How Can I Boost My Self-Confidence?
When you look in the mirror, do you like what you see? □ □
Do you feel that you have praiseworthy skills? □ □
Are you able to stand up to peer pressure? □ □
Can you accept valid criticism? □ □
Can you handle unfair remarks others make about you? □ □
Do you feel loved? □ □
Do you take care of your health? □ □
Are you happy for others when they succeed? □ □
Do you generally view yourself as successful? □ □
If you answered no to several of the above questions, it may be that low self-confidence has blinded you to your strengths. This chapter is designed to help you discover them!
MOST youths struggle with uncertainties about their appearance and their abilities, as well as how they measure up to others. Do you fall into that category? If so, you have plenty of company!
“My imperfections cause me to feel down. Usually, I am my own worst critic.”—Leticia.
“No matter how pretty or handsome you are, you always come across others who are better-looking.”—Haley.
“I get very self-conscious around others. I’m scared that I’ll look like a loser.”—Rachel.
If you identify with the above statements, don’t despair. You can get help. Consider three confidence boosters that will enable you to see yourself in a more positive light.
Give of Yourself
Key scripture. “There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.”—Acts 20:35.
What it means. When you help others, you help yourself. How? “Generosity will be rewarded,” states a Bible proverb. “Give a cup of water, and you will receive a cup of water in return.” (Proverbs 11:25, Contemporary English Version) There’s no denying it—your sense of well-being soars when you help others!*
“I think of what I can do for others and try to fill a need for someone in my congregation. Giving love and attention to others makes me feel better.”—Breanna.
“The Christian ministry is rewarding because it forces you to stop thinking about yourself and start thinking about others.”—Javon.
Caution: Don’t help others solely for the purpose of getting something in return. (Matthew 6:2-4) Giving with the wrong motive falls flat. It is usually seen for just what it is—a false front!—1 Thessalonians 2:5, 6.
Your turn. Think of someone you have helped in the past. Who was that person, and what did you do for him or her?
How did you feel afterward?
Think of someone else you could help, and write down how you can assist that one.
Key scripture. “A true companion is loving all the time, and is a brother that is born for when there is distress.”—Proverbs 17:17.
What it means. A good friend can be a tremendous support during times of adversity. (1 Samuel 18:1; 19:2) Even the thought that someone cares can lift your spirits. (1 Corinthians 16:17, 18) So draw close to those who have a positive influence on you.
“Real friends won’t let you stay down.”—Donnell.
“Sometimes the most important thing is knowing that someone sincerely cares. That can make you feel valuable.”—Heather.
Caution: Make sure your friends bring out the real you—not a persona that you create just to fit in. (Proverbs 13:20; 18:24; 1 Corinthians 15:33) Engaging in unwise acts just to impress others will leave you feeling degraded and used.—Romans 6:21.
Your turn. Below, fill in the name of a friend who might boost your self-confidence in a healthy way.
Why not make arrangements to spend some time with the person you named above?—Note: The person doesn’t have to be in your age group.
Bounce Back From Your Mistakes
Key scripture. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”—Romans 3:23.
What it means. There’s no getting around it—you’re imperfect. That means there will be times when you will say or even do the wrong thing. (Romans 7:21-23; James 3:2) While you can’t avoid making mistakes, you can control how you react to them. The Bible says: “Even if good people fall seven times, they will get back up.”—Proverbs 24:16, CEV.
“Sometimes low self-esteem results when we compare our weakness to another person’s strength.”—Kevin.
“Everyone has good and bad qualities. We should be proud of the good and work on the bad.”—Lauren.
Caution: Don’t use your imperfection as an excuse to practice sin. (Galatians 5:13) Deliberately engaging in wrongdoing will cut you off from the most important approval you could have—that of Jehovah God!—Hebrews 10:26, 27.
Your turn. Below, write a quality that you would like to improve in.
Write today’s date next to the quality you noted. Do research on how to improve, and check your progress in one month.
Your True Value
The Bible says that “God is greater than our hearts.” (1 John 3:20) This means, for one thing, that he can see value in you that you may not see in yourself. But do your imperfections change that? Well, imagine that you had a $100 bill with a small tear in it. Would you throw it away or view it as worthless because of that tear? No way! It’s still worth $100—with or without a tear.
It’s similar with God’s view of your worth. Your flaws don’t blind him to your value. He notices and treasures your efforts to please him, no matter how insignificant they may seem to you! Indeed, the Bible assures you that “God is not unrighteous so as to forget your work and the love you showed for his name.”—Hebrews 6:10.
Does intense sadness sometimes overwhelm you? If so, what can you do about it?
If you are one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, consider the great joy you can gain by sharing the Kingdom message with others.—Isaiah 52:7.
“Let each one prove what his own work is, and then he will have cause for exultation in regard to himself alone, and not in comparison with the other person.”—Galatians 6:4.
Don’t tell yourself such things as ‘I always fail’ and ‘I never do anything right.’ Such overstatements only keep you down. Instead, acknowledge your shortcomings but also recognize your strengths.
DID YOU KNOW . . . ?
How you view yourself can affect the way others view you . . . and even treat you.
When my peers put me down, I will ․․․․․
When I find that I am noticing only my weaknesses, I will ․․․․․
What I would like to ask my parent(s) about this subject is ․․․․․
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
● Why might young people be especially prone to lack confidence?
● Why is it important to have a healthy degree of self-respect?
[Blurb on page 88]
“A person can be very good-looking and still feel ugly. Or a person can be less attractive and think he or she is the best-looking person around. It’s all about attitude.”—Alyssa
[Picture on page 90]
The value of money does not lessen because it is torn—nor does your value in God’s eyes lessen because of imperfection