The Dangerous Truth About Insecurity

I was a passionate, fiery, little girl. But by the time I reached high school, you would never have known. Shy, quiet, and sure that there was something fundamentally wrong with me; most days I genuinely hated myself.

In church circles I was praised for my quietness, for a “gentle spirit”, but I felt dishonest and inauthentic.

I lived in a constant state of fear, paralyzed at the thought of potential rejection and what people might be thinking of me. I saw nothing good in me and was sure no one else could either.

With time, hard lessons, gracious friendships, and some life-altering Divine moments, I rediscovered the true Kate that had been buried by insecurity.  

The thing that transformed me then, and transforms me still, is awakening the audacity to believe and act as though God’s words of love, freedom, and hope are actually true. I remember discovering that I wouldn’t be able to fully hear the voice of a loving God if I was constantly disagreeing with Him about what I’m worth.

Now I’m living in hard-won freedom from a life governed by insecurity and fear. With this freedom has come a fresh realization; we prefer insecure people to confident ones.  

Though we applaud the idea of a confident, secure person, when we see it in action our response is rarely joyful.

In the short amount of time that I have possessed any confidence, I’ve experienced the raised eyebrows, thinly veiled questions and passive aggressive comments. I’m no longer surprised by this.

We are more comfortable with an insecure, self-deprecating woman than a confident, unapologetic one.

Insecurity is sneaky because it often masquerades as humility. It just seems more demure and approachable and virtuous, doesn’t it? But are we mistakingly labeling it a Kingdom Value while it robs us of God's plan of wholeness and redemption?

The thing is, insecurity makes us more proud and selfish than it does humble or holy. In my deepest insecurity, I avoided things that could have humbled me, thinking that my self-hatred was penance enough. My flaws were glaringly apparent to me, but I wouldn’t honestly address them for fear of confirming my deeply-held suspicion that I was worthless.

Too scared to be humble, vulnerability and selflessness are nearly impossible to access; and so is love. Insecurity forces us into a mindset of scarcity, sure that anything good for someone else means that there is none left for us. There is no room for generosity when fear is our god. It’s a miserable, lonely place to be, and I know I’m not the only one who has lived there.

I even see this mindset in progressive circles, specifically the worry that there won't be room at the table for more than one woman in ministry.

Hear me.

Live against the lie that there won't be a place for you.

Too frequently, we instigate and sustain the patterns and systems that oppress us. Instead of allowing the knee-jerk reaction of insecurity, let us forge a culture that celebrates the success of others.

Let’s create more room.  

How do we do this?
 

  • Tenaciously cheer for the women around you, even when you feel that twinge in your heart that doesn’t want to.

  • Recognize that your feelings aren’t facts. Just because you feel incapable or unimportant does not make it true.

  • With that knowledge, choose to act out of security even if you don’t feel it 100%. The more you practice it, the more it changes you from the outside in.

  • Be brutally honest with yourself about your own insecurity. When you name something, you remove some of its power over you.

 

Lean in to the opposite of fear and insecurity.

Not just confidence, but security.

 

Security means that you know you are held, safe.

You have a place, a name, a lane that cannot be taken from you.

You can celebrate other women, knowing that when one of us succeeds, we all do.

You know there is only One who can name you, and being misunderstood by people cannot change who your Father has said you are.

You can love and give more freely, because you do not need constant affirmation from others.

Your hunger is met. Your needs are filled.

Even when you struggle, the Lord is your shepherd, and you shall not want.

You are secure.
 

Oh friend.

 

I see the pain in your eyes

behind the smile

behind the carefully crafted plans

precious castles built upon sand.

I see behind the strength you muster;

to get out of bed

to meet with friends

to try again.

I know it well.

Needing no one

is not strength

is not wisdom

is not safe;

It is only fear.

And it has spoken too loudly

for too long.

Oh, soften, Love.

Let go.

Open up.

Risk.

Trust.

Time to tell the fear- enough.

 

Author: Kate Schaber | www.kateschaberwrites.com | @kateschaber

 

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