I’m scared to write this article. I don’t want to admit all this. I don’t want to examine my heart in this way. But I know that being vulnerable and sharing our struggles with others is a way that helps us connect. It helps us not feel so alone.
With that said, let’s dive right in to today’s topic – insecurity.
This is something every person deals with in one way or another. For some it’s very minimal and they may not even realize it’s there, while for others it is crippling. I’m not happy to say that I am the latter.
As I was sitting here thinking of this post, I was asking myself these questions:
Why do I compare?
Why am I insecure?
Why do I care what people think?
My answer? I compare because I am insecure and I’m insecure because I care what people think of me.
They’re all connected and they are all a result of the other.
I mainly want to focus on the “caring what other people think of me” part because that’s something I’ve been noticing is a struggle for me these days.
I’m realizing that I hold my true personality back from people I don’t know as well.
I’m realizing that I worry too much about my writing when posting on my blog or Instagram.
I’m realizing that this problem holds me back not just from embracing who I am, but also from who God wants me to be.
I can’t live this way forever. I can’t be constantly looking over my shoulder, wondering how people are judging me as a person, an artist, a Christian, a friend.
Why do I care so much about what others think of me anyway? Why do I hide my true self? Why do I try to be someone I’m not?
I can remember one time at my young adult’s group at church, I was really struggling to find myself. I was there with my best friend, girls from my Bible study who I was still getting to know, another very good friend from my childhood, as well as complete strangers. I act differently with each of them. I felt so imbalanced that night. Like I couldn’t find which version of myself to be and it resulted in a really awkward stressed out version of me being released.
One of my friends noticed I seemed off and messaged me about it later. I can’t remember what I told her, but I know it made me panic even more knowing that someone recognized I was being weird.
It wasn’t intentional. I just felt overwhelmed and insecure – not just around these people, but in who I am. I remember wishing that I was like one of those extroverted, comfortable people to be around who always feel so natural and confident in who they are. I have wished I was like that for years.
Realistically, I could be that person. I could let go of my insecurities and own my identity in Christ. I could be comfortable around others and be confident in who I am. So why don’t I?
It’s hard. It’s really hard to release the insecurities, to stop comparing, and to stop caring what people think of you. Sometimes hiding behind a mask of quiet politeness is easier than releasing your goofy side or actually sharing what’s in your heart.
You know something? I feel more free to be who I am through a screen than I do face to face. Because the people online? I can’t see their expressions or hear their tone. I won’t freeze up when they read my comments or posts the way I will when people are looking at me and listening to me while I speak.
It’s also much easier for me to express myself through written word than through speaking. I tend to hold myself back or chicken out of saying what’s really in my head for fear of saying something wrong or being judged.
I’ve always treasured people who really take the time to listen to me. Who express care and sincere interest to hear what I have to say. People who are patient and ask me more questions because they really want to hear what I think. People who won’t let me get away with a quiet “I don’t know,” or a “Yeah,” as my only response.
Now, I’m not saying I’m fake with everyone I know. I just suppress myself. A lot. It takes me a long time to develop a level of trust with a person where I feel free to be myself. I think a lot of people are like that and maybe it’s even a little bit healthy. You should probably know someone is trustworthy before sharing your life story with them. 😉
One other thing I’ve noticed is that if I do something wrong, I really beat myself up. For more reasons than one, but part of it is because I worry that people will view me differently. What if they’re disappointed in me or what if they don’t like me anymore? What if they don’t think I’m trustworthy?
I hate letting people down. I hate knowing someone’s opinion of me has changed.
Here’s the thing, though; as long as I am worried about what people think of me, I will never truly experience the peace and joy of living solely for Christ.
My purpose here is not to please a crowd, but to live for an audience of One. Doing what pleases my Father in heaven should be my one goal. As long as what I do or say or think is pleasing to Him, I don’t need to care what other people think.
The moment I accept and apply that to my life is the moment I truly experience peace. It’s the moment I finally stand firm and say, “My identity is in Christ alone.”
I want to be free of the fear, the insecurity, the comparison, all of it. I want to be who I am and not be concerned about anyone’s opinion of me but God’s. In the end, His is the only opinion that truly matters.
Now, why did I share all this with you?
Because I know I am not the only one struggling with this. Because I do not have it all together and I never want to give that impression to anyone. I want to be real with you and honestly tell you what I’m struggling with. I may not quite know how to beat this or how to encourage any of you struggling with the same thing, but I know that I – that we – can overcome it.
One day at a time <3