Beth Moore has written many books, but she says So Long, Insecurity is the closest she’ll ever come to writing an autobiography. Moore’s life, like those of so many women, has been challenged by insecurities. But no more! She believes there is a cure for insecurity, which she says has become an epidemic. Women do not have to allow insecurities, or “lies,” to cause them to miss life. Moore presents the truth as a way to help women experience authentic security.
The Buzz features an excerpt from So Long, Insecurity: You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us. (Click here to purchase this book.)
Insecure Enough to Matter
We all have insecurities. They piggyback on the vulnerability inherent in our humanity. The question is whether or not our insecurities are substantial enough to hurt, limit, or even distract us from profound effectiveness or fulfillment of purpose. Are they cheating us of the powerful and abundant life Jesus flagrantly promised? Do they nip at our heels all the way from the driveway to the workplace? Scripture claims that believers in Christ are enormously gifted people. Are our insecurities snuffing the Spirit until our gifts, for all practical purposes, are largely unproductive or, at the very least, tentative? Maybe you can answer each of those questions with an honest no. The only reason I’m bothering to write a book instead of leading a small group, however, is because I believe if you can, you’d be in the vast minority.
I’m convinced that many women—if not most—have enough insecurity to hinder them. I recently surveyed more than 900 women and found that 78 percent admitted to having feelings of insecurity at or above a level that bothers them. That qualifies as a major cry for healing. Of the total number of respondents, 43 percent described their issues with insecurity as anywhere from “pretty big” to “huge.” If those 900 women are remotely reflective of the rest of us, we need to own up to a serious problem and seek serious solutions from a Creator who wonderfully crafted us.
Before we inch any further, let’s start shaping some working definitions of insecurity so we can figure out if ours warrants attention and healing. Later in our journey, we’ll also discuss various experiences that can feed those insecurities. Rest assured until then that there are often plausible explanations for why one person’s insecurities exceed another’s.
I am well enough acquainted with the issue to know that as we start defining and describing this malady, those of you with fairly chronic cases are going to begin to feel insecure even about your insecurities. (It takes one to know one.) Try not to go there. There was a time when I would have been tempted to put away a book that magnified my vulnerabilities, but these days I’d rather press through the discomfort of staring at my weaknesses than live in denial and bondage. The enemy of your soul has a tremendous amount to gain if you don’t deal with your insecurities. Don’t let him have that kind of victory. Let’s just stay honest and courageous, and trust that help is on the way.
OK, let’s start by looking at one specialist’s definition of insecurity:
Insecurity refers to a profound sense of self-doubt—a deep feeling of uncertainty about our basic worth and our place in the world. Insecurity is associated with chronic self-consciousness, along with a chronic lack of confidence in ourselves and anxiety about our relationships. The insecure man or woman lives in constant fear of rejection and a deep uncertainty about whether his or her own feelings and desires are legitimate. (Joseph Nowinski, The Tender Heart: Conquering Your Insecurity)
I hope that definition conveys to some extent the idea that insecurity is not the same thing as sensitivity. The latter can be a charming trait that is often evidenced in thriving individuals and relationships. Not everyone who is sensitive is insecure, but make no mistake: everyone who is insecure is usually sensitive to a fault. Confusingly, these are often people who can dish out all sorts of things they can’t take. As you glance over this first definition, keep in mind that you don’t have to possess every description or element to qualify as insecure and in need of healing.
For instance, I don’t have anxiety about all my relationships, but I have enough to bother me in a few. Likewise, I don’t live with a constant fear of rejection in all my associations, but a handful of experiences have left some sizable wounds. I also don’t grapple with feeling like I have no place in this world. In fact, like so many other women who are in over their heads in responsibility—moms, teachers, caretakers, doctors and corporate executives, to name a few—some of my insecurity stems from being uncomfortable with the place that I do have. Whether we feel insignificant or overrated or drunk on some loony cocktail of the two, insecurity lands with both feet on two words: self-doubt. I step in it. Then I swim in it. Then I nearly drown in it.