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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

05 Dec '12

Facing our insecurities and overcoming them

Posted by T.J. Addington in anxiety, emotional intelligence (EQ), insecurity
Much personal dysfunction stems from personal insecurities that have not been addressed. For leaders this is particularly important because whatever behaviors stem from those insecurities will impact their staff and even the culture of their organization. Our insecurities certainly impact us as individuals. 

Since no one has perfect Emotional Intelligence, we all struggle at some level with insecurities. Healthy people understand those areas where they tend to be insecure and seek to manage or overcome them. 

How does one recognize insecurities? Since they stem from areas where we feel personally vulnerable, whenever we feel unease or our ego challenged we are probably dealing with an insecurity. If I, for instance, become defensive when challenged, I am most likely dealing with insecurity - the need to be right and the fear of being wrong! So the question I would need to ask is "why do I fear being wrong?" Why does it matter? Because the dysfunction if not addressed shuts down robust dialogue with others, keeps one from receiving input, creates defensiveness and inner turmoil when challenged. 

Think of some of these common dysfunctions:

  • Fear of being wrong and a need to be right
  • Fear of failure so I am driven to succeed
  • Fear of people knowing the real us so we hide our areas of weakness and don't develop deep relationships
  • Fear of not having the answer so we don't ask others for help
  • Fear of not getting the credit so we downplay the contributions of others and find ways to platform ourselves
  • Fear of people rejecting us so we tell people what they want to hear, don't differentiate ourselves or resolve conflict
  • Fear of conflict so we gloss over issues rather than resolve them
  • Fear of someone doing better than us so we put them down
  • Fear of disappointing others so we never say no
  • Fear of looking weak so we pretend to be something we are not
There are many more insecurities but the common word is fear! Whenever we have fears we are likely dealing with some kind of insecurity. While fear can be a positive emotion (the house is on fire and I run for my life) fears connected to insecurities are not and bring us pain and cause behaviors that hurt us and hurt others.

There are three questions related to insecurities worth pondering.
  1. Where are my areas of fear and what are my insecurities?
  2. What lies behind my personal insecurities? What causes them?
  3. What can I do to either manage or overcome my insecurities? What behaviors do I need to change or manage? 
Don't underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit and a right understanding of our completeness in Jesus in this equation. He made us the way we are wired. We don't need to fear or prove anything to Him. If that is true, why do we live with fears or need to somehow prove ourselves to others. When we are complete in Jesus we have far less need to live with our insecurities and fears.