It comes rising within. You thought you had dealt with it before. You see the conversation, the post, or the glances. A few moments ago, you felt absolutely fine. Yet, now your emotions are all over the place. “What is being said? How do I identify what is going on within me? Is everything okay? Did I do anything to offend them? Is my outfit okay? Do I have anything in my teeth? My body feels really conscious in this outfit. I completely should have worn something different.” As the faint whispers become louder and louder, they are no longer polite. They’ve become deafening. Maybe you’ve been here before? Or simply had this experience the last time you scrolled through Instagram?
The first step to any problem is admitting there is one. We all have insecurities. Insecurities about the way we look, the way we feel, and even how we interact with others. But how do you start to address it? Choose to take an honest look at your life and acknowledge when insecurity rises within you.
How are you choosing to lead? Are there moments where you lead from a place of pain or compensation? A secure leader leads for the benefit of others and seeing their potential growth. You can’t be fearful of watching someone else’s success as you lead. When you are leading what shows up? Are you choosing to lead from a place of peace, solidarity, and strength? How do you respond to conflict, vulnerability, and the ways you choose to shift a culture? These are the notes of true leadership and how you lead a team into growth, character, and change (when you scale in an organization there’s imminent change).
Are there certain triggers and pain points in your life that come up?
For me, I’m usually triggered when meeting new people and forming relationships. One of my greatest fears is relational failure or simply that I will die alone. It seems like a morbid thought or one that shouldn’t be at the front of my mind. However, over the course of my 20s I encountered countless relational rejections. Friend groups shifted and they were painful at best, heartbreaking at the worst. Now living in a small town where relational circles often overlap, I can walk into a party where multiple failed relationships are present. As I do a quick pan of the room, internally, I want to bolt in the opposite direction. Yet, I force myself to remain, bring a wing women, and find a few safe places in conversation throughout the course of the night. For me, this is something I continually experience. However, it comes from a place of past pain. No one at these social gatherings are rejecting me. Far from it. I’ve been invited to be there. Maybe for you, it can come with eating, when glancing at a mirror, or the ways you feel after looking at your phone. Whatever it is, choose to find healthy ways to cope and respond (rather than react) to the current situation.
Are you overcompensating in interactions?
When you interact with others are there common topics you talk about for rapport within your conversation? Take note of these and write them down. Then ask yourself, did gratitude, positivity, and humility also come within the conversation. Humility can be defined as, “Not thinking less of yourself, but rather holding yourself in a rightful place.” Within in every interaction, I ask myself, “Does this person have a place to share, to receive feedback, and to feel loved in my presence?”
The antidote to brokenness and insecurity: healing and truth. Ultimately, brokenness and insecurity need a lot of truth to move forward. Rather than leaving things undefined, let’s get practical in this area. Start with the way you talk to yourself. What thoughts go through your mind daily? Whether it’s post-it notes on your mirror, mantras saved on your phone wallpapers, meditating on Scripture, or simply alarm reminders set on your phone, bring the truth to your mind frequently and often.
Choose to name a season- and then run after everything it holds.
Remember when I mentioned earlier, the insecurity that rises within me when meeting new people. The past few months, I named my season of breakthrough. I did things I had never done before. It meant forcing myself to do things I was uncomfortable with- blind dates, hard conversations, and choosing something different than my past. I was proactively staking new ground, reclaiming my voice and strength in this area of my life. The result? People weren’t mean. They responded with maturity and rose to the occasion. I was surprised and beyond thankful. Breakthrough was a choice and it wasn’t easy, but in the end it was worth it.