I have had a lifelong struggle with feeling insecure, with feeling like I never quite size up or that my good isn’t good enough. I thought that this would somehow magically resolve itself once I turned 30, it clearly has not. The struggle continues.
Like many people, my insecurities began around middle school. I didn’t feel as if I was attractive compared to the more popular girls at school. It was also the first time that I experienced romantic rejection. I was strong academically and I had rich friendships so I found comfort in that. High School was much the same only that I also began to develop social anxiety around the more popular students or students that I felt were more academically astute than I was. I also became embarrassed at the fact that out of all my friends, I did not have a boyfriend. I went on dates and had a summer fling or two, but I was not involved in a relationship. I began to think that there must be something wrong with me if I couldn’t get past a first date.
By the time I got to college, I tried to emulate those qualities that I saw in the popular girls in Jr. high and high school. It didn’t work for me. As a matter of fact I made such a fool of myself trying to become something that I very clearly was not (to everyone else but me). In addition, I was so busy trying to be popular that I almost flunked out. I felt defeated as I was trying so much to become the “it” girl and was unsuccessful time and time again.
At 24, I reached a crossroads that forced me to evaluate my life in which I had to determine who I was going to live for- for the approval of people or for myself. I chose myself and on my 25th birthday I celebrated that decision with a photoshoot to celebrate who I was as I was. Although I had accepted myself physically, I found that my insecurities transferred from appearance to performance. I found my worth being tied to my work. If I received accolades from my boss I was on cloud 9. If I did not meet an expectation or if a presentation did not go well, I took it very hard. If I felt like I was not at the same social level as some associates or clients that I had to work with, I became self-conscious. Insecurity has truly been a hindering force in my life. I have allowed it to rob me of rich experiences out of fear of failure.
When I was on the cusp of turning 30, I decided that I did not want to go through the next decade of my life with the issues that had me bound in the previous ones. I determined to face the things that cause me to feel unconfident and uncomfortable and even fearful. I decided to conquer and not be conquered. To pursue my dreams even at the risk of failure; and if I fail, not to wallow in defeat but to get up and do the next thing or do the same thing differently. Creating this blog and sharing my experiences is one step I am taking toward facing insecurities straight on. Am I nervous, absolutely! Scared of failing-of course.But unlike many times before, I will not cower to the voice of fear. What will be will be.