Feeling bullied? Beaten up? Beaten down? All of the above?
Sometimes it’s the world that does it to us. Sometimes it’s specific people. Sometimes, we have ourselves to blame.
Whatever the case, it’s never too late to get back up again. Because when it comes to your personhood – your God-given value as a human being – the very nature of you – nobody is able to take that away.
Every human being is created with purpose, and intent, in the image of God (Genesis 1:27; Jeremiah 29:11; Psalms 57:2; Psalms 139:13-16). This does not give us free reign to do whatever we want (Romans 7:15-25; Romans 6). However, there is a clear biblical basis for the protection of one’s personhood.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Proverbs 4:23 NIV
I find it interesting that even though Jesus willingly and sacrificially laid down His life, He never compromised on who He truly was: the Son of God (Luke 22:66-71), the King of the Jews (Matthew 27:11), and a friend to sinners (Luke 23:39-43). Although people surrounded Him, spat on Him, mocked Him, beat Him, and even killed Him, they could not remove this core truth of His innermost being. He had come to save the world. And, save the world is what He did.
With a similar boldness, there are some simple ways that we may stand on our own two feet, assert our confidence, and say: I am who I am, and who I am is good. Not because I say so, but because my Creator does.
To certain individuals, the following list will seem odd or unimpressive. And to others, it will make sense, because they too have become inhibited or shamed in some of these areas. Keep in mind that what is commonplace to some, may feel nearly impossible to others.
5 Small Ways to Assert Your Confidence in Who You Are
- Try a new hairstyle. You know that short cut you’ve been wanting to try? Maybe now is the time. Whether it looks good or not, you will still be you, and you will have some fun experimenting with your appearance. I did this – read about it by clicking here.
- Learn a new skill. This can even be something small. Sometimes, we have never done a task simply because others have always done it for us. After a while, we can begin to feel dependent on that help, even though we aren’t. It can be very empowering to take the step of doing it for ourselves. For example, I recently set up our tent trailer on my own. Usually, this is something I would have relied upon my husband to do. But I found it gratifying to know I could do it myself if I had to or wanted to.
- Refuse to be mocked. Being open to feedback or constructive criticism that is delivered in a kind and thoughtful way, is one thing. Intentional mocking, however, with the explicit intent of hurting your feelings, tears down your personhood and is not something that you should be subjected to on a regular basis. Is there someone in your life who repeatedly mocks you? Perhaps it is time to calmly set a boundary with them. For example, you could say, “If you speak that way to me again, I will end the conversation until you are willing to treat me with respect.” Remember to also be kind and respectful towards your offender. Don’t join them in the destructive game.
- Don’t berate yourself. Perhaps, you are your own mocker. If so, it’s time to have a little talk with yourself! No person is perfect. Ask for forgiveness if you have let someone down. Then move on, treat mistakes as opportunities to learn, and be the best you that you can be.
- Set and work towards a goal. Giving up says, “I’m not important and will never achieve my goals.” Standing up says, “Even if my dreams don’t fully come true, they may, and I’m allowed to have them. What is one small way I can work towards them today?” It feels hopeless to never permit yourself to dream. Hold your dreams with an open hand, and be willing to be flexible, because…life happens. However, so does growth, and achievement – and it will happen to you as well, if you allow it.
It seems to me that there is very little separating those who stand up from those who lie down, beyond their inner attitudes, thoughts, and beliefs. The mind, will, and emotions are powerful tools that can be harnessed for the good of ourselves and others.
Do you feel like parts of you have been beaten down? What are your best ways to get back up and reclaim your personhood? I would love to hear about it in the comments section below.
And if this post resonated with you, check out some of my other posts related to self-awareness, self concept, boundaries, and generally living in your own skin:
“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.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
Psalms 139:13-16 NIV