This is where I’m supposed to say no. I’m supposed to say I don’t struggle with that and tell you how great life is without insecurities.I’m supposed to tell you “WHO CARES WHAT PEOPLE THINK????
In my challenge group today we were asked what insecurities we are noticing in ourselves and working on. I listed two of mine- my cellulite, and the splotchy pregnancy mask on my face that I got with Corrie and have kept with this baby. (I’m wearing makeup in the picture and you can still see it, though not as pronounced).
So the real answer to “am I insecure” is:
“of course I’m insecure, I’m human.”
I remember talking to my mom and sister once about things I get insecure about and they were shocked because they felt that I always seem so confident. And in a lot of ways, I am confident. But not in all ways.
I see so many memes on social media about not caring what people think and they all have this “me against the world” or “I’m better than the naysayers” attitude about them. I suppose they are meant to be empowering, but a while back I had an aha moment about myself. The vast, VAST majority of my insecurities are not because of anything someone has said to me or done to me.
They’re just in my head.
That means that I am ASSUMING that people are thinking negative things about me.
I am fighting mental battles with people who don’t know that they are battling me.
I realized that me assuming people are thinking bad things about me, says a lot more about me than it says about them.
Who is the negative person in this situation? The person who is for SURE thinking something negative about someone (me assuming “that lady is judging my skin”) or the person who may or may not be thinking something negative about someone?
There’s only one person in this scenario who for SURE is thinking negatively about others.
And that’s me.
So I realized that the answer to my insecurities doesn’t start with some mantra about telling the world I don’t care what they think. It starts with me assuming the best of people.
It also moves on to me thinking of how to put others at ease, knowing that they are probably dealing with insecurities too. So I can think about making others feel accepted and comfortable rather than how to make myself feel comfortable.
If in the event I do KNOW someone thinks something negative about me, then I can realize “I don’t need to worry about what people think.” I can realize that my value doesn’t come from their opinions. My value comes from my creator. This also causes me to maintain decency towards those who DO think ill of me or might judge me on superficial things. Their value ALSO comes from their creator. So instead of trying to beat someone down who is beating me down, I can give them the benefit of the doubt or compassion–they are speaking out of pain I don’t know about, or how difficult it must be for them to live by their own standards.
My insecurities don’t need to put me on the defensive or send me into attack mode.
Instead they can help me to refocus on my value, my purpose, and how to help others.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4).
I don’t have to devalue myself in order to value someone else. Instead I can choose what to think about. I stop letting my insecurities dictate how I treat myself, and I stop letting them dictate how I treat others- whether that’s by isolating myself from them, assuming negative things about them, or preventing me from looking out for their interests.
This is not a lesson mastered in my life, but one I must repeatedly go back to and draw on.
What about you? Are your insecurities in the driver’s seat today?