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The Price of Insecurities

March 3, 2007

in·se·cu·ri·ty [in-si-kyoor-i-tee] Pronunciation KeyShow IPA Pronunciation

–noun, plural -ties.

1. lack of confidence or assurance; self-doubt: He is plagued by insecurity.
2. the quality or state of being insecure; instability: the insecurity of her financial position.
3. something insecure: the many insecurities of life.


2. precariousness, shakiness, vulnerability.Insecurity is:

  • Feeling of not being “good enough” to meet the challenge of a situation you face in life.

  • Sense of helplessness in the face of problems, conflict, or concerns.

  • Belief that one is inadequate or incompetent to handle life’s challenges.

  • Fear of being discovered as inadequate, ill fitted, or unsuited to meet responsibilities at home, school, or on the job.

  • Sense of not fitting in, being “out of synch” with those in your peer group.

  • Perception that life is unpredictable with most of the expectations you have to meet not clearly understood.

  • Sense of always climbing up a mountain, never being able to reach the top.

  • Sense of lacking support or reinforcement where you live, work, or play.

  • Results from a sense of being unaccepted, disapproved, or rejected.

  • Inner turmoil coming from a lack of direction or bewilderment as to where you are going, what your goals are, and what responses are appropriate for events in life.

insecure people may have:

  • Been raised in a chaotic, unpredictable, or volatile environment in which they were kept off balance, on guard, or on edge.

  • Experienced a major tragedy or loss in their lives and are having a difficult time in accepting this loss and adjusting to the “change.”

  • Experienced a major “failure” in life (e.g., divorce, losing a job, bankruptcy, failure in school, losing a friend, lack of acceptance into social or civic groups, etc.) that led them to question their personal competency.

  • A poorly developed self-concept with low self-esteem, lacking belief in their personal goodness, skills, or abilities.

  • Never felt accepted by the “others” in their life, so much so that they became chronically shy, retiring, and withdrawn in their interactions.

  • Had an unrealistic list of rules and expectations prescribed by significant others in their life, rules they are striving to meet even in their current life.

  • A poor body image, making them believe that others see them in a negative light. This makes them self-conscious, tense, and anxious in dealing with others.

  • Never received enough positive reinforcement or feedback from others about their talents and abilities, leaving them unclear as to their skills.

  • Been given very little direction, guidance, or discipline in their earlier lives leaving them unable to cope with the current pressures of life.

  • Always felt overshadowed or overlooked due to the people in their lives who seemed to be more successful, smarter, prettier, more handsome, more athletic, higher achievers, getting much attention. This can foster doubt in an insecure person’s ability to gain recognition for their successes, and can make them doubt their ability to achieve success.

Insecure people believe…

  • I can never accomplish the task facing me!

  • Everybody is looking at me, just waiting for me to make a fool of myself!

  • I am a failure!

  • I am ugly and awful to look at!

  • I can never win. I am a loser.

  • What is the sense of trying, I’ll never get it right!

  • No matter how hard I work to achieve, I never get any recognition!

  • I am incompetent in everything.

  • How could anybody ever say anything good about me?

  • I failed them in the past; therefore, I am a failure today!

  • Once a failure, always a failure!

  • There is only one direction for me to go in this organization and that is down and out!

  • No one could ever like, respect, or accept me!

  • I don’t deserve to be treated nicely!

  • I don’t fit in here or anywhere else for that matter!

  • Everyone else looks so good, so together; I feel so out of it compared to them!

  • I am an incomplete person and will always be that way!

  • I am so afraid that no one will like me!

  • Why would anyone care to hear what I say, how I feel, or what I think?

  • People are just nice to you in order to use you and get something they want from you!

People who are insecure can:


  • Have difficulties in establishing healthy, long-lasting relationships.

  • Be perceived incorrectly by others as being snobbish or uppity or abrasive; therefore, they are avoided due to the others’ misperceptions.

  • Become victims of fears that impair their freedom of action or choice.

  • Be candidates for paranoia feeling “others” are out to get them.

  • Scare others away from them by their defensive attitude.

  • Be over-controlled emotionally, having problems letting others in on their emotions. This can lead others to guess what is going on until the passivity of the insecure person leads to an over-reaction by the others, resulting in conflict or rejection.

  • Have problems on the job or in school when they have the knowledge, skills and abilities to do a task efficiently but are told to do it in a different, less effective manner. They get so uptight about the job and are fearful of standing up for what they believe that they get angry, hostile, and resentful until they either quit or succeed in submerging their emotions.

  • Get passed over for promotions, advances, or honors because they are so quiet about what it is they do. This leads the insecure persons to feel more unaccepted, unappreciated, and under-valued.

  • Have problems meeting people and often can become debilitated socially by chronic shyness.

  • Become so inward that they seek to escape into their fantasy life rather than deal with the reality of their lives.

WOW!  It looks like just about anyone could have some level of insecurity.  So HOW does one overcome insecurity?  Believe me, I won’t even attempt to pretend that I know the answer to that one. But I don’t think it can be done on your own.  I don’t think one can just “muster” up security.  For everytime I’ve tried, there is an enemy who is very good at making sure that one of those aspects in the list above comes to the forefront of my mind.

Recently, I have been doing some study on insecurity, and overcoming insecurity.  It’s been for my own well-being as well as helping me to see others that I live and work around in a different light.  You see, I am convinced that EVERYONE suffers from some level of insecurity.

I downloaded a audio segment from the internet that used the term, “comparanoia” to describe one reason why people feel insecure.  The speaker pointed out that while we are prone to compare ourselves with others, it is often with negative implications toward ourselves.  It’s true enough that there are many people out there who are better at many things: better looking, smarter, faster, more skilled, richer, more talented, better dressed, healthier…than each of us.

But at the same time, each of us has some quality or characteristic or talent that is better than someone else.

The truth is, God did not make us all alike. He made us “diverse.”  The saddest truth is, that we just simply can’t accept God’s standard for ourselves…or anyone else.

We all long to be satisfied. We live to know satisfaction.  But because of our insecurities…we can’t be satisfied.  We can’t even be satisfied with God — we can say we are … but is it true when these insecurities keep taking precedence in our hearts and lives.

In the past few weeks, Pastor Steve Best has been preaching a series on the Beatitudes, from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.  (found in Matthew 5)   (you can listen to these sermons online at

Jesus keeps saying, “Blessed are….”  and Pastor explains this as “Happy are those … ,” — It’s been a good series, but pointedly truthful that perhaps we just don’t want to pay the price of being the “blessed,” — because we can’t let go of the insecurities that dictate our thinking and our lives.

So in essence, the price of insecurity is… BLESSINGS!

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