Insecurity Busters

Let’s continue our Lenten quest and think about people in our lives who exemplify joy. What do they do differently from us?

I’m pondering this, thinking of basically happy people I know. What characteristics do they share? Most of them are children, unencumbered still by the worries of the world. But a few are adults and they seem to have as many or more problems than I do. Perhaps the difference is all in attitude. They focus on what they are grateful for. They make the most of a situation. They laugh at themselves and don’t seem to worry about what others think. Not that they don’t think of others, in fact, I think they are more “other focused” than self focused. They are certainly not insecure.
Let’s go back to my statement that most of the people I know who are joyful are children. Yes, little ones cry and pout and stomp their feet, but those particular children that make people comment, “She’s sure a happy baby,” seem very secure and trusting. They aren’t prone to fear. They see the world as a delightful place to explore, and people as friends eager to join their fan club. They expect the world and its people to be good.

And me, when I’m insecure, what am I expecting?
• Insurmountable challenges
• My weaknesses exposed
• Failure, followed by the critical judgment of others

Very young, secure children don’t focus on the frightening future, because they are enjoying the present. They don’t worry about the days ahead because their parents will take care of them. They don’t fret about what others think because they are completely secure in the awareness that their parents love them.
It is a rare child who maintains this confidence throughout their childhood. I cringe to think of 4th grade cliques and junior high bullying, high school competitiveness, young adult broken hearts, and the effects of the sensuality-focused media. Few make it through that gauntlet unscathed. I’d bet if we are honest with ourselves, none of us did. Most of us either nurse or bury some feelings of inadequacy or fears of being found out as imposters. Some bravely struggled against such fears and overcame them.
Yes, we have a power to heal. We have a Father who, like those happy toddlers’ parents, will protect us in our future. Not that He will keep us from all pain; no parent can or should do that or we wouldn’t learn. He will, however, make it all turn out well in the end. And He will be with us every moment of the journey. If we can only focus on Him, we won’t need to worry about what others think of us, because we will know He is delighted with us. Yes, he knows all of our weaknesses and hasn’t missed any of our mistakes. But He chooses to focus on his goodness within us and, beloved children of His own, He treasures us.

“If God is for us, who can be against?” Romans 8:31

If you are looking for practical, solid steps you can take toward fighting insecurity, Beth Moore has several to offer in her book, So Long Insecurity: You’ve been a bad friend to us.
Avoid insecurity triggers.  This must be done with some discernment. The idea isn’t to withdraw from everything that makes you insecure, but to avoid unhealthy triggers, such as fashion magazines if they make you feel inadequate, or particular emotional predators who thrive on making you feel worse about yourself.
Choose a different reaction.  Think, “How would I react if I were secure?” and then do it! Behaviors have a strong effect on our thinking. Take healthy pride in your new decisions to react to fear with courage. This releases your inner strength!
Stop coupling legitimate feelings with insecurity.  Moore writes a mantra: “You may hurt my feelings, but you can’t take my security. It is mine to keep and I won’t give it away.” “You may intimidate me, but you can’t take my security. It is mine from God and I won’t give it away.” Other feelings we often join to insecurity are fear, disappointment, shock, sadness, anger, jealousy, and shame. “I’m ashamed of what I did, but you can’t take my security. It is mine and I won’t give it away.”
Stop making comparisons!  We are all originals, one of a kind. I am not better OR worse than you. My worth or value is simply from being a person, a child of God like every other person.
Don’t trip others’ insecurity triggers.  Don’t flaunt what you are good at, or what you possess. We should all be giving example to each other of what secure behavior looks like, especially to the younger generation.
Stop focusing on ourselves. Moore says, “We will continue to be as insecure as we are self-absorbed.” When we are thinking of others, we don’t have time to be insecure.
Pursue a life of purpose! Following a passion will keep us too busy to be self absorbed. If you don’t know what your passion is, look to your deepest pain, and then work to help others who are caught in that pain. Alternatively, work to prevent it from happening to anyone else. To find a secure life, lose yourself in something (or Someone) greater!
Trade fear for trust. Fear drives insecurity. What are you most afraid of? Follow that fear all the way through to the end. Ok, what if it happens? What then? And then what? Yes, if it happens you will be miserable for a while, perhaps suffer great physical or emotional pain, but God promises He will work all things to be good in the end. Choose to trust that promise. God won’t obey what you want; He will do even better for you. Love will win.
Don’t worry about the future.  Instead of feeding your insecurity by worrying, “What will I do if…” ask, “What will God do if…” and take comfort in knowing He can handle it.
Question your motivation. Ask yourself, “Am I doing this out of any insecurity?” If so, stop. Choose beyond feelings. Choose to act out of strength. We can act strong, even when we don’t feel strong. We can choose to act secure. We can choose to trust.

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39 (NASB)

Blessings on your week!
Betty Arrigotti

To read more: Moore, Beth (2010). So Long Insecurity: You’ve been a bad friend to us. Tyndale. Or go to

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