Milk and Honey Magazine's four tips for young women to grow their self confidence. Our advice includes caring less about what others think and clinging to JESUS, pretty girl!

Growing Your Self-Confidence

Hanha Hobson

When we first begin our relationship with God, it’s amazing how the Holy Spirit becomes our guide and teaches us how to become more like Him. For me, I never realized how much I lacked self-confidence until God started to reveal my identity in Him. I am still learning what it means to live and walk in freedom, but I’ve learned a few life lessons along the way about how to be my true self or my Christ-confident self.

This list is neither a fool-proof list, nor is it exclusive. I’m sure there are plenty of other life-lessons that can be applied to your life, but these are 4 things that have pertained to me and my life journey. I had to learn how to stop doing these 4 habits in order to become confident in who God made me to be. So let’s dive right in, shall we?

☼ Stop Caring

It’s human nature to care about what other people think, but we shouldn’t care so much that it causes us to live in fear. One of my favorite quotes is by Elizabeth Alves, who said,

“The fear of man is our greatest detriment to knowing and serving God. Only as we lay down our worries about what people think of us and what to expect of others can God honestly and openly speak into our lives.”

I’ve come to learn that the only person you will truly have to live with is yourself. You cannot sacrifice your own dreams and desires at the expense of what other people think. Your life and your purpose are more valuable than the thoughts of man. God even talks about it in His Word. Galatians 1:10 says, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

I mean, look at Jesus. If He cared about what people thought, you and I would not have the opportunity to be in relationship with God. We would not have the opportunity to spend the rest of our lives in Heaven. Lives would not be changed, people would not be healed, hope would not be found.

I have often told friends seeking advice that they should take on the spirit of Who Cares. For example, when you find yourself asking questions like, “What will people think?” Respond by saying, “Who Cares.”  Will people read my blog? Who Cares. Will my parents accept my decision to change my career? Who Cares. Should I move to this new city away from my disagreeing family and friends? Who Cares.

You won’t feel trapped by the opinions of others, and you will start to make decision in better confidence. It’s exhausting to be anyone but yourself, so live freely instead. Focus on what God says about you and obey how He tells you to live. When you stop caring about what other people think, you won’t be limited to the titles they place on you. You make room for the Holy Spirit to do a new work inside you.

☼ Stop Shaming

This is something that I have battled for YEARS. As soon as I sin, I isolate myself and think about all the ways that I have failed at being a good person or Christian. It’s a downward spiral of misery, and I’ll admit it. It’s not okay, not even a little bit.

To do something like this is a sign that we don’t understand the character of God. It’s a clear sign that what He did on the cross doesn’t matter to us, and it’s a sign that our hearts are filled with so much pride, that we cannot even open it for Christ to come in and do His redemptive work inside of us. Harsh? Yes, but completely true.

Of course, we shouldn’t walk around as though we can sin all the time, but we should be able to walk in God’s grace. Ephesians 2:8 says that we have been saved by grace through faith and this is a gift from God.

This means that when we mess up, we should repent for our sins, have faith that Christ has forgiven us, receive His grace, and move on. We must actually be open and receptive to receiving this gift from God in order to apply it. For example, if someone gives you money for your birthday, you have to take the money or receive it so that you can spend it on that cute little dress you were eyeing at Target.

God’s grace works in the same way. When he extends forgiveness and grace for our sins, we must receive it so that we can use it in building our faith and relationship with Christ.

Stop beating yourself up! In 1 Corinthians 1:27-29, it says that God uses the foolish and weak things of this world (aka that’s you and me) to shame the wise and strong.

If you are a sinner, God will use you because it allows Him to get the full glory, and all things work together for the good of those that love God. Although our sins do not meet the standards of God’s ways, God can still use us even in our mess to accomplish His works. If you need more encouragement in this area, check out this video.

☼ Stop Comparing

You can only work within your circle of influence, meaning the things that you can control. You cannot control situations and you most certainly cannot control people. Stop judging yourself based on what you see everyone else doing. Comparison always leads to competition and this ultimately leads to a mindset that you’re never going to be good enough.

When the Bible says to guard your heart, that doesn’t just apply to relationships. It applies to your entire self. Guard yourself from things such as:

  • allowing the enemy to use someone else to make you feel inadequate or worthless
  • negative thoughts and opinions about how much you lack
  • the highlight reel that is typically posted on social media

God has a special purpose FOR YOU, and only you will be able to accomplish it in a way that no one else can. God has given you everything you need, and you must realize and believe that you are and you have enough.

Honor where you are with your best effort. If the man with the 2 talents compared himself to the man with 5 talents, do you think he would have been able to produce twice as much as he did? If you asked me, I don’t think so.

You must come to learn to be so focused on yourself, that you’re not even worried about what your brother or sister is doing next to you. An amazing quote/analogy that I’ve heard is, We must stop looking out the window, and instead look inside the mirror.

When you compare, you will find yourself in constant defeat and resentment. Choose and decide that you will focus on yourself and this leads me to my next point.

☼ Stop Complaining

To become your true self is to appreciate life and live in gratitude. It is so easy to complain when we are experiencing difficult seasons, but sometimes we must learn how to be quiet and rest in God’s presence. He gave us life here on Earth, and He promised us a life in eternity with Him. Philippians 2:14 says, Do everything without grumbling or arguing.

Sometimes, we live in entitlement as if God has to prove His love for us by giving us things we desire. We should not do this because it only reflects how we are thinking more about ourselves rather than Christ. You are exactly where you’re supposed to be, and God shall supply every single one of your needs.

Bite your tongue every time you think about complaining or when you hear yourself starting to complain. It doesn’t sound hard, but it can be difficult when complaining is a habit. You’d be surprised at how often we let complaints slip off our tongue.

Instead, try to say a small affirmation to counteract your complaint. For example, if you really want to complain about how you don’t want to clean your house or study for school, then thank God that you have a home to live in and the opportunity to receive an education.

When we learn how to stop complaining, we allow ourselves to live in contentment. Rejoice in the Lord, count your blessings, and like Paul says in Philippians 4:8, Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.

How have you learned how to grow in self-confidence? What lessons has God taught you about yourself?

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Hanha is the founder of the Transparency Blog. Follow her today! xo