I’ve always wished that I didn’t have the insecurities and fears that I do – everyone does. We imagine how much happier our lives would be if we weren’t constantly wishing that we were more attractive, wealthy, smart, athletic, and so on. Often people encourage us [people with insecurities…so everyone] to “embrace ourselves”, saying that it is important to love who you are as you are. But I find that strategy to be unsustainable because you can only trick yourself into being happy with your flaws for so long.
Personally, I accredit who I am as a person to my insecurities and fears, in a good and bad way. The reason being that there are two ways to handle an insecurity or fear. The first is to let it conquer you – allowing it to be the excuse for why you are unable or not good enough to do or be something or someone you want. Lets be honest, most people allow their fears and insecurities to ruin their lives. They never even try to achieve their dreams out of fear of failure or a low sense of self worth.
The other way is to fight them. Constantly work towards beating them down and proving them wrong. It is an inner struggle that often cannot be won, but one that gives us purpose in our daily lives. It is in this struggle that we develop a true since of self by realizing our greatest strengths and weaknesses. And only by doing so are we able to better ourselves. By battling my own insecurities and fears this way I learned one extremely valuable lesson – fears and insecurities are life’s most powerful motivators.
I’ve always been insecure of my fears and feared my insecurities. And having this mindset has made much of my life a game of Jenga with blocks of emotion. I’m constantly trying to get rid of one until they all come crashing down. However, even though I do suffer the occasional mental breakdown to be found crying under a cold shower, my insecurities and fears have pushed me to try many of my most extraordinary experiences, as well as acquire many skills.
|Me – Age 11|
Here’s a simple example. When I was younger my nickname was the Michelin Man. If you do not know who the Michelin Man is you can look him up, or just know that he is made out of rubber tires…I was “big boned”. It wasn’t even friends or bullies that deemed me the name, it was my family. That name drove me crazy! I hated it. By age 11 I had the same body complex issues of a 40-year-old woman; I wouldn’t even take my shirt off at beach. Simply because I hated and was insecure of my body and feared ridicule. It sucked, no doubt about it. But thanks to it, once I got older I started working out, playing sports, and trying to improve myself. Instead of trying to accept who I was, I used my insecurity as a motivator to help myself change to who I wanted to be. Over time this attitude invariably drove me to develop a deep understanding of and appreciation for the two most important aspects of my life; health and fitness.
|Me – Age 21|
In a way it’s ironic, but as long as I live I’ll always be insecure of my body. Even though I’ve worked my ass off (literally) to get in shape and be healthy, at the end of the day I’ll always look into the mirror and think of the Michelin Man. So on the one hand my insecurity is an endless torment, but on the other hand it’s the motivator I must thank for helping me become who I am. Should I love it, or hate? Is it worth fighting a battle you cannot win, or better to opt for contentment? These are questions you need to ask yourself – but I sure as hell want to be known as a fighter.
There are always things in life that we want but are unsure about how to achieve, whether that be an appearance, status, material good, or experience. I cannot tell you how to get them; however, I do believe that I have a way to help you discover how to get them. Be honest with yourself in what you are most insecure about, then find a way use that insecurity as the motivator which will drive you towards reaching your goal.
[My post tomorrow will expand on how to apply your insecurities and fears as motivators]