Thursday, 14 February 2013

Working on your character3: Self-confidence

Generally most people don’t feel good about themselves! The artist with a great voice, the lady in the beauty pageant, and the guy with the deep voice…Everyone seem dissatisfied with how they look! The tall girl wants to be shorter, the short one taller! The skinny girl is complaining about being fat, the soprano voiced guy wants a deep voice, not that I blame him! Jokes! Most of my life I also had a problem with how I looked, I wanted to be light in complexion, I wanted to be skinny! This was after all the epitome of beauty! 

Causes of low self-confidence

People's Criticism
Once I wore a horizontal striped t-shirt and my mother told me never to wear it again because it makes me fatter! I assume she was trying to help but her tone and the disgust on her face screamed- criticism!!! Again, I also had a friend who always had something negative to say to me! She wanted to change me so that perhaps I could be “fit” enough to be the friend type! Had something to say about my hairstyle and the way I dressed! Sometimes people do really mean well but they just don’t have a polite way of expressing themselves genuinely! Here’s my take: If you do not have anything nice to say or don’t have a polite way of putting words together, then don’t say anything at all! The least you can do is lead by example and modesty in the hope that the other person will catch it up! 


Mediocrity makes people feel inadequate! My advice to any person raising a child would be to never expose that child to mediocrity! The biggest mistake parents do however is give their child over to another person to be raised! As you know by now I grew up faced up with much mediocrity! As someone incapable of achieving anything great, as someone who would not find a man who would love and appreciate her, and as someone who would always is a failure in life! People with low self-confidence are meant to believe that they cannot be smarter or confident than anybody else! They are intimidated by others who speak better English, come from a wealthy background, have a better physical appearance and so on! 

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.Psalm 139:13-14

How I boosted my confidence!

Don’t compare yourself to others!

We usually have forces pulling us down in the pursuit of becoming all that God intended us to be! I know I used to compare myself with other bloggers, other singers, other biologists, and other women who worship God! Comparing myself with others only left me feeling worthless, feeling like I was not doing good enough, or that I can never be as good as they were!  It’s good to look up to others but everyone has to run their own race and finish their own course! If I’m going to be a writer than I’m going to be the best writer that I can possibly be not outsmart Paulo Coelho or any other writer in the world! When I do what I love and I do it to the best of my ability I feel like I’m the only person doing that on earth, and boy I feel like I am the greatest! Be the best you that you can possibly be! Just because you are not studying medicine it doesn’t mean that you are insignificant! Just because you live in a four roomed house it doesn’t mean you can’t live in a better house someday! Just because you can’t sing, it doesn’t mean the other stuff that you can’t do! Search within yourself and see what God has placed in you! (If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself! Desiderata)

Hang around people who boost your confidence…

I met Bongi one morning in the bus to church! We instantly clicked and talked as if we had known each other for years! Bongi didn’t have a place to stay in when the university was closing for the festive season, so I offered her a stay at my place! I hadn’t had a roommate in a long time and I wondered what I was getting myself into because some people don’t appreciate one’s hospitality! I got myself into a wonderful friendship where I was always encouraged and my confidence boosted up! See, Bongi saw all the beautiful things in me and she pointed them all out! She wasn’t just saying it because she was under my mercy, you can see when someone is genuine! When I felt fat, dark after a long day she would look for something that she could compliment me on! At first I thought that she was just saying it but as I got to know her I realize that she was genuine! She comes from a family where her mother only told her great things about her so she naturally transmits that to others too! If someone grew up being criticized, she will find ways to criticize others too! If somebody doesn’t feel good about themselves, she’ll find something not to feel good about others!! Before Jesus came into my life I’d look around me and if I saw anyone fatter than me I’d console myself and say, “at least I’m not as fat as here! At least I’m not as dark as her!” We have to get to a point where we don’t need to make others feel bad in order to boost our confidence level, work on your own self! If that’s the body you want to have, then appreciate it, if not, change it! Change the things that can be changed and accept those that cannot be changed! 

 The world has a way of defining ones beauty! If you are not that girl with the long hair, smooth legs, flat tummy, or whatever physical characteristic you can think of that has been portrayed as the unit of beauty, then you are not “cool” enough! I got that the first time I attended the choir practice at church! I was new and obviously looking for people I could be-friend and I always found myself next to this other girl! The problem with this other girl is that she kept running away from, keeping her distance! I tried chatting with her once, twice but when I saw that she didn’t want to “hangout” with me, I left her and did what I went to do there! Thank goodness in the end I had a couple of nice people introducing themselves to me! But you see, not everyone is nice, not everyone wants to befriend the “fat girl’! Not everyone wants to befriend that person who doesn’t look cool enough, and its fine, its life! You have to understand deep down that there is more to you than your body, your height, your staggering, your physical appearance! Jesus brought me to a point where I was finally able to see myself as He sees me! It’s not always easy because there are people who still disregard me, who still see me as nothing, but I’m not intimidated by anyone because I know who lies within me! (You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1John4:4). With the different kind of people I see on a daily basis on campus, at church, in gym, I am forced to work daily on my confidence! Avoid wishing that I was somebody else, or I had somebody else’s body or brains, but really value myself for how God wanted me to be like for His own glory! When I’m working out at gym I find myself thanking God for who I am! Thank You God for my pure body! Thank you God for my strong heart! Thank you God for my smooth chocolate skin! Thank you God for my beautiful smile and white teeth! Thank you God for my big brown beautifully shaped eyes! I have learned to be grateful for who I am! I was created by God, and I appreciate His creation!