Category Archives: Insecurity

5 Ways to Make Sure You’re Always Insecure

Freedom from insecurity is a lot of work. Probably more work than you’re willing to give. The easy thing is to stay insecure and never allow yourself to break out of the chains that bind you.

Here are 5 sure-fire ways to make sure you always stay insecure.

5. Be a self-centered person. Always think everything is about you.

4. Worry constantly about what others are thinking of you. (Afterall, since it’s all about you, they are always thinking about you.)

3. Put others down any chance you get. If you don’t feel secure, no one else should.

2. Never believe or speak positively about yourself–you wouldn’t want people thinking you are prideful.

And the number one way to always make sure you’re insecure:

1. Believe every lie that comes your way. If you’re thinking it, it must be true.

Follow these simple steps to ensure that you will never find freedom from insecurity.

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Threatened

Have you ever felt threatened by someone? I’m not talking about the feeling you might get if someone were to break into your house, or if someone got up in your face and acted like they were going to hit you. I’m talking about threatened in a more subtle sense. I’m talking about the kind of threatening that awakens our insecurities. Measuring

I was at a graduation party yesterday for a student leaving for college in August. All her friends were there celebrating around food, cake and punch. I sat on the couch visiting with some friends when a couple of high school girls walked into the room. These girls were gorgeous! Bleach blonde hair, tan, perfect bodies and they were dressed very stylish in the newest summer trends. These girls came to sit on the same couch and immediately I felt threatened. Why? Because my insecurities were awakened when I compared myself. In my eyes I didn’t measure up to these girls. I have 15 pounds on them! I was wearing a Wal-Mart dress! I couldn’t compete with such beauty. I felt threatened.

What about things other than beauty? I knew a man once who seemed to have the Midas Touch. Almost everything he did was successful. This man was a brilliant leader but many of his colleagues felt threatened by him. They didn’t understand the gift this person had been given and hated the fact that he was a better leader than they. Instead of learning from this person, they let the evil sin of comparison control their thinking and the feeling of being threatened overruled them keeping them bound by their own insecurities.

Feeling threatened is a sign of insecurity. But it’s what you do with that feeling that shows your true measure of freedom.

When you’re threatened you have two choices:

1. Dwell on the evil, self-degrading thoughts of comparison and plunge yourself deeper into the pit of insecurity, or

2. Take the focus off yourself and celebrate the differences, beauty, and success of other people, freeing yourself from the heavy chains of insecurity.

God made each one of us special. He gifted each of us according to His perfect will. Until you realize this for yourself, you will always feel threatened by someone. Someone will always be prettier, smarter, and more successful than you, as long as you compare yourself to others. It’s when we put down our measuring stick and realize our own uniqueness that we will truly be able to celebrate the uniqueness of others.

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Quit Apologizing!

I’m sorry, but there’s a form of insecurity that just gets to me! Actually, I’m not sorry because this form can be so subtle that many people don’t think they are slaves to it.Sorry

Apologizing is an important social skill. Knowing how to properly apologize when you have wronged someone is good. But I’m not talking about your normal apologies. I’m talking about the sickening, self-focused, excessive apologizing that latches on to victims of sever insecurity.

Have you ever experienced this with someone? Have you ever been around someone who excessively apologizes for everything?  What about a look in the mirror? Do you often find yourself apologizing for meaningless things?

What is the cause of this?

From my study of insecurity in people I’ve come to the conclusion that individuals who unreasonably apologize are looking for validation. They are looking for those who will reply to their apology with phrases like, “Oh, it’s okay.” “You’re fine.” “Don’t worry about it.”

When they can get this kind of response out of people it makes them feel less insecure about who they are or what they are doing. But this is a horrible and short-lived way to gain validation. In fact, I would go so far to say that overly apologizing to gain validation only causes a person to dive deeper into the deadly cycle of insecurity.

It’s time to Quit Apologizing! Find freedom from this form of insecurity by gaining your validation from what Christ says about you, not how others respond to your apologies.

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Freedom is a Paradox

Are you free? I guess that would depend on how you look at the question. If you live in the United States, you would the_bird_cage_escapeanswer that question with a yes, since it is a free country. But even then, would it really be true?

What I’m talking about is personal freedom. Freedom from our personal addictions, freedom from our vices, freedom from our insecurities, freedom from those things that hold us back. I’m afraid a lot of us would say that we are not free from those things. But even if we were, would we really be free?

I guess that depends on how you look at freedom. What does it mean to be truly free? Is there even such a thing? You see, freedom is a paradox. The more liberated you become of something, the more controlled you will become to something else.

Take these ideas for example:

  • Let’s say you’d like to win freedom over laziness. To win freedom over laziness the more controlled by discipline you will become.
  • What about self-indulgence? If you want freedom from self-indulgence, you’ll have to become more enchained to self-control.
  • Instead of being a slave to sin, we have to become slaves of righteousness.–Ro. 6:15-19

Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey? –Ro. 6:16

So which is it for you? Are you free in the freedom that brings life, or are you enslaved to the things that you obey?

Freedom is a paradox.

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Know Thyself

Anytime I meet with someone about overcoming insecurity my number one goal is to get to know them.

I’ll ask tons of questions about where they grew up, what was life like, how they are different now that their older… When I get to know a little bit of  who they are I’m better able to encourage, lift up and speak truth into their lives.

But this principal also plays into the journey of overcoming our insecurities.

It is vital that we also know who we are.

To know thyself is to be self-aware. Self-awareness plays a huge part in helping us gain freedom from the insecurities that hold us back.

When you are self-aware, you are aware of:

  • Your Strengths
  • Your Weaknesses
  • Where You Fit and
  • How to Improve Yourself

Self-awareness can only be accomplished through knowing yourself. Here are a few suggestions on how to become more self-aware.

  • Listen more than you talk
  • Ask a trusted friend for insight into how you are perceived or taken (More on this later.)
  • Ask God to reveal more of who you are to yourself

I could go on and on about all the ways to become more self-aware, but three things is fine for now. Knowing thyself is the first step in overcoming our insecurities.

Do you know thyself?

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Two Things to Help Fight Self-Sabotage

Knowing I probably didn’t have the answers to quitting self-sabotage, I ask a very good friend and mentor who is not a self-sabotager, what his thoughts were on the subject. From our conversation, I gained two truths that are already helping me fight this battle.

More Irons in the Fire

You would think this is the exact opposite of what you’d want to do when you’re trying to accomplish something, or stay on task, but having more irons in the fire gives you more avenues to gain confidence. What does “Irons in the Fire” mean? It means having some other things to focus on in addition to just the ONE thing you’re trying to accomplish. Think of them as stepping stones toward your desired goal. Small wins that can give you the confidence and motivation to keep going and not give in to the battle of self-sabotage.

He gave me a football analogy saying that after a quarter back throws an interception (that’s when he throws the ball and the other team catches it. A big mistake!) when a quarterback throws an interception the coach will call for the next few plays to be easy, short passes, ones he knows he can make. This is done to build back the quarterbacks confidence after a failure.

What short, easy passes do you need to make in order for you to gain confidence in yourself and stop self-sabotaging?

Stay Ahead of Momentum

This is a great thought, because usually it’s momentum that carries us. But what happens when we reach a peak in our lives and we’ve done nothing to keep the momentum going? We fall into a pit, we quit trying, self-sabotaging our progress and then we’re back to where we started, but even more frustrated. We’ve got to find a way to stay ahead of momentum.

Here’s how I’m choosing to do this. When I’m in the middle of momentum (when things are going great, when I’m writing a lot, or we feel excited to go to the gym, or when eating healthy is easy for us, or when we’re at peace and content with our lives) that’s when it’s time to sit down and strategize on how to stay ahead of momentum.

Some questions to ask yourself as you strategize:

  • How can I stay ahead of momentum?
  • What things have happened to get me to where I’m at?
  • What things do I need to have ready now, when I feel like momentum is slowing down?
  • What things do I need to gain or acquire to help push me past the point of self-sabotage that I’m inevitably going to experience?

It’s time to wage war against our temptation to self-sabotage. Why continue to stay in the same place when there is a world of things to accomplish?

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Why Do You Self-Sabotage?

Confessions of a Self-Sabotager–Continued

sabotageI’ve come to realize the number of reasons why people sabotage their progress are as vast as the people this disease inflicts. Everyone is different, therefore, everyone will have a different reason, excuse, or cause for why we struggle with this menace.

I’ve realized a few reasons and I’ll share them below. See which one stands out most.

  • We believe the lie we’re not worth it.

This is a common lie the enemy will use especially among women. Beware! Relational sabotage is wrapped up in this lie like a blanket swaddles a baby . This is the lie that tells you, “Go ahead, settle for what is less than best in your relationships. You’re damaged goods anyway.”

  • We allow our feelings or emotions to dictate our actions.

How well most of us women know this. Many of our goals, dreams and visions are sabotaged when we allow this one to reign. “I really don’t feel like going to the gym today.” “I’ve had the worst day ever! I deserve a bowl of chocolate ice cream! It will make me feel better!” A little emotional, don’t you think? Don’t get me wrong, feelings and emotions are good things. It is the way God made us, but it will sabotage us if we don’t bring our feelings and emotions under our authority.

  • Just plain laziness

Laziness is Sabotage’s middle name. Of course is easier to skip your Bible reading, not practice your sport, or sit down and write. Doing what you know you need to do is the harder thing. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be worth it. Don’t allow laziness to sabotage something God is calling you to do. Beat it with stick.

  • Fear of change

Often times it is the fear of change that keeps us taking one step forward and two steps back. We sabotage our progress because we fear what it is going to do to our lives. We fear failure, but also success. We keep ourselves in our comfort zones, even though we’re screaming to get out. We keep ourselves living a good life, when God has an unimaginable life waiting for us on the other side of change.

So, why do you self-sabotage?

Tomorrow I’ll share some insight from some trusted friends and mentors who are NOT self-sabotagers. I hope we can all learn from their wisdom.

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Are You a Self-Sabotoger?

sabotageConfessions of a Self-Sabotager

First of all I have to say that the word “Sabotager” is not actually a word. I made it up for the purpose of this blog, so go ahead and add it to your vocabulary. I’m about to get pretty honest with all of you. You know, what they call transparent, so I appreciate it if you keep the snickers and gibes to yourself…

I am a self-sabotager. I sabotage myself. I don’t know why I do this, neither, do I like to think I do it intentionally, but nevertheless, I have to come to realize this is what I do.

Is it who I am? I’m still fighting against that lie because I believe the truth that we are not what we do, rather we are who God says we are. But lately the microscope has zeroed in on my thoughts and actions and I’m realizing there some habits I have that I really don’t like.

I’ll give you a couple examples to clarify any confusion. How do I sabotage myself?

  • Keeping a healthy weight and eating right. I’ll do well for about a week, feel good in my clothes, work out 4-5 days a week and be happy. The problem is when I’m happy, I like to celebrate… with food… with bad food and I began to eat unhealthy, stop going to the gym and get mad and depressed with myself for doing it. Self-Sabotage.
  • This blog. I’ll get on a streak of about a week of good posts, get lots of response through Twitter and FaceBook, and people telling me how much they enjoy reading, and then I’ll quit. Either I feel like I’ve ran out of things to say, or I just don’t want to take the time to write something, even though I know God has called me to write. Self-Sabotage.

What about you? Do you find yourself sabotaging your progress? I meet with many women about various things in their lives, the biggest being the issue of weight-loss, and they confess to me that they sabotage their progress for no apparent reason.

What is this battle we face? This phenomenon that seems to keep some of us from moving forward? I’m committed to get to the bottom of this, for my sake and the sake of others who find themselves in this same predicament. (For the sake of length of this post, I’ll talk more about the solution for self-sabotagers tomorrow.)

In the meantime, please leave your thoughts in the comments below, and Re-Tweet this post so all can join the conversation.

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Circus Elephants Help Us Overcome Lies

circus-elephantI read this illustration in a book, so the credit cannot go to me. I think this principal is so important when it comes to overcoming lies and walking in truth:

“When young, {elephants} are attached by heavy chains to large stakes driven deep into the ground. They pull and yank and strain and struggle, but the chain is too strong, the stake too rooted. One day they give up, having learned that they cannot pull free, and from that day forward they can be “chained” with a slender rope. When this enormous animal feels any resistance, though it has the strength to pull the whole circus tent over, it stops trying. Because it believes it cannot, it cannot. “

This is the perfect illustration when it comes to believing lies. Though I would never compare anyone to an elephant, fearing they might take it the wrong way, so many of us are just like them! We believe a lie long enough that eventually we stop trying to break free. We give up, thinking “This is just the way my life is going to be.”

But I want us to understand the truth that we have the power to break free from the “chains” and “stakes” that are holding us down. With the Holy Spirit at work in our lives we have every power and authority to break the holds that are keeping us from moving forward.

So, ask yourself: What lies have I given up fighting against? What truths do I need to remind myself of, so that I do not end up like the elephant?

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Are You Leaky?

LeakyAs we continue the talk of overcoming insecurity I have to make a statement.

Some of the women I meet with about the issue of overcoming insecurity think that once they’ve reached freedom, they’ve arrived. Once they’ve tasted what life is like without worrying what others think of them, or without believing the lies of the enemy than, in essence, they’re done. So they stop doing the things they did to get out of the pit of insecurity, thinking that the freedom they have found will carry them the rest of the way. But the sad truth is: we’re leaky. We forget the words that set us free, the truths that made us whole, and we slip, ever so slowly, back into our old habits and our old way of thinking. I want to give us a thought to remember when it comes to the continuity of overcoming insecurity.

Overcoming insecurity is NOT a destination we arrive at… it is an everyday journey, a daily practice of renewing our minds and thoughts.

Like any other sin, addiction, or struggle we want to overcome, we must continually pursue a life-style out of insecurity. This means different things for different people, but here are four things you can do when you feel yourself slipping back into those old self-degrading thoughts.

1. Check your God time–Inevitably, when we start to feel great about ourselves and who we are sometimes God gets the shaft! Make sure time with the Lord is at the highest priority. Otherwise it is a lot easier for those negative thoughts to find their way inside the mind.

2. Make others the focus–Remember, insecurity is a selfish sin. Continue to overcome it by focusing your thoughts and attention on others!

3. Don’t dwell on the negative–Insecurity is fueled by negative thinking. When you catch yourself popping a squat in the murky waters of negativity it’s time to give yourself a mental shake!

4. Truth trumps all–Remember that truth is truth no matter who believes it… might as well believe it!

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