Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Allure of Insecurity


I've been giving my students the Myers-Briggs personality test to kill some time during homeroom this week (where I have 8 minutes with those kids every day pretty much to do whatever the heck I want). They've been really eager to find out their personality type, and I was pretty curious myself to take the test again because while I used to be an ENFP for a long time, I had a feeling that I didn't really belong in that section anymore (since marriage has made me perfectly content to become much more reflective and spend a lot of quiet time at home rather than go out and be in the center of all the action).

While I was taking the test again (online), I came across this statement (which I was supposed to give an answer to that ranged somewhere between "strongly agree" and strongly disagree"):

I don't often feel insecure.

I admit, I was stumped on how to answer.

On some things, I am relatively self-assured, such as with my ability to learn new things, my natural talent for reading and understanding, and the capability I've acquired to set challenging goals for myself in various pursuits and meet them.

And even on less sure things, such as my appearance and weight, while I've vacillated between confident and self-abasing in the past, I've found myself more or less content lately with the whole concept of my physical appearance at large (or at least it hasn't been a point of major concern).


However, the question stumped me because I've found myself thinking a lot lately about how too often, it gets easy to wear insecurity like a blanket--if I'm feeling insecure about my work, for example, I can blame my lack of success on my insecurity. If I'm not feeling comfortable with my talents in a certain area compared to someone else, I can simply justify not trying to do my best by my own standards because I know I'll never match up to someone else's.

Does that even make sense?

I've been thinking a lot about my future dreams lately too--about my goals for my writing, about my dream to open up my own photography business later this year, my future plans to have a family---and because all these things scare the skin right off me, it gets all too easy to just accept my insecurities and procrastinate making any progress forward.

I don't really know how to fix the problem, but I think it's important that I've recognized how easy it can be to hide behind my insecurities--to use them as justifications for why I'm not becoming the best person I can be.


What do you think? Does all that even make sense?

3 comments:

  1. I think it does make sense. A long time ago, I had a phobia; when I went in to the therapist to treat it, I told her that having that phobia made me feel protected from that thing that caused it. I didn't quite know how to explain it, but I felt a sense of security in knowing that I had that defense mechanism in me. In a way, it made me feel safe, and if something in my life failed I blamed it on the phobia. Crazy, how we try to justify our behaviors, huh?

    xo,
    P.
    {Visit me at Mommyhood, PhD}

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  2. It totally makes sense! I love the new movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and think it's message says a lot about insecurities. Have you seen it yet?

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    Replies
    1. No, I haven't seen it yet, but I do read that short story with my students each year and have them write their own "Secret Life" stories! I'll have to check the movie out soon.

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