When we boil it down, insecurity is the experience that something about us is not okay. We know the impact of this: frustration, depression, worry, hopelessness, etc.
It often feels like a dirty little secret we’re ashamed to even consider as true and thus do our absolute best to avoid it or prove it wrong.
Yet, an insecurity can be the greatest sage guiding us on our journey through life. They can reveal to us who we are and what we’re made of, not by what they say, but by how we respond to them.
What successful people (particularly emotionally successful people) learn to do is recognize when to let go of insecurity when it stops being useful. Unsuccessful people tend to find themselves repeating the same damaging behavior patterns and telling themselves the same infamous stories: they aren’t good enough, they aren’t okay, they’re an imposter, etc.
To an extent, insecurity can motivate us. To an extent, it propels us to do more and be a better version of ourselves.
But only to an extent. Then we have to cut it loose or face never being our best, only ever coming in second in the matter of our own life while our fears come in first.
Imagine a rocket heading for the moon.
Rockets get to where they’re going through “staging.” A stage refers to a separate rocket strapped to the one that will eventually reach the desired destination. Each “stage,” or rocket, uses its fuel to get the last rocket to the moon. Once a stage’s propellant is exhausted, that stage is jettisoned and falls back to earth.
A rocket cannot reach the moon if it doesn’t jettison the juiceless and useless stages. Neither can we realize our full potential if we don’t release our self-limiting narratives.
I’m making it sound easy, right? It isn’t. Nor does it have to be so hard.
It’s important to note that it does take effort and energy to embark on a new journey, especially at the outset. When we take those first steps on a passion project, or in a new relationship, or even getting out of bed for our daily grind, we may want some familiar tools to rely on to get us safely through.
Whether we’re attempting to bust through a literal atmosphere or a metaphorical ceiling of another kind, we need a WHOLE LOT of rocket fuel.
Sometimes, that fuel IS insecurity. And it’s okay, because it’s an indicator you want to shoot for something big!
One way to frame it is this: “I’m noticing an insecurity. There must be something important underneath it.”
Your insecurity in and of itself, supports you to prove it wrong. It’s always trying to work itself out of a job but doesn’t know how to. But if you take a breath, then calmly acknowledge it in the silent space between stimuli and your response to it, it may start to relax.
With enough practice, it may relax to the point that it falls away entirely.
At that point, if it could, it might say something to you like, “Phew! You mean you’re letting me go? I can finally leave and stop protecting you from your fears--excellent!”
We’ve all held onto insecurity far longer than even IT wants to stay.
A rocket, under the same conditions, would burn up in the atmosphere.
If you’re afraid to continue your journey without the thing that’s gotten you this far, you might never get to where you want to go.
You may face burnout. You may give up. You may disassociate entirely from who you are and what you want in life.
And maybe you’re not ready for liftoff. Maybe you’re not ready to break through the “atmosphere.” Maybe you don’t even believe a rocket landing on the moon is possible.
In order to embark on this journey of success, you must first identify what the insecurity is you’re so attached to so you can know the moments when you no longer need it.
For all of us, there comes a time when we need to choose…
Once you do, the journey gets better and you can expect to coast with greater ease to where you’ve always wanted to be.
Choose what serves best and when--because you don’t really have a choice if you truly want to experience your best life.