Hello beautiful people! I’m back!
Can I just say for the past few weeks I’ve been stumped on what to write about? Or rather, I’ve been writing, but have been stumped on what to actually post. Much of my writing never makes it to this platform because I believe everything must be done in divine order. Therefore, when it comes to posts like these, I must feel a conviction to share them.
That conviction came after realizing there’s so much self-transformation that I went through as a woman of God that can help other women who are where I was. Confidence is something we all struggle with. Some of us to a larger degree than others. But over the years, I’ve learned some things that helped me mature in this area of my life.
It’s important to remember that confidence is one thing, matured confidence is another. Many of us have confidence but aren’t growing in it as we should. After all, confidence, like many other virtues, is a muscle that must be built up and strengthened overtime.
Today, I’m sharing three simple strategies that transformed me into a woman of matured confidence. These methods aren’t just something to check off my list, but are meant to be followed and lived out on a daily basis.
1. Turn it off!
My journey to matured confidence began when I turned off the television.
That was 8 years ago. During this time, I eliminated all distractions in order to grow spiritually. I realized continually exposing myself to images that narrowly portrayed beauty, and cosmetic commercials that prayed on the insecurities of women, was harmful to my self-esteem and spiritual growth.
Not only did I grow spiritually, but I also grew in self-confidence. The lack of exposure to “one type of beauty” helped me focus on what makes me beautiful, rather than what doesn’t make me beautiful. For years, I was oblivious to fashion, makeup, and hairstyle trends—and it was so freeing to be out of the loop. I just did me.
Years later, I would come to do the same with social media.
Turn it off.
Even though I’ve built a solid foundation for my self-confidence over the years, I’m still very careful to preserve it. That means spending more time living out my purpose and less time watching other people live out theirs.
This has been tricky since I use Instagram and Facebook to connect with all of you. But I’ve been able to master that art of balance by instilling a couple rules that I may talk about in a future post.
2. Give Yourself Permission.
Yes, give yourself permission to feel beautiful. I know many women who struggle in this area. They don’t give themselves permission to feel beautiful because they’ve got belly fat, stretch marks, cellulite, acne, dark skin, pale skin, or whatever else is in direct opposition with ideal beauty standards.
But who orchestrated this law that one doesn’t deserve to feel beautiful if they don’t fit the beauty standard? I’ll let you in on a little secret; advertising companies work diligently to ensure we hate the way we look. Why? Because then they can sell us weight loss pills, stretch mark creams, tanning lotions, lip plumpers, or whatever else we desperately reach for in an effort to fit the mold.
I remember conversing about body image with an old coworker of mine, who gasped when I shared my weight with her. Her response?
“I’d just die if I weighed that much!”
Not even kidding. Those were her exact words.
I was trying to make a point that numbers on the scale didn’t matter, considering I was pretty healthy and fit at the time. But in her eyes, there was something wrong with a woman being okay with less than ideal numbers on the scale. To her, I didn’t deserve to have body confidence. But, I let her commentary roll off my back. I loved the way I looked, and the numbers on the scale wasn’t going to change my perception.
After birthing and nursing two children, you’d better believe I have stretch marks, cellulite, loose skin, saggy boobs, and extra weight. But each day I give myself permission to feel beautiful, anyway. None of these things are “flaws,” but are a result of living life and birthing life—a privilege not afforded to many.
3. Build Inner Peace.
We’ve all had that moment when we looked upon a gorgeous woman, admiring her beauty, only to discover she has an ugly disposition. Suddenly, that woman isn’t so beautiful to us anymore.
Because inward beauty always trumps physical beauty. A kind spirit, a joyful soul, and a heart at peace is the biggest enhancement we can make to our appearance.
Consider this verse: “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 15:13
This verse reminds me of the first time I realized that walking with God was the best beauty treatment I could give myself.
It was a time when I should’ve been living in despair. Everything around me was falling apart. My husband became unemployed almost as soon as we learned I was pregnant with our second baby. We watched our resources slowly wither to nothing. It was a very stressful time for us.
But it was also a beautiful time.
Beautiful because our peace and faith remained intact. God provided for us in the most mysterious ways. Unexpected cash, checks, and money orders made their way to our mailbox, and we had a community of people that faithfully supported us during that season.
I remember during this time people would ask me, “What’s going on with you? You seem so happy. You’re glowing.” At first, I was confused by this recurring inquiry; I wasn’t doing anything differently with my physical appearance, our financial situation was still a wreck, and I went from being heavily pregnant to a visibly tired new momma. Yet, people were commenting on how radiant, happy, and beautiful I looked—like I was withholding some amazing news.
I could only chalk it up to experiencing the glory of God. The intimate time I was spending with the Lord offered me an inexplicable joy that revealed itself through my countenance and reminded me that true beauty is a heart at peace. That’s when I feel the best about myself.
I want to end this post by saying confidence isn’t something you just say you have. Rather, it must be nurtured, tested, and approved by God because in Him is where it truly rests. If your confidence depends on the material things of this world, it will waver. Why? Because “things” are only temporary, but our God is eternal.
I want to hear from you. What invaluable lessons have you learned about self-confidence? Let me know in the comments!