DIGGING DEEP INTO OUR INSECURITIES
Three ways to help overcome insecurities
“Insecurities can lead us down a necessary path of growth and change, but don't let insecurities get the best of you."
As women, moms, wives, friends, workers etc. we can feel burnt out, we can feel like we aren't good enough, we can feel like what we're doing isn't as good as what the next person is doing.
Well ask yourself, What is good enough anyways? Who really determines that? Are your insecurities getting the best of you? Well, don't let them! I am going to share some ways to overcome self-doubt, fears, and feelings of inadequacy.
How many times have you made a decision that directly impacted your children and thought... ugh I should have handled that differently? Or how many times in a friendship, do you think...I wonder why she’s not texting me back or asking me to hang out again? I hope I didn’t do anything wrong! Or sometimes, you may feel like you need to hear from someone, anyone that you are doing a good job trying to juggle it all (being a mom, wife, working, and taking care of the household). Can you relate to any of these? I will be the first to admit that I definitely can! These feelings and behaviors all stem from our own insecurities. Let’s all take a moment to admit that we all second guess decisions and doubt choices we make. None of us know everything, but we all have really good intentions in mind right? (Yessss...)
Well my friend I hope you find this information helpful and everything you need to hear. First, TAKE A DEEP BREATH and know you are not alone. We all have insecurities, we all feel like we are inadequate at times, we all have fears, we all think negatively about ourselves, and we all subconsciously compare our lives to others (even if we try hard not to). After all, we all have our own short-comings.
I am going to share some of the things that help me overcome my insecurities and feelings of not being good enough. I hope this gives you some insight as well as a breath of fresh air. Ahhh...finally someone who can relate.
1. Figure out what your insecurities are and why you have them.
In what areas do you feel like you aren't good enough or what is making you doubt yourself? Realizing how you choose to respond to others and not letting outside opinions affect you is a big game changer. For me, since Mason was born 4 years ago, I struggled with my identity as a mother and what it looked like being a mom. How do I dress now? How do I act? Do I work or stay home? Do I pause on career goals for the time being? Who do I hang out with now? Is my husband still going to find my body attractive? I know some of these things may seem silly to you, but in all seriousness figuring out who you are as a mother can be really hard especially if you didn't have a good example to learn from. I then would look at other mothers and think okay maybe that is how I'm supposed to handle things or act like. Maybe I need to be more like them. I would compare my body to theirs and think how do they look that good after 3 kids? I would compare what they were doing with their kids to what I was doing with mine. Even though I was learning some good traits or better ways to handle things along the way...this mindset was not healthy. This type of thinking can spiral out of control into a plethora of negativity and self-doubt, which creates more and more insecurities. This is not fueling ourselves, it is creating more envy and discontentment.
Let me just say this...BE WHO GOD CREATED YOU TO BE and if you aren't sure who that is, work with a pastor at church, seek counsel, and pray for God to reveal this to you. He designed you to be who you are for a reason. As long as you are seeking Him first, you are fine. He will guide your heart and realign your motives with His desires. He determines what is good for you. Do not fill your mind with damaging thoughts of self-destruction. Fill your mind with knowing you are uniquely created and chosen to do the things you are doing right now in this moment. I now can go places with my children and not care if it all becomes a hot mess while we are out in public. I do not care anymore if others are gawking or staring. I do not care what others think like I used to. I do not care if another mom seems like she has it all together, because I know no one really does.
I no longer let opinions of others or how others live their lives get to me as much as I used to. As long as I know I am trying to put Christ at the center of everything I do, I am good with that. Everything else will fall into place.
Now, when my insecurities resurface, which they do... I know I need to re-evaluate some priorities, work on some things, and face those fears head on. For example, if I am not feeling good about myself due to weight gain or my body, then instead of comparing myself to other women, I need to make sure my thoughts are Christ centered and find more time to workout. I need to face that insecurity. I am okay with admitting that to myself, knowing that no one is perfect, which brings me to my second point.
2. Be Honest with yourself and others.
Own up to the fact that things are not going to be perfect all the time. That’s how life is and we all can be rest assured that no one else’s life is perfect either. No one has it all together. We as moms are just setting ourselves up for disappointment if we are trying to give off the impression that we’re perfect and have it all together. Only Jesus was perfect. It’s okay to step back, take a breather and let others see how real life is. Feel the weight lifted of your shoulders when you take the pressure off yourself and just be yourself. Let things happen naturally. If you’re frustrated be frustrated, if you’re hurting be hurt. Know that it’s okay because we have all been there and some of us are there right now. It does us no good to put on a show for anyone.
Expressing our true feelings at times shows our children that it is okay to freely express their feelings as well. I used to be that person in church that felt as if I needed to put that smile on and have that cheerful demeanor even if the whole family was all having a rough morning. My oldest whining because he's thirsty, while my youngest crying because he's teething, yet I still put on that happy face, pretending like everything was hunky dory. Well...that eventually got exhausting real quick. I now feel that it is so much better being authentic versions of ourselves and just being real.
3. Know that you’re not alone.
All moms, care-givers, wives, friends, and co-workers go through the same emotions. We all feel inadequate sometimes. My friends (yes...I am referring to you) seriously please let up on yourself. It is not easy juggling the life of a wife, mother, friend, volunteer, worker, etc. We are not going to be able to control everything at all times. It is time to let go of that control go and give it over to...yes, you already know, God. Surrender your every circumstance over to Him, as hard as it is at times. We all have tried to control everything and every decision. I still do it...we all do it. Let me tell you it has not worked out for me very well. I had a nervous breakdown (literally...ask my husband and he will tell you all about it). Not a proud moment, but it happened and I am almost glad it did. I finally came to the end of my ropes. I had enough of trying to figure my whole life out on my own and I surrendered. I gave it to God.
Since then, I am spiritually maturing more now than ever. Even though some things are still up in the air and I will never have all the answers, I can at least say I am trying to obey. I am trying to do the right things and listen to His direction for my life. I am in the middle of a bible study right now called Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer. Click here to go to my resource page for more information. All I can say is Wow! This hits home for me. I needed this study at this exact time. Isn't it funny how that always happens. We choose a study of interest, and have no idea at that time that it would be just what we needed only a few weeks into it? That is how God works right there. Seek Him and you shall find Him. At this time, my husband and I are trying to make some harder decisions, while also trying to align our minds and hearts with Christ. One of the things Priscilla says is...
"When our thoughts are constantly aligned with God's revealed truth, the Holy Spirit can transfer the thoughts of God into our minds. Transformed thinking then results in transformed living (2 Cor. 3:17-18). That's how the Holy Spirit truly changes our lives."
The emotions that make us feel insecure can be used constructively or destructively. We have these feelings for a reason. They are there to make us reflect, to re-evaluate ourselves, and to re-align our thoughts. These are the three R's to help you carefully access your mindset. Draw your attention back to Christ. Center your focus on His truth. Insecurities can lead us down a necessary path of growth and change. God wants us to seek Him when we feel insecure. He wants us to bring Him our envy, our fears, and our doubts to better understand what He desires for our lives. He will reveal so much to us if we spend time with Him and listen. If you have ever been discontent like me, then bring that to Him. He wants us to pursue peace in our lives. I'll give you a recent example of God revealing truth in my own life. I had been struggling with feeling insecure while being a stay at home mom for quite some time now, which was causing so much discontentment, envy, and anger. I was letting this steal my peace and joy.
I grew up identifying success by what career I have or how much money I make. I always thought I would be this successful business woman with money, power, and living downtown in a big city somewhere. I never really dreamed of becoming a mom. It wasn't out of the question, but it was not on my mind at all either. Well... (smiling) God sure had different plans for me. He showed me a different path, a better path. A more righteous path! A path that now brings more joy than any job, money or material item could ever bring me. A path that is allowing me to grow, mature, and deepen my spiritual relationship with Him. A path that is transforming me to become the best version of myself. I don't have the big fancy career I dreamed of, the fancy car, or so much money where I am labeled rich, but I do have success! I had to surrender that old thought process and insecurities of not becoming those things over to God.
Success does not define who you are. It is not solely defined by your job or the money you make. It can be defined by much better things like; what kind of person you are, what you do for others, and what kind of mother you are. I have a mentor at church and a friend who once told me something that resonated well with me during a time when trying to discern if I should work outside of the home or stay at home for the most part with my children. She said, "no job is ever going to be perfect...whether that's working outside the home or staying home. They all come with joys and trials... What will give you that joy?"
I thought to myself...even though I have my trials of staying home, my children bring me more joy than any job could bring me. There was my answer. My main focus needs to be raising my babies right now and doing it to the best of my abilities. That is where God is calling me. I have been so busy trying to search elsewhere for His will that I was missing what it was all along. I am finally finding joy, peace, and contentment in that decision. That my friend is how I know it is where God is calling me. Scripture says if we confide in the Lord, He will bring us joy and peace (Romans 15:13 and Psalm 1:1-3). If I can find a way to maintain my skill set while working mostly from home, or a job flexible enough that understands I need to be a mom first and foremost, then great! However, for the most part, realizing that I need to water the season I'm in to the best of my ability gives me that peace, which overcomes insecurity and all of the emotions that come along with it.
Back to the 3 R's again...I needed to reflect, re-evaluate myself, and realign my thoughts. Knowing that I have the opportunity to focus on raising my boys to be confident men of God is a gift to be thankful for. Sometimes, having the advice from a Christian who is seasoned with discerning God's voice can be helpful as well. Remember to use your insecurities for your own good, in a constructive way, and do not let them get the best of you. I will end with one of my favorite verses....
"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" (Romans 12:2).