monday realness: insecurity + how i deal
Well, here's post #1 of a new series I want to start "Monday Realness"
I wanted to start this blog for many reasons and one of them was to relate to women and be open in a world where everyone is trying to be something they aren't. So in this space I will be open and honest and invite others to relate to common struggles we all face in today's social media-filled world. So enter our first topic:
The idea for this post came to me at 12am last night when I couldn't sleep. I had been working on this blog and (of course) comparing it to some of my favorite bloggers out there. In that moment the negative voices come rushing in and snowballing on top of each other. The voice seems to always say things like this, "You're not good enough to be a blogger." "You'll never get to where others are." then it got MORE personal, "How will you ever support a family when you aren't good at anything?" "You can't afford to buy a home." (as we are in the process of house hunting right now) "You lost the only job you were actually good at." It’s the little (or not so little) voice that says I should be further, I should be better, I should be more talented, more beautiful, wittier, livelier… fill in your blank. I’m afraid of only ever being unexceptional.
I logically know that the success of others does not mean that I am a failure. But, even as I recognize how important that thought is, I find it hard to shake the feeling inadequacy and insecurity within my own talents. That deeply unsettling feeling that I do not belong anywhere. That success is so far out of my reach — too far. And then, where am I where I’m supposed to be?
It has only been over this past year really that I recognize these unhealthy thoughts and behaviors. And I think it’s important to share this journey — because, for me, you cant just flip a switch and be ok with your own journey. I’m unemployed. I’m afraid of never growing — and yet, these thoughts only create an environment in which I cannot grow. There’s only so far you can go with the shadow of inefficacy weighing you down.
So, how do we feed the RIGHT voices and not the wrong ones?
let it out
I know that's probably the last thing you want to hear, but it works. And good news! It's going to be different for everyone. I really like to cry now when I am feeling insecure. I let out all these emotions that pile up and when I'm done, I'm done. Done with the feeling of inadequacy and feeling sorry for myself. I have also come to recognize this past year that insecurity is not something to hide away. It’s not shameful. It’s natural to not be confident all the damn time! I think expressing yourself to someone you trust can have a huge impact on how you understand and perceive outside influence too.
revisit what has worked
After I had my moment last night I realized I have only been blogging for a week... No one becomes a hit over night! Was I proud of my past job? Yea. Did I think my blog posts were fun and engaging? Totally! So girl, why are you beating yourself up for not being "successful" because all of those moments were a big success! There’s nothing that will show you how far you have come more than looking back at where you started. I feel that pride and the journey that I’ve taken to get where I am.
This is important to remember when you’re sharing what you’re currently working on — it’s a reflection of where you are right now! And guess what?! you’ll probably be somewhere completely different in the next year.... or even the next hour. But that doesn’t make the process any less beautiful, or valuable to your own personal experience!
engage with community
It's taken many times to notices when I am most insecure. And it's when I'm lonely!
It can be pretty vulnerable to expose yourself + your work to people, to comment and criticize. What I have found to help is simply commenting on other's work first. A little "Woah, that's such a creative way to style that!" can help you open up more and even feel happier. And when you're ready, put YOUR stuff out there more for feedback! That feedback from your community is ESSENTIAL in bettering yourself — how can you learn and grow without help? It's important to take it one step at a time — share with your mom (cause moms love everything you do), or a friend, then two friends, then Instagram (AKA the whole world). Baby steps, y’all!
read a devotion
or "quiet time."
A ‘quiet time’ (just time alone spent with God) has been ESSENTIAL in building up my confidence and quieting that negative voice. This is my time when I can talk to God and learn what he has in store for my life this moment – we talk about everything, mostly with things I’m anxious about or struggling with, and thanking Him for how good He is. This world throws at us so many lies that I really don't think anything is real anymore people - but his word it! God’s Word and his truth sets a tone for my day – being reminded of my true identity in Christ, and what my purpose is on this earth: to bring Him glory in all that I do.
Friends, (and myself) remember that there is so much more to life than Instagram engagement and trying to afford a house and contouring your face perfectly. While all of those things can be great, God is so much greater and I guarantee time alone with Him in the mornings will remind you of that.