Hi, I’m Amy the Club Coordinator of Girls Without Limits. Below is a post I’ve written about insecurity and some of my own observations on the issue. Here at GWL our values are encouragement, kindness, respect, inclusion, acceptance and understanding all of which foster a sense of self-esteem and confidence. We encourage our girls to believe in themselves and go after what they want out of life which means insecurity is something we inevitably have to overcome.
Insecurity is an issue that even the most confident women in my life have struggled with. What is it about this issue that is so deeply rooted within us? Has it got to do with our culture and the fascination about women’s bodies? Has it got to do with the expectation that a lot of us hold to live up to the ideal? This is something I’ve noticed in myself and it’s been an issue that has made itself very known in my life. What I’ve noticed that I find fascinating is the time or occasions that the insecurity really makes itself apparent. Now I’m going to get super real with you and it’s with the intention of normalising the thoughts that I know go on for a lot of us.
I’ve dated a variety of men. I’m in my late twenties and I’ve had the amazing opportunity to really get to know a variety of very interesting, mostly attractive men, some lovely some not so much. However, these opportunities have provided me with some interesting, sometimes unnerving insights into how I operate and how insecurity has impacted me. Now I’ve done a lot of work on myself in this area and what I’m sharing with you is something I’ve processed before so I feel personally safe and okay with sharing this.
The time I found myself going out with guys, or seeking men out was a time in my life where I was the most insecure with how I looked, what direction my life was going, unsure of the future and the fact that majority of my friends were married or getting there. I felt like I was the one left out. From being told in my formative years and throughout my teens that I was not attractive because I was bigger than my friends, left me with a sense of dis-ease within myself. I look back on photos where I felt fat and where I thought I was sooooo ugly and all I see now is insecurity. I don’t see ‘fat’ and I don’t see ‘ugly’ so what was it that time when I did see those things within me.
Comparison kills creativity. When I say creativity, I don’t mean musical or artistic talent but rather being able to view the world in a way that’s not one dimensional. Being able to see things from multiple points of view. This is something I was not able to do when I was constantly comparing what I looked like or where my life was at. Social comparison theory is something that explains why I compared myself to others as a way to deal with my perceived failures in my life.
I was so focused on what I was not that I couldn’t see who I was and the insecurity loved that environment. It thrived there and I became so focused on seeking attention from guys (who let’s face it were not the type of guys I actually wanted a commitment from) who could only give me superficial affirmation. Or… I saw it as superficial affirmation because I could not let any type of encouragement to get to the core of me. However, dating these guys led me to reflect on what I wanted and where I wanted to go and what I had to do to get there. I became somewhat self aware and was able to consciously make decisions that took me to places I actually – consciously wanted to go rather than what I felt I needed to settle the insecurity.
I’m not saying I’ve come out the other end and the sun is shining and the birds are singing. There are still days where I look at myself in the mirror and think “Geez, Amy you’ve seriously got to loose weight.” But I think the difference is now, on the times I catch myself thinking that way I actually take a closer look and think “But, none of the extra kilos or the split ends or the cellulite affect who you are as a person.” I don’t actually think those exact words but I now don’t walk away thinking I’m a horrible human being because I’ve put on weight. As far as I know, fat doesn’t affect your personality or your intellect or how you talk to other people. Insecurity is something that can be changed one thought at a time.
I want to extend a challenge to you. What thoughts are you thinking that is changing how you see yourself? What thoughts are you thinking that affect the way you operate in the world? What truth is behind these thoughts? Take a moment to reflect or to catch a thought that is totally rooted in insecurity and dishonesty. All it takes is to change one thought at a time.
Let’s do this together!