It’s my birthday, and I’ll post what I want to.
(But trust me–you’ll appreciate this.)
When I turned 25, I started a personal manifesto. I don’t think manifesto is the right word, exactly, but that’s what I called it. It was a list of 25 lessons I’ve learned or truths I’ve acknowledged about the world.
Each year I add another one to the list to highlight what I’ve learned. I always wait until right before my birthday to add the previous year’s lesson. That means as I turn 28, I’m filling out number 27 on my list.
27 goes like this: Everyone has insecurities. Not everyone lets theirs control them. Acknowledging and accepting your insecurities go a long way toward battling them.
This year has been about meeting my insecurities head on and thriving despite them. And not letting them control me.
It’s been tough. Insanely tough. Having days and weeks where I feel as though I’m doing everything wrong and that I should just give up and crawl in bed and never get out tough.
But strength isn’t the state of not having weakness. It’s moving–no plowing–forward in spite of them. Having strength is a lot like having bravery. Being brave doesn’t mean you are fearless–it means your fear doesn’t stop you.
And fighting insecurities requires being vulnerable. Most of us don’t do vulnerable well. We’d rather stay in our safe place and pretend that everything is okay.
Being vulnerable means we might fail. We might be ridiculed or laughed at. Or worse, we might not even be given the time of day.
But if we’re never vulnerable–if we never fail–we’ll never learn or succeed or grow.
The truth is that there is strength in vulnerability. It takes more bravery to open ourselves up to failure and possible ridicule than it does to avoid it.
Vulnerability is really about taking the risk. Taking the deep breath and pressing publish or sending the email or just leaving the house because you can’t hide behind excuses forever.
When we butt up against vulnerability, we also face our insecurities. Running my business has taught me a lot about myself. Things I always knew or suspected, but never bothered to address.
But having my own business means needing to learn how to swallow my insecurities (“What if they don’t like me?” “What if I say the wrong thing?”) and push through the awkwardness and fear of meeting with people (“Gawd, do I have to re-start all my sentences? Just spit it out already, Amanda.” “You’re fine. Stop shaking. It’s just a phone call.”) and take life by the balls and twist them until I get what I want.
Okay. Not quite. But like that, with less violence.
Insecurities tell us we’re not good enough. Vulnerability says we open ourselves up to seeing our insecurities come to life.
But success and happiness won’t happen without taking risks.
Often times, the fear of situation is worse than the situation itself. And when I feel the fear taking hold, when I feel my insecurities taking hold, I fight it.
I make myself press send. I force myself to say what’s on my mind. I share my work when I’d rather bury it and never let it see the light of day.
Is it easy? No. I do a lot of ALL CAPS, raging at, and cajoling with myself to just get shit done. Because at the end of the day, the only person holding me back is me and my insecurities.
And that’s no longer acceptable.
How are you fighting insecurities?