I’ve been writing for years, and one thing I still deal with? Insecurity.
Oh, I might have months where I shake off those little doubts and feel confident in my abilities, but eventually, insecurity creeps in, and like a rash, it spreads.
Unfortunately, insecurity breeds a slew of other unwelcome, unsavory emotions. Envy. Fear. Comparing. Anger. Making excuses. Laziness.
I don’t like any of those, but let’s look at how they feed into each other.
When I’m feeling insecure about something, I can’t help but notice someone else who seems to be doing better than I am. Without wanting to, I envy them. I envy that they are succeeding at something I feel insecure about. It could be my weight, my word count, my marketing efforts–whatever!
Envy is not welcome in my mind. I don’t want to look at someone else’s success with anything other than joy for them.
Insecurity also pings fear within me. I’m not good enough, smart enough, dedicated enough, working hard enough… As soon as fear hits, it seems as if everyone in the entire world has it more together than I do. Yes, everyone! And when everyone is doing better than I am, I start comparing…
Comparing isn’t welcome in my mind, either. Who cares if someone else is doing better or worse than me? It’s not relevant! Ugh!
Or I might get angry, which goes hand-in-hand with fear. Why am I not good enough? What do I have to do to be worthy of fill-in-the-blank? I slam stuff around, irritated at the injustice of my life not being exactly how I want it. Wow, the arrogance.
But who likes feeling arrogant? Angry? Fearful? Envious? No one, so I slip into making excuses. I would be in better shape if I joined a gym, had a trainer, etc… I would have a higher word count if I didn’t have to make dinner, shuttle my kids, etc… I can’t afford a publicist to market my books. Um, last time I checked, plenty of people are in shape without a gym membership, every writer has tremendous time constraints, and marketing isn’t all about money. But at the making-excuses stage, I’m in no mood for rational thinking.
So the worst of it all comes roaring in. Laziness. It all feels pointless, so why bother eating healthy, pushing for a higher word count today, scheduling a Facebook post? Nothing I do makes a difference anyway.
For me, laziness is unacceptable. If I don’t have control over my thoughts and actions, what is the point of my life? Laziness is a symptom of giving up, not taking responsibility for myself.
Thankfully, I have a tool to fight all this craziness.
God promises He’ll be with us every minute of every day. He wants us to pray, to ask, to seek, to knock. He listens to every prayer. He promises peace that transcends all understanding. And I count on His peace through all of the above emotions.
If you ever deal with ugly emotions, rest assured you’re not alone. You don’t have to sit in yucky feelings, and I don’t either. Isn’t that a wonderful thought? Pray!
Phillippians 4:7 (NIV) “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
How do you deal with insecurity?
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