Thursday, November 18, 2021

Challenging Insecurities

I distinctly remember a phone conversation with my mentor this summer. After I told her of a decision I made, she questioned me and asked "But Joy...why are you hiding...?" I was stumped. As if I was found out! I didn't feel anyone had noticed, and worse yet, I didn't really notice this either. I had been hiding myself and playing small in the way I'd show up (or rather, not show up). 

My playing small (or hiding myself) started in 2013 when I first launched my blog. I'd send each published link to one person, my best friend at the time, who kindly said "great job!" each time I wrote a post. Then a year after when I created a secret Instagram account (I wish I remembered the password for @epitomeofjoy 😂😂). 

I have more memories of playing small and shrinking back, but this question stung from the realization that my playing small over all these years was hurting me more than it was helping me.

It’s likely we all started off confident — showing off every skill we profoundly believed we possessed (whether we really did or not was not the question LOL). But something taught us to shrink back…yet we never audaciously challenged those limiting voices, beliefs, or experiences. So naturally, we developed insercurities that beckon us to play small whenever we have the opportunity to show up fully.

Challenging our insecurities involves being lovingly and radically honest with ourselves and asking:

Where does this insecurity stem from?

And what potential outcome am I truly afraid to face?

Sometimes we fear rejection.

Sometimes we are afraid that we might not be good enough (according to whose standards?)

Other times we are afraid of the truth of our strength and being called to a greater accountability that we think we cannot uphold. 

Running from our insecurities leads to emotional and mental exhaustion. We enter cyclic thinking of what if, worst case scenarios, and I wish — that may never be resolved because we craftily leap over ever thinking of a positive case scenario. 

So I challenge us all today into a mindset of radical honesty that incites us to challenge our insecurities head on….so that we no longer feel the need to play small. Your gifts are beautiful and we are waiting to see just big you are. Your playing small serves no one and frankly an insult to the One who strategically created the masterpiece that is you. 

Take up space friend. We’re ready for you.

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