Well, it’s been a week, let me tell ya! It actually started off great. I got some new client opportunities as well as some really positive feedback from my existing clients, which had me feeling quite happy with myself. On top of that I’ve been going to the gym regularly and am starting to see some of the hard work pay off. So yeah, I was feeling pretty darn good both inside and out.
And then it happened….dun, dun, dun, dunnnn…. (Sorry for the dramatics – this’s just how the words are flowing outta my brain right now.)
I had a conversation with someone close to me that triggered some of my insecurities. The person I was speaking with wasn’t doing anything malicious and had no idea that what they were saying was having any negative impact on me. I totally own the fact that my insecurities are my own and while this person triggered them, they didn’t create them. Nonetheless, those insecurities were triggered and it didn’t take very long at all for the high’s I was feeling to come crashing down.
Funny how that happens. I was feeling so good about myself and about life in general. I even had some moments when I walked by my reflection in a mirror and thought “hey baby, I like what I see” (again, voice in my head, sorry). You would think that in this confident state I would be able to disarm any triggers and process the ‘negative’ information with a rational mindset.
Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. Those insecurities came bubbling up and all of a sudden the thoughts went from “I like what I see” to “I’m not even looking”.
A little time has passed and I’ve regained some clarity. What I know now is that insecurities are hard-wired into us and are often our ‘comfort zones’. How can something that doesn’t feel good be a comfort zone? Well, it seems to me that a comfort zone is anything that is familiar. That doesn’t necessarily mean that what is familiar is actually a good thing. In my case, I’ve grown up with these insecurities and so they are very familiar to me. They are also what often comes up first anytime I’m triggered. I’m no psychologist but I think that my insecurities pop up as a defense mechanism. You see, it’s easier for me to deal with the negative feelings that go along with my insecurities than it is for me to deal with something new. What’s that saying, “the devil you know” or something like that?
Anyway, insecurities are like bad habits. They are ingrained within some of us and it takes time to learn new habits. For me, I’ve spent a lot of time learning to process my triggers in a more effective way. In today’s case, even though my insecurities popped up and drew me in, I was able to feel them and then walk out of them. That’s progress y’all and I’m happy that the time it takes me to walk away from my insecurities is improving each time they are triggered.
So how do I walk away from them? What helps me is to regain some perspective. I’m a ‘details guy’ and like to look at things logically. What I have trained myself to do when an insecurity pops up is to first feel it and allow myself to sink into the crappiness of it. I don’t spend much time down there because quite frankly, crap stinks and I’d rather be smelling the roses. After I’ve felt what I need to in order to understand the source of the insecurity, I take stock of my life and refocus my attention on what I have achieved and the progress I have made. That tends to be such a great exercise for me! Most of the time, when I actually step back and look at the progress I’ve made, I can put that pesky insecurity in its place and realize that logically speaking, it is outweighed by the progress. However, there are times when taking stock makes me realize that the insecurity is reminding me that there’s still work to be done. That’s when I have to work hard to find my motivation and ask myself if I want to keep allowing the insecurity to outweigh my progress or if I’m ready to kick its butt. I usually choose the kick-butt option.
So there you have it – my two cents on insecurities. Thanks for listening and helping me work through the challenges. I hope my words have helped you as well.