All of us have things that we’re insecure about. For most of us, a big portion of those elements are physical — our height or hair or weight or teeth or ears or feet or fingers. But we also can feel insecure in our communication or our intellectual capacity or how we perform a task.
Insecurity is like this gall-embittered drink we all taste in our teen years. Almost all of us inevitably reach a point where we decide that we are unhappy with who we are or what we do.
What exactly is insecurity? It could be defined as an emotional instability and feeling of inferiority and/or a lack of confidence.
There’s the dictionary definition. You are probably well aware of it. But what does insecurity do?
It wrecks havoc on our self-concept. It colors our perceptions of others. It messes with our emotions. It makes us doubt our identity in Christ. It feeds us lies. It makes us lash out at others. It makes us judgmental. It makes us angry. It is parasitic, widespread, infectious, vile, icky, and sinful.
Insecurity is the monster in our closets. We all deal with it. We all hate it. How do we get rid of it? Here are three ways.
1. Take your eyes off yourself.
Speaking from experience, I find myself most insecure when I am most obsessed with myself. I want to look perfect and ace every paper and get an amazing GPA and suddenly I am monitoring myself so closely that I find inferiority in places I never thought I would.
My insecurity is wrapped up in my pride. I only feel inferior because I am idolizing myself, trusting myself, and craving praise. I’m not striving to do my best, to do my most careful work for God’s glory. I’m working for my own glory.
It’s all about doing what makes me look good. When we give glory to something, we worship it. My insecurity comes from my idolatry.
I’m insecure because I glorify the god of Me.
2. Take your eyes off everybody else.
But often when my eyes go off of me, they go to others around me because I need a standard by which I can judge myself. If I want to foster insecurity and feed inferiority, I need to play the comparison game. And so my eyes go to everybody else.
“She is so much skinnier and prettier than me.”
“Why did he get an A when I didn’t?”
“Everybody loves her better.”
“I feel left out. I’m worthless”
I have a confession: I am a people pleaser.
I put my worth and my identity in the hands of those around me. I want people to love me and when they don’t, I feel insecure. When others are better than me, I feel devalued.
So I have to call it quits on the comparison game. I am an individual, unique and different from everybody else, with strengths and foibles and flaws. Only can I have a secure, accurate perception of my identity when I stop measuring myself against everybody else.
3. Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Ultimately, “look full in His wonderful face.” Throw inspirational quotes out the window. Pinterest is a remedy for only so much. Find your worth, your value, your confidence in Christ. Get rid of insecurity by taking your eyes off of yourself and others and fixate them on the only wholly worthy, perfect object: Jesus.
“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” — Philippians 2:9-11
Look to His Word for forgiveness, solace, hope, and strength. Read Psalm 139 and Romans 8 and Proverbs 16:18 and 1 John 2:16.
We only have any worth because we are made in the image of God. This should greatly humble us and prompt us to abandon insecurity in the assurance of our identity in Christ.
Soul, keep your eyes on Jesus.
“O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!”
— Helen Lemmel, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”
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I think we should look at others and say “I want to be like them”. That is what role models are for (not bikini models lol). It is only when we put ourselves down that we mess up.
I agree, I think role models are really good for motivating yourself to become better, but I think that usually role models are for changing yourself in a behavioral or spiritual aspect rather than physical.
Yes, definitely. What I mean is something like this: I play baseball. My dream is to become a pro. I look up to Chipper Jones as my role model. When I look at him I say “I want to be able to play baseball like him.” I would be doing wrong if I said “I’ll never be that good, I quit.” That is when I throw myself down the drain.
Hey mcstache. Great point. I totally agree with you. Since we all have role models, it is important to make sure that we’re looking up to the right people. Thanks for commenting!
No problem @jaquellecrowe:disqus!
Once again, great article. I know it’s different for everyone, but how does this work out practically for you?
Hi AnnaGrace. Thank you for your encouragement and your question. What I find is important is to first spend more time in Scripture, meditating on Christ’s greatness and my identity in Him. I also talk to my parents. As mcstache said below, wise, godly role models can play a big part in getting rid of insecurity. I try to spend time with friends or church family or biological family that love me and help me see myself for who I am.
I hope that helps! Blessings to you.
Thank you so much for this, Jaquelle. Another verse I think sums up your post nicely is Jeremiah 17:7: “Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.” The world may tell us to look within ourselves, to other people, or to money to gain confidence. However, the only confidence that really lasts is the kind that comes from serving our Savior! We were created to worship and serve God, and when we are truly doing that, we’ll find fulfillment and peace that can’t be found anywhere else.
That is so very true, Ruthie. Thank you for sharing! Even though the world fosters insecurity, you’re right – their remedy is sorely deficient. Confidence only comes through a realization of our identity in Christ. Thanks for your comment!
You know, Jaquelle, you should like write a book with all the artices you post here.
Thanks, Trent. That’s so kind! And I do think it’s possible that one day, Lord willing, I could publish a book. We’ll see what happens, though. Thank you for your encouragement. 🙂
Just tell us when you’re ready to publish it! 🙂
I second that idea!
wow! great post!
Eye opening! Thank you.
Wow. This is an awesome article, for more than just personal insecurity. What great advice for every area of life. Turn your eyes away from yourself, away from your peers, away from other people, and to Jesus Christ.
“Fixing our eyes upon Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith… for consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Heb. 12:2-3
Great post! No matter in what position we must look upon our Savior.
After reading your first two points, I could guess the third. Maybe that’s because the only way to be free from our self-focused judgmentalism is to find our worth in Jesus.
Great article Jacquelle – thanks so much. It’s good to know that this is something we all face, because for breaking down insecurity I’m sure this sense of community goes a long way. When you’re living in insecurity, you often fall into the trap of thinking that you are somehow “different” from (and, you tell yourself, better than) everyone else. But God made everyone unique – and we can appreciate each other better because our uniqueness is something we all have in common.
“I’m insecure because I glorify the god of Me.” *biff* that was like a fist colliding with my face lol…thanks for writing! =)
And Josh has returned!!! 🙂
Hee hee yup! For like, two whole days…then I’m off to piano camp! =P I just finished wading through my disqus inbox, haven’t even been to Revive yet…that should be fun! =/
*Perks up* Piano camp? Did somebody say piano camp? What is that?
Lol I’m not exactly sure XD I’m not even staying at the university they’re having it at, I’m staying at my bf and his family’s house….basically there will be lots of lessons with different people, “yoga for pianists” (ooooh boy….), performance opportunities, and a chance to meet other young pianists in my area. =) (that reminds me, I need to call someone who’s going about a duet we might play….thx for the involuntary reminder! ;-P )
Oh, my pleasure, any time you need a reminder just let me know! 😉 Well I would say it sounds cool, but being as you’re not even exactly sure I think I’ll hold off on any commentary until you *let me know how it turns out*. (Right?) 😉
Haha, it’ll be fun – I get to spend a week with my bf and his family, hang out with another couple pianists I know, and meet new people! What could go wrong????? (famous last words lol…where’s that grinning face from revive when I need it???)
You mean the really creepy face?
Well that will be fun, I imagine! So, um, have fun! 😉
Lol thanks! =)
That was like exactly what i did, lol!
Cool! you’re back! Even if it’s only temporary
This is me. I needed this. Thank you so much, Jaquelle.
Wow, great article! I am definitely a people pleaser, I unconsciously change my personality to match the people I’m around. It’s hard to get out of that habit once it’s been started.
Wow… Wonderful article! I have struggled with this off and on my whole teenage life. What you’ve said here is so true, and resonates with all of us to some extent. Right on, Jaguelle!
Very good articl. It’s makes you look at what you have been chasing after or whose aproval you’ve be striving for and get your priorities straight.
Great post. I like your 3 points number 3 is my Favorited.
Wow thank you so much, Jaquelle! I am so very much a people pleaser too. I have been struggling with this all my life, but I feel like it has become chronic lately. It trips me up and shakes my confidence. I lose the ability to be me and to enjoy life when I constantly compare myself with others. I totally connect to the “she is prettier and skinnier than I am” thing, too….. I am tall and I’m not a beanpole…and often I feel like I must look huge, even though I know I really don’t. Appearance does not define worth. And when I compare myself (in any way) with others I am ranking them in worth – I’m better, I’m worse, I’m better in this way, you are my inferior in this area of your life…. I set myself up for bitterness and contempt as I struggle to feed my pride. And pride is a miserable fiend to battle. And I hurt my relationship with them; I malign them by focusing on a failing of theirs. I zoom in on speck so that I can feed the beam of pride in my heart. I love what @disqus_5raHpmpa9T:disqus said: look at others and choose to think of a way you want to be like or emulate them; look beyond their appearance to their heart. Value and respect them, even if they’re really rotten. That’s how God looks at people, and how He looks at you. Besides, our identity is founded in Christ…so why should we falter and stumble into insecurity? We are secure in Him. So we are free to live and dance in these Hinterlands of Shadow and love others and rejoice in their victories and in who they are, because our confidence stems from and our identity is founded in Someone Beyond Us.
Thanks again, Jaquelle! I loved every word. <3
Another superb article, Jaquelle! Spot on! I’m right there with you in being a people pleaser! Thanks for the encouragement to focus on Christ and not other people or ourselves! Blessings!
Wow…this reminds me of something I read in a book before. Shyness and self-consciousness are only forms of selfishness. If we care only about what others think and how we feel, we are really only thinking about ourselves, not how we can glorify God in whatever situation. I really struggle with being shy, so I’ve been trying to put the focus on God instead of what people think. This article is amazing. Thanks, Jacquelle!
Hey guys! I’m kind of a newbie to the Rebelution. I mean I’ve read the articles for some time now but I haven’t really joined any discussions. This is really a great community of strong believers and I admire you all :). So I guess I’ll start talking now haha… I have definitely been struggling with insecurity just like pretty much everyone. But the song “Who I Am” by Blanca has really made an impact on my life. Anyone who struggles with insecurity should totally check it out. I am a long distance runner (although an insecure and not super good one :P) so the part where it says “I’m running to the One who knows me” just touches my heart every time.
Welcome to the Rebelution!
i’m late, but welcome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I love that song! Thanks for pointing it out!
How do you help a friend who is majorly insecure? I have one who is obsessive and I don’t know how to help her, since she’s so touchy. Even right now, she’s mad at me because I didn’t respond to her texts right away. I’m really concerned about her, since she’s copying her sister’s behavior, who went off the deep end. I’ve struggled with insecurity, so I totally understand, but she needs help fast and I don’t know how to do it! Any thoughts?
Aww, that sounds like a tough situation. I’ll be praying for you and your friend Liana. I’m sorry i don’t have any brilliant revelations on how to reach out to her :/ Just be there for her, pray for her, and encourage her when you can.
Thanks so much for the encouragement! I so appreciate it. I don’t mean to gossip about her, but now she’s ignoring me. Honestly, sometimes she’s so immature and touchy that I just don’t know how to handle her. Just prayers are so helpful! Thank you! <3
My absolute pleasure, sister! Don’t lose heart!
thanks <3. Actually, I think she's okay now because she showed up to my surprise 16th birthday, so thanks for the prayers!! <3
Oh good! Well, happy birthday! <3
thanks, it was actually an early one. I don’t really turn sixteen till November. But really (got to get back on track here) thanks for the prayers! I really think that helped!!
That makes my heart happy, Liana. Praise God!
Thanks Jaquelle! Wow, I have a lot of work to do in this area. :/
I’m a people pleaser also. It’s not how you view yourself, it’s not how people view you, it’s about how god views you. Thanks for posting this Jaquelle.
Wow! This article was fantastic!! 🙂 🙂 The points were spot on. And I LOVE that song! And Psalm 139! The solution to every problem, I’ve found, is to turn my eyes on Jesus. Even though it’s difficult to keep your mind completely focused on Him, whenever I do, life becomes so much more joyful and free! Thank you so much! 🙂 🙂 🙂
Wow!!! Great article. Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
adriana diaz, the article is very improtant and i realicy that having insecurity it can be bad or good . this article though me alot
i like your article it was amazing.I
thanks that was really helpful this help me be more confident and not be the quit on
i will follow your 3 steps to be the one that talk instead of being the one that stays quit
Lovely. But you could do better on the advice. A little of it is dumb.
Was digging this until I read the 3rd point :/
Thank you! This is beautiful.
Thank you! Gosh, this is truely helpful for me everytime, reminds me of God’s love that never ends. And so I can hold my head up high, yet doing everything for His glory. Thank you !