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Combating Depression By Building Self-Confidence

by Greg Baker  
2/21/2011 / Self Help


One of the main causes of depression is a lack of self-confidence. When we no longer believe in ourselves, we begin to fall into a pit of depression and anxiety. This is a Pastor's take on building self-confidence.

On one hand, we are all filled with some degree of insecurity. For most people, looking into the mirror is not a confidence booster, but is an exercise in self-deception as we try to ignore or explain away our own insecurities. When it comes to talent, skills, or ability, a lack of confidence in these areas often bring on a sense of inadequacy that can lead to depression.

Confidence in one's self is not always the easiest thing in the world to achieve. Building your own self-image can be an exercise in selfishness and egotism. After all, we do promote humilitythe intentional redirecting of attention to someone else. Unless you are completely devoid of pride, even humility can make you feel inadequate as others fail to notice your own contributions. This lack of notice can even lead to further insecurities and then, again, to depression.

But confidence is not built based on your own skills, talents, and abilities. In fact, people with a very large range of talents become dependent on those talents to such a degree that they would fall apart and wallow in self-pity if those talents ever betrayed themwhich they will, especially as we get older. No, self-confidence is not built on being better than others, or being self-reliant, or even having a wide range of talent or skill sets.

WHERE TRUE CONFIDENCE COMES FROM

Confidence is something you gain through a powerful knowledge of where your support is coming from as you face the challenges of life. It is what you know you can fall back on when all else fails you. It is knowing who is there to back you up when faced with heavy burdens or difficult trials.

For example, I am not a lover of American football. If you saw me, you would agree, that my physical physique does not lend itself much to doing well at football. I am too skinny. Getting hit one time ends any further participation on my part! Still, I would confidently challenge any group of people if the Green Bay Packers decided they wanted to play on my team. Knowing who is backing me up gives me tremendous confidence. My own skills may be inadequate, but confidence doesn't come because I am good or bad at football. It comes because I have a professional team backing me up! Bring them on!

Psalms 23:4 - Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

This is a great Bible verse and one that is well known. The psalmist, David, writes that his confidence in facing the valley of death is not in his own strength. It lies not in his martial skills, or his ability on the harp. No, his confidence to fear no evil comes from knowing that God is with him.

Psalms 118:6 - The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?

Children gain confidence, not because they are necessarily more skilled or talented than other children, but because they have a tremendous support structure at home, at church, and with their peers.

I distinctly remember as a child when captains would choose from among their classmates for a team or ball game. If, for example, the best player chose me, even if I wasn't near his skill level, it always gave me a boost of confidence. It had nothing to do with my own skill; it had to do with being accepted, being loved, and knowing I have a wonderful supporting cast. But being picked last would often make you fill inadequate.

We really can't stop the above example from happeningsomeone must be picked last. But we can give each child a supporting role at home. My parents were my best friends growing up. I didn't have to be the best. I just needed to know that mom and dad were behind me. I took a Christian stand in a very large public High School. Several of the teachers there told me that I couldn't bring a Bible to school anymore. Worried and feeling somewhat depressed, I told dad. Dad said, "Take the Bible. If they have a problem, I'll take care of it." Well now, that changes things. I went to school just hoping someone would have a problem! Having dad behind me, knowing he was on my side, gave me tremendous confidence.

TWO THINGS TO DO

First, it is essential that you surround yourself with people who love and care for you. Without a supporting cast in life, you will find yourself lacking more and more confidence as you face the problems of life. If you feel that no one likes you or loves you, understand that no one is completely unlovable. You may need to adjust your approach. Instead of waiting for people to come to you, you go to them.

Proverbs 18:24 - A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

Stop waiting for people to notice you. People who love are always loved.

Secondly, get to know God like you have never known Him before. Life is hard. I don't need to tell you that. Spiritually, having a relationship with God is essential to building confidence in your life, especially as you deal with the difficulties of life.

I asked some teenagers about how they know God exists. None of them could give me a good answer, because none of them ever really had to take a real step of faith. I know God exists. I've put Him and His Word to the test many times and He always keeps His promises. I have miracle after miracle to prove it.

Knowing you have a strong relationship with your Saviour, Jesus, with the Father, and His Holy Spirit brings tremendous confidence in the face of any adversity and difficulty.

Give it a try, you'll like it.

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