In my life, there is a never-ending stream of highly insecure visitors who are always eager to hang out with me.
For instance, fear. Or, I should say, fears. Plural. Very, very plural. Here is just one example. I am a speaker with a decade-long track record of delivering successful events. But every time I get on another plane to go speak I am afraid this is the time I will tank, that “that thing” that always happens when I get up in front of people (namely, not sucking) will not work and I will go down in flames in front of 1,000 college students who are all busily uploading my public display of suckiness straight to YouTube.
Another common visitor is anger. I feel angry and I judge myself harshly for it. Even if it is totally justified, even if the anger is so primal – like my limbic system takes over and spews out anger from the cave-woman me whose fight-or-flight is screaming “Saber tooth tiger! Strike now or die!” – I still judge myself for feeling angry. If I don’t remember to judge myself in the precise angry moment, there is always plenty of time later. Endless amounts of time.
Yet another common visitor is sadness. Maybe we could call it depression. Or loneliness. Or apathy. Or boredom. It takes on various shades and forms, but after more than two decades battling mental illness (eating disorder, depression, anxiety and the like) those grooves are still pristinely paved and waiting in my emotional psyche. While I feel like I am growing more positive and peaceful day by day, I can still count on daily hopeful visits from the sadness squad, who figure this might be the day they get lucky and I finally decide to join back in.
All of these visitors can add up to mighty insecurity mighty quickly – if I let them. The key to not letting them, I have found, is repeating one simple phrase: “This is normal – you are a human being and all human beings feel these things sometimes. It is Oh-kay.”
There is so much compassion in this statement. There is also an instantaneous lessening of the terror factor inherent in yet another repeat visit from fear, anger, sadness and their kin. After two continuous decades of feeling bad pretty much all the time, I quite naturally don’t want to feel bad ever again. But being a human being, being willing to wake up for yet another day, means accepting that I might feel bad sometimes. I might have to course-correct sometimes. I might have to tackle a new fear, battle an old anger, heal and breathe through another course of sadness.
I am okay with this. Or at least I am okay with this when I remember I am okay with this. Remembering….for me at least…is the key to putting the insecurity hit squad in its purely functional place within the bigger positive picture of my overall daily life.
Today’s Takeaway: How do you deal with yet another visit from your personal insecurity hit squad? Do you arm for battle and fight it off by whatever means necessary? To you roll out the welcome mat? Turn and run? Some combination thereof? Another approach?
Insecure woman photo available from Shutterstock
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Last reviewed: 2 May 2013