Tag Archives: insecurity

A Humble Heart

December 5, 2013

Humility is defined as a modest view of one’s own importance. It also seems like a natural blend of the words human and ability. It has been floating around my mind a lot recently, after having a thought-provoking conversation with someone close to me about confident vs. cocky and humble vs. insecure.

I believe confidence is a highly attractive quality, so long as you can back it up with action. It inspires a sense that someone has things covered, is not codependent and can be trusted with key tasks. However, I also believe that humility is the true path to greatness, so long as you don’t volunteer to be trampled on.

I find men are labeled cocky more often than women. Likewise, women are often deemed insecure in lieu of humble. I think the assumptions made of both sexes are flawed. And, in an ironic twist, if a woman displays confidence, she is often perceived as overbearing . . . similarly, if a man shows human insecurity, he is considered weak. What a silly mess. Time to clear the slate.

hand heart

Here’s how it all ties into hope . . . if you are an egoist or overly assured, you likely don’t see the need for hope as a daily exercise. And, if you are insecure and withdrawn, you may not feel yourself worthy of hope. Such an odd line between balance and imbalance.

So, what I recommend is simple (and trust me, I’m taking this to heart for myself too):

  • Acknowledge your skills and talents without downplaying or inflating
  • Recognize your tendencies to boast or to put yourself down, and correct as needed
  • Honor the confidence in yourself and others in simple, genuine ways
  • Encourage the humility in yourself and others in nurturing, kind ways

I believe that having a humble heart and a confident spirit is the goal. It’s possible to be real, gracious, helpful, warm and inviting, while also being capable, likable, steady and persuasive. So, proceed with confidence and guard against cockiness, as you put aside insecurities and share a humble love of life. Hope lives in that sweet spot.

Hope for Insecurities

November 8, 2013

Insecurities are funny little critters. They like to rain on parades; sneak into thoughts; say “wait, wait now;” and chisel away at our confidence. On occasion, they are even devious enough to keep replaying the “highlight reel” of our past failures to consume our mind with worry about what may be in the future. Still, I encourage you to hope for insecurities.

How could you say that, Sara? Who in their right mind would want insecurities let alone hope for them? Well, there are two meanings here. Let’s chat about the first. Simply put, you have hope to overcome your insecurities by implementing the following steps:

  1. Take time to reflect on the true nature of your insecurity. For instance, if you are insecure about love, consider what you truly fear about opening your heart (e.g., being hurt, not measuring up, choosing poorly, being used). Emotion is valid, so be authentic and vulnerable as you reflect.
  2. Write down the worst case scenario—every what if, fear and worry. You read that right. See how deep the insecurity goes and where it is rooted in your psyche. By doing so, you disarm it from being a looming, invisible thing to a more grounded challenge.
  3. Go on to apply logic. Now that you cleared the path for reason, write down what this insecurity is depriving you of such as fulfillment, confidence, open expression, deep experiences. Then, identify why this insecurity no longer serves a purpose for you.
  4. Forgive yourself. This is crucial. Cease berating yourself over what you did or didn’t do, how you perceive you wasted time or any urges to label yourself foolish. That was the past, and you are more complex and capable now because of this journey.
  5. Celebrate the lesson. Every insecurity is both a stumbling block and a potential tool. In the case of our love example, past heartbreak is actually proof that you are capable of love.

Now, let’s tackle the second meaning of “hope for insecurities.” It’s a riddle of sorts. You see, when we hope for something like wisdom, success, charisma or confidence, we feel justified. Ah, but life has a funny way of building those characteristics out of our most humble, embarrassing and human moments.

Take this allegorical example:

If I told you I could give you the confidence to face a large crowd of people and deliver an amazing speech, you might be intrigued to know how. So, my experience tells me it is going to take a genuine, comfortable smile and a calm, inviting tone to your voice. Sounds easy but perhaps not. This comfort may only come through the enlightening process of facing stage fright, being put “on the spot” in social situations or learning to be at home in your own skin. So, to ensure you are good to go for your speech, I would want to test your resolve, try your patience and nip away at your weakness. I would need to reveal your insecurity—the fire through which your true mettle (pun intended) is forged. For, it is the insecurity that humbles us enough to grow, to accept change and to build the self we want to be.

Besides, every insecurity accepted and overcome is one less shadow dimming the light of hope.