How to Keep Your Joy and Defeat the Lies of Insecurity
We live in a world driven by outward signs for success. Social media, celebrity magazines, and news based media all scream the same battle cry: "Look at me! Look at what I look like! Look at my success!" But are these sources we absorb constantly in our daily grind worth all the hype? Do they inspire you to be a better person or do they make you feel small in comparison?
The truth of the matter is none of these are going out of style anytime soon. If anything, the world continues to care more and more about what the lives of others look like in comparison to the rest of the world. It's a tried and true recipe for insecurity. So how can we keep our confidence in ourselves when our surroundings try to convince us that we aren't enough?
Stay away from the comparison game
I've talked about this before in my post Comparison Kills Contentment, but comparing ourselves to others steals our joy and confidence faster than anything. Stay clear of comparing to others and focus on the good in your life - the things you wouldn't trade for the world.
Each of us are blessed with so much. We're alive and breathing. We have families and friends. We have opportunity every day to experience life the way we choose. Instead of sitting around scrolling through Facebook or People's Magazine wondering why your life doesn't compare, go out and make the life and memories you desire. Comparison kills our contentment and nourishes insecurity. And insecurity feeds us lies to keep us from a life of joy.
Realize what you see as weakness is viewed as strength in another's eyes
I was talking with a friend a couple weeks ago and we got on the subject of losing pregnancy weight. She had a baby last year and I'm expecting this fall so obviously we began talking about our insecurities with our bodies changing. As we were talking, she mentioned how she's never been the "strong, petite fit" like I am. I wanted to laugh because I don't see myself in that description at all. In fact, when I'm around her at the barn working with the horses, I usually feel weak and small because she's much stronger than I am and has endless driven energy. In my mind, I have the body of a twelve year old girl and noodle arms that can snap with the smallest amount of pressure. Hearing someone else's perspective of how they view me taught me a valuable lesson.
The parts about me that I'm insecure about might just be what someone else envies and vice versa. What I see as beautiful and great about my friend is what she tears herself down about. Insecurity works to coax us into a place where we feel worthless and alone. But, remember, insecurity is nothing but a lie.
Embrace your strengths and passions
So you may not be the most athletic person. Maybe you're not the fittest person or the smartest. But you do have many strengths and talents. What is one thing you are good at and love to do? Embrace this gift and passion. Be thankful for the talent you have and remember not everyone has your abilities. We are each unique and created differently. What comes easy for you might not come easy for the person beside you.
And pay these strengths forward. Use your abilities to help others develop themselves and see their individual potential. Add positive energy to a world living in the lies of insecurity. By using your talents and passions to lift others up, you break the cycle of comparison and create a wave of confidence and purpose in your life and in the lives of those around you.
Practice positive affirmations to yourself and to others
Insecurity is not an easily defeated enemy. It uses our past failures, broken relationships, and present trials to fill our hearts with doubt about our self worth. Insecurity dredges up the tiniest memories from the past and builds them into giant walls of fear and pain. But a little positive thinking can chip away at those walls and battle the doubt with confidence.
Applaud yourself for the things you do right and the attributes you like about yourself. Tell yourself something positive every morning and keep it in the back of your mind throughout the day. Then do the same to others. Compliment others on their successes and their victories. Make a big deal out of their smallest accomplishments. Your excitement might be just what they need to break free from their own insecurities and to keep moving forward.
This feels like a messy post to me, but it's a topic close to my heart that I wanted to share. There is so much more I would love to say about putting off insecurity and living a life of confidence. It is a struggle every person faces each and every day in some form or another. But we don't have to struggle. We can live our lives fully confident in who we are and what we can accomplish. There's a Bible verse in the book of Proverbs that says, "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come" (Proverbs 31:25 NIV). I love this verse because it tells us that we are strong and worthwhile. We can hold on to that truth and face whatever lies the world throws at us. We can be confident in our journey and live out the days to come with joy and laughter.
Insecurity is a lie. You are clothed in strength and dignity no matter what your talents or gifts may be. No matter your size, weight, education, job title - you can live life with confidence and joy.