Painkillers: Insecurity – You aren’t good enough. You never do anything right. You’ll never be enough for anybody … The internal dialogue of someone struggling with insecurity is constant, negative, and defeating. You may even look fine on the outside — smiling and talking and laughing — but on the inside, your thoughts constantly turn to how worthless you are. How everyone hates you. How you’re such a loser.
The insecure person feels like a failure, no matter how many successes they have in life. They believe they’re inferior, no matter how smart or good-looking or talented or kindhearted they are. Insecurity also almost always leads to developing unhealthy relationships. After all, if you don’t have a healthy relationship with yourself, it’s impossible to have a healthy relationship with another person.
But where does this insecurity come from? In almost all cases, insecurity is a direct result of pain. Sometimes, it’s pain from an unhappy childhood. Overly critical parents and emotionally-abusive spouses are a common cause of insecurity. Insecurity can also come from failure or rejection. Other times, insecurity stems from some trauma, like losing a loved one.
Wherever the pain came from, the result tends to be much the same. The past hurt leads to insecurity, which in turn, leads to isolation, loneliness, social anxiety, negative thoughts about yourself, and the tendency to constantly need approval from other people.
Today’s world offers abundant reasons for pain and feelings of insecurity. Too fat or skinny? You get shamed. Too smart or not smart enough? People line up to criticize you. We have a society that criticizes and hurts people for being too rich, too poor, too nice, too strong, too religious, too into sports, not macho enough for sports … whatever you happen to be, there’s somebody out there ready to attack and criticize you.
Once insecurity sets in, it becomes almost impossible to live a healthy, normal lifestyle. You begin avoiding other people, because you’re afraid of more criticism and rejection. It’s easy to get sucked into bad relationships, because abusive people like to feed off of the insecurity and anxieties of their mates. Many people who fall into the insecurity trap may even try to kill the pain of their isolation and loneliness with drugs and alcohol. It’s a vicious cycle.
But letting go of your insecurities isn’t so easy. Even if you are able to see the damage your insecurity is causing in your life, you can’t just flip a switch and make it go away. After all, that insecurity serves as a barrier between you and your pain. As long as you can hide in your feelings of insecurity and inadequacy, you don’t have to face the hurt of rejection, failure, social anxiety, or whatever else is causing you pain.
What if I told you that there’s a way to heal from your insecurities, without having a head-on collision with your heartache and pain? Philippians 4 tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
God doesn’t want us to hurt and worry. He doesn’t want us to face our pain alone. The peace that He gives doesn’t even make sense in our natural world, but He is both able and willing to give that peace to you freely and without judgment.
Would you like to learn more about how to let go of unhealthy ways we deal with pain, like isolation, intoxication, idolatry, inappropriate relationships, and others? Eden Westside Baptist Church is offering a special series called Painkillers, discussing all the damaging ways we try to cover our pain and how to get out of these dangerous traps. Join us this Sunday at 8 a.m. or 11 a.m. at our main campus in Eden, or at 11 a.m. at our River Campus, next to the Shops at Grand River. Or, you can watch us online at www.EdenWestside.org/Painkillers.