I’ve been struggling with a lot of insecurity this weekend. Isn’t insecurity such a frustrating thing? Sometimes it is there, sometimes it is not. Sometimes it shows up when you least expect it. Sometimes it even makes an appearance in circumstances that you have navigated perfectly well without it in the past.
That’s where I found myself this weekend. I was at a retreat in Canmore with a bunch of pastors and their spouses from the network that my church is a part of. We attend this retreat every year, and for the last 3 years I have been asked to put together a band to lead some music at the start of each session.
This has been more of a struggle for me this year than it has ever been in the past. It’s nothing out of the ordinary for me to get up and play piano and sing in front of people—I’ve been doing that my whole life. My musical ability is one thing that I am typically pretty confident in. But this weekend, I just kept messing up. My voice was shaky and strained from the dry mountain air and from being overworked in rehearsal on Friday. I failed to remember specific cues that the band decided on during practice. And I’m pretty sure I almost hit more wrong notes on the keyboard than right ones!
And yet, so many people have stopped me to comment on how much they enjoyed the music. I have had nothing but positive feedback from friends, acquaintances, and complete strangers. But through the compliments, all I could think was, “Are they just saying this to be nice? Did they really not notice how bad I sounded?”
Isn’t it frustrating that insecurity can do that to us? It makes us so incapable of just receiving a compliment well! It’s such a gift and a blessing that people would go out of their way to let me know that they appreciated my efforts and enjoyed the music I offered them, but insecurity prevented me from truly accepting that gift.
What is insecurity anyway? Where does it come from? A fear of not being accepted? A fear of being judged? A fear of being humiliated? Whatever it is, it seems to be deeply rooted in so many of us. It subtly affects so many of our actions, choices, and words on a daily basis.
I say “subtly” because I don’t know if we even realize that this is happening most of the time. I don’t realize that sometimes when I choose an outfit in the morning, I am being driven by an insecurity about my appearance and style. I don’t always realize that when I read, and reread, a text a bunch of times before I send it, I am being driven by an insecurity about how my words will be interpreted and how people will perceive me as a result.
Insecurity exposes the areas of our lives where we don’t sincerely believe in our true value. And every time we let it in, every time we act on it, we sink deeper and deeper into the lie that says we are not good enough.
But we are enough. You are enough. I am enough. Not because of anything we have done. Not because of how perfectly we present ourselves, or because of the great things we have accomplished. No, we are enough because our value actually runs so much deeper than any of that. Our value comes from our creator—the God who made us to display the magnificent beauty of His love to the world.
I need to remember that when insecurity strikes. I need to remember that today. My value doesn’t come from how many wrong notes I hit this weekend or how rough my voice sounded to me. My value comes from the One who all of this music was for in the first place. My loving God, who (as I wrote about in a previous post) is constantly cheering for me.
Do you struggle with insecurity? How does it affect you on a daily basis? What are your strategies for overcoming insecurity?