Most people have probably never thought of insecurity in terms of being a temptation. But, when insecurity is around, it is tempting to avoid actions and making important decisions, which can stunt your personal growth.
One lesson that I have learned over the years and have come to value is that during times of indecision in my life, it can usually be traced to one thing: insecurity.
Insecurity is natural, but giving in to the temptation of allowing those insecure feelings to linger leads to inaction, the inability to try new things, take chances and learn from new experiences.
Usually, when I am trying to make a decision, whether large or small, if I just can’t decide, I have noticed it is because I am not feeling secure in what the outcome may be. I give in to the temptation to make excuses for not doing something, based on my insecurities.
For instance, I have long been afraid of flying in airplanes and have always dragged my feet before finally deciding to purchase a ticket, even when I knew I was going to take the flight eventually. Why? Insecurity. I don’t know if I’ll survive the flight, after all, you can’t ever be 100% sure your plane isn’t the one with the defect.
Another example has to do with decluttering. I still have in my possession a very nice puzzle board and six brand new puzzles that have not been put together. Yet, I can’t bring myself to part with them. Why? Insecurity. What if I change my mind and want to put them together someday? What if those people who gave me some of the puzzles as gifts notice they are missing? I can’t be 100% sure that I’ll never use them.
Recently, I have started to try and find the courage to reach out and ask other bloggers if I can write a guest post for them about topics related to simple living. I was extremely nervous and anxious to reach out to them, even though it was by email. Why? Insecurity. My inner critical self would tell me my writing wasn’t good enough to be shared on their blog, and what if they declined my request? I couldn’t be 100% sure that no one would read my article and say, “That’s just not good enough.”
It’s natural for us all to experience feelings of insecurity throughout our lives, however, the temptation to give in to those feelings and not take any action can be detrimental to our personal growth.
What if I never got on that flight? I would not have been able to see and visit my grandmother who is getting older. What if I never attempted a guest blog post? I wouldn’t know that yes, my writing is good enough for most people. How about those puzzles? Well, they are still sitting here, but maybe they won’t be after I finish this post.
Overcoming feelings of insecurity so you can take positive action is really important to our growth as individuals, so how do we do it?
Accept that nothing is 100% certain in life.
We all know this, but we try to ignore it. We all want to believe that our plane will always land safely, our house will never burn down, our children will all grow up to be healthy adults and that we won’t ever really need that extra toolbox in the garage.
The truth is, things do turn out just fine probably 99% of the time, but there is always uncertainty in every aspect of life. You can’t let that uncertainty cause you to feel so insecure that you can’t take action in ways that will positively impact you and those around you.
Sometimes you will be wrong, and that’s okay.
Life is about having new experiences, learning from them and hopefully leaving what you learned for future posterity’s sake. It’s commendable to overcome your insecurity and do the thing you’re afraid of doing, even if you end up being wrong about your decision.
More than likely you will have learned valuable lessons along the way, and at the very least can be secure in your future decision on the matter.
Doing something is better than doing nothing.
Even when you are unsure about the outcome of a given choice, it’s better to act than to do nothing. So what if you end up needing that extra set of dishes down the road?
You chose to declutter them and make space, and take the risk of needing them in the future but not having them. The worst that can happen is you have to go purchase some new ones at the thrift store, or better yet, borrow them from a neighbor. Dishes may be a petty example, but the same mindset can be applied to pretty much everything.
Facing decisions that cause you to feel insecure and taking action in spite of those insecurities brings with it new experiences, new learning and many times wonderful changes in life. Not to mention as you do it over and over, you will find the confidence to continue facing those insecurities and ultimately overcoming them.
Whether you are insecure about something as big as buying a home, or something as small as decluttering a closet, overcome the temptation to give in to your fear and do nothing at all. Make a decision and learn and grow from the outcome, more often than not you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Photo Credit: Laura Fox at In the Loupe Photography