Building Self-Confidence

Welcome back to our series of Lent email that encourage growth. In previous years we’ve focused on Marriage, Pre-Marriage, Hard Times, and Joy. This year we’ll start with…

4 Minutes 4 Confidence

 “Why does everyone else seem so much more confident than I am?”

 “How can I portray myself with more self assurance at work?”

 “Why do I get so nervous?”

Most of us would like to be more confident. We’d like to enter a room full of people and assume we’ll be liked and respected. We’d like to have a sure sense of our abilities, confidence in our competence. Some people are well on the road to self assurance. Others don’t even know where the road begins. Yet, it’s a path we can all follow.

How did we get this way? Last year we looked at these causes of insecurity taken from Beth Moore’s book, So Long Insecurity: You’ve been a bad friend to us. Feel free to go back and read more about these at in my March 4, 2010 blogpost, or see Beth Moore’s site at .

 Causes of Insecurity:

  1. An unstable home
  2. Significant loss of anything you derive security from.
  3. Rejection
  4. Dramatic change
  5. Personal limitations
  6. Personal disposition
  7. Culture
  8. Our own pride

We went on to Beth Moore’s Steps you can take toward fighting insecurity:

  1. Avoid insecurity triggers
  2. Choose a different reaction. Think, “How would I react if I were secure?” and then do it!
  3. Stop coupling legitimate feelings with insecurity. Feel the hurt, intimidation, fear, disappointment, shock, sadness, anger, jealousy, and shame, but assert, “You can’t take my security. It is mine from God and I won’t give it away.”
  4. Stop making comparisons. I am not better OR worse than you. My worth or value is simply from being a person, a child of God like every other person.
  5. Don’t trip others’ insecurity triggers. We should all be giving example to each other of what secure behavior looks like.
  6. Stop focusing on ourselves. When we are thinking of others, we don’t have time to be insecure.
  7. Pursue a life of purpose! Lose yourself in something (or Someone) greater!
  8. Trade fear for trust. God promises He will work all things to be good in the end.
  9. Don’t worry about the future. Instead of, “What will I do if…” ask, “What will God do if…”
  10. Question your motivation. “Am I doing this out of insecurity?” Stop. Choose to act out of strength.

This week I offer suggestions specific to Confidence from Alan Loy McGinnis’ book, Confidence: How to Succeed at Being Yourself, from Augsburg Publishing

McGinnis writes, “Most change starts on the inside and works outward. […] It has to do with changing our thinking as well as our behavior; and if we can reform the way we think, if we can talk to ourselves and picture ourselves differently, then a great deal of our behavior will automatically fall into place.

 McGinnis’ Twelve Rules for Building Self- Confidence

  1. Focus on your potential instead of your limitations. 
  2. Determine to know the truth about yourself. 
  3. Distinguish between who you are and what you do. 
  4. Find something you like to do and do well, then do it over and over.
  5. Replace self-criticism with regular, positive self-talk.
  6. Replace fear of failure with clear pictures of yourself functioning successfully and happily.
  7. Dare to be a little eccentric.
  8. Make the best possible peace with your parents.
  9. Determine to integrate the body and spirit.
  10. Determine to live above neurotic guilt
  11. Cultivate people who help you grow.
  12. Refuse to allow rejection to keep you from taking the initiative with people.

 Betty here:

I know giving you 3 lists won’t improve your confidence, but I wanted to start our weekly emails with these lists. Before we can begin “changing our thinking as well as our behavior” we need to assess where we are currently. I suggest we all look again at the causes of insecurity to see which apply to us.

Then let’s see what steps from the second list might help us most to fight our insecurity. Choose one to mull over. Do I need to stop comparing myself to others? Place my trust in God? Focus on others instead of myself? For me, probably all of the above, but for this week, focus on one.

Next week we’ll move into the McGinnis confidence builder list, so I’m jumping ahead to include it, but read through and see if one suggestion jumps out. Food for thought… and prayer.

I hope your Mardi Gras gave you a little fun before beginning this season of sacrifice and growth. (I ate a few cookies before freezing the rest until Easter.)

Thank you for joining our 4 Minutes 4 Growth. May this Lent teach us to grow in whatever area God invites us to consider. He is easy to please, but not to satisfy. He will entice us to become more loving and more whole throughout our lives.

Blessings on your Lent!

Betty Arrigotti

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