The thing about insecurities is that we don’t ever grow up thinking there’s anything wrong with us. It’s not like we come out of the womb, look at ourselves in the mirror and then make a checklist of, “Things I should spend the rest of my lifetime worrying about.”
No. Insecurities are placed on us by other people and always without our consent. I, for example, never thought of myself as skinny, slow, or stupid. These were all things others have told me. But oddly enough, when harmful comments are repeated enough times, we somehow make them come true. There’s a false train of logic that says, “So and so has told me these things before, so they must be right.” We neglect the fact that we’ve also come across tons of other people who have never mentioned these aforementioned insecurities. I guess it’s easier to notice when people hurt us than to remember when someone simply accepts you for who you are.
And these things happen at such a young age, before we’ve had an opportunity to build up our mental defenses. We were vulnerable. And as we grow older, it’s almost as if these insecurities become embedded in our DNA. It becomes a part of our lives, like a checklist of things to do whenever we wake up in the morning. Take a shower, brush our teeth, worry about insecurities, overcompensate, and pray that nobody says anything about it. And when we try to deal with our insecurities, it gets even harder. It’s like trying to peel off an old sticker, only to find that it’s near impossible to do so without leaving some residue. No, Goo Gone doesn’t work on our emotions.
It sucks. There are days when my insecurities still manage to creep up past my defenses and make me feel absolutely pathetic. I guess we just have to deal with it. But that’s a little too somber for my tastes. If there’s anything we can do, it is to remind ourselves how silly it is to live in fear of who we are due to how other people see us. It’s such a waste of time. Instead, keep your head up high and keep marching forward regardless of the naysayers. If there’s anything to fear, it’s to fear allowing such meaningless comments become permanent excuses for why we are not living a life that is true to our authentic selves. Do not die with your song unsung.
by Jason Lam