Do you feel powerless? You’re desperately fighting to lock out all the hurt that consumes your life, but it seems like the more you harden to protect your heart the more wounded you become. When was the last time you lived an entire day free from low self-esteem, low self-worth, poor self-image, self-rejection, self-blame, and negative feelings about yourself? Just all of it? A full day where you were in control of your feelings, your thoughts, and weren’t riding the roller coaster of painful emotions? You were fearless, confident, and fulfilled. If you struggle with loving yourself or parts of yourself, or are constantly fighting the temptation to resent others who have what you desire, then pour yourself a cup of coffee girlfriend and get cozy, because you’re not alone on this one and we’re about to dig down into those deep-rooted wounds that make each day so hard.
I’m going to first tell you something about you that you may not believe at first, but I genuinely hope that you come to grips with it, despite any daunting past years of self-doubt you have been abused by. You are powerful. You are capable of transforming your pain into opportunity. You have the ability to break free from self-loathing. You have the strength to be happy. You have the courage to look fear in the face and show it who you are. You have the heart to love every bruised and beaten part of your mind, your body, and your spirit. You have the resources inside you that will transform your interior and exterior life into one of joy and peace. You are the answer to all the questions you’ve cried your heart out over. Stop accepting that you are nothing but damaged goods, you’re past help, and you’re just going to keep living day by day sinking further into this black hole as though it’s part of your identity. It’s not who you are. You my dear are a fierce lionhearted heroine that can slay anything that has the nerve to step in your way, make you question your essence, and threaten to influence your power. You’re just amazing, let’s put it that way.
If you feel like your life is an out-of-control mess, and if you were to be brutally honest with yourself, you’d find yourself admitting that you gave up on life and yourself a long time ago, take it from someone whose been there, you’re more than your emotions, experiences, and circumstances, and you have the power to make something astonishing of yourself. Do what I did and become your own damn boss. Take control. Here are my ingredients to self-made confidence that have empowered me to overcome anything that challenges me to turn on myself and live unfulfilled. You’ll find that once you are walking in confidence you will be living a very different life.
Do you feel worthy and deserving of a good and happy life? Your answer reflects your self-worth. If you feel unworthy and undeserving then you must strive to grow your self-worth so that you feel at your core your value in who you are justifies having an abundant life. When one has low self-worth they may feel worthless, that they belong in an unhappy lifestyle, that they deserve to be shamed, that their mistakes can’t be forgiven, that they need punishment, that they have to hurt themselves, or that they don’t deserve love. When one lives with low self-worth it is a very dark and lonely life. One often tries to quench the pain by things that boost their ego, such as puffing one’s self up and exaggerating one’s self. They enlarge themselves greater than they actually feel about themselves, leaving them unfulfilled.
Common behaviors that demonstrate this are bullying, mocking, putting others down, turning people against someone, attention-seeking, rejecting confident people, taking pleasure in making someone feel bad about themselves, deliberately hurting someone’s feelings, bad mouthing someone, spreading rumors, refusal to celebrate someone’s victories, rejoicing in someone’s mistakes, turning down an opportunity to support someone, projecting one’s insecurities onto others, belittling, insulting, throwing pity parties, taking envious action against someone, and measuring one’s own worth with status, wealth, achievements, beauty, popularity, respect, love, and admiration from others. The list goes on and on. When one measures their worth with the exterior they are perpetually placing value on something that is ever changing, such as the opinions of others. The result? One lives in an endless swing of high inflation to plummets of deep depression. There is no such thing as stability or safety. One lives fear-driven, hiding their authenticity behind a mask that they tie their identity to. (Perhaps a shot of whiskey would do us more good than coffee. Go get it girl!).
Still with me? I’m proud of you. The first ingredient to self-made confidence is to be deeply rooted in your true worth. This is you learning your true identity and accepting that nothing you do changes your being. This is you discovering your essence, which transforms any low self-worth into a healthy core belief of who you are. This is you putting a stop to measuring yourself with the opinions of others, the standards of others, the approval of others, the qualities of others, the lives others live, and the values others place on things. This is you saying no to defining yourself by your emotions, your experiences, your circumstance, the car you drive, the color of your skin, your occupation, your education, your family, the number of friends you have, the number of likes you get on Facebook, your significant other, your past, your looks, your aspirations, etc. This is you accepting that your identity cannot be defined for you by things of this world. As much as you struggle to define yourself by the world you live in or from somewhere within, your identity is anchored in the love of Who created you. When you accept this love and are able to let that love define you, then you immediately find the freedom to be yourself, love yourself, and are steadfast during seasons of change around you. You live in security, stability, consistency, and are safe from harm. You do not ever feel threatened because you are rooted in your true identity. My secret to deeply rooting myself in self-worth is by learning where my worth comes from. Once I accepted that it comes directly from where I came from, which is straight from the love of the Sacred Heart of my Creator, then I was able to let His love define everything that I am.
Another ingredient to self-made confidence is building one’s self-esteem. If you suffer from low self-esteem and allow it to go ungoverned it can lead to anxiety, depression, toxic relationships, low self-worth, self-abuse, and other unhealthy tragic consequences. It is important to build one’s self-esteem in a healthy way that does not entice one to grow addicted to pride, self exaggeration, or superiority. One’s self-esteem stems from one’s opinion of themselves. For example, someone thinking they aren’t pretty, they aren’t smart, they aren’t capable, they aren’t liked, are sensitive to criticism, etc. may suffer from low self-esteem. Sadly, many who suffer from this often measure their self-worth by their self-esteem. For example, one who believes physical attraction measures self-worth could invest in building a beautifully fit body that makes them feel they are now worth something (they then experience high self-esteem), which sets them up for a nosedive into low self-esteem when they either fall out of their workout routine, size them self up to another beautifully more fit woman, or receives an uncharitable jab from someone about their physical appearance. Their emotions bounce around like a ping pong ball because they are measuring their worth by self-esteem that is vulnerable to change. Once you free yourself from this measurement, you become empowered to build your self-esteem in a healthy way that does not endanger your concept of self-worth.
Live it: Focus on changing your opinion of yourself by changing your negative thought patterns. What you habitually tell yourself you will gradually believe. If you tell yourself you aren’t pretty a certain number of times, the truth is that you will believe it. If you struggle in this particular area, look in the mirror every day and tell yourself you are pretty. Take it further by naming every part of your physical body that you think isn’t pretty and say that it is. Don’t stop until it has transformed your opinion of yourself. If you’re someone who thinks you aren’t smart enough, stop feeding into the self-destructive lies of someone else’s opinion of your intelligence or telling yourself you don’t have what it takes. Your behaviors flow from them. You’ll be amazed at how smart you actually are once you begin to believe in yourself. Believe me, you’ll end up going MUCH farther.
Another ingredient to self-made confidence is learning to love yourself. If you struggle to love yourself or even like yourself, read my article on ONE SIMPLE SECRET TO LIKING YOURSELF BETTER. When we love ourselves we cannot wait to share who we are with the world around us. We are in tune to our talents, abilities, and what makes us beautifully different from others. We see our true value and rejoice in it. We find joy in our uniqueness, power in our individuality, and take delight in who we are. How we interact with the world around us is a direct reflection of how well we love ourselves. If we are unable to love ourselves we will not be able to fully love others. If we are constantly emotionally beating ourselves up we will not be able to build others up emotionally. If we are constantly rejecting parts of ourselves then we will reject parts of others. If we are unable to be compassionate toward ourselves then we will struggle to be compassionate toward others. If we are unable to forgive ourselves we will find it challenging to forgive others. If we resent ourselves then it will come easy to resent others. If we hate ourselves then we will find ourselves hating others. Our attitude toward ourselves is shown in our attitude toward others. In order to love yourself well, you must master this next point.
This next ingredient to self-made confidence is learning self-acceptance. When you are honest with yourself you are able to see that you are a beautifully flawed human being. You are not perfect and have both strengths and weaknesses. Learning to accept all of them, all of your mistakes, virtues, failures, accomplishments, mishaps, and everything that makes you YOU, is your breakthrough to freedom. If one area of you is constantly eating away at you and causing you pain you’re inclined to reject it and to run. What you need to do is accept its reality and face it. Find a healthy solution, not an escape, because as much as you fight to ignore it, to suppress it, to deny it, to distract yourself from it, it remains, and usually grows bigger and creates a deeper hole inside you. For example, if you did something in your past that you are ashamed of and regret, but are not finding a healthy solution, such as accepting your mistake, forgiving yourself, and moving forward free from shame, you will be forever enslaved by it. It will haunt you and constantly poke its ugliness in every undesired form. When you practice acceptance you are giving yourself permission to be free and to live in peace. Learning self-acceptance enables us to live in humility and to not inflate ourselves into pompous figures of self-absorbing narcissistic superiority as well as live in joy and embrace our value, talents, strengths, qualities, and unique power. It is not so much a balance but fully accepting all that we are and living in authenticity.
Another ingredient to self-made confidence is living in align with your values. Your values anchor you in what brings your life meaning and fulfills you. If you are not living in align with these then you will be living unfulfilled. To live in accordance to your values provides substance to everything that you do. It gives reason to action and depth to one’s purpose. This will lead you to living a life you are proud of and are not threatened by those who don’t live in agreement with you. You are not afraid of the opinions of others because you are rooted in what you believe in and stand for. Some may not even know what their values are anymore. If that’s you, don’t get discouraged and down on yourself because of it. To reconnect yourself with your values get a pen and paper and create a list of what is important to you in life. These are your values.
The last ingredient I will be shedding light on is congruence. When one is deeply rooted in self-worth, has healthy self-esteem, accepts all that they are, loves themselves well, and is living in align with their values, then melting all of these into the way one carries themselves produces deep seeded and lasting confidence. They are able to take each step with the surety and character that reflects who they are and all that they are. They walk with dignity and are unafraid of the future. If you find yourself struggling in living harmoniously with all these areas then create a plan of action that will produce the desired outcomes. For example, if you find yourself struggling with self-acceptance, write down actions that will help you accept who you are and invest yourself in taking these actions.
What NOT to do
Many fall into the false belief that all women are insecure, unconfident, and lack strength to control their emotions. Nothing is farther from the truth. This poor stereotype unfortunately influences many women to adopt this belief about themselves and settle into group-think. They conform to this unhealthy pattern of accepting a disillusioned conceptualization of womanhood and fall into immobility. This is where one lacks taking responsibility of one’s emotional response to circumstances and withdraws into a perceived powerless role. For example, a woman refusing to take photos with someone she finds prettier because she is envious of her attractiveness and finds her a threat to the way others would perceive her own value. Instead of taking action against this envy by putting out the fire with virtuous love, she is consumed with the self-seeking emotion and accepts she is powerless to it, therefore allowing it to control her and propel her into feeding the flames.
This sense of being powerless causes unconfident women to despise the women who prove this stereotype wrong. Their lack of action to overcome their own insecurities by buying into the lies that all women are naturally insecure and fragile creatures causes them to be envious of the ability strong women who have mastered self-made confidence have. They compare the results of their lack of action to the results of the women who actively live in confidence and as a consequence live in pain.
What women need to understand is that they alone choose the way they feel. The population of women do not choose it for them. Circumstances do not choose it for them. Each woman chooses for herself how she is going to emotionally respond to every single situation that appears in her life. She is not powerless. She is not helpless. She has her very own ability to overcome all her doubts, fears, insecurities, false beliefs, and wounds that weigh her down. To come in tune with this power shifts one’s entire inner life.
At this point you are more than likely on your third shot of whiskey so I better leave you with this last bit to sit on. Sweet girl, you are capable of amazing things. I have FULL confidence in you and believe you are going to end up shocking yourself. You are going to uproot everything that is hurting you and you are going to conquer it all. While you do, remember this:
You are MORE than what others say about you.
You are MORE than how others look at you.
You are MORE than how others treat you.
You are MORE than the ever changing idolized image of true beauty society saturates us with.
You are MORE.
Your worth surpasses this world.
Your knowledge is ever powerful.
Your depth is captivating.
May you rise to breakthrough any mind games this world lures you into. May you recognize your value, your dignity, your individuality, your strength, your freedom, your courage, and the power of your own mind. May you walk in confidence, wisdom, integrity, and love with an ever fierce kind of love. May your loveliness light up the sky.
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