Insecurity can take so many forms and it can grip us in different ways.
‘What are you good at?’ ‘What have you accomplished?’
It can tell us that we need good answers to these questions in order to be valued and respected, to feel good about ourselves and for our existence to count for something.
And so the pressure ensues. Pressure to do more. Pressure to prove yourself. Because you’re not doing enough. Because you’re not ‘impressive’ enough. And it can manifest in an endless pursuit of ambiguous, unattainable ideals.
I think these kinds of thoughts and feelings are common for a lot of us even though we usually know they’re unsupported. Yes, we might be happier or more content if we accomplish ‘X’, but we know that when we get ‘X’, we’ll most probably want ‘Y’. Life is always a series of ups and downs- we don’t ever reach a state of unwavering bliss. It’s not the case that after attaining a certain set of circumstances, everything is good and complete from that point onwards.
Our value isn’t equal to the sum of our achievements anyway. As soon as we find our value and identity in achievements or in the opinions of others, we’re left wandering all over the place. They’re such movable markers and they leave us with the false belief that value can be earned. That it can go up or down and that we will be more worthy of love and respect if we do certain things. And even if that is the way society operates, it doesn’t make it logical- because it clearly isn’t working.
God’s love is the only thing I’ve found to be unconditional, unwavering and secure. Grounding my identity and value here helps with my insecurity. When we live our lives for His ultimate glory rather than our own, I think it takes the pressure off as the focus is no longer ourselves.
So, what is the antidote to insecurity?
I don’t think there are any dramatic fixes but we can consciously reject the lies that we subconsciously adopt. We can remind ourselves of the truth about our value and even though it can take time to fully grasp this, as we do, our mindsets will keep shifting.