Whether we are aware of them or not, our insecurities play a powerful role in our actions and relationships with others. They seep into our thoughts about our marriage, parenting, body image, career success, and even something as simple as driving. No one is completely free from the power insecurity can hold, but I believe we can all get to a place of understanding where our insecurities have less control over our lives. One of the first steps in this journey is to recognize what insecurities have gripped your own life. I have seen the benefits of exploring insecurities both personally and in my practice as a Christian counselor.
Assessing The Roots of Our Insecurities
There have been times in my own life where a certain insecurity becomes all-consuming as I allow my focus to remain in the areas where I fall short. For example, as a young girl I would have seasons of feeling insecure about not being a bright enough student. This would lead to a constant fixation on how I compared to peers on assignments and exams. Rather than assessing the amount of effort I was giving, I would size myself up to those around me. More often than not, this led to disappointment when a friend would have a higher test score. Addressing these insecurities early on can cut back on the pain and impact they may have on certain relationships.
Insecurities may stem from past traumas or events we experienced as a child. For example, if a woman internalizes fears after watching her father leave his marriage with her mom, she may carry that into her future relationships. She may question whether or not a man can stay committed to her and if she can offer enough to the marriage. I have seen many examples of this in my practice as unrecognized insecurities take a leading role in the way people give meaning to certain events. These insecurities lead to strong reactions when we feel our fears may be coming true.
The Impact of Our Insecurities
Insecurities can impact our interpretation of other people’s actions. If a friend pulls away or is unable to pour as much into the relationship, this can bring up past fears of abandonment, rejection, or inadequacy in relationships. When we do not recognize these insecurities, they can impact how we show up in relationships and interpret the actions of others.
Insecurities can play a part in the way we parent as well. First of all, if a parent has fears or concerns about certain areas in life where they don’t excel, they may put extra pressure on their children to make up for areas in which they may be lacking. This can lead to resentment if your child does not feel as strongly or also fails to meet such standards. A second issue that may arise is that an insecure parent may become obsessively concerned about making the same mistakes their own parents made. In this situation, fear takes a leading role in the decisions made concerning their children. Decisions made in fear often are not aligned with what God may want.
Working Toward Freedom in Christ
The first step towards freedom is to recognize those insecurities, and that can be a very painful and humbling process. Bringing the insecurities to light can take away some of their power as you increase your awareness of when and how they come into play. For example, when entering into a situation where you might be confronted with your insecure feelings, taking the time to recognize where those feelings are coming from and how they might dictate certain behaviors can put you back in the driver’s seat. Also learning how to manage the feelings that come along with insecurities can have lasting benefits personally and relationally.
Most importantly, I have found that insecurities keep us from living into the full potential God has for us. When we are consumed by fears and doubts that leaves little room for the Lord’s guidance and direction. Insecurities can lead us to believe lies about our abilities and to doubt how God can use us. When feeling a lack of confidence in yourself and your abilities, it can be tempting to find reassurance through comparison with others. But the Lord calls us to a higher standard and desires to truly know our hearts.
Overcoming Insecurity in Christian Counseling
If you feel as though insecurities are playing a part in your current problems, you are not alone. Insecurities can manifest themselves in the way we see our physical body, our success at work, what we can offer in a marriage, and our relationships with friends. If this is true for you, seeking support through Christian Counseling can be a great option. Counseling can be the perfect space to explore, uncover, and challenge the lies that have been put into place over many years. Being vulnerable is scary at times. Stepping into those fears can bring a new found understanding and confidence as you move forward and seek the Lord.
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