My wife and I have a really terrible mattress. It’s the kind that always seems to have a sinkhole in it. We’ve turned the mattress, but after about 15 minutes the sinkhole reappears in the same spot. It’s a terrible mattress.
At least, that’s what we thought.
Recently, we moved our room around, rearranging the placement of the furniture. In pulling apart the bed, we discovered that the bedframe was broken in a key part that inevitably led to the bed being slanted.
It wasn’t the mattresses fault. No, instead our lopsided bed was literally caused by underlying problems.
Last week, you and I talked about insecurities. We talked about how they manifest in your life. We addressed a “lopsided bed”. Those insecurities cause problems, but they are not the problem. No, they are signals that there are underlying issues, things that haven’t been dealt with.
Today, we’re going to try and follow the trail of breadcrumbs back to its source. We will dig into our insecurities and ask ourselves, “Why is that how I act?”. Generally the only benefits of manifesting our insecurities are short-lived, so why would we let ourselves manifest that behavior.
We have to ask some hard questions to ourselves. I’m going to try and list a handful of reasons why our insecurities might be there, but I will miss some. If I do, please let me know. Connect with me on Facebook or Instagram @thehardthingpodcast.
So here are some possible causes of insecurities. Some of them might blend together. This is a hard thing to decipher so hopefully, we can do it together.
You listen too much to your past.
When I was growing up, having a girlfriend was wildly important to me. All I wanted was to find someone that liked me. I couldn’t see how wrapped up in my own self-image this concept was.
Whenever I would attempt to establish a relationship, it would inevitably fizzle out, either because of my ineptitude or because the young ladies disinterest. After a while, I seemed to have a long track record of failures. Logically, I started reasoning, that if that’s how my past was, then that’s how my future would be.
It’s a logical fallacy.
The two were unconnected except for the singular, powerful connection of the present. Because I was insecure of my past, I was unable to conquer my present. This created a somewhat vicious cycle that fortunately, my beautiful wife was able to stop and help me embark on a different path, but that’s also a different story.
Your past does not dictate your future.
The stories you tell yourself.
We are all storytellers. We are the author, and the hero of our own story. Sometimes we relinquish that power, but in the end, we are the makers of our world.
You might however, accidentally start telling yourself a bad story. That’s the thing with stories. It seems that we have to continue the tale, rather than changing it altogether. Something deep inside of us feels disingenuous if we change the story all of a sudden to one we like much better. Maybe we feel we have to suffer for our art…..
Either way, going back to my example before, I kept on telling myself that I was the problem (a fact that isn’t bad in the right context but I was doing it the wrong way.). The facts were 1: Justin gets rejected 2: That particular young lady was not interested in this moment. Then I supply meaning, however wrongly, to the situation. I would supply the link that, “if they don’t like me, then maybe it’s because I am unlikable.”
I would be a very different person if instead I’d told myself, “Next encounter you have, you’ll be much more capable and experienced because of what you’ve been through!” That would have radically changed my story.
Tell yourself the right stories.
A shaky knowledge of your own self worth.
I’ll admit that most of my insecurities come from a very shaky belief in my own self worth. It’s very hard to be self secure when I constantly look outside myself for forms of validation of my own value.
I believe that being self secure isn’t being overconfident. In fact I don’t think it is exactly confidence. I would say being self secure is the happy mix of faith, hope and confidence. You face new challenges and each new day proactively because you have faith and hope that things will turn out ok.
But we’ll talk more about that next week.
For now, start beliving in your own self worth.
Surrounded by Demons.
In Dante’s Inferno, demon we’re the nightmarish brings that contained the dread souls in Inferno and also leveled at them various punishments. In Dante’s journey, he often had to pass by demons, relying on his guide, Virgil to get them past each demon. Without Virgil, Dante might still be stuck in Inferno.
Sometimes we have been plagued by demons for day, months and years. These demons are nothing more than tormented souls bearing their own insecurities who’ve then begun lashing out. You might have found yourself as the target of their insecurities.
Because these demons belittle you or even might have caused you physical harm, you create mechanisms to move past the pain, without ever really healing.
Examine your surroundings, look for any demons.
It might be that you suffered a physical trauma. My wife was in a car wreck where she was rear-ended and subsequently suffered some damage to her wrist. Now, I can never do a sudden break check or there will be hell to pay. Essentially, my wife feels insecure in cars when there is a sudden stopping, similar to her experience in the car wreck when the car stopped very suddenly.
That’s all insecurities are. They are moments when we do not feel safe in some way. Insecurities aren’t bad insomuch that they are signals. We are trying to tell ourselves something so listen up, discover where you might not feel safe and do something about it.
The Learning Process was Paused.
One of the purposes of this life is to gain experience. A higher purpose is to learn something from that experience. Unfortunately, some of us don’t ever connect the dots with certain experiences. Honestly, I think that’s how most of us are unless someone is there to help us connect the dots.
Back to my earlier example, I was learning the process of finding a romantic partner. I wasn’t able to connect that dots and learn from that experience. Therefore my learning was paused and I wasn’t able to move onto more advanced concepts. Therefore my experiential knowledge of relationships was insecure. Sometimes we just need to keep learning.
An absence of hope.
Maybe we feel like there is no hope. This is a very dark space to be in because it leads down many dark paths. Hope is the idea that things will eventually get better. Sometimes we feel like that’s not possible. Our brain doesn’t like anticipation. Therefore, instead of anticipating our situation to improve, our brain sneakily decides that it can’t. The anticipation is over and our brain is eased, despite the emotional pain we cause ourselves.
If you want 50 ways to get hope back, I have an email course that I’ll send you, 50 Emails of things you can do to get your hope back. They are effective, simple, and for the most part free. I think everyone can benefit from them so if you’d like to sign up to get the 50 Ways to get your hope back sign up at the link in the Show Notes: https://mailchi.mp/d7256ec04b50/50-ways-to-get-your-hope-back
You haven’t healed.
Do you know when you go to the doctors, and you’ve hurt something, and the doctor says, “Tell me if this hurts,” and you flinch before they even touch it? Or when you hurt something and your friend wants to see it and you scream at them no to touch it? My wife does that.
We can do the same thing emotionally. Maybe we have some baggage with some smelly laundry that we haven’t quite worked through yet. The last thing we want is to air out our smelly laundry for others to see. When they come close to it, we might lash out like a cornered animal or hide or run. We display our insecurities and hope that nothing bad happens.
Maybe you need to heal from past experiences that seem like they won’t let go of you?
You have an empty action account.
Maybe you are lying. You don’t have a foundation. As Propaganda says, you, “plant your chuck taylors firmly in the sinking sand, you’re lying.” Basically you create a smoky foundation. You have nothing to stand on because you never take action. We all know people like this. Ryan Michler, of The Order of Man calls this The Integrity Gap.
Basically, you don’t take action.
Remember how we talked before that self security is a faith based knowledge and confidence that you can face the whatever challenges come your way. One of the best ways to build that up is the start moving your feet. Create action. Get moving. Start something. Do something.
The more action you create, the more experience you’ll have. The more experience you have, the more tools you’ll have at your disposal when faced with new challenges. Do you do what you say? Are you filling your life with empty promises?
Now’s the most important part of today’s episode. What causes your insecurities?
Write it down when you get the chance. Write down exactly what causes you to act out in these behaviors. Find the cause. Next week we are going to create an action plan that you can use to hopefully, change.