Life can be tough sometimes. Difficult challenges and struggles may leave you feeling as if you have no confidence left. We’re told to pick ourselves up by the bootstraps and get back into the game, but how do you do that when you’re having a hard time believing in yourself?
I remember, years ago I was running a thrift store for a non-profit agency in Georgia. They hired me because of my strong retail and customer service background at a time when their profits were minimal, and they needed to increase sales in order to help more people.
I loved that job. Within two months sales had increased and profits had doubled from that little second-hand store. The customers were happy; the store looked great and positive reviews were flowing in regularly from satisfied patrons. Everything was running perfectly and continued to improve every month for almost a year.
And then, our Director’s husband got a job offer in another state. It was an excellent position and an offer that would benefit them immensely. So, within a very short time-frame, she chose a replacement that she felt would be fitting and left.
This new director was born into an influential family and never had to grace the door of a thrift store out of necessity in her life. She wore the most expensive clothes and jewelry. She had an excellent education, for sure. But, she had no way of relating to who we helped or who we served in our little second-hand store.
So, when she started making changes everything I had worked so hard at improving started falling apart. The customers were angry; the new director was angry, and everyone seemed to be pointing the finger of blame at me.
Every time I followed her orders, the customers got upset. They couldn’t afford the prices anymore. The store was crowded and uncomfortable. Complaints started pouring in, and I found out that the person taking the complaints (the new director) was passing off every failed idea as mine.
I was written up numerous times for following her orders exactly and having the results not happen to her liking. I could not speak to her without it turning into a power trip and being reprimanded. Speaking to the board of directors was useless as her family had ‘connections.’
I felt attacked for no reason and miserable at work. This person had come in and undone all the progress I had worked so hard to accomplish and then punished me for the failure of her own ideas.
I had gone from the top employee who was valued and trusted to one that was always getting accused of wrong-doing and threatened with termination.
My confidence in that situation was trashed. And I eventually quit.
She replaced me with a member of her family, and I never stepped foot in that establishment again.
As someone who takes great pride in their work, you can imagine how much my confidence suffered during that time. It carried over into my search for a new job as well, because I knew that I could not use the time I put in there as a reference for my great work ethic. I also knew how many people in that area of Georgia who were my potential employers were affiliated with her family and were aware of my employment there.
I had to do some tough work on my thought processes to gain back the confidence I had lost during that whole fiasco. I thought I would share them with you here.
If you find yourself struggling to shift your confidence levels into high gear after being wrung through the ringer, try following these tips to get yourself back on track:
1.) Know Who You Are & Whose You Are. Don’t allow another’s wrong opinions of you take root in your mind and make you start questioning yourself. Get in touch with the person you know yourself to be.
The Bible tells me that:
I will not be condemned by God.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).
I am a friend of Jesus.
I no longer call you slaves, because the slave does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because I have revealed to you everything I heard from my Father (John 15:15)
I am a branch of the true vine and a conduit of Christ’s life.
I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me–and I in him–bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing (John 15:1, 5)
I don’t know about you, but God’s opinion of me is much more important to me than man’s. So, take the time to become clear on the wonderful person that you are today.
2.) Acknowledge The Fantastic People You Have In Your Life. Think of your friends, the people who always have your back. Consider the close relationships you have with your family members. Maybe you even have good friendships with co-workers that you respect and admire.
When you recognize that some pretty amazing people love you, your confidence will be lifted.
3. Purge yourself of any words you retained from anyone who spoke badly about you. After repeated verbal abuse, the voice of our accuser can drown out the voices of God and our loved ones who try to remind us how worthy and valued we are. Don’t allow that to happen!
This is a conscious decision that we have to make every time that niggling little voice comes creeping back and whispering in our mind that we are worthless, can’t do anything right, are ugly or unworthy of love and respect. Train yourself to reject these thoughts immediately by filling your mind with positive affirmations and truths about yourself daily.
4.) Embrace New Challenges. While you may have failed in the past, realize that failing is all a part of learning what does work. Tell yourself, “I’m not sure if I can succeed, but one thing I do know is that I will give it my best shot!” Build your confidence by accepting new challenges.
5.) Avoid Comparing Yourself To Others. We are all on differing journeys in this life. We all have our own sets of strengths and weaknesses. You are an individual, so embrace that individuality and don’t convince yourself that you are any less than someone else who possesses differing traits and talents than you do.
6.) Recognize Your Own Strengths. Spend time doing the things you love and that you already excel at. If there is something that you want to get better at, spend time practicing it.
8. Continue To Work Towards Your Goals. As you accomplish the things you’ve been working hard for, you’ll feel better about yourself. As you put your efforts towards things that matter to you, you will experience feelings of deep satisfaction and your confidence will be strengthened.
9.) Be Mindful Of How You Speak To & About Yourself. Stop putting yourself down. Stop saying negative things about yourself. Pay attention to everything you say about yourself and then ask yourself if you would ever say that to or about another person. This can be a very eye-opening experience. Many times we don’t even realize how mean we are to ourselves.
Use positive self-talk and speak to yourself as if you’re the smartest, kindest, most talented person you’ve ever met.
Remember that you are a child of God.
But to all who have received him–those who believe in his name–he has given the right to become God’s children … (John 1:12)
Working to regain your confidence is an exciting, enlightening, and worthwhile experience. You really will start to believe in yourself again. Try these suggestions and you’ll be on the road to a confident new you. Your confidence will rise again, in no time at all!
Till Next Time,