I think we often overlook our biggest critic and dream-crusher – ourselves. It is commonly known that tongues are sharp, but our thoughts also have the power of life and death over our dreams, faith, relationships, and view of self.
Satan wants us to use our tongues to speak negatively about ourselves and others, but God wants us to use our tongues to proclaim His greatness. He created us for something greater than ourselves. He created us to be confident in who we are. He created us to love others rather than spend our lives trying to compare and compete with those around us.
Low self-esteem says:
- You will never be pretty or skinny enough.
- You will never be able to pursue your dreams.
- No one will ever love you like that.
- You will never be that smart.
- Why can’t you be more like her?
- Nobody likes you.
- You should be quiet. Your voice does not matter.
- No one respects you or your opinion.
- You cannot make a difference, no matter how hard you try.
How to Overcome Low Self-Esteem
To overcome low self-esteem and negative self-talk, it is important to learn to flip the switch when negative thoughts begin to overtake your mind. You must cut off the negative pattern before it escalates. When you begin to say, “It is not worth trying, I cannot make a difference” – switch gears by saying, “With God, anything is possible. He has given me a voice and a strong worth ethic to keep going.”
Negative self-talk is the steppingstone to a life filled with poor self-esteem. You must begin to speak life over yourself and about other people. Life is not meant to be a game of comparison but appreciating how God created us all so different and unique.
We all have different talents to offer. We all have different perspectives, which is how we evolve and grow as individuals and in our faith. Instead of saying, “I will never be pretty like her,” remember that she can be pretty and so can you! You were made by God and hand-crafted into the beautiful person that you are.
If you feel embarrassed by a birthmark – embrace it; it is a symbol of the life that God has blessed you with. It means you have breath in your lungs to stand up for what you believe in and follow your God-given dreams.
Begin practicing self-compassion.
One of the first steps to overcoming negative self-talk is practicing compassion – for yourself and other people. Be honest, be real, be vulnerable. Cry out to God when things are overwhelming.
Allow yourself to feel, but do not allow negative thoughts to continue to swirl around in your brain like a washing machine that is stuck on a spin cycle. We are all imperfect people – even the girls on magazine covers who appear flawless often mask the ailing parts of their self-image and shortcomings.
It is okay to feel.
An empath is someone who feels deeply and is extremely sensitive to the needs and feelings of other people. This is often seen as a weakness but is an overlooked character trait and can be honed to love more like Jesus.
Having a heart of compassion can be a key trait for ridding negative self-talk because you allow yourself to see through the lens of other people. You allow yourself to see others the way God does. He does not compare our bank accounts and physical traits; He looks at our hearts.
He looks at the way we treat people. He looks at the way we reach out to someone in their darkest hour. He looks at the way we choose to respond to negative comments on social media. Are we clinging to Him when our thoughts get the best of us? Are we reciting Scripture and breathing in the realization that we were made for much more than likes on social media?
You were created in God’s image.
Psalm 139:13–14, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
It does not matter if you wear brand name clothes or thrift store clothes.
It does not matter if you drive a brand-new car or a car that is on its last leg.
It does not matter if you live in a beautiful five-bedroom house or a small three-bedroom house.
It does not matter if you are married and have two kids by twenty-five, or if you are still dating and trying to find the person God handpicked for you.
It does not matter if you went to college or straight into the workforce.
It does not matter if you work out at an expensive gym or in the comfort of your living room.
It does not matter if you read your Bible at 5:00 AM or 10:00 PM.
You do not need to prove your worth to the world.
It matters how you treat people. It matters how you view yourself. It matters how you talk to and about other people. It matters if you compare yourself to someone else.
“Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a ‘hot mess’ or having ‘too many issues’ are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.” – Anthon St. Maarten
Be confident and own your differences.
Re-direct your thoughts of comparing yourself to other people.
Re-direct your thoughts if you think that God cannot use you for a greater purpose.
If comparing yourself on social media is an issue, then limit your usage. Fill your heart and mind with things of God and with constant reminders that you are made in His image and can accomplish great things through Him.
- Write positive affirmations all around your home. Post them by your bed, on the bathroom mirror, and at the coffee machine. Say it aloud! Let your heart absorb it to the greatest extent.
- Begin journaling your prayers and affirmations that you are beautifully made and can accomplish your dreams. Look back at how God answers your prayers and helps you follow your dreams.
- Prioritize integrity. Refrain from gossip and guard your tongue against speaking negatively to and about other people. Refrain from speaking negatively to and about yourself.
- Fill your mind with God’s Word. It is important to fill your heart and mind with what God says about you rather than looking for other people to fill that void.
- Look underneath the surface. It is important to realize that beauty is about so much more than what you see in the mirror. Remember to get to know other people based on their heart and not their jean size. Remember to listen to the callings God has placed in your heart more than what your inner critic wants to find in the mirror.
- Try not to live comparing your life to others. Do not worry about what size jeans you wear compared to the beautiful slim girl you see at the grocery store. If you are always looking over your shoulder and comparing your life to someone else, it will be difficult to look at the opportunities to love others and chase your dreams as God places it right in front of you. Do not look over your shoulder, look up to God.
- Develop an attitude of gratitude. If you struggle with self-esteem and comparing your life to others, begin taking small strides to develop an attitude of gratitude. Look for the little things in the day-to-day. Start a gratitude journal. Start building authentic relationships with others who can encourage you and hold you accountable. Find joy in jumping in a pile of leaves, painting a picture, or running different scenic trails.
- Serve others. When we become too woe-is-me, serving others can be a great way to re-focus our perspective lens and focus more on the calling to live out our faith and love others. Serving others is a great reminder that life is about so much more than our physique or financial accomplishments.
- Do not stop dreaming! God is the author of hope. We should never give up on our dreams. God wants us to live each day to the fullest and not to miss an opportunity to love and serve others, to see ourselves in His image, and to continue chasing our dreams.
Maybe today you need to begin dreaming again. Make a dream board – fill it with places you would like to visit, names of people you are praying for and would like to invite to church, and with things you would like to do – like writing a song, start a Bible study, sing a solo in church, or send cards to the children who are stuck in the hospital at Christmas. Think beyond the every-day.
Bible Verses on Confidence and Self-Esteem
But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. – Jeremiah 17:7
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. – Joshua 1:9
. . . but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint. – Isaiah 40:3
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10
Schedule a Christian counseling session today
If you are struggling with feelings of negative self-worth or living a life of comparison, it can make it difficult to find joy and live your life to the fullest. Schedule your counseling session today and breathe in the fresh air as we help you overcome low self-esteem, soar to new heights, and chase your dreams.
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