In Others’ Words: The Demands of Insecurity

Insecurity is Jill Buteyn 2016

I’ve certainly sat on the ledge and attempted to reason with insecurity … and lost. I’ve tried to calm my self-doubts with both truths and the Truth and found myself staring down, down, down, realizing that insecurity is stone-deaf to that kind of wisdom and good sense. 

I also agree with my writing friend Jill Buteyn that insecurity is an all-too-willing assassin, one who sneaks up behind you or me to stab us in the back with accusations, insults, condemnations, and reminders of past failures.

Insecurities so often flame to life in the face of another’s success. Instead of immediately celebrating with our loved one, be they family member or friend or colleague, insecurity whispers, “Listen to me! Why didn’t you receive that award? Why weren’t you singled out? Will you ever be appreciated? Have you ever been valued?”

Each question is the verbal thrust of a knife in our back. Yes, we bleed … our sense of worth pouring out like our very life blood.

Jill confronted the unreasonable demands of insecurity in Just Show Up, the book she co-authored with Kara Tippets, who died of breast cancer in March 2015. Jill also shares how she learned to stand up to the backstabbing jerk of insecurity.

Instead of doubting herself or feeling left out or questioning her relationship with someone, she prayed for the other person. 

“The insecurities, for me, were instantly gone. Snap your fingers, Superman-fast gone,” Jill writes. “Just like that.

Yes, insecurity is a jerk that won’t be reasoned with. But prayer … prayer is more powerful than any insecurities rooted in our human frailties.

In Your Words: When have you confronted insecurity recently? How did you manage to silence the accusations that undermine your sense of worth?

[Tweet “In Others’ Words: The Demands of Insecurity #InOthersWords #LifeQuotes #insecurity”] [Tweet “”Insecurity is a backstabbing jerk that demands attention and doesn’t listen to logic.” @JillLynnAuthor #insecurity #justshowup”]




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  1. March 8, 2016, 8:05 am   /  Reply

    Interesting post, and I have been thinking about this lately.

    My life started going weird five years ago, with loss of career, illness, a failed start at a writing career (which is about all I can still do)…The reasonable confident, though I hope not arrogant person that I was before that is gone. I can go through the motions, but I don’t really believe that anything is going to work out well…I mean, why should it?

    It’ not entirely bad; I can find a certain stillness in myself that I didn’t know I had, and can leave off striving without engendering emptiness.

    • March 8, 2016, 5:31 pm   /  Reply

      Andrew: So even in the midst of life “going weird”– and I like that phraseology — you have found something you didn’t know you had. A certain stillness, which is so often overlooked. And you’ve left off striving. What’s that verse again? Cease striving … and know that I am God, right.

  2. March 8, 2016, 9:27 am   /  Reply

    Sweet, generous Beth. I had to chime in (surprised?). You had me at Backstabbing Jerk. How apt! I know all too well the exhausting, relentless wrestling match insecurity brings. What a beautiful reminder of the Superpower we have to conquer it!

    It puts me in mind of two things I want to share if I may:

    1. I know this insecurity of which you speak. I know the struggle with envy and feeling dismissed and devalued that come from the nasty whispers when accolades are given to others. I also know the joy of being the recipient of an accolade, and let me say that IT DOESN’T MAKE THE JERK GO AWAY. He just finds other ways to harass you and may even twist the good thing against you. The Jerk is very clever and knows all your buttons. So those whom we’ve envied may, as soon as the applause dies down, continue to feel just as insecure as ever. They may also be subject to more scrutiny and attack by other Insecures who are also now Jealous. When some other dear soul wins or is noticed publicly, it’s a great time to pray for them. Thanks for suggesting this!

    2. I know this ironic prayer-power of which you speak. Praying for someone your flesh would REALLY rather not does amazing, miraculous things. Envy, jealousy, anger, even… hatred dissolve. The hate may take more time in surrendered prayer than the others, but I challenge those who struggle with hate and unforgiveness to pray (sincerely, not for a semi to land on their head) for the perp and watch what God does to your heart in time. God is so ironic and amazing, and this phenomenon is so priceless to our soul’s peace that I included the concept in one of my novels.

    Keep on praying, thank God for his blessings, and keep encouraging others. Your heart will find peace and may even sing with a joy that drowns out that backstabbing jerk’s nasty whispers.

    Thank you, Beth. What a beautiful encourager you are!

    • March 8, 2016, 5:34 pm   /  Reply

      Oh, Camille, I’m so thankful you joined the conversation today! I’m just sorry I was out and about most of the day and was delayed in responding. Your insights are woven through with truth and added even more depth to Jill Buteyn’s wisdom. The idea … the realization that we should pray for the one who is being noticed — lauded — publicly is such a good thing to remember.
      And yes, God is ironic and amazing … and ever-patient with us.

  3. March 8, 2016, 10:57 am   /  Reply

    I find that insecurity speaks up when my eyes shift from the Lord to others. When I see others moving forward in ways where I feel stuck? Insecurity tells me I’m less-than. “You’ll never_____________.” And that hard thing is, when I look at the situation through insecurity’s lens? Insecurity looks to be right.

    Prayer is crucial for putting insecurity in its place. I also have to remember who I am in Jesus’ eyes, and that His plans are the best plans for me, and His timing is the absolute best for me.

    • March 8, 2016, 5:35 pm   /  Reply

      Jeanne: looking at life through insecurity’s lens … well said, my friend. Well said.

  4. March 9, 2016, 7:28 pm   /  Reply

    Thank you for sharing this, Beth. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t struggle with insecurity and I see it’s destructive force in my life and many friends. We are such willing victims sometimes, aren’t we? Writers are so vulnerable to the whispers of insecurity, and I’m reminded by wonderful speakers like Karen Ball and Allen Arnold, that we can’t let insecurity about writing success define how and what and if we write. God is in charge of all awards. I have to remind myself to seek His alone.

    • March 10, 2016, 8:15 am   /  Reply

      Jan, it’s true. Everyone struggles with insecurity. Some of us just hide it better than others. And the writing life is just and opportunity to wrestle with the backstabbing jerk in a very public way. And yes, God is in charge of telling us who we are … and who we are not.

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