How to Push Through Your Insecurity
finding value in your dream
So many of us have a product, a service, a message, or creativity that we’re longing to put out into the world, and yet some insecurity about it holds us back.
I have to offer really have any value?
Perhaps the concern is that the people closest to us don’t see us as having a valuable contribution. Or perhaps we’re secure in the relationships around us, but offering our gifts to the world at large sends us into a spiral of comparison with others and self-doubt.
Insecurity about our calling and our work seems to plague women more than men. We seem to have an innate tendency to downplay our gifts, question their worth, and feel like Who am I, to put this out there? To expect others to find it valuable?
### Where does this insecurity show up?
For some of us, it’s in our small circles, in a room where feedback (or the lack of it!) would be immediate. We stay silent. We are hesitant to offer ourselves because we’re afraid of the immediate response. Perhaps on a larger scale we don’t really have an issue. Putting our gifts out there to the anonymous general public isn’t terrifying. Our insecurity shows up in the relationships we care about.
For others, there’s a confidence that those in our small circles will love and accept us, and we’re feeling a pull toward offering our gifts to the rest of the world, but no one is asking us for our product, service, message or art, so we wonder if we’re truly qualified or good enough.
When we dig down a bit deeper here, we can see that when we’re asked to give of our gifts, we are being given permission and authority to present ourselves as having value. The authority handed to us by the person or group doing the asking gives us confidence we wouldn’t otherwise have.
### So how can we gain this confidence?
Where do we find this “authority” that we seem to need, even when no one’s offering it? We must come to an understanding that the very gifts we are given _are the authority. _
God has given us not only spiritual gifts, but natural skills, opportunities, experiences, and interests for the express purpose of having us put them to good use. You’re waiting for someone to ask? Someone has! The very God of the universe has asked you to step up and live out your purpose. Do you really need someone else to give you permission?
Uh...yes. If we’re honest, the answer is usually “yes.” We do feel like we need others to acknowledge our worth and value before we offer ourselves.
And the reason? The same reason we so often come back to when discussing the obstacles to pursuing a life of Impactivity… fear. Fear of what others will think of us.
This fear of the opinion of others is at the very root of insecurity
The insecurity can stop us at the very start of this journey - refusing to even look at our Dream, to even define it, because we’ll know that if we look for it, we’ll need to do something about it.
Or perhaps we know that Dream that’s pulling on us, but the insecurity keeps us from stepping up to create, to speak, to produce. It keeps us missing out on the being part of the Kingdom-building purpose that God has given us.
Sometimes our insecurity keeps us silent about the words and art and products we’ve already created. We were brave enough to do the thing, but now we’re too fearful to tell anyone about what we’ve done!
It’s not easy.
Some of this insecurity may be very deep-rooted in the experiences of your life, in harsh words that have been spoken over you, the messages you’ve heard from others about who you are. All of it goes back to our identity, our call, and who we believe we are in relationship to God, what He’s able to do through us and with us. None of those are easy issues. There’s no quick fix.
### Start with small steps
How can you take small steps to get past insecurities and put what you have to offer out into the world? Here are a few ideas to take some time to think through:
First, understand that you may never be able to truly believe that what you offer is valuable before you actually put it out there! You must figure out how to do it, even when you question whether you should.
Second, when faced with the need to step into this uncertainty, understand that both courage and a willingness to be uncomfortable are needed. Often we resist risks unconsciously, steering away from discomfort without even realizing it. Face the discomfort! See the need for courage. Then step into it.
Try talking over your ideas with people you trust, to get their feedback. Choose people who will honestly and lovingly tell you what parts of your ideas or work are valuable, and areas where they don’t necessarily see as much value.
Take time to think about the root of these insecurities. Identifying the core issues can often take the power out of them. You may also see that your insecurity doesn’t always show up when you’re offering your gifts, but rather only in certain situations. Then you can both use the comfortable places as confidence-boosting practice, and narrow down the challenging situations where courage and willpower are needed.
Realize that all of your insecurity stems from seeing yourself through others’ eyes. Whenever you’re looking at yourself through others you are going to see flaws, imagined or even real. You’re probably not more talented, gifted, whatever, than everyone else in the world. There will always be shortcomings where you could focus. What if instead you focused on seeing other people through God’s eyes?
It’s critical to intentionally shift your focus onto the people that you want to serve. What does it mean to live out your Dream? What is the need you see in the world that is pulling on you? When you start focusing on that need, and the people who need what you have to offer, instead of what those people think of you, the insecurity fades into the background. Develop your passion for people and for meeting those needs.
Take baby steps to build your confidence. Practice.
Partner with someone else who is strong in areas where you are weak. Let their strength give you confidence, and your strength give them confidence that what you are creating together has even more value than what either would create alone.
Ultimately, trust that your Dream is what God has given you, and that He's given you everything necessary to fill this purpose. If you believe that you've identified something you were made to do, then trust that the right things will come of it. Even if you’re efforts aren’t perfect, they’re where you need to be.
And perhaps this attitude is the bottom line. We do not move forward with some kind of positive-thinking confidence that everything will work out perfectly, or that we will be successful, or that the world will take what we offer and shower us with money, fame and fortune in return. Many people do try to work themselves into this “positive affirmation” place of belief. Not us.
Instead, we move forward with the confidence that God has gifted us for a purpose, and our obedience to using those gifts will bring us joy. We may not achieve success as the rest of the world defines it, but our lives will be successful because we’re doing what God asks.
That’s where we get the confidence.
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