I HAVE INSECURITIES and it’s only taken me twenty-two plus years to admit this fact to myself. I think I never acknowledged them because I thought that would make me seem weak. I also thought to myself “strong, black women can’t be insecure”, that just didn’t sound right in my head at all. There are numerous self help books that teach about speaking positivity and words of affirmation into your life. They say stuff like, “If you say it enough times, you’ll start to believe it. When you start to believe it, it’ll become a reality”. This sounds like a wonderful thing to practice and it seems to have helped loads of people all over the world. For a long period of time, I only spoke positive things into my life to counteract the negative feelings I experienced–which was actually great–but I did that at the expense of confronting these negative emotions that were hidden in the corners of my heart and mind. Without realizing it, I had unconsciously buried those feelings deep down.
Insecurity is just a symptom of a deeper issue–FEAR. Insecurity grows in the hidden corners of our minds and our hearts, and it doesn’t even surface until after we’ve let its lies become embedded into our identity. Oftentimes, we don’t realise we are insecure because we’ve hidden the parts of us with low-self esteem under the guise of pride and acting like we’ve got our lives together. I recently became aware of the things that have caused me so much pain, fear, and sadness, and I’m shocked at how many things seem to make more sense to me now.
Like a lot of people, my heart was heavy with many things that I held inside. I didn’t address a lot of them because, you know, “we move regardless” mentality. Because I wasn’t entirely honest with myself and how I felt, I began to develop unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with the pain that I harbored . I shut people out and I didn’t want to make friends with a lot of people (in a way that was actually beneficial because some people are just straight up wicked). I’d go out and get drunk, I’d date people I had NO business dating, I had (and still have) a deep fear of commitment, and I abandoned my relationship with God. People I trusted with my entire heart, broke it in the worst ways imaginable. I failed so many times at so many things, no matter how hard I tried. I felt like I was the problem, I thought I was unlovable, I thought I wasn’t good enough, I thought I wasn’t smart enough, and I slowly began to believe all these things about myself.
I sit here with so much sadness in my heart for the young girl who couldn’t articulate any of these thoughts that clouded her mind. The young girl who thought she was all alone and didn’t have anyone to talk to. I’m thankful to God that as I approach my mid-twenties, He is leading me on a path of rediscovering Him and who I am in Him.
Fast forward a couple years later, I’m in a much better place, but I still have moments when I experience feelings of worry and self-doubt. The only difference now is that I am no longer afraid to confront these feelings. Now that I am fully aware of the things that I was running away from, I realise that running from fear or fighting fear aren’t the best solutions to the problem. Facing my fears is what will help me overcome them. As much as we may not want to, we need to learn to have a stand-off with the emotion of vulnerability. I’ve begun learning to allow myself to feel vulnerable in order to get the strength that I need to rise above the lies that I have let myself believe over and over again. I try to no longer anticipate negative outcomes, but to think positively and just trust in God and His love for me.
I honestly don’t know why I decided to share this or write about this. It’s not like I’m an expert on providing practical steps for people to follow and overcome their insecurities, lol. I’m just a young woman who’s trying to figure things out just like I’m sure many of you are. I guess this could be for anyone out there who feels like they’re alone, because many times our problems can be so bountiful that we think we are the only ones going through what we’re going through. I want to encourage you to not be afraid to confront these feelings. These feelings do not define you.
Confronting your fears and insecurities is not going to be easy at first, but it’ll get better with time. Talk to someone if you’d like and if you’re a person of faith, you could read through scriptures that address some of the things you’re struggling with. If you’re like me. you could also try writing down those things that have led to you developing feelings of insecurity and meditate or pray about ways you can develop active steps towards letting go of the negative feelings. If people have hurt you, try to learn to forgive them for the pain they have caused you, even without receiving an apology (because let’s be real, you won’t always get one), and learn to forgive yourself for all the mistakes that you might have made in the past.
No matter what you may think, you’re deserving of any and every good thing that comes your way. You are worthy. You are blessed. You are loved.