Insecurity: an uncertainty or anxiety about oneself; a lack of confidence; feelings of self-doubt, self-consciousness and instability.
Ever found yourself questioning whether you really have any skills or talent? Feel disappointed by your own reflection? Have a mental list of all the things you’d like to change about yourself? Perhaps you’re scared to find yourself in a large group, and if you do, you’re sure the crowd is silently passing judgment. Do you compare what you have, and what you don’t have, to those around you? Feel unwanted, unpopular, different? Are you hoping, and maybe even striving, to be someone other than who… you… are?
Of course, I want to confidently shout, ‘no, not me!’, to each of those questions, but the truth is, I’d be lying. And if you are really honest with yourself, I’m sure there are one or two that make you whisper ‘yes’ too.
Why? Because insecurity is the most common, undiagnosed killer of dreams, potential, hope, and sadly – many relationships the world over. And its roots run deep.
Past traumas, abuse and family unit breakdowns can lead to present day insecurities, as can rejection by a loved one, role model or authority figure. Even something as small as a miscommunication, an unresolved misunderstanding of something said or implied, can cause a person’s confidence to quickly fade.
My self-doubt resulted from my childhood. Combine an overly critical parent who always expected me to do better despite my best efforts, with the fact that I was an underprivileged, skinny, acne faced, teen’ with wild hair, thick glasses, crooked teeth and braces, and you can imagine my school years were hard.
Your experience may have been similar, or maybe you were on the other side of the equation? You were popular – always defined by your looks, your grades, your brand-name clothing or your sporting prowess. Yet this success became your identity, created an obsession for perfection within you, and you now battle a fear of failing to meet everyone’s expectations of you and your future.
Can The Battle Be Won?
It’s natural to be filled with a whole host of insecurities, especially in a modern world that thrives on pushing dieting techniques, anti-ageing solutions, get-rich-quick schemes and online self-help courses. There are magazines, television shows and an overload of social media that will happily encourage you to be anyone other than who you are. But is this overwhelming access to information and photo-filtered images really our downfall, or has mankind been desperate to be more, acquire more, conquer more, since the beginning of time?
If you take a quick look through the Bible or ancient texts, it won’t be long before you find story after story of people cheating and deceiving one another or falling short of their potential, because they were filled with insecurity.
Look at Cain, one of the first inhabitants of the earth. Comparing himself to his younger brother, Cain felt ‘less than’ and murdered Abel in a jealous rage.
So, if insecurity has always been part of our human story, can the battle really be won?
Being Confident In Who You Are
Yes, it can!
Look at the lyrics of this beautiful song by musician Lauren Daigle:
I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up
Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low
Remind me once again just who I am, because I need to know
You say I am loved
When I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong
When I think I am weak
You say I am held
When I am falling short
When I don’t belong
You say I am Yours
And I believe
What You say of me
The only thing that matters now is everything You think of me
In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity
How true this is! While the world shouts at us from all directions, demanding we define ourselves by our every success and failure, there is another voice, a quieter voice, that calls out something different.
When I am disappointed by who I see in the mirror, He says I am beautiful, hand-crafted and one of a kind [Psalm 139:14].
When I feel unworthy and useless, without any gifts or talents, He says I have been given everything I need to thrive, all I must do is believe it [1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Romans 12:6-8].
When I begin to look at what others have and feel so small and out of place, He reminds me that He has good plans for me too, I just need to love Him, trust Him and let Him lead [Romans 8:28].
He is Jesus. He is our Father, our Friend, our Wise Counsellor and our Sovereign King.
Find Your Freedom
Although I’ll still have the occasional moment of self-doubt, it is fleeting. For when I take my eyes off myself and place them on Jesus, the only One that is without fault, I recognise the insecurity for what it is. It’s my voice, not His. Then I remind myself of who I am and whose image I am created in, and I get on with it. As simple as that.
The plans He has for me… and YOU… are grand, and I don’t want to waste a moment entertaining lies or thoughts of things I can not change. I want to be confident, I want to be brave, I want a life of adventure and freedom from negative thinking. And I can have it because He said, and I now believe – that I am gifted, I am purposed, I am unique, and I am wonderfully made! And do you know what… SO ARE YOU!
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