I have a confession to make… I’ve struggled with having a healthy self-image due to low self-esteem most of my life. Having little to no confidence and the paralyzing fear of what other people thought of me kept me locked up tight in my own prison.
It was hard to move and make progress on building the life I knew in my heart I was supposed to be living. But one day something clicked… I realized that my fear of rejection and moving forward into the unknown was slowly beginning to lessen in comparison with the fear of never changing and staying the same.
Maybe it was that fact that the big 40 was looming ahead and coming up faster with each passing year. I was tired of every New Year’s feeling more like a disappointment of another failed year than a fresh start.
I decided that I needed to make a change and do the work that was needed. Because our mental and emotional health is just as important as our physical health.
This blog is all about taking baby steps toward a healthier lifestyle. And building healthier self-esteem and boosting your self-confidence is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself!
The Importance of Self-Esteem
The word esteem comes from the word aestimare, meaning “to appraise, value, rate, weigh, estimate. This is powerful because your own self-esteem is basically how you rate or appraise yourself.
Do you consider yourself valuable? Or do you think of yourself as always falling short of everyone around you?
Do you fall into the comparison trap of comparing yourself to other moms and other individuals and always feeling inadequate?
If you’re raising your hand, just know you’re not alone. This tendency tends to be rooted in us from an early age, usually in our formative years. Although other life-altering situations and setbacks can also damage both your self-esteem and confidence.
Though most of us know on some level what contributed, at least in part, to our own low self-esteem – how to change it is the hardest part. And I believe wholeheartedly that it stems from our belief in our own worthiness.
Why Worthiness is the Key
If I don’t feel worthy of love or acceptance then I can’t really receive it or walk in it.
Brene Brown does a fantastic job of illustrating what worthiness is and why we need it in this one minute video:
Yes, it can be helpful to go back into our past and discover why we feel unworthy, but apart from that, we have something much greater. An understanding that I am worthy right now in the reflection of Jesus.
I am a believer in Christ, and on my journey to greater confidence, I first had to learn how to hold onto my identity and worthiness in Him, not in mysel. The truth is, He loved me before I ever loved Him. I was already worthy before the world began… I just didn’t know it.
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.
I’ll be honest, this process isn’t an easy one. Especially if you’ve struggled with unworthiness most of your life
This isn’t about a feeling or even a revelation. It’s a choice we must make to believe that we are worthy of living the life that we see in our heart. And take personal responsibility for where we are now and where we need to go.
The reason most people read articles like this one to find out how to gain more confidence or improve their self-esteem is because they know there’s more ahead of them but they feel stuck and can’t figure out how to move forward.
They’ve realized that they need the confidence to get ahead. But the first step is claiming the truth that you deserve the better life you desire. You deserve to be the best mother, best wife, best friend, best business owner, best whatever you want to be.
So say it with me: “I am worthy of living my best life and becoming my best self, asking for and receiving the help I need along the way, and of building the confidence I need to do the things that scare me and try to stop my progress.“
Self-Esteem Vs. Self-Confidence: Why You Need Both
By now you’ve got a better understanding of the difference between confidence and self-esteem. Remember, self-esteem is basically the value we place on ourselves.
The word confidence comes from the Latin word
Have you ever wanted to do something but held back because you didn’t think you could really do it? The fear of failure or rejection stepped in and sold you the lie that you weren’t good enough to do something like that.
It happens to ALL of us. But for some of us, it’s a way of life. It’s that fear that keeps you stuck inside your box… your comfort zone.
We’ve all heard this quote:
“Life begins outside your comfort zone.”Neale Donald Walsch
And I couldn’t agree more! So, how do we break free and gain the self-confidence to do the scary things in our life?
How to Build Confidence and Self-Esteem
The answer is by practicing. Practice makes permanent. By
Practice is simply one of the most powerful ways to increase self-confidence. Confidence is like a muscle and it needs to be worked in order to grow. It is through our ability to trust in our actions that spurs on more confidence.
Just as self-confidence leads to successful experience, so successful experience leads to self-confidence.Neel Burton M.D.
Practicing self-confidence begets more self-confidence. It’s an amazing cycle that once you start, it’s hard to stop. And even in the face of obstacles, failures, and unexpected rejections you simply feel and react differently about them.
They don’t sting as much and last as long.
So how do we practice self-confidence?
4 Simple Confidence Building Exercises
Get Physical. I know I just through you for a loop there but stay with me. Not only does physical exercise release dopamine the “feel-good hormones” in your brain, but staying active consistently has other benefits too.
Your physical appearance improves not just the size of your muffin-top but it also gives you a healthy glow. Your posture improves if you focus on muscle-strengthening and stretching like Yoga. When you workout you naturally become very aware of your body and your posture naturally improves. And good posture is great for exuding confidence!
Be Grateful. Practice gratitude on a daily basis through activities like prayer, writing in a gratitude journal and giving to others.
The act of being grateful means you have front-of-mind awareness of all the things that are going well in your life. That’s a huge confidence booster! It also puts you in a place of humility when you’re focused on how God is working things out divinely in your life. If He did it then… He’ll do it again!
Live in the Present. Life was designed to be counted in moments… not minutes. When we stay in the present we’re not stuck living in the victories or regrets of our past. We also aren’t living in the constant disappointment of how far away we are from our desired future.
Enjoying the life that’s right in from of us keeps us from regretting the time we let slip by while our children were little. When you watch your child walk across the stage to get their diploma it’ll
Be Generous. Being a generous person can take on many forms. It can be as simple as asking your elderly neighbor if you can do things to help them like rolling out their trash each week. You can offer to babysit for your mom friend who’s going through a hard time.
You can also donate your time by serving in your community or in your local church. Teaching a skill to others is also a great way to be generous with your time and skills but teaching is a proven way to learn more yourself. Plus, it’s a phenomenal way to put yourself out there and practice confidence.
Easy Self-Esteem Boosters
I want to end with a few simple ways to boost your self-esteem. After making the necessary connection between worthiness and your self-esteem it’s time to give your self-perception a boost.
Make Your Worthiness Intentional. In order for mindsets to go from a desire to an actual personal belief, you must make it personal. You can do this by reading books on worthiness (below are some great choices), write yourself notes on your mirror, and meditate on scriptures like the one above until it becomes written on your heart.
Make Your Appearance a Priority. This one is going to be different for everyone. This isn’t about looking a certain way, wearing make-up, or becoming someone you’re not. It’s about wearing those cute leopard shoes to the grocery store that you always tell yourself are “too much” for Wal-Mart.
It’s about carving out a few extra minutes to curl your hair because you want to but have been making excuses why you shouldn’t or can’t. It’s about doing what makes you feel beautiful and amazing inside and out.
Decide to Do What You’ve Always Told Yourself You Can’t or Shouldn’t. We all have an invisible fence in the front yard of our lives that tells us just how far we should go before pain shows up. You know like those invisible fences for dogs.
Yes, it’s scary but all it takes is a step or leap in the right direction. Take a class, invest in a mastermind group, join a local chapter, or start a blog like this one to teach others what you already know.
We Need Your Greatness!
The world needs what’s hiding deep inside you and your family needs you to find your confidence to soar so they have an example to follow of true bravery and courage.
This process of self-discovery and change is hard and sometimes grueling. But when I think back to my old shame and debilitating feelings of unworthiness I’m grateful that I’m walking in my freedom.
Free from that prison of misery. I’ve been a Christian most of my life but that didn’t stop me from living with a secret shame of never feeling good enough. It wasn’t until I finally learned to let go of that shame and grab hold of the relentless love that God has for me that I found peace.
And He loves you too and has a beautiful plan for you. Learn to trust in Him and yourself through this process and you’ll be amazed at the beauty He can and will create in and through your life.