I’m delighted to have James Prescott as a guest on the blog today. James is a fellow
Tribe Writer and a great encourager. Today he’s sharing his thoughts on
Insecurities. Those dreaded hangups, fears, doubts, voices in our heads telling us what we aren’t, who we’re not, or how awful we are. Sound familiar? I’ve talked before how there’s not one person without any insecurities.
And this should be of comfort to us.
But having acknowledged we’re all in the same boat, how do we navigate our way out of the insecurity storm?
In the film ‘A Beautiful Mind’ we see the main character, John Nash – played beautifully in an Oscar-winning performance by Russell Crowe – battling against hallucinations his mind is creating, of three specific people. To begin with, he struggles to deal with them – in fact early on he won’t believe they aren’t real.
He has a moment of clarity when he realises one of the hallucinations – a little girl – never ages, never grows up. And once he realises this, he has something to hold on to. He realises these hallucinations aren’t real.
And in time, he teaches himself to ignore them. They never disappear, but he learns to not take any notice of them. In the last scene of the film, after receiving the Nobel prize, he is helping his wife put her coat on, and turns round to see the three people standing on the stairs.
He sees them, and then turns away and walks out with his wife. They are still there, but he has learned to ignore them. They no longer have any power over him. He is not afraid of them, he can look them in the eye, but he chooses not to take any notice of them.
And I think it can be like this with our insecurities.
Often we try to deal with insecurities by fighting back against them, by turning it into a war, a conflict, and this can lead to anger and frustration. Because they usually come back sooner or later.
Maybe the secret to dealing with insecurities is to learn how to ignore them. To name them, to speak them out, acknowledge them – maybe even write them down – and then to cultivate the habit of ignoring them. Refusing to give them power over us.
Almost become friends with them. So we can feel them, see them, experience them. And just smile and walk on.
It’s not easy, and it is a process. But I like the idea of instead of waging war on my insecurities, letting them walk alongside me. Recognising in specific situations I’m probably going to feel or be challenged in a specific way, and allowing myself to experience that but choose not to react to it.
Instead of responding to the promptings of my insecurities, refusing to give them any power over me. Refusing to listen to them. Almost ignoring them.
Jesus said we should love our enemies.
Maybe we need to learn to love our insecurities too.
We don’t have to like them. We don’t have to talk to them. But we can somehow acknowledge the reality of them, and make a different choice.
Maybe then, even if they are still around, they will eventually lose their power. And when they appear to us we can simply acknowledge them and walk on.
Are you with me?
James Prescott is a writer, author and blogger from Sutton, near London.
He blogs at jamesprescott.co.uk on finding divine hope in a broken world.