch disturbing tv shows recognize that you do it and quit it. You are feeding your mind with it whether you believe it or not. If you doubt me, go a day without these things and see how you feel.
2. Make Time For Quiet Time
Cutting out bad habits like those listed above means something else has to take their place. Proverbs 4: 23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Many people find that when they start the day off with quiet time with God that the rest of the day seems more bearable. It’s like pressing the pause button allowing you time to re-center, except the good news is that you are not doing it alone.
“Many people find that when they start the day off with quiet time with God that the rest of the day seems more bearable.”
Quiet time allows us also to write on our hearts the promises that God has made to us. Living in the knowledge of these promises helps us to go forth in the world with the hope that God gives, helping us to remember that we are not operating solely on our own shortcomings.
If you are new to quiet time you may be wondering how it is done. Quiet time is a personal thing. It can mean a morning coffee with your bible, a devotional and a prayer journal, a nighttime recap of the things you are grateful for, or a quick moment in the checkout line sending up a “thank you” prayer to God. Usually starting out in the morning helps to re-center.
Using a devotional book, you can meditate on the verses for the selected day. Utilizing your prayer journal you can apply the verses to your life as well as dig into the bible by studying what that verse means in context.
You can also list the things you are grateful and thank God for them in your prayer journal. Writing your prayer requests in your journal will help you focus on the issues and people that you know that need prayer.
This time with God builds confidence because you are bolstered by Him rather than running your day all by yourself.
3. Join a Group
Joining a group may seem to be the most threatening option on this list. If it is, then you need to do it. Before finding the group for you, ask yourself what keeps you from being in a group. If it is from some sort of social anxiety, then joining a group is the best thing you can do to combat your fears. How do you join a group if you are racked with nervous self-doubt?
1.) Search for an area of interest (book club, group bible study, Sunday School, life group, group exercise, volunteer work, etc.)
2.) Baby steps (Learn when the group begins and visit it. Slowly become acquainted with the members, introducing yourself before each meeting begins. Begin to find ways to speak up in group. Start to volunteer your efforts in the group.)
“There will always be a reason not do something if you’ve made up your mind not to do it.”
If time is the excuse that you do not allow yourself to be a part of a group, make time. There will always be a reason not do something if you’ve made up your mind not to do it. Choose to make the time. This could mean literally getting together with friends once a month for a girl’s night or having a routine of a monthly game night with friends.
Group involvement can build social skills, social awareness, fellowship and accountability. All of these are beneficial to developing a more positive outlook and confidence.
The keyword here should be “intentional.” If you decide you are going to shut out negativity, choose to have quiet time with God, and purposefully seek out group activity you are making positive steps towards self-growth and spiritual growth. Confidence will be a byproduct of these healthy habits.