“Put me in front of 100 adults, and I’m fine. Put me in front of a dozen toddlers, and I’m terrified!”
That was my post on Facebook the morning before heading off to teach my first preschool Bible study for the fall.
If I waited until I felt confident and secure before I did things, I would never do anything. I wouldn’t even attempt laundry, because I know I’m a terrible folder (clothes get more wrinkly after I fold them). Shoot, I probably wouldn’t even get out of bed, because I know I don’t have this mothering gig figured out!
The most important thing isn’t that we don’t have insecurities, but that we don’t allow our insecurities to keep us from moving forward.
As we continue our journeys as parents/spouses/friends/creatives/leaders, we will always have moments where we are uncertain, insecure, or feeling inadequate.
I think if we ever arrive where we think we’ve got it all figured out, that’s the most dangerous point. That’s when we stop growing, learning, and depending on God.
So the question is, what will we do with our insecurities?
Will we allow them to cripple us and prevent us from moving forward? Or will we allow them to push us towards dependency on God and trusting Him more as we move forward?
Here are 4 things that have helped me move forward, despite my insecurities (especially when teaching toddlers!):
1. Name the insecurity to God in prayer
Have you ever read through the Psalms and noticed how often David confesses his fears and concerns to God and cries out to Him for help? God listens when we pray. He might not always answer in the way we hope He will (like assigning us to an older classroom of preschoolers…er..um…), but He will be with us as we continue to follow Him in faith. As Paul reminded us, the source of our strength and security isn’t us – it’s in Christ. (Philippians 4:13)
2. Keep a spiral notebook of encouraging verses and quotes.
I started this little notebook back in 2012 to help battle my anxiety. It’s become a healing salve to read through and remember all the things that are true, good and encouraging (Philippians 4:8). I keep this notebook in my purse or on my desk where it’s always accessible. When I start focusing on all I can’t do, I turn to this notebook of verses to remind me of all that GOD can do!
3. Name the insecurity to a trusted friend.
I mentioned in the Breathe blog post how after I confessed my insecurities to my friends on the planning team, I was surprised to discover how many of them faced the same struggles of insecurity. Naming a struggle to someone else and discovering you are not alone brings the comfort of community.
4. Figure out how to grow in that area.
Ok, so I know I’m terrible at folding laundry. Thankfully, there’s YouTube and a host of videos to help me be a better laundry-folder (Japanese method for shirts?). No matter what area we feel our skills need to grow in, there are resources (and often times they are free!) to help us grow.
- Find a podcast.
- Read a book.
- Look up iTunes U and see if any courses are offered by universities or organizations.
- Watch some Ted Talks.
- Listen to sermons.
- Find a mentor.
During my 30-minute drive to teach the toddlers about the Bible, I prayed, I sang, and I begged for help. I had confessed my insecurities to my leaders, and they all assured me that God would help. And He did. I couldn’t believe how helpful and attentive these 1-year-olds were. Can you believe we even managed to get ten toddlers to sit (sort of) still for ten minutes to listen to a short Bible story and sing a song? When we finished singing, one little girl started clapping, and the others joined in. I nearly cried. So long insecurity!
What do you do when you feel insecure? What has helped you move forward even when you feel you’re not equipped or ready?
Tweetables:4 Things to Do When You Feel Insecure
Do not allow your insecurities to keep you from moving forward.
The source of our strength and security isn’t us – it’s in Christ.
photo credit: cptnwinky on sxc.hu text added by amelia