Have you ever had those moments when you feel like you’re about to lose it? Like nothing is going well, you’re not sure what to do next and you can’t see a way out?
Oh those moments of insecurity. Not fun. And the worst part? Insecurity is just flat-out dangerous.
Insecure people are dangerous to be around in work situations, family dynamics, and personal relationships. And if we’re honest here, sometimes the insecure person in question is you or me. When we’re insecure, we lash out, we keep secrets and we allow the best of ourselves to fall by the way side as we scrape, claw and force our way through situations.
You know that feeling of having to tip-toe around someone’s mood or attitude about a certain topic. It’s not fun. And of course, we have to be aware when we do the exact same thing to other people when our own insecurities rear their ugly heads.
Worried someone at work is trying to show you up? You may find yourself riddled with doubt and sometimes anger. Think we perform at our best when under that cloud? Absolutely not.
That beautiful woman who just walked by and caught the eye of your love interest? Yikes. Suddenly you have the urge to throw a drink in someone’s face, act out or create a scene. Or you get down on yourself and the mental barrage of “I must lose weight”, “I’m disgusting” or “I should just eat a pound of chocolate and call it a day” kicks in.
Whatever the form, the fear we feel that masks itself as insecurity doesn’t serve us. I think that’s pretty clear. But with that being said, what on earth do we do about it?
Well, here’s where I turn to Disney. Wait. You may be thinking, “I thought this was a serious article, Sarah. C’mon.” I know, I know…but hang with me on this.
I’m a big believer in the message of Frozen. Yes, the blockbuster hit with incredible, albeit overplayed, music. There is love, and there is fear. And love is stronger fear. We just need to remember that before fear freezes our hearts and we lead a life of self-centered loneliness, while harming all of our loved ones.
Ta-da! Thank you Disney!
But seriously. Let’s look at this a little bit more closely. At the heart of every emotion we experience, there is love, or there is fear. Oh sure, they take on different forms, or have different names, but they are the basis of all emotion.
On the love side, we have names like:
On the fear side, we have a different set of names:
So at any given moment, we are experiencing love, or fear. They’re pretty easy to recognize. One feels terrible, and one feels great. And you know when you’re acting from one or the other, because your actions bring on your own greatness and the greatness of others, or they cause damage.
Well c’mon Sarah. Where’s the good news here?
Here you go: The good news is, love overpowers fear. Every. Time. Not once in a while, not every other time. But every time.
OK OK, so this is all easy to talk about in theory. But in the face of a situation where we are experiencing insecurity, or we’re faced with someone else who is, it can be hard to access love to counter what’s going on in front of us.
There’s no question about that. But this is about building a muscle. When you see your own actions are causing harmful effects, when you feel crumby about the way you’re behaving, the first step is to listen to those signals. Stop. Breath.
If you’re at work and you feel yourself about to explode, breath. Remind yourself that you can get through this, and come up with a positive solution – because you can. If you need to excuse yourself for a minute, then do that.
If you’re fighting with a loved one, pause. What’s a few seconds to keep yourself from saying something you can’t take back? Just breath. The same goes for the moment you realize you’re intimidated by someone, or someone has hurt your feelings. Collect yourself before you respond.
And what do you do while you’re collecting your thoughts? Pull out the love.
Figure out how to guide the situation with love and kindness, while still being clear about the rules and making sure your voice is heard. Much like a parent teaching a child. You don’t yell at the child, or berate them. You guide. You lead. And you set boundaries. All at the same time.
Finally, I like to find 3 acts of kindness I can display immediately. Maybe take a co-worker a cup of coffee, ask the loved one you’re fighting with how you can make her day better, or say thank you to someone that you know needs to hear it.
Because here’s the wonderful thing about love. The more you give, the more you have. When you’re able to access love in a moment of insecurity, you can turn any situation around. And I mean any situation. Those are not fluffy words. I mean them.
Our world could use a whole lot more love, and you’re the one who has the power to deliver it.