We have all been there. Changing outfits 10 times before finally rushing out the door only because we’re late, not because we look good. Walking away from a conversation and realizing we have no idea what the other person said because we were too focused on what they were thinking about us the whole time. Am I reacting the right way? Do they notice that I forgot eyeliner? Walking through a crowd alone hoping people don’t notice how self-conscious we feel, or the few extra lbs on our backside that seemed to have appeared overnight.
Why do we care so much? Why do we worry about what other people think, often to a crippling degree? Are we doomed to a life of chronic insecurity?
The short answer is no – NO, we are not. We were not made to live in constant fear of not being good enough. We were, however, made with the desire to be beautiful and valued. God made us in His image. We were designed with the desire to be recognized, to be seen as beautiful, to be cherished, to be loved, to be pursued.
We don’t need to feel guilty for desiring or wanting those things. The difference comes when we look at WHO or WHAT we are depending on for the fulfillment. Depending is very different from desiring.
If we are dependent upon people or things around us to feel secure, our insecurities will never fade. In fact, they will get worse.
Something I tend to forget is that God wants to make me feel beautiful. There is a common misconception that a lot of women are afraid to say out loud, but many of us have thought it – being loved by God does not really seem the same as feeling beautiful. After all, your parents are supposed to tell you you’re beautiful, right?
It’s easy to discount this concept because it has been used for centuries as a Band-Aid phrase for any girl, at any age, who is experiencing rejection. In all fairness, part our disconnect is valid. The knowledge of being loved by God is not the same as feeling beautiful. It is what makes us beautiful, but if you are a woman or have ever known one for more than 24 hours, it’s no secret that feelings do not always skip around our brains hand-in-hand with reality.
Humor me for a moment and let me offer you a different perspective.
Since God is the one who created us with the desire to be beautiful, only He can make us feel completely beautiful. The same rings true for feeling valuable, feeling loved, feeling like enough. When I say “completely” I mean fully – to the absolute maximum capacity and even more than that. The insecurity voids in our hearts are not in the shape of a man, or woman, or anything else this world can offer. They are shaped to be filled only by our Father in Heaven, and that fulfillment includes a security, assurance and feelings of beauty that expand well beyond what societal expectations have to give. In his own words, “immeasurably more than we can ask for or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).
How do we begin to fight the insecurity monster? Here are five steps to get us started on the track to freedom:
- Admit our insecurities. If we are going to get better, we have to admit that there is emptiness that needs to be filled
- Acknowledge that nothing we have tried thus far has completely satisfied our longing to be enough
- Get to know Him. The more we get to know God, the more we can understand and see Him. The more we understand Him, the more able we are to see ourselves through his eyes
- Accept that it is not an overnight fix. Don’t beat yourself up if you continue to struggle. The process can be the most beautiful part.
- Don’t give up. This is not a losing battle. You are not alone. You are on the winning team. Hold on!
Let’s break the frustration that comes from trying to fit the wrong puzzle piece into the empty spot. What if, for a moment, we forgot our false positives and the things we are certain will make us feel more secure, and tried out the piece that the maker of the puzzle is trying to hand us?
We can do this!
Bible Verse references: Genesis 1:27, Ephesians 3:20, Romans 12:2, 1 Samuel 16:7