Insecurity is very related to shame and vulnerability, because it makes you feel bad about yourself and you don’t want to share that with other people.
Each of us has parts of our lives that we’re secure in, and parts of our lives that we’re insecure in. Insecurity is a lack of confidence in some element of who you are. It’s an uncertainty regarding your identity.
Each of us is asking “Who am I?” and if you don’t have an answer to that, then you’re going to feel very insecure.
Insecurity stems from a number of places. Sometimes it stems from a failure in the past, or sometimes from lack of experience. Not all insecurity is unhealthy. Some insecurity is perfectly normal and perfectly natural. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to deal with it.
A lot of times, if you feel insecure about something, that’s a good sign. If you’re weren’t insecure about starting a big new thing you’ve never done before, maybe you’re just arrogant. In college, when we had small groups, we would encourage freshmen to interview to become a leader the next year. And they were usually really surprised and didn’t think they could do it. I definitely had that reaction.
Sometimes we need other people to show us our positive attributes. Sometimes we can’t see it ourselves.
I’ve felt that about so many jobs that I’ve gotten. I would get the job, and then I would think “Why did they hire me? What did they see in me? I don’t understand.”
It Affects Identity and Purpose
Insecurity means you’re uncertain about your identity, and your identity includes your purpose. If you’re uncertain about your identity, then you’re uncertain about your purpose on earth.
Once you can really figure out who you are, then you can start to excel.
People who play sports and are really awesome at it, focus on one sport. Look at Michael Jordan. He tried to play baseball professionally. Given enough time and effort, he probably would have made it into the majors. But he was the greatest basketball player of all time arguably and that’s where he was talented. If he had decided to become the world’s greatest lion tamer, everyone would definitely think he was wasting his talent.
Everyone Deals With It
There’s a common lie that only women deal with insecurity. They see the women on the magazine covers with completely unrealistic bodies. And that sets an unrealistic standard. So a lot of people associate insecurity with this idea of women and their body image. But, it’s not a women’s problem, it’s a people problem.
For men, it doesn’t show up with magazines as much, because even though there are muscle magazines that show guys that are totally ripped, it’s a lot more obvious how unrealistic that is.
For me, it’s about my career, how much money I make, how good I am at coding, how much respect I get at work.
For me, it’s comparison in general. I compare myself to other people and think, “They’re so much better at listening than me”, or “They’re so much more in shape than me”, or “They’re so much smarter than me”. It’s a never-ending comparison. It’s a constant misunderstanding of who I really am and where I get my value from.
You don’t want to get your value from how many likes and retweets you get. That’s what the world’s standards are though. How many Instagram followers do you have, how many people liked your last tweet. And it feels good when you tweet something that people like. And it’s not necessarily bad.
If you are an expert at something, and you can share valuable knowledge with people, and they like it, then that’s great. But I’m not defined by that. I’m not defined by the number of likes or retweets that I get.
Our Identity Comes From God
You should go read all of Romans 12, but verse 2 says “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.
We didn’t make ourselves. God made us. There’s something bigger than us out there. He loves us, he values us. And he didn’t make a mistake, making you the way he made you. It was not in error that he made you exactly the way he made you.
You can’t get your identity from yourself, but you can get your identity from something bigger, greater, and outside of yourself.
A verse that has brought me a lot of confidence over the years is 2 Corinthians 12:9. It says “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Take hold of your weaknesses, and own your weaknesses. I’ve been in a leadership position for a number of years and when I’m leading at my best, it’s not when I’m trying to do it all myself. It’s when I can admit I’m not very good at something, but someone else in the group is, because then I can just let them run with it.
Boasting in your weakness, doesn’t mean bragging about how terrible you are at something. It means being okay with not being great at everything.
There are some things that I’m great at, and whenever I can get out of your own way and stop complaining about all the things you’re not great at, then you can ask others help in different areas.
God made us where we need to depend on other people.
Insecurity Comes From A Lie
One of the oldest lies from Satan is “You are not what God intended you to be.” Satan told Eve that she lacked the knowledge of good and evil, therefore, she wasn’t living up to who God wanted her to be. And that’s the lie that we’re told again and again, that we’re less than who God intended us to be. And instead of embracing who we really are, we go chasing after other things. It leaves us unsatisfied, and unfulfilled.
There’s an element of Satan’s lies, and then there’s also just our sinful nature. James 1:14 says, “but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.” And again, insecurity can be a sin, but not always.
Insecurity Robs Us of Our Full Potential
We aren’t living out our full potential, if we’re chasing something else or cover up our weaknesses, not allowing others to help us , not building relationships. We miss out on living life.
Your insecurity could also prevent you from following God. He could tell you to do something, and then you don’t do it because you’re too insecure.
But that’s okay if you don’t feel ready. There’s the old adage: God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called. We’re not going to be rock starts at everything that God calls us to do from day one. But if God has called you to do something, he’ll give you whatever you need.
Call Out the Lie
The first thing you can do is to call it out whenever you feel yourself thinking insecure thoughts. Whenever you think any thoughts about how you aren’t good enough, or how you wish you were as good as someone else, think back to Psalm 139, and remember that you’re fearfully and wonderfully made. It starts by calling out the lie.
Also remember that you aren’t defined by your mistakes. Sometimes that’s where insecurities come from. You may have made a mistake in the past and not want to revisit that area because you’re afraid of failing again. But you can take ownership of it and say “Yeah, I did fail in the past, but I learned something from it, and I’m going to do better in the future.”
You definitely have to be okay with failure. Failure isn’t the end, it’s progress. If Edison had stopped, he would never have invented the light bulb because he figured out 2,000 ways to not make a light bulb, before he figure out how to make a light bulb.
I’ve recently picked up a new hobby of skateboarding. One thing that really boggled my mind, was watching the best skateboarder at the skate park, try the same trick at least 30 times before he finally got it right. He was the best guy there, and watching him fail repeatedly was incredible. Having that confidence makes all the difference in the world.
There’s a YouTuber named Casey Neistat, and he says there is no such thing as an overnight success. People saw he YouTube channel getting really popular all of a sudden, but no one cared when he was making YouTube videos for 10 years while no one watched.
Write down one thing you’re insecure about and work on it. And then either shred it or set it on fire.
The song is One and Lonely by Superchick. The song it about how we all have bad days and you just have to get back up again. It’s like how Psalm 30:5 says, “…weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” When you’re dealing with insecurities, they can hurt so badly, but having the perspective of knowing it’s not going to last forever, makes all the difference in the world.