Confidence and Insecurity

I struggle a lot with insecurity. I worry about how I look and what people think of me. I’ve been thinking about why I feel so insecure and care so much about other people’s opinions. What I realized was pretty simple: I worry and feel insecure because I’m filled with pride.

Here’s the pattern I see:

{1} I’m filled with pride so I worry about what other people think of me.

{2} Because I worry about what other people think of me, I feel like I need to look and act a certain way to be good enough.

{3} To look that certain way I spend too much time, thought, and money on clothing and my physical appearance.

{4} Then I end up comparing myself to other people to see if I’m good enough.

{5} If I don’t feel good enough, I get jealous and competitive and try to outdo other people.

{6} If I compare myself to someone and decide I’m actually more attractive or talented than they are, then my heart is filled with pride and an I’m-better-than-you attitude.

{7} Because I’m worried about what people will think of me, I hide behind silence. I’m afraid if I start talking I’ll say something stupid and people won’t like me. I only say what’s safe. I only write what’s safe. I don’t really let people in or share my heart.

When I base my value on the opinions of other people, I end up feeling like I’ll never be good enough. I’ll never be as smart, funny, or talented as that other writer or as thin and put together as that other girl.

I tell myself if I could just have that outfit, or more friends, or a more popular blog—then I will be good enough. Then I will be confident and satisfied. Then I can be the person I’m supposed to be.

But these are all lies I tell myself.

Because the problem isn’t my outfit or personality or anything else about who I am.

My problem is in what I look to for security.

If I’m looking to myself or to other people I will never find satisfaction or peace in my heart. My heart will only ever be filled with pride and jealousy.

The problem isn’t who I am. The problem isn’t who I’m not. The problem is when I try to find myself in anything but God.

Donald Miller said,

“None of us are here by accident. We were born because God loves to create. And He was pleased when you were born.”

He’s right. And if I could just believe he’s right then maybe I could finally have peace in my heart about who I am. Because who I am is exactly who God wanted me to be.

I’m not perfect, but I’m complete in Christ.

I’m not the outfit I’m wearing or how much I weigh. I’m not the number of friends I have or the amount of money I make.

I’m a part of God’s creation, a chapter (or line) in his story. The story isn’t about me and I’m not the author. This is his story and I’m here only to play a part.

God has a plan for me and a part he wants me to play in his narrative. It would be a sad waste to spend my whole life trying to tell a story about myself instead of him.

It would be a sad waste to worry more about what people think about me than what they know about my God.

It would be a sad waste to spend all my time and thought trying to be the prettiest girl in the room so people will look at and admire me rather than helping others look at and admire my God.

What a waste of words to write only the safe things that will make people like me rather than the scary things that might point someone to something so much better than anything I can offer.

What a waste to spend my life silent and insecure because all I think about is the story I’m telling rather than the greater narrative in which I play a part.

As long as I look to myself and the opinions of others, I will remain proud and insecure. But if I will look to Christ and find my small place in his great narrative, then I can live with the confidence and security I need to accomplish all I am meant to do in this life.

12 thoughts on “Confidence and Insecurity

  1. Not mentioning any names but like somebody (up there) mentioned, “be proud of who you are and what you’ve accomplished.” I couldn’t disagree more. The world sees pride as a good thing. (God forbid!) We know, as Christians, pride is the enemy of humility, and Jesus is the King of Humility. Therefore, let’s pray and hope that we too can be filled with humility rather than pride.

    I gotcha. ;0)

    And it’s a pleasure to meet you, fellow Sister in Christ.
    Perhaps we’ll meet again!
    (I’m a photographer too, by the way.)

    xo

    -Birgitta

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  2. we don’t initially think that pride and insecurity can be used in the same sentence…but I think they should always be used in the same sentence now! good insight. our pride creates insecurities

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  3. This is such a great post! I can relate to what you are saying about comparing yourself to others and finding your security in other things that God. I was just doing a study last night that is somewhat similar to what you are talking about. Thank you for the encouraging words and the GREAT reminded to focus on eternal, heavenly things rather than the things of this world.

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  4. Your article was shared by a friend on fb. So true and so well-written. I’m a single 20-something that’s teaching a 15-16 year old girls Bible class and we’ve discussed this very thing this year! Next time I counsel a girl about it or do another lecture on it, I’ll probably reference this and read it to the girls. Thanks for your transparency…it’s always good to know we’re not the only one!

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  5. I hit the ‘like’ button, but actually I love this post. If I were able, I would reach out through the cyber space and hug you. You are a precious and wonderful gift to the world from our Creator. He knows the number of hairs on your head, He knows your heart and the fears and tears it holds. He adores you. He has gifted you with a gift of words. He has given you intelligence to hold conversations and I know from seeing your photos, that He has painted beauty and grace deep within your spirit and soul. Your words have spoken to me and I want to thank you for your honesty. Well written, very strong and concise. Thanks. DAF

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  6. One of the most beautiful people I ever knew was a woman who was blind and her apperance was grotesque When people looked at her they turned away. They didn’t try to know her and the beauty she held inside. She was exactly what God made her to be, a blessing to all who took the time to know her.

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  7. My, this is a complex one. I don’t know if ‘pride’ is the right word. I don’t think that pride’ and ‘I’m better than you’ go together either. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with being proud of yourself or your accomplishments. You are proud of Darrin, you are proud of your house, your family… you show us. So be confident and proud in yourself with no apologies.

    I am guilty of #7. I try not to be. Being insecure is a waste of time, but afflicts all humans whether we like it or not. It takes work to overcome these feelings (and I did not say failings) and I am glad to see you doing that, Kari.

    I love the quote by Donald Miller.

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