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If you have confidence issues, you are not alone. People can struggle with their confidence for a variety of reasons. Some people didn’t have parents who encouraged them. Some may have suffered failures and can’t seem to rebound back from them. Others may have had their confidence undermined my immature spouses or friends.

Unfortunately, the world can be a very critical place. As a result, your self-esteem has to come from within. If you rely on positive feedback from the world in order to feel good about yourself, the world effectively will hold your confidence hostage. You will like yourself only when others happen to approve of you. That is a terrible way to live.

What we all seek is unshakeable confidence. We want to be confident in our skills, ability and appearance, no matter what type of feedback that we receive from others. Below are ways to develop that rock steady confidence that each of us desires.

Ignore Negative Feedback: The older I get, the more I realize that the negative feedback that I receive is rarely about me. Why? Because people are only critical of others when they are unhappy with themselves. Outside of parents and teachers, people rarely criticize to help or teach other people. Unhappy people typically point out the imperfections of others to make themselves feel better.

So, for the most part, the negative feedback that you receive from others is not useful. As a result, you have to develop a thick skin and ignore those negative comments. But you also need to become adept at self-assessment. While trusting the criticisms of others is a bad idea, you can’t live in La-La Land. You may be a lovely person, but you aren’t perfect. No one is. So, you need to try to look at yourself in a loving, but objective manner.

For instance, you shouldn’t listen to anyone’s opinion as to your weight. You know whether you are too heavy or not by the way your body feels and the way your joints feel. I remember when I was pregnant, the nurse told me that I was gaining weight too quickly. It was a silly comment. Pregnant women gain weight, and sometimes they gain a lot of weight. I fortunately ignored the comment and didn’t go on a diet at the very time that my child needed nutrition from me. And within a month after giving birth I was back to wearing my smallest jeans. I followed my own intuition regarding my weight, and I was right.

You also shouldn’t listen to anyone’s opinion as to what you can or cannot accomplish. I have never been a great student. When I was in school, if a class interested me, I got an A. If it bored me, I got a C. I am not an academically competitive individual. So, I have never been driven to get good grades for the sake of having a high GPA.

As a result, based on my high school and university report cards, no one would have ever suggested that I apply to law school. Nevertheless, I applied, got in, and have had a 25-year career in the law. Sometimes, you just have to be confident and go for your goals, even if the world tells you that you don’t have what it takes.

Focus on Your Qualities: Not one of us is perfect. But God has blessed each of us with certain talents and attributes. The world will have you focus on what you lack. But I implore you to instead focus on what God has given you.

That is the mental switch that you need to make in order to be confident. This is particularly hard for women. We can be very critical of our appearances. For example, if you don’t have a perfect, little nose, don’t give it any thought. Instead, focus on the fact that you have been blessed with beautiful eyes or healthy, long hair. Alternatively, you may have funny looking feet. Well, so what? Stick shoes on them, and instead focus on the fact that you have a great figure.

You have to forget the idea that you are going to be perfect or the best at anything. The reality is that there will always be someone in the world who is smarter, more accomplished, or more attractive than you are. And that is OK! Because none of those people is the beautiful, unique package of attributes that makes up you.

Each of us brings something unique to the world. It took me a long time to understand that God created me with a certain appearance, intellect and skills for a reason. I now am confident that God knew what He was doing when he created me. He knew what he was doing when he created you too. Now, our only job is to use the body and brains that God has given us in order to fulfill our purpose on this earth.

This month, focus on developing unshakeable confidence. Create a confidence within you that is surrounded by a wall that cannot be penetrated by the outside world. Remember that you are God’s perfect creation. He made you in a certain way for a specific purpose. Be confident that He knew what He was doing and be confident in yourself.

(Photo Courtesy of Pexels)

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