Struggling with Insecurity?

In an age where social media dictates many of our lives, we need to be careful not to fall into the trap of comparison and envy. Social media is great for connecting people all over the world but the downside is that we can easily fall for the hype. What social media provides in connectivity, it severely lacks in authenticity. We all like to show our best selves on social media but when you’re scrolling through your timeline it is important to remember that it’s not real life, it’s just the highlights. Outside of social media, the comparison game continues at work, in school, within families and it has to stop. This topic has been on my heart recently because of witnessing so many people struggle with envy that leads to unrealistic expectations and insecurity. Here are a few points to keep in mind when you find yourself struggling with insecurity.

You are perfectly unique

Not now or will there ever be another person like you. Isn’t that amazing? That means that your life will never be able to look exactly like someone else’s. And why would you want it to? We each have a path all our own and it is paramount that we stop looking to the right and to the left and instead, focus on our own journey. There’s nothing wrong with with looking to others for inspiration or wanting to be the best you can be but it becomes a problem when you use someone else’s life as a blueprint for your own. It is easy to look at someone’s appearance, their job, or their life path and wish that you were more like them but why would you want to live a life that was not designed for you? The moment you stop worrying about what other people are doing is the moment you will start appreciating and enjoying your own journey.

You have no idea what other people are going through

Worshiping others has become commonplace these days, whether we realize it or not. People will spend so much of their time watching what others do and say so that they can somehow emulate their success. The assumption being that the other person is somehow better than you, solely based off of appearances. The problem with that is that the very people you envy, have struggles of their own, they experience feelings of insecurity and they might even be envious of others as well. The “grass is always greener on the other side” mentality is how many of us tend to perceive the world. We believe that what we have is not good enough and what we don’t have is infinitely more appealing. Remember that no one’s life is perfect. I say that all the time but I think it needs to be said again. No one’s life is perfect! While you might envy someone else’s body, they might envy your career, while you may think that a celebrity with money and fame has it all, you have no idea the level of anxiety they feel due to constant scrutiny. All I know for sure is that we do not know what others are going through so we can’t assume, even with friends and family. It’s time to get out of the business of people worship and get into the business of caring for others. When was the last time you really checked in on someone beyond “how are things going?” with the typical “fine” response? People are truly suffering out here and while you’re spending time being jealous you could be missing the huge red flags that are saying “HELP ME”.

Don’t Risk Your Health

It can be very dangerous to get wrapped up in jealousy. Comparing yourself to others can lead you to be constantly unsatisfied and disappointed at the fact the you are not perfect. Envy can lead you to try to look or be like others by any means necessary, which can produce depression, anxiety, eating disorders, lying, cheating, stealing, and who knows what else. It is not worth it to jeopardize your mental and physical health just to try to meet unrealistic expectations.

Guard Your Heart

If you know that you are prone to jealousy, protect yourself from things that will lead you to make those comparisons. Be careful about what you watch, read, and listen to. If there are certain people on social media who make you feel bad about yourself because you view them as perfect, unfollow them. It may seem extreme but it is better to cut it off early than to get caught in a spiral of jealousy. Take breaks from social media and take the time to reflect on how valuable you are. Spend time getting to know people’s real stories. Do whatever it takes to stay grounded in the truth that life can be ugly and difficult but it can also be wonderful, beautiful and everything in between.

Promote Authenticity

Since we are overloaded with facades of perfection, we need to be intentional about promoting authenticity. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to show your accomplishments and your best days but also be bold enough to share about the struggles you are dealing with and obstacles you overcame. That type of balance is needed to remind us all that we are human and that we are capable of both failure and greatness and we will all experience both.

Action Steps: If you know that you struggle with insecurity, I challenge you to go on a social media fast to focus on your own self worth. If you are jealous of someone you know, I challenge you to reach out to them to see if you can love on them, hear their story, or just be a better friend to them. I challenge everyone to find ways to promote your authentic self more often. People need to hear your story, they need to see your flaws, that realness could very possibly save a life.

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