I find it easy to lose my confidence. It could start from a word someone says, or a glance, a feeling I have done something wrong. Once I let a pin hole of doubt invade by confidence, it continually seeps, like a deflated balloon.
There are so many ways my confidence slowly fills back up, but I never notice what or how. I certainly hold onto those things that deflate me, but haven’t spent much time noticing when my confidence is growing.
Thus, the Journal prompt for this week. “I feel most confident when I….”
I want to encourage you this week to take note of what deflates and inflates your confidence.
I battle the voices declaring who I am when I look in the mirror. Voices of negativity, of not being good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, loved.
Over time I began to look differently at that view. It was no longer my eyes, but God’s eyes looking back at me.
I am made in His image (Genesis 1:27), His handiwork (Ephesians 2:10). He knew me and loved me before I was created (Psalm 139:13-16). I am a child of God (1 John 3:1), a daughter of the King, a Princess!!
I smile when I put on my plastic $5 party store tiara. I am a princess! This simple item brings me back to child-like faith. I can set aside my tears and fears and fell wrapped in the arms of God. He loves me. I am beautiful. I am enough.
As the pastor was discussing the vision for the upcoming year, he mentioned things that younger people respond to. While discussing this with my husband on the way home I realized when I was younger there were things I wished the church would do that I could more easily respond to. Older people were saying ‘we have always done it this way’ or ‘they need to learn to accept things as they are’ and on and on. Here I am, decades later saying ‘but what about the people who are here now’ and ‘what about me’ and on and on.
When I look back, I see many changes in my life reflecting my age at the time.
Many changes have taken place in my life. I was a young mother of small children at one time. Today I am the grandmother of teenagers. Once I wore skirts above my knees, today I seldom wear a skirt. Once I would only wear my best outfit to church, today I wore jeans and sandals. Time change.
The most difficult thing I find about being this age (60 at the time of this writing) is accepting that I am this age. When I was younger, anyone this age was OLD! People this age were talking of retiring. Today, I look in the mirror and see someone who is no where near retirement; someone who still has so much life to live.
How did I get to be this age? I guess the more important question I need to consider after looking at the most difficult thing about being this age, is what am I going to do with my life – even at this age.
How about you? No matter your age, there are difficulties to consider. What are some of yours?
Remind yourself of one (or more if you like) truth. Example: I am capable. I can and will complete that assignment. What is one truth you will remind yourself of this week?
I am amazed sometimes at the things I say to myself. Things I would never say to anyone else.
“You are useless.” “You will never succeed.” “You know they didn’t mean it when they said you looked nice today.”
I have to STOP the negative self-talk. I won’t say these things to others, why do I say them to myself?
I know I cannot change everything in my self-esteem all at once. So I will face down one lie at a time.
The first I need to face down is a simple two-word phrase “Yes BUT,”
That “yes but” response is like looking into a shattered mirror. There is no clear picture.
For example, telling myself “you can’t do anything right”. What do you mean I can’t do anything right? I made the bed, cleaned the house, fixed meals for my family.
Yes, but…….. you missed that cobweb in the corner.
Yes, but ….. you overcooked the beans.
Yes, but….. you really should have washed the sheets before you made the bed.
And it goes on and on and on. For every single thing I accomplished, I will find two or more I did not. Gotta keep that negative column full.
Enough is enough.
Today, I will accept my successes and fight not to tear them down. Yes, it is a fight. It is an ongoing battle. It takes only 1 defeat to ruin my day. So today I will focus on this one battle. There are many more, but I will choose this battle today. And tomorrow I will continue this battle. If I take a punch, I will catch myself, say out loud “STOP the Negative Talk” and I will move forward.
As I am ready I will add look at another lie and begin to do battle with it. I could make a list of many things, but that there is an old phrase “Success is a Series of Small Wins”. So I am starting small. First this win, then the next.
And I won’t do it alone. I share my lie and my desire to defeat it with those around me who will encourage me. They hold me accountable saying ‘yes but what is the success you will focus on’. I will then choose to whom I will listen: that person helping the put-down; or the one building me up. Yes, there is a choice there too
What negative self-talk lie will you face down this week and who will you choose to encourage you?
I have recently been looking at my life, considering the decisions I have made. Why did I say ‘yes’ to that? What would I absolutely refuse to do?
Do you ever struggle with holding firm to your values? Please tell me I am not the only one.
One thing I have come to realize is that when I am seeking to please someone else, I may set aside my values; giving that person control over me. Then when I set my values aside, I feel so bad inside I cannot cope. The other person doesn’t have or take responsibility for that. It is all on me.
It was during one of these episodes I made the decision to become a “Former People Pleaser”. It means I may be left out; I might be teased. I might feel lonely – for a short time. In the end, I will be able to look myself in the eye when I face that mirror each day. I won’t want to shrink away from the strong person I see.
I have to stand firm in my beliefs, my priorities, my personal values.