Maybe she was born with it – maybe it’s…. This famous tagline speaks volumes – don’t ya think? This tagline can represent our physical features; Daily we look in the mirror and wish something was different about ourselves. Or it can represent the true root of insecurity. Were we born with it or was it like yeast; fed and festered until it fully blossomed and took over our whole being? Where does all of this come from?
In a world full of pressure to act and look a certain way, it’s no wonder we struggle with self-doubt and insecurity. We are forced to question if we are good enough. Sure, we have good days but it takes effort. And I’m talking serious (sometimes unhealthy) effort to chalk up enough confidence to even walk ourselves out of our own home. Maybe if I just skip breakfast, put on enough makeup, and wear my tummy tamer I will look like I’m supposed to. It’s a dark and scary place to be, friend. But can I tell you something? You are not alone! We have all been there – but, we don’t have to stay there! Together we are going to find true Freedom. We are going to learn how to overcome self-doubt and insecurity once and for all!
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What Causes Insecurity
So, were you born with it? Or is the root cause of insecurity how we were raised or what happened to us in our past? Well, according to Dr. Gerald Stein, it can be both (along with a slew of other things!) Sure some of your insecurities can come from the special way you were formed but I firmly believe that the real root cause of insecurity lies in your past and present. Let me explain:
- Expectations –
Whether it’s parents, other siblings, friends, someone you don’t even know, or even yourself – expectations can bear their heavyweight on you and leave you feeling cripple. The expectation to do something big with your life, marry, have children, get multiple degrees, make a certain amount of money, or cure cancer are some of the weights put on us. And what happens when we don’t do even just one of these things when we feel it is expected of us? We feel less than, right?
- Flowing –
Oh, yes…flowing. What do I mean by “flowing”? Social media, society, and culture, friend. When we get caught up in what everyone else is doing and think we should be doing the same thing because that must be the “right” thing for us we start to feel less than. If we don’t dress a certain way, possess the latest gadgets, or keep up with the latest trends then we must be “unhip” or “uncool”. And what I find interesting about “flowing” is this is usually something we pin on ourselves. But peer pressure is real, sister. And if we allow it to, it can cause us to act in ways that aren’t true to ourselves and make decisions that don’t line up with who we really are.
- False Identity –
Can I ask you a question? Who do you believe you are? When we look to the world, the culture, social norms, and who others say we are we can tend to believe it. This is where our false identity comes from. Having a false identity can throw us completely off because we are not operating in our true selves – who we were designed to be. When this happens we always feel like something just isn’t right and we become insecure about feeling like we are missing something.
Effects of Insecurity
Being insecure has many different effects on all parts of our lives and our bodies. It can cause relational discord, stress on the body, a decline in mental health, work tension and so much more. Insecurity can alter our own lives and the lives of those around us.
When a person is insecure and self-doubts they can find it hard to be honest about their emotions or share anything that might be going on their life for fear of judgment or not measuring up. Insecurity leaves a person feeling less confident in themselves and this might lead to a missed opportunity. Being insecure can lead to depression, anxiety, narcissism, and even eating disorders and body dysmorphia.
This all seems like a lot to take in and if you are anything like me you are self-diagnosing right about now. Take a breath, sweet friend. This isn’t the end of your (or my) story! Let’s dig a little deeper and learn how to overcome the evil of self-doubt and insecurity, shall we?
Identifying Your Insecurity
First things first, how do we identify our insecurities? This can be tricky and will take work but what is that quote?
“Don’t be afraid of hard work. Nothing worthwhile comes easily.” – Gertrude B Elion
I promise you this will be worthwhile. You will find freedom in the process. While I am not a psychologist nor do I have a degree in behavioral therapy, I can point you in the right direction and give you a few resources to assist in the steps taken to identify your own insecurities. These steps have also helped me:
- Step 1 –
Pray. The very first thing that I suggest is for you to pour out your heart to God. Ask him to reveal your hidden insecurities and your areas of struggle with self-doubt. But just know – he WILL answer! Be prepared to have wounds opened up but also be prepared for healing.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8 NIV.
- Step 2 –
Start a journal. I know…everybody’s about the journaling lately. But seriously, I want you to start a habit of journaling. Every day for 30 days I want you to write an entry. Here is a list of optional journal starters you can use! Journaling can help you release pent up thoughts you never knew existed. It is a way of self-discovery and really learning what is going on deep inside of you. This is the step where we are just laying it all out on the table. Other helpful writing tips can be found in Writing Through Life or Tia Harding.
- Step 3 –
In step 2 we get to dig a little deeper to discover how to identify our insecurities. On a sheet of paper make 3 columns. In the first column write any anxieties, worries, or doubts you have about yourself. In the second column write why you feel that way. In the third column write what insecurity could be tied to these feelings. For example:
“I am nervous about leading this group workout class at church”.
“I am worried that I will forget the routine and move too fast for others to keep up”.
“I am insecure in my ability.”
- Step 4 –
Review your step one journal entries and step two lists. Pray over the writings in front of you and ask God to help you see clearly. From here create one more list of what your findings are and what insecurities you may be struggling with. Remember, insecurities show up differently for everyone. Someone may have an insecurity that deals with their body. This could be shown by controlling how their body looks by way of perfectionism in diet and exercise.
How To Overcome Self-Doubt and Insecurity
Big questions: how do we find freedom from self-doubt and insecurity? How do we get over body insecurities, relational insecurities, social insecurities, etc? While there is no “one size fits all” answer because everyone is different here are the 3 things I have used personally to overcome my insecurities (and still using…because let’s face it- we are human and insecurity will rear its ugly head more than once!)
I don’t want to sound “churchy” or “religious” or whatever you would call it but I can only speak the truth. When you have a right relationship with God through Jesus you will get a firm understanding of who he says you are. And really, who he says you are is all that matters!
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light”- 1 Peter 2:9 NIV.
If you are not saved or have fallen away from a relationship with God let this be a tether to your heart, sister. If you don’t know where to start, start here! I’ve got you covered!
Sometimes we can get stuck in our own thoughts and behaviors. We grow stubborn as time goes on and it’s hard to make a change. But we have to be honest with ourselves when we know something just isn’t working! Be willing to try something new. We can create the life we want, we just have to know what it is that we WANT.
If negative thoughts creep into your noggin, be quick to dismiss them. You have to determine what is an illusion and what is reality. Confront the insecurity lies that creep in head-on. We have an enemy that wants to attack our mind and we have to be prepared to fight back!
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 NIV.
Roy T Bennet said it best: “You never change your life until you step outside of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.” The more we do something the easier it gets. Therefore, we need to challenge ourselves. We need to step outside of what we are used to and face our fears head-on. Fear breeds insecurity!
A few things you can do to get out of your comfort zone after determining your insecurities: prepare in advance, don’t avoid what feels uncomfortable, set yourself a realistic goal, and focus on how others are feeling rather than how you are feeling.
I know for me (as I am introverted) I have insecurity when speaking to groups of people and sometimes just one on one. I prepare by having an outline of what we are going to talk about. I don’t avoid getting in front of people regardless of how uncomfortable it is. I set myself the goal of asking them more questions and helping them to be more engaged so the focus is off me.
Before I leave you I want you to know – this is a process, sweet friend. Change isn’t going to happen overnight and like I said earlier, it won’t be easy. But by golly gee whiz it will be worth it! If you follow these steps (and any other steps you may have found along the way that might be helpful) and you stay consistent and persevere through all the challenges and set-backs then you, my love, will be on the way to becoming secure and fully overcoming insecurity.
A final word – I’m praying for you. I know without a shadow of a doubt you will find freedom from this! And don’t forget that you are not alone! Let us know how you are doing down in the comments or hop on over to social media and join the conversation! We are worth you all the way!
All Bible Verses are from the NIV Scripture Translation.
A busy woman-momma-wife-workin’ gal- (and all of the other titles shoved onto us women). With a passion for Christ and Wellness – I’m here to share my expertise with you to help guide you on this path to true FREEDOM. Follow me as we move from a life of brokenness to wellness! Find me on the blog or on social –Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.