Insecurities are these crazy things. They are anxieties or uncertainties about ourselves, that become influential in the way we see ourselves, and therefore in who we become. Which, without further investigation, already seems pretty insane. Why would we let an uncertainty dictate who we decide to be? And yet, we do.
Insecurities are actually quite smart. They know that, because humans are intelligent and strong, the only way they are going to survive is if they have evidence that proves them right. In other words, humans are going to simply move past the uncertainty, if proven otherwise. So, insecurities are on a mission, to prove that they are worth listening to. They are on a mission to disprove evidence that shows they are not real. They are on a mission to stay alive.
Put in everyday language, an insecurity such as, “I am not thin enough”, begins to take over the human that it occupies. It begins to hunt for evidence that proves that the human is not thin enough. So every time a date rejects them, they add it to their list of evidence. Every time an item of clothing is too small (regardless of the size), they add it to their list of evidence. Soon, this insecurity gets so powerful, that it simply becomes true to the human. And once it’s “true”, everything is seen through that lens.
Where this gets even more twisted, is now, the human that occupies this insecurity, is hooked on it. As in, because it is continually being proven, it needs to continue to be true, or else the human will lose it’s understanding of reality. So, even if it’s not true, as in clothing fits and looks fine, the human will begin to morph reality to fit this insecurity-filled-truth. So, they might sabotage a date, or they might actually gain weight in order to be “not thin enough”. The insecurity staying in control may seem like a bad thing, but see, with the insecurity in control, the human GETS to be right about how fat they are. They GET to be safe. They GET to BLAME the “truth” of the insecurity, for the reason to why they are not happy, or successful, or in love, etc. The insecurity grabs all the power, and therefore the human doesn’t have to take responsibility for it.
Sometimes, this happens really dramatically. Most often, it happens subtly, constantly, with small insecurities here and there.
Lately, I’ve been struggling with a fun one. It’s name is, “I’m not doing enough.” This particular insecurity is sneaky, because it’s just a branch of my usual “I’m not good enough”, but it’s taken on a particular costume, making sure that I am constantly stressed about not working hard enough. Now, you’d think a thought like this would make me work harder. And, in some ways, it does. But let’s look beneath the surface here. What really happens is I work in a way that serves to prove to me that I’m not doing enough.
For instance, this week, I’m beginning a new class that I am hosting myself. It’s a little scary because I am the only one responsible for if anyone shows up, and how it goes. It is a big step for me personally, it is something I am very excited about, but is also something that gets me afraid of not being good enough. So, enter insecurity. I see, or have seen, over the years, evidence that proves to me (or my insecurity) that I am not doing enough. Evidence such as, I am not as financially prosperous as I’d like to be (therefore I am not doing enough), or I am not as reputable/marketable as I’d like to be (therefore I am not doing enough), etc. So because of this existing evidence, and the truthfulness I feel (deep down) about this insecurity - it has power.
My first class is on Wednesday, so on Monday, I felt a little pang of fear about the class. I realized, OMG! I haven’t choreographed or prepared or advertised, ah!! It’s going to fail! After a brief meditation and journal session, I realized, oh right, my insecurity “I’m not doing enough” is looking to prove itself right again. So it’s hoping I don’t do enough, and my class goes poorly, so that I can strengthen this negative belief. If I hadn’t caught it, I might have procrastinated until the last minute, proving to myself that I surely am NOT DOING ENOUGH.
Luckily, I caught it, and have spent the past few days excited about creating these classes, and, about stepping out of that insecurity. But, it’s easy to see how these sneaky beliefs pull us down. It’s easy to get hooked on them! And live in the land of fear + proving the fear right. It becomes a vicious circle. And even if it’s subtle, it causes us suffering, little by little, and it exacerbates the fear so that other steps and other changes in life get difficult as well.
It’s funny, I was thinking of writing about this concept, before I saw it really concretely happening in my life. So, I encourage you to take this concept on. What does it really mean to you that insecurities look for evidence as proof of their truth? Let it soak in. Acknowledge that insecurities like validation, and then start to notice where you may be embodying this cycle.
The good news is - you get to choose. Do you want to prove your insecurities right? Or do you want to stand for your SELF. You don’t have to BE your insecurities. Start to step out of them.