I’ve been dealing with insecurity issues for as long as I can remember. Somewhere around as early as middle school I somehow developed this idea that I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t think that I was as cool as the other kids in my grade, and I never really felt like I belonged.
In high school I didn’t think I was popular or pretty enough. I was also really quiet and not that social. And as my friends got boyfriends or got involved in clubs that I didn’t want to be involved in, I became somewhat of a loner; which only added to my insecurity. In college, it was much of the same.
Once I became an adult and entered the real world, other things made me insecure like career success, not feeling as skilled or adequate as coworkers, not feeling like I could accomplish some of the things I saw others accomplishing. I could go on and on. But at the core of it, it came down to 2 things:
1. Me constantly comparing myself to other people
2. Me constantly seeing myself as less than, or not good enough
I had such low self-esteem that for years I carried this idea that somehow everyone was better than me.
In my mind, everyone else was smarter, cooler, more funny, more skilled and talented. And then there was me. And I hated feeling like that. I just wanted to feel confident. To feel good enough.
I got so tired of dealing with insecurity. So I decided to do something about it.
Overcoming that mind-set is something that I had been working on, on and off for years. But it wasn’t until the beginning of 2021 that I officially declared that I was on a confidence/self-love/level up my life journey, and I started really being intentional about learning how to be happy with me, and truly love myself.
And since then, I’ve been able to get to a place where I finally feel like I am enough. I’ve accepted that I am a work in progress, and just because I’m not yet where I want to be, I can still embrace where I am and be happy and proud of the woman I am becoming. Even though I have not “arrived,” and confidence is still something I have to work at daily, I now have a better understanding of my value and potential.
I now see that much like a lot of other things in life, overcoming insecurity and building confidence is a journey. It’s not something that just happens overnight. It’s something that you have to choose daily and work at consistently.
If you’re reading this right now, it’s likely that you may be dealing with insecurity issues of your own, and if that’s the case, you’re not alone.
Here are 6 things I started doing that has helped me when dealing with insecurity in my own life. Things that have helped me to change the way I see myself, and have allowed me to love myself unconditionally and finally feel confident in my own skin.
1. Guard Your Thoughts And Stop The Negative Self-Talk
It all starts with the thoughts that you have about yourself. If you’re constantly thinking negative things about yourself, being overly critical, or harsh with yourself, you’ll carry that with you everywhere you go. And if you’re always thinking that you’re not good enough, then you’ll start believing it. Those thoughts will become your reality.
This was the very first thing that I started paying attention to. The thoughts that I was having about myself. I didn’t realize just how negative I was towards me until I started intentionally doing this.
And it wasn’t just my thoughts, but also the way that I would talk to myself. I could make a mistake and say out loud “that was dumb.” Or look in the mirror and say rude things about my appearance. I was more than my biggest critic, I was my own bully.
So I made a decision that I wouldn’t do it anymore. I refused to be overly critical, talk down to or belittle myself any longer. Instead, I only started saying positive things that built me up instead of tore me down. This took practice, but I literally had to start catching myself any time that negativity showed up.
So instead of saying that something that I did was dumb after making a mistake, I might instead say something like “okay I probably could have handled that better, I’ll know for next time.” And instead of saying negative things about the way I looked, I started telling myself that I was beautiful; a baddie even.
Making these minor shifts in just the way that I talked to myself and about myself boosted my confidence.
Start paying attention to the thoughts you have about yourself, and reject the ones that put you down. The ones that bully you or make you feel small. You don’t have to receive them.
We have control over our thoughts and what we choose to think. So when you feel yourself on the verge of saying something negative or super critical about yourself, stop yourself.
Refuse to talk down to yourself any longer. Make it your mission to shut those thoughts down as soon as they come. You don’t deserve that. You wouldn’t allow someone else to say those things to you. You wouldn’t talk like that to your sister or your best friend, so why should the way that you talk to yourself be any different?
Be kind to yourself.
2. Focus On Positive Thoughts and Self-Talk
Once you start being intentional about ditching the negative thoughts and self-talk, you need to replace it with positive thoughts and self-talk.
Say positive things about yourself regularly. Every day even. Compliment yourself. Hype yourself up. Use positive affirmations to remind yourself of your worth and your value. Comments as simple as “I look really pretty today” and I really worked hard on that,” can make a big difference.
Some of the affirmations I would tell myself are: I am smart. I am beautiful. I am uniquely me. I’ve got this. I’m doing my best. I have purpose. I have value. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am enough just as I am.
You can say these affirmations about yourself as well. And if you want to take it a step further, start by making a list of things you like about yourself. It could be a combination of things you like about your appearance, your personality, or anything that makes you, you. Include these things in your affirmations, or the thoughts you choose to focus on whenever those negative thoughts about yourself spring up.
The more you focus on the positive, and say and think positive things about yourself, the more you’ll begin to see yourself in a new light. And you’ll actually begin to appreciate and love these things about yourself.
3. Fill Up On Encouragement And Positivity
This can be inspirational/motivational books, the bible, church sermons, blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos, or all of the above. Anything that pours encouragement, positivity, and inspiration into you. And especially the things that speak specifically to self-esteem, self-love, insecurity, confidence, and positive mind-sets.
I really wanted to start seeing myself the way that God sees me, so that’s exactly what I prayed for.
And I revisited a book that I bought years ago called God’s Heart for You by Holley Gerth. It’s a 40-day devotional, and each passage talks about how God sees, values, and loves you. It’s really beautiful. And it made me think to myself like, “If God sees me this way, who am I to think any differently.”
Another book that helped me a lot is called IN_SECURITY by Anna Light. It’s all about the author’s own story of her battle with insecurity and so many stories of other women that she met in ministry. It’s really encouraging. And there are exercises that help you get to the bottom of where your insecurities stem from and how to go about overcoming them.
I took it a step further and started looking for scriptures in the bible that spoke to the way that God sees me.
A few of my favorites are :
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful. I know that full well.
For I know the plans I have for you; declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”
No, in all things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
4. Stop Comparing
We get lost feeling like we need to be more like someone else. Maybe someone who’s the life of the party or the social butterfly. Maybe we think we need to be more creative, or funny or more out-spoken to be a “better” us, when really we just need to be ourselves. That is enough. You are enough.
We are special and unique. And God made all of us different on purpose. We just need to learn to embrace who we are, and everything that makes us uniquely who we are.
For more on why we don’t need to compare, check out my post 4 Reasons to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others.
5. Pray About It
Pray about it often. Take all of your insecurities to God and ask him to help you to change the way that you see yourself. To help you to see your potential and to help you to fulfill that potential. Pray about whatever your biggest challenges are when it comes to truly loving yourself as you are. And write out your prayers so that you can really take your time to get specific.
My biggest thing has always been feeling like I wasn’t good enough, so a prayer that I often prayed went something like this:
Lord please help me to see myself the way that you see me. Please help me to stop comparing myself to other people and know that I am enough just as I am. Help me to love myself unconditionally, flaws and all. Help me to be comfortable in my own skin, and be unapologetically, authentically me.
If that’s an area that you struggle with too, then feel free to pray this prayer also. Or you can take inspiration from it for your own.
6. Embrace What Makes You, You
All of your attributes and quirks, even the things that you haven’t been that fond of about yourself. Embrace all of it.
For instance, I’m an introvert. You will never catch me being the life of the party or the “talker” in a crowd of people. I can talk and be chatty once I get to know you, but it takes me a while to get to that place. And I used to see this as a bad thing. I used to wish I could just be like most of the other people I knew, who were talkative, and could start a conversation with anyone easily. No matter where they were or how many people were around. But now I can just say “You know what? That’s just how I am. And there is nothing wrong with that.” I no longer view it as better or worse, only different. I own it now. And just see it as one of the things that make me, me.
So think about the things that make you who you are and just start owning it. Know that these things are what make you unique. They make you who you are. The more you embrace it, the more confident you will be.
Dealing with insecurity is not fun. And it can be challenging to see yourself in a new light, when you’ve been seeing yourself a particular way for so long. But I hope that this post encouraged you to start a confidence/self-love/level up my life journey of your own. And I hope that you apply the tips I shared here and start seeing yourself as the beautiful, talented, unique, destined for success and happiness, amazing woman that you are.
Like I said, I’m still working on myself over here, and my journey isn’t over. But I’m so much more kind and gentle towards myself these days. I have actually come to love the things that make me, me and I’m my biggest cheerleader now. And I want you to be that for yourself too!
So be kind to yourself, guard your thoughts, consume all things positivity, and give your insecurities over to God. By doing all these things consistently, you’ll be well on your way to being confident and showing yourself the love that you’ve always deserved.