Saturday, August 29, 2015

When Insecurity Rears Its Ugly Head

Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
Romans 12:3

"Don't turn it off. You should never turn it off."

This from the house manager of the theatre where I volunteer. She had walked two blocks to where I was stationed because I'd turned my walkie-talkie off.

"Now why would you do a stupid thing like that?" you ask.

I don't know. I just do stupid things sometimes and ask myself later why I did that.

The thing didn't seem like it was working. I tried to call the other parking attendant, and she never answered. I didn't hear anyone talking on any channel, so I assumed I was out of range. So I turned it off.

Then Erin showed up. She'd been trying to call me, and I wasn't responding, and she had to leave the theatre to come talk to me. She wasn't too happy about that, nor was she pleased to find my radio turned off. We tested it, and it was definitely in range. Given the fact that I use a two-way radio at work, I should have known better and felt like a big dummy.

I apologized profusely, and she was very forgiving.

Walking back to the theatre, I carried the "Theatre Parking" sign over one shoulder and my guilt over the other. Handing the radio to one of the other house managers, I said, "I guess you heard I turned the radio off."

"Oh, no I didn't. It's no big deal."

So why was I making it one? I'd blown the incident up to an extreme and distorted proportion because I did something wrong. Not even wrong. I just made a mistake. Did something stupid. But in my mind, I was the mistake. I was stupid. 

Earlier in the month, I'd reached out to someone I'd connected with about some writing opportunities in August and September. Well, August was almost over, and I hadn't heard any more about it, so I reached out again. No response.

Had I offended her somehow? Had she moved on to someone more qualified or talented? Had I lost my chance?

I learned that she'd been going through a rough patch with a family member, and her stress level was high. Getting back to me probably wasn't her priority right now. Understandably so.

I don't like being corrected. Or ignored. It makes me feel insecure.

And the worst part is that I thought I had worked through all of that years ago, and I was pretty secure in who I was. So why was this thing suddenly rearing its ugly head?

Insecurity is a strange animal. Many are under the false assumption that those who battle it are quiet and demure, but trust me, us bold and obnoxious ones can be just as insecure. It's not a personality trait, for heaven's sake. Just because someone is introverted doesn't mean they're insecure. Conversely, an extrovert doesn't have it all together. The extrovert's boisterous, "Look at me!" juxtaposes itself against the introvert's, "Please don't look at me." Ironically, it's all the same: 

An overly inflated estimation of oneself's importance. 

You read that right. The insecure think more highly of themselves than they ought to--not less. It's a false pride of sorts. Look at ME. Notice ME. What about ME? What's wrong with ME? Why doesn't anyone ask ME? Are they talking about ME?

The insecure desperately desire to be heard, seen, and loved. Acknowledged, accepted, and validated.  They We want to matter. They We want to feel significant to someone.

The lie is that we don't matter; we're not worthy of inclusion--we're not one of the "cool kids."

Well, guess what? The cool kids have insecurities of their own!

The truth is that our worth and value can never be found in others, because people will always let other people down. We can never get the validation we need from people, because we will always need more validation from more people. And they're too busy seeking validation from everyone else. There's just not enough to go around!

Unless and until we realize that our worth and value come from acknowledging and accepting that our identity is found in God through Christ, and not in imperfect humans, we will never be able to think of ourselves "with sober judgment." Our judgment of ourselves will always be skewed.

The faith that God has distributed to us determines our level of security.

I carried my guilt over not having my radio on, when the truth is the house manager has a thousand things to worry about. My mistake was an annoyance, but in actuality, she probably moved on to the next issue after she left me. She didn't go back and talk about me to everyone.

And the person who hasn't responded yet? Well, she's dealing with her own issues. More than likely, she hasn't set a recurring reminder on her phone to answer my email.

Whether I think I am more wonderful and important than I really am, or I believe that I am scum, I'm still dwelling on myself too much. It's not all about me. And it's not all about you.

So when that ugly insecurity monster comes roaring into your head, remember who you are in Christ. 

Remember that truth. Let it blast through the radio of your heart. Don't turn it off. You should never turn that off!

Blessings Along the Path,

sharing this blog with some of these wonderful bloggers


  1. I'm always beating myself up for mistakes on things, "I should have known." I hadn't thought of it as pride - but I can see how it is. I'm learning to keep my focus on Him on not those moments. I especially love how you show grace awareness emerging - that grace we need to extend to others by understanding that maybe they're not in the same place as you. I'm so glad you shared your experience and what God taught you!!!

  2. Oh, this is true! Our worth is found in God's love for us. You have described all of us--introverts and extroverts. Have a blessed weekend.

    1. and I just found out on someone else's blog that there is such a thing called an amnivert (?) where you're a mixture of both. Thanks for visiting

  3. I am the worst for assuming everything that goes wrong is my fault. I am so hard on myself. So thankful my worth is found in God and Him alone.

    1. Aw, Barbie...cyber hug! I remember what a mess I was before I knew Christ as my savior, and, like you, am so glad that my worth and value is found in Him. But boy, sometimes, I just slip right back into that old Mary.

  4. I did a "stupid" thing last week and had to apologize to someone for it. When he wasn't as forgiving as I'd expected, I felt even worse. Shame is a horrible feeling and one we do need to let go of. Great post, Mary.

    1. I feel your pain, Lisa. And you know, it's funny (or not funny, really) that we always think we are the only ones who struggle like we do. The enemy likes to tell us the lie that "I'm still so messed up, and everyone else has it together." HA! So not true. I would never want to be that person who has it all together, because everyone else would be too intimidated to be my friend!

  5. This hits far too close to home! I, too, wrap up my image in what others might happen to be thinking of me in a moment. It's so much easier said to look to Christ for my value than done. Thank you for the reminder that I, too am a new creation!

    1. Samantha, you are so right-it IS a lot easier said than done, as it is with many things that help us to move past our old ways. Thank you for visiting.

  6. This is something I need reminding of often! Insecurity really is about pride. I'm going to challenge myself with this: whenever I am feeling insecure, I will remind myself that I am being prideful and thinking too much about myself and turn it around to prayer so that I can put God in the center of my thoughts instead. Note: I will probably be doing this many times throughout the day! Thanks for a great post.

    1. Haha-I'll be there, right alongside you, Judy!

  7. I wholeheartedly agree, Mary. Insecurity can be found in the form of loud and prideful attention-getting as well as in the silent ruminator who throws herself a pity party every now and then. We tend to miss the reality that both are about being self-preoccupied. I love that you point us to grounding our identity in Christ as the answer--because it is! I'm working on a book that focuses on this, so I resonate so much with what you've said here today. And yes, how many times I've done something stupid and beaten myself up over it? Well, too many times to count! But then, that's not a good use of my focus and time either. So I think I'll go grab a great big Papa God hug and call it a day. I hope you do too, my sweet friend!