She stood in the bathroom on top of the counter, looked into the mirror and started reciting her morning pump-up mantra.
“I am awesome!”
“I am amazing!”
“I am the best!”
“I can do anything!”
With a final look of confidence and a smile at herself through the reflection, she went on with her day. This little girl’s mom uploaded the video to social media, and it went viral. People around the world were praising this admittedly adorable video and commenting on how much we could learn from this enthusiastic six-year-old.
Hundreds of similar “you’ve got this” videos are trending all of the time. In fact, it’s not just videos of little kids giving themselves pep talks that are trending, it’s pastors having their congregations speak empowering words of self-love over themselves. Books and magazines shout the importance of looking inward, finding your truth, and loving yourself more.
On the surface, these practices seem like a good idea. Isn’t self-love important? Don’t we need to build ourselves up more? In a world overflowing with negativity, isn’t this a positive, combative solution? With low self-esteem epidemics, shouldn’t we focus on esteeming ourselves as much as possible?
I don’t think so.
In fact, I think these solutions to self-worth and confidence will only do more harm than good in the long run. These kinds of pep talks can only last so long.
- What happens when you’re genuinely not awesome?
- When you truly disappoint someone?
- When someone disappoints you?
- When you look in the mirror and say, “I am amazing,” but deep inside you know you’re not?
What about when life is too hard, and loving yourself more just isn’t cutting it?
My proposed solution to finding true confidence, worth, value, purpose, and life has nothing to do with looking in a mirror and pumping ourselves up. It has nothing to do with looking inward and speaking a self-help mantra over our hearts. It has nothing to do with being better, smarter, or more awesome.
3 Solutions to Living Confident and Loved . . . Even on Your Worst Days:
1. Start by admitting that you aren’t enough.
You don’t have to be enough. (Breathe! Take the pressure off. You don’t have to be enough.) You will never be or have enough. We are sinners in desperate need of a Savior. This right understanding of who we are will help us better understand who God is.
We are born sinners, and for that reason, we are unable to do good in order to please God in our natural state, or the flesh: “Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8:8).
We were dead in our sins before Christ raised us to spiritual life (Eph. 2:1). We lack any inherent spiritual good.
Without Jesus, we fall so short.
Admitting that we won’t ever be enough is actually freeing.
2. Remember that God doesn’t command us to love ourselves more.
Nowhere in Scripture does God command us to love ourselves more. Why? Self-love is already our natural default. Thinking about ourselves (whether in a positive or negative light) is something that every human on earth does with great ease. We often hear the words “low self-esteem,” and we think we need to esteem ourselves more. Instead, we need to esteem God more. The more we esteem the One who is worthy, the more we will see how loved and valued we are as His redeemed daughters.
No amount of self-love or self-esteem can give us the fulfillment we are looking for. That must come from Someone greater. Someone who can look at us and tell us who we really are. I love Ephesians 1:3–14, which talks about who God says we are as His children. Here are a few of the words He uses to describe us:
- Obtained an inheritance
- To the praise of His glory
I love this song by Hillsong Worship that talks about who God is and who we are. Give it a listen.
3. Choose to believe that Jesus is enough—and that as His redeemed daughter, you have everything you need.
Jesus is enough. We never have to be enough. In Him, we have every ounce of love, worth, and purpose than we could ever have hoped or dreamed for. Think about it. God didn’t send Jesus to this earth to teach us how to pump ourselves up and find worth inside ourselves. He came to give us His life because we could never be enough. We could never save ourselves. We could never do what only a perfect God could do. He gave life and redemption to a lost and broken people. That’s us. That’s you and me!
To all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:12)
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Cor. 5:17)
Let’s claim our identity as God’s redeemed daughters and be defined by Him. Let’s choose to focus on loving our amazing Savior instead of loving ourselves. The more we focus on Christ and understand all that He did for us, the more we will find that all-satisfying love that we so desperately crave.
So When You’re Feeling Down
The next time you’re feeling down or in need of a pump-up talk, I encourage you to open your Bible to Ephesians 1:3–14 and read those verses. Allow the truth to empower you and give you the hope you need for that day.