Focus Group: Let's Talk Insecurities

Photo by Yuris Alhumaydy.

A little while ago, I was talking to a mentor about my strengths and weaknesses, and what I am hoping to improve in the future. I pointed to my imposter syndrome and insecurities and said, "I want to get rid of these."

His response was that imposter syndrome and insecurities will always be there, taking different shapes as I move through life.

The part he didn't say, that I inferred, is that it may be better to make peace with the idea of having insecurities and to not worry so much about the particulars. That maybe I could just get used to seeing my insecurities and then doing whatever I thought was right, whether or not they came along for the ride. Or maybe even to notice and celebrate when insecurities transform into something new because maybe that means I am growing and changing!

This got me interested in the insecurities we have moved past. What are they? How did it happen? What replaced them?

I asked some friends to tell me about insecurities from their pasts that aren't such an issue anymore:

"I have been very insecure in my friendships, going back to elementary school. After an experience of bullying where friendship and access to friendship were used as currency, I spent a lot of years believing that people were pretending to be my friend so they could learn my secrets and use them against me at a later date. But in the past six to eight years I have developed some really great friendships. It’s not that those insecurities don’t poke their head out from time to time and taunt me, but the frequency and consistency of their presence has been reduced through therapy, education, and slowing re-learning how to trust."

"My skills as a parent. This was crippling. For a good long while. I felt I was destroying myself and the new life I had created. But now there’s a lot less insecurity around the whole thing. Sure - I will forever second guess my decisions, but I now realize that the if I focus on the silliness, the love, and the opportunity for learning and then make sure to hydrate, feed, and clean her on a regular-type basis - I really don’t need to worry so much. The proof is in the pudding!"

"It used to be that I wouldn't be caught DEAD in public without makeup. Several years ago, when my acne cleared up, I started letting this go. I'm still not crazy about bumping into people I know when I'm running errands bare-faced, but I care a lot less now about being gorgeous for every single stranger I meet, ha ha."

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