I watched as a young woman recently sat in a pew at a funeral with her arms crossed and body language screaming that she did not want to be in attendance. She was married to someone in the family, and you could tell that she was uncomfortable in that setting. The only reason she was there was to support her husband, and it didn’t look like she was incredibly supportive. The only thing that it gave the appearance of was that she was there because otherwise, it would not have looked right if she didn’t attend.

I could empathize with her position. You see, we all have insecurities. Some manifest differently than others, but the bottom line is that many of us hide our emotions, and our body language tells the story when our words don’t. I’ve attended several funerals this past week and discovered that too many people live their life with regret. They live with the notion of being insecure because they’re afraid that they are not good enough. Or they may be worried that they didn’t reach their potential, but regardless it comes down to the notion that these folks feel like their lives might not achieve what they intended to.

It’s so easy to criticize ourselves and think we’re not good enough. I’ve talked myself out of potential relationships because I didn’t know I was good enough for that person. I’ve done the same with jobs and other opportunities until the last few years. I recognized that the only thing holding me back was me and that I needed to get rid of the insecurities to fly. But sometimes, that assessment isn’t easy to get to because of our inhibitions. We all have so many things holding us back in life, and some of us may feel we’re not pretty enough for attractive enough; we may feel like we don’t have the skills that another person does or that we’re not capable of doing something to the best of our ability. We become intimidated by others and their actions. We find excuses to justify not trying. And when we do try sometimes, we feel like other people will get in our way. Sometimes that’s the furthermost thing from the truth, but we are our own worst enemy.

As I watched the young woman who was appearing to struggle with being at that church, I remembered that sometimes we all need a little helping hand. One of the things that I have learned by acknowledging my insecurities and building my esteem has been to affirm my value. Many of us need to do that because if you affirm your value, you can tell yourself that you’re worth it. You’re worth the actual conversations that people need to have. Much of what we deal with and encounter reflects our self-worth, and when we realize and recognize that we are people of worth, we find ways to do better in this world.

Another thing to consider is prioritizing your needs. Listen, you know what you can handle and what you can’t. When everyone expects you to come through for them, you can’t always think clearly. You can determine the essential topics you need to tackle. When we figure out what’s important to us and what takes priority in our lives, we learn to put our energy in different places and healthier places. That could be critical in the long run. Because when we finally decide to take the time for ourselves, we tend to learn more about ourselves overall.

The next item is tough for me because it’s about embracing the awkward things in life.  It’s about challenging ourselves and stepping out of the interior boxes we all live with throughout our lives. Some of us do well when we receive new tasks and challenges, and others struggle with anxiety and apprehension. If you find yourself doing the latter, you are not alone. So many people struggle with change. If someone wants you to jump off and bungee jump, would you do it? Some folks would go because of the challenge, and others would say not on your life. There was a time I would have said, “ain’t no way in hell that I will do this.” That time passed because I’ve learned that the only thing I have to fear is fear itself. And when I’m afraid to take those leaps and challenges, I’m not growing. 

The list’s next item coincides with the previous paragraph because it talks about challenging your thoughts. Our thoughts can be something that can either propel us forward or hold us back. And there are many things to consider when our minds convince us that we can either do something great or fail miserably. Fear starts and stops in mind. If we believe in ourselves and can see ourselves achieving the goals that we set for ourselves, there’s nothing that will limit us from success. We might fail a few times before we get to that level, but there is a lesson for every failure. Those lessons help bring us one step closer to succeeding.

I’ve often heard that we need to keep good company to keep ourselves on track. There’s a lot of truth because the people you associate with can influence your mindset. They can either give you strength or tear you down. I found the best friends that I have are the ones that propel me forward and keep pushing me to do more. The friends who always wanted me to be in the background were never really my friends. People can tell you what you want to hear, but their actions speak volumes, and if they’re talking, they turn into something that drains your energy then gets out of it.

But sometimes, we have to step away from the negativity to move forward. So much of the time, that requires stepping into situations that we never dared tread. I have always been terrified of heights. So it’s almost paralyzed me with fear, but in the last couple of years, one of the things that I’ve learned is that the only way I would conquer my fear of heights is to get out there and do things with it. So I’ve done more working with ladders and doing things myself and doing things myself instead of asking someone else to do it. I’ve had spotters there to ensure that I was safe, but I’ve done every lesson that I can for myself and beat and confront my fears. It’s a decision that I don’t regret. Well, I may still have days that I’m scared to do things. I remember that I’m the one holding me back, no one else.

When you’re dealing with insecurities, you have to reflect on yourself and think about the good things in life. It’s easy to get called up and all of the negative energy. Do you look around on all the newscasts? There are stories after stories of bad things happening in this world. These stories contribute to our fears and anxieties. But there are also plenty of heartwarming stories for all of the bad stories to go along with them. Nothing in life is simple all the time. There are always going to be days where you wish you could turn back the clock and go back to bed and pretend the day never happened and start all over. Just remember that no matter what you may be feeling inside, you have the power to get hold of your insecurities. It won’t be easy, and it’s not something you can snap your fingers and get better with because there are steps that you have to take to get yourself more in control of your fear. But educating yourself and getting the help you may need is key to making your life more balanced. Sometimes it’s not a therapy that’s involved – sometimes, it could be the organization in your life or just taking a step back and evaluating your life. You know yourself better than anyone. Do what is right for you, and don’t let anyone make you feel inferior. Have a great day, everyone.

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