I was working with a student recently who was questioning her value to the world & I remembered once feeling the very same way.
When we lack self confidence, many times our thoughts go to, “I don’t deserve that. I have made too many mistakes in my life….made too many bad choices.” And sometimes it is too hard to change that negative thinking into positive thinking. We simply don’t have the energy.
I remember being so shy and quiet that I am certain folks thought I would never go anywhere with my life. I remember refusing to speak to groups – claiming that I “just couldn’t do it.” I remember questioning whether I could do a good enough job to keep my job! These thoughts and feelings come from being young, inexperienced, and in a place where you have no positive role models or people that are supportive of your efforts.
What I have discovered since those days of negative thinking is this:
- You have control over your thinking – you can change how you think.
- It took several years, but I was able (with the help of some awesome self help books), to change my negative thinking into more positive thinking.
- If you surround yourself with positive thinking & supportive people, the road you travel begins to go much smoother. (you can choose not to spend time with people that drag you down).
- I discovered the importance of “stepping outside of my comfort zone” – of choosing to do things that are challenging and require some responsibility. When we choose to step outside of our comfort zone and do something a bit scary, and then succeed at it, THAT is how we manage to increase our self confidence.
- When you need help, ask for it. You can pray for strength from the Big Guy upstairs. You can recite, “I can do all things through Christ who Strengthens me” Philippians 4:13. You can also turn to your support group that you have developed.
It takes some time and patience, but if you set a goal and take steps to improve your self confidence, it WILL happen. Yes, I still struggle with negative thinking on a daily basis, but my self confidence has improved big time over the years. And no, you never get done working on yourself – it is called “continuous self improvement.” You can do it.