Some fear is good, some fear is bad... If you're in the woods and it's getting dark and you hear coyotes howling, or you're in the bush and hear lions roaring, perhaps it's an occasion for healthy fear! On the other hand, if you are attending your high school reunion and you're worried that old friends may scrutinize you and find you of lesser value than they are, or you are dating someone whom you are trying to impress and are afraid s/he won't accept you just as you are, then you are demonstrating signs of insecurity.
Insecurity is based in fear. When we feel insecure, it is because we are afraid we won't get approval.
I'm the sort of person who is acutely conscious of other people's moods; I used to be afraid that, if those moods were negative, they were somehow linked to me. I am also sensitive; so in the past, I was generally emotionally on edge, based on the fear that I wasn't accepted or loved unconditionally.
As a young person, I was incredibly insecure. I tapped into other people's negative feelings, and quite naturally took responsibility for them -- feeling as though I was at fault somehow. I'm sure contributing factors were that I didn't feel I fit in at home, or that for 3 years I was bullied in elementary school, but for whatever reason, there was inside of me a longing for acceptance that I wasn't receiving in a way that I needed, and it controlled my attitude toward myself and my interactions with others well into adulthood.
I think what is common to all of us is that desire to be accepted and I think it's also common that, at one time or another, we don't feel we are accepted unconditionally, just for who we are.
But anything can produce a good outcome. What matters to me is the person I become, in spite of and because of my experiences, which includes adversity. I confess, I've had to work hard to stop being a slave to my own fear.... it took me years to break the habit of trying to project a perfect image on the one hand and feeling I was doomed to fail, on the other. A change in my thinking had to occur. Now, my attitude is no longer one of fear but of acceptance - of myself and of my circumstances. Now, I am enthusiastic, even in challenging relationships, knowing all experience is part of what shapes me into the person I was created to be.
It seems to me worthwhile to write about the discoveries I've made during my journey to find security and inner confidence.
What do I mean by confidence? I mean that sense of inner peace and assurance that, in spite of shortcomings, I accept myself and live and relate from that place.
What do I mean by insecurity? I mean that sense of discomfort and fear, because we're unsure that we're accepted, or even loved, for who we really are.
When we value ourselves, we exude confidence and comfort that we may otherwise feel we have to earn.
Insecurity: In order to find the richness and hope that life has to offer, I have chosen to face mine and have learned to overcome. I look forward to sharing some of my journey with you. And I hope you'll feel drawn to share some of yours with me.
Until ... two week's time... I'll be back on Thursday 20th as I'm taking some family time (here in Canada it's March Break!).
|Friends and Me at London Eye|