Battling insecurity is a constant for me. I hate that reality, but it’s true. First, let’s make sure we’re on the same page. Insecurity means “ a state or feeling of anxiety, fear, or self-doubt.” Yep, I feel that way about 99% of my waking hours it seems. Fine, I’m exaggerating, but not by much.
For example, a couple days ago after a conversation my husband and I had, immediately a blog post started composing itself in my brain. Occasionally I am hit with “I have to write about this before I can do anything else” urge. This was one of those times. Within short order, I had the first draft finished.
However, when I read this first attempt to my oldest daughter, she thought it sounded judgmental. Oh. Well, that is one reason why it is important to run my posts by someone before publishing. I understood her perspective and changed my writing up a good bit. She found it improved, but I still didn’t get the sense she loved it. Nevertheless, my oldest heard the revised edition and gave his instant stamp of approval. Time to run it by the main editor; he was not sure why it was necessary to post it but said I could if I wanted. I wanted. Finally, the post was published and I shared it on Facebook. Then, off to bed I went.
Anytime I hit publish, anxiety accompanies the moment. Though something is important to me and I’ve done my best to think through and carefully word the message and improve it even more after the intense scrutiny of my editor (my husband), I never know how it will actually hit the audience, which gives me an unsettled feeling. When that first like comes in, I feel a surge of confidence and know at least one person was touched by my post, which is a very good feeling.
Morning broke and I eagerly checked Facebook to discover the reaction to my post so far on that platform. The transparent thumbs up indicating not a soul had liked it was disconcerting. Not even my mom or mother-in-law, who both tend to like every single post I publish, had publicly blessed the post. My immediate thought was to delete the Facebook post. But why? My anxiety increased even more. Was I only publishing posts if people liked what I said? That didn’t seem right.
At breakfast, I asked my teen son, who collaborates with his best friend on their YouTube channel and website, if he ever removes content if people haven’t responded that they like it. Without hesitation he replied, “No, I like the content.” While he hopes to make content which is valuable to others, he and his best friend like their content and that is all that matters. Wow. Wish I could say the same.
My teen daughter spoke up revealing she didn’t feel the same as her confident brother. She would doubt herself if no one liked her posts. This is from someone who doesn’t even have a platform to feel the discomfort of zero likes. Interesting. Had I accidentally stumbled upon a difference between males and females? Or just a personality difference? Or was it something else?
I continued to ponder why my instinctive reaction to no likes was to take down the whole post. Insecurity? Self-doubt? Fear that everyone out there thought I was judgmental or a bad mom or not relatable? I was facing a firing squad and it was all internal! I hate insecurity!
Why did I write the post? Because I had a fire lit inside me and had to write. Who cares if no one else liked it? I liked it. The post had helped me process a conversation with my husband. Perhaps it would not be beneficial to anyone else, but why would I take it down simply because no one else had publicly endorsed it? I decided to follow my confident son’s example and leave the post alone. I liked my content and that was all that mattered.
Before long my mother-in-law had liked it. I greatly appreciated her positive reaction, but the battle had already been won. I had not bowed to insecurity. One battle won. A million to go.
Why do I wrestle so much with what others think? Why can I not be more like my son who is so confident in himself? Battling insecurity is not fun. Additionally, I have realized that I am naturally drawn to confident people. But I have also learned that confident people are not necessarily right. Confidence seems to instill a perception of credibility. But confidence can be misplaced. Insecurity doesn’t mean you are necessarily wrong. Confidence doesn’t mean you are necessarily right.
Battling insecurity is a fight we must keep fighting. Perhaps you will be encouraged knowing you aren’t alone in the battle.
Some Bible characters to study who experienced significant insecurity as well are: Moses, Gideon, and Nicodemus. I’m sure there are plenty more. However, on the contrary, check out Peter and John in Acts 4:13:
“Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.”
What is a key element to overcoming insecurity and becoming confident? Be with Jesus. Read His word. Meditate on it. Fill your mind with truth. We must always, always, always focus on our relationship with Jesus. That is absolutely essential in battling insecurity. Self-doubt will probably always be a companion of mine, but so is the Holy Spirit. I pray He will guide me and lead me every step I take. Every post I publish.
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.”