Sometimes life knocks you down like a ton of bricks and you are left feeling like you are in a desert, unaware of where to go and how to find your way back home. Maybe you feel tired, angry, and alone right now. Or maybe you feel lost and uncertain of what the future holds for you.
Perhaps people have laughed in the face of your hopes and dreams. Maybe you grew up in a home where you were torn down and told you would not amount to anything and the effects of those words are still rippling, many years later. Maybe life has thrown you curveball after curveball, and you are left wondering how you can thrive when you are constantly hanging on by a thread.
Perhaps the people who should encourage you to pursue your dreams were hurt in their own journey, causing them to feel less than and powerless; wanting you to feel the same and projecting those feelings into your heart and mind.
Maybe becoming a parent has caused you to feel like you’ve lost a part of yourself – your dreams and creative side, and you are wondering how to maintain a balance of loving and being there for your family while tackling and chasing after your dreams. Perhaps losing the sense of who and whose you are along the journey has made you feel like a stranger to yourself – and you don’t like what you see in the mirror.
Maybe you’ve been so caught up in trying to people-please that you don’t know who you are right now. Perhaps you spend most of your time and energy trying to make everyone else happy and play peacemaker.
Unfortunately, we have all felt the effects of other people’s hurtful words and actions at some point in our lives. When people are hurting, they often put up a guard that fights positive emotions and projects negative ones. This leads to tearing other people down, lack of joy, loss of dreams, diminished self-confidence, and feelings of uncertainty in almost every area of life.
Tips for Growing in Self-Confidence
If you are trying to find your spark again and increase your self-confidence, here are some steps to consider:
Don’t let other people define you.
Regardless of whether you were raised in an emotionally healthy home or an abusive one, it is critical to realize that your sense of worth and self-confidence cannot be based on what your parents, friends, siblings, or acquaintances projected onto you.
Maybe your mother laughed at your dreams because her parents did the same. Maybe your father told you that your career of choice was not feasible and would not pay the bills because he faced many financial hardships and was trying to prevent the same for you. Maybe your best friend laughed at your dreams because she did not understand them and did not know how to respond based on her own insecurities.
You might have said “no” to a lot of wonderful opportunities, and now you are hurting, lost, and wishing you could turn back time. Perhaps you did not follow that childhood dream because you felt like your parents did not believe in you. Maybe you decided not to hit “publish” on a masterpiece you created because you fear the whispers and comments of the people you spend the most time with.
The first step to pursuing your passions, increasing your self-confidence, and finding joy in your life is to find your identity in Christ, rather than the opinions of everyone around you.
If God gave you a desire for something, then prayerfully pursue it. God may want you to reach out to someone who is hurting. Though you may fear rejection, reach out and leave the results to God.
An open heart is the first step to finding your joy, mending broken relationships, prioritizing your mental health, growing in your relationship with Christ, and living a life of impact and purpose.
If there is one thing we can be certain of – once we acknowledge Christ as our Lord and Savior, He will send the Holy Spirit who will never abandon us. He will be with us every step of the way – through the growth, tears, laughter, raising a family, and following your passions.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13
The hurtful words of someone from your past do not have to define your tomorrow.
Regardless of whether people have mocked your dreams or abandoned you during a time when you needed them most, healing and hope are available to you today – you just must accept it.
Explore your passions and interests.
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis
Maybe you dream of being a singer, teacher, or stay-at-home mom. Perhaps you have dreams of being a first responder or doctor. Maybe you aspire to become an author or a basketball coach. Maybe the one thing that has always held you back from finding joy and pursuing this dream is the constant replay in your mind of what someone else said you could not do.
The truth is, if we live in a constant replay of how others have hurt and wronged us, we continue to hurt ourselves and do not end that unfortunate cycle.
We must choose to believe we are who God says we are in order to establish a biblical sense of self-confidence. We must choose our dreams, forgiveness, forward steps, and hope. We must seek to find and follow the light. He will be with you every step of the way.
Follow that dream. Pursue that passion. Sign up for that class. Finish that letter you keep pushing to the side that seeks reconciliation.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. – Psalm 23:4
Surround yourself with dreamers and those who live life.
“To heal a wound you need to stop touching it.” – Unknown
You cannot please everyone. You cannot make everyone else happy. It is important to accept the fact that if you continue throwing yourself into the wrong crowds and around the wrong personalities, their words will impact who you are and what you believe.
As you continue to grow and figure out what God has in store for you, surround yourself with like-minded people – those who encourage you, point you to Jesus, push you to pursue healing, and instill self-confidence in your God-given talents and abilities.
The words that come out of our mouths need to be words that build others up rather than tear them down. Our words need to propel people forward into the hope God has for them, rather than push them back into the dark and hurtful parts of their past.
Even if you have been hurt, you must intentionally choose to end that horrid cycle and choose the path of light. You must end that negative self-talk to your own heart. You should encourage your children to follow their dreams, even if yours haven’t taken root yet. You must choose to pursue the path that brings out the best version of you – emotionally and spiritually.
Know your worth.
“There’s a message in the way a person treats you. Just listen.” – Unknown
If you have been pushing your dreams aside or listening to someone else who has told you that you will never amount to anything – those are lies from the enemy.
Sometimes God lays something on our heart that might not add up on paper, but He is a God of miracles. He gives us strength when we feel powerless. He offers freedom when we have been bound by emotional chains and scars from the past. He tells us we are beautiful when we feel ugly and unnoticed. He gives us hope for tomorrow when today was full of discouragement and bad news.
If you have dealt with feelings of powerlessness, hopelessness, and insignificance for your entire life – you might be a victim of emotional abuse. Their words do not define you. They too have probably been hurt and projected those harsh feelings on you. Your future can be filled with your hopes and dreams, bursting at the seams, not with the harsh comments of events from your past.
Schedule your counseling session today!
I invite you to take time today and schedule a counseling session so we can aid you on the journey to grow your self-confidence find your joy and passion again. Taking the steps to live to your God-given potential is a journey you will never regret. It will be a journey of growth, healing, and undeniable joy and memories that you will treasure forever.
Augustine said, “Hope is a waking dream.” Today is your day to invite hope in. Start dreaming again. Live out the passions that God has given you.
Photos by Marianne Sicilia, all rights reserved, copyright 2022