In my last post, I shared some of the deep-rooted insecurities that I’ve had to work hard to minimize in my life and leadership. Insecurities are a reality for most of us. In fact, I don’t know of any truly authentic and transparent person who hasn’t admitted to having insecurities. It’s easy for these insecurities to drain the emotional energy of a leader and even stifle the progress of an entire team. Insecurities can derail a leader more quickly than anything else.
I discussed where these insecurities come from in the last post and gave the first step to overcoming them. In this post, we’ll go a little deeper and discuss the four steps on how to overcome those insecurities.
Because of my deep-rooted insecurities and pride, I wore a mask for most of my life. I hid behind my achievements, hard work, gifts, and persistence. So many leaders look like they have it all together on the outside, but many struggle with issues no one can see. Our pride is what keeps us from admitting that we have these struggles. It also prevents us from receiving the healing that's needed to overcome our insecurities.
The problem with pride, from a biblical perspective, is that it leaves God out of the picture. Pride can quickly make us believe that we are the source of all good things instead of God. Because of our insecurities, we end up exalting ourselves, serving ourselves, and trusting ourselves, instead of exalting, serving, and trusting God.
Jesus came to save us from our broken, sinful lives, but He also desires to deeply heal and restore us over time. As I mentioned in my last post, the first and most important solution to overcoming these deep-rooted insecurities is to know what the Bible says about us. Scripture tells us that Jesus loves us in spite of our sinfulness. It tells us that we’re fearfully and wonderfully made and we’re of incredible value to Him. God is sovereign and He’s in control of our lives and the things we may go through. Pleasing God is much more important than being liked by people, and understanding our true identity in Christ is much more important than focusing on our flaws.
It is important that we overcome our insecurities so that we can do the work that Christ has designed us to do. There are several steps that I’ve taken to help me overcome the insecurities in my life. These steps can help you navigate your own insecurities and embrace God’s purpose for your life.
Step 1: Embrace all that scripture says about you through the lens of prayer. This is the very first and most important step to overcoming your insecurities.
Step 2: Admit that you have insecurities, and determine how those insecurities have impacted your life. As I’ve mentioned, we all have insecurities, and I can guarantee that your own insecurities have negatively impacted your life in some way. Increasing your awareness to what these insecurities are and where they come from is important in being able to make positive changes in your life, such as eliminating negative or destructive self-talk.
We can overcome some of this negativity on our own through prayer and self-reflection, but you will likely require help from an outside source like a counselor or an executive coach to thoroughly conquer these issues. If the source of the insecurity is complex, a licensed counselor would be the best place to start getting help. Receiving help to understand why that insecurity is there will help you minimize the effects of it.
Step 3: Develop reasonable expectations of yourself. This includes working on your rhythm of life, learning to see yourself more clearly, and leveraging your strengths. A better rhythm of life allows you to manage stress and anxiety so that you can better recognize your limits and manage your energy levels.
Seeing yourself more clearly allows you to manage the mental and emotional factors that play an important role in your insecurities. A self-aware person is able to better control a downward spiral of their emotions and recognize the circumstances that trigger their insecurities.
Leveraging your strengths helps you understand what you were designed by God to do and allows you to fully accept and embrace your weaknesses. It is possible for us to be validated by the things we do well, celebrate our accomplishments, and leverage our strengths while tolerating the things that we don't do so well.
Step 4: Build a personal support team. Although all four of these steps are important, the fourth step is the one that is most frequently left out. Most people don’t realize it, but humans need important relational nutrients in order to feel fulfilled and satisfied. The Lord designed us this way. We need things like acceptance, affirmation, and encouragement from safe people for our relational survival. When we understand this about ourselves, we can work to build a support team that gives us these key relational nutrients so that we don’t seek these things in unhealthy ways due to our insecurities. We can focus on being liked by the safe people in our lives yet avoid seeking approval or acceptance from the wrong people.
In review, Step 1 to overcoming your insecurities is to embrace what scripture says about you, Step 2 is to admit that you have insecurities and seek to understand them, Step 3 is to develop reasonable expectations of yourself, and Step 4 is to build a personal support team. These are the things that have changed my life as I’ve worked to overcome my deep-rooted insecurities, and I hope these steps will give you direction as you seek to overcome your insecurities as well.
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