6 Smart Tactics to Help Survivors Strengthen Confidence

People who have been abused often struggle with self-doubt.  Yeah. You can put up a tough exterior for everyone else. 
Some days you can even fool yourself.
The truth is. Words do hurt. 
In fact, they have a way of leaving a brand on you, don’t they? 
In order to have an existence that’s peaceful yet exciting and fulfilling, it’s important to believe in yourself.
 I’ve learned that like a brand, those scars may always be there.  You may always remember what was said to you. 
However, it may not always have the same effect on you that it once did.

You can teach yourself to believe in yourself.  

When you believe in yourself, you know that you have the ability to handle anything that life throws your way. You will then know for certain that¸ although things may be tough, you’ll get through it.

If that voice deep inside of you even so much as whispers a doubtful thought you will be able to come against it in a powerful way.
Check out these 6 tactics for Survivors:

Colorful and creative portrait of an beautiful african womans bare back with necklace and jewelry. Dark skin and braided hair on red lit background.

    1. Know yourself. 

      Who are you? 
Briefly and succinctly, how would you describe yourself to someone who doesn’t know you? 
Write down a description of yourself using honest action verbs. (Remember you are not how you earn a living)
You can start with this:
“[Your name] is a person who_____________.”
  Keep writing what you know about yourself.   
  When you’re finished,  read it.
   Does it give the reader a clear idea of who you are?

2. Develop a real understanding for how you react in challenging situations. When you have experienced abuse you might find that you operate in “survival mode”.  You just make it from one difficult moment to the next.  This makes you a stand out in life.  You don’t fall apart or get all flustered.  When the going gets rough you just keep it moving. 
This tends to catch up with us though.  Everything that we have built is in danger of falling to the ground, including the Survivor.  People were not designed to operate in this state for an entire lifetime. 
You must take the time to evaluate and understand how you react in challenging situations.  For example, if someone tells you he’s angry about something you did, how do you respond? When people ask for help, what do you do? Noticing the behaviors you perform whenever challenging situations occur will help you see your capabilities.  It will also help you to see whether or not your methods are working for your loved ones, yourself and your overall life.

           3. Be comfortable with your own feelings.   People who were abused were often forced, coerced, or persuaded to suppress our feelings for others.  Sometimes we become numb.  We grow out of touch with our own feelings. 
        Recognize what you’re feeling and name it—is it sadness you feel when you see others moving on?  Jealousy?  Pride.  Feelings are an important part of being human.  Stay connected to them.
4.  Recognize your strong points. Although most of us can identify our weak areas immediately,  strong points might be harder to see. Recognizing the areas of life in which you do really well is a great confidence-booster.
In fact, if you tend to have moments of sadness or depression from time to time,  it might be nice to keep a written log of your strong points.  You can also keep a shoe box of encouraging letters or notes from other people to remind yourself how others see you.

   5.     Remind yourself you’ve made it through some challenging episodes in life. When you see what you’ve risen above, it helps you to realize that you can get through the tough times. You can probably easily recount all the difficult phases you’ve gone through in life. Yet here you are, surviving and maybe even thriving.

       Be inspired by the initiative, personal strength, and courage you’ve shown so far in life. Say it loud:  “If I did that, then I can achieve so much more.”

   6.  Get comfortable with admitting you made a mistake. This suggestion just might be the most important one on the list. If you can’t admit to yourself and others on a regular basis that you’ve made a mistake, the fact is that you’ll have difficulty believing in yourself. Why? Because in order to believe in yourself, you must be real with yourself and others.
I know that this can be hard for Survivors because we sometimes struggle with shame and guilt.  That battle ain’t no easy one.  But EVERYBODY gets it wrong. Quite frequently if you want to know the truth about it.  
That shame and guilt thing is a whole separate issue that Survivors have to work on in group, therapy, prayer time, or something.
But we Survivors must get comfortable with admitting we make mistakes. Otherwise, you’ll see that you’re not even honest with yourself and your confidence will lag. It’s okay to be wrong.
 If you recognize and acknowledge your errors, you’re very wise because you obviously know you can’t correct a mistake unless you see the mistake in the first place. If you’re not already doing it, start openly and honestly acknowledging errors. That way, you can fix them.

When you believe in yourself, your life will be so much easier. Believing in yourself brings a certain stoic confidence.
Thoughtfully consider the above points and strengthen your resolve to believe in the one person you’ll always have: you.
Once upon a time, someone abused us and WE survived!  Look how far WE have come.  If WE survived that, WE can do anything!

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