Monday, December 17, 2007


if we're going to be honest (and i think we should), i have a lot of insecurities.
if we were all honest, we'd admit the same thing.

and i've decided there are a few options.

1. deny them/suppress them
i think anyone with a psychology degree (that's me in case you didn't know) would tell you that suppressing reality is not exactly healthy. so obviously i do not recommend this one. but it is, on simplest terms, the easiest option. because once we admit we are insecure about something, we have to admit that we don't believe fully in ourselves - and that's a dangerous admission. moreover, in doing so, we are telling others that we have reason to doubt. that we really aren't perfect, aren't the best, aren't amazingly awesome. and every time we have to admit that, even to ourselves, we shatter the dream that we might actually be those things. and that really sucks.

2. overcompensate
we're all familiar with this term. and quite frankly, i use it a lot. i see teenage boys revving their engine and i can't help but think they're overcompensating. and not in the way that you think. but they're sooo insecure with their "cool" level that they have to do something loud to prove that they are. however, the way this plays out for us non-teenage-boys is a little more discreet. we might develop one particular skill or talent in order to overshadow our lack of any others. or like in the movie Curly Sue (did that reference date me?) where she uses really big words so others won't notice she never actually learned to read or write. we put up a smoke screen of pride to hide our fear.

3. abuse them
how many times do i hear the excuse "i've just never been good at school, so why even try?" well at least they're admitting their insecurities, but refuse to overcome them. they use them as an excuse. and we can't pretend we don't do it with our own. "well i've never been a very good friend, so i suppose you shouldve just expected it" or "ive never been disciplined before, i dont know why you expect me to be now" or [insert your own insecurity here].

4. ask for assurance
this is my drug of choice. i cannot tell you how many times a week i ask andrew if he loves me and why. do i honestly believe he'll ever leave me or stop loving me? not particularly, but reasonable or not, that's one of insecurities. so i ask for assurance. ad nauseum. the other day, i made 5 points of a 20 point quiz a short essay where the students had to tell me their favorite part of my class just so that i'd know they had a favorite part - that something i'm doing is right. they didn't know i was being insecure. well, maybe my smarter students did, but they took the bait anyway. cause it did feel good, but only til monday where i started to doubt all over again.

5. improve it
if i really am so insecure about my teaching, maybe i should learn how to be a better teacher. this isn't necessarily admitting im a failure, but rather admitting that i could always improve. and upon improvement, perhaps gain confidence. and im so insecure about andrew's love, i could actually work harder to feel ive earned it, not that i need to earn it, but because in simply doing one action that im not doing now (like any of the basic chores), i might actually feel confident about myself, and not need andrew's assurances.

6. accept the truth
a lot of time, however, we really are insecure over nothing. it's almost as if we have body dysmorphic disorder (there's the psych degree coming out again), and we see fat where there is absolutely zero and the way we torture ourselves is sick. what if i really am a good teacher and im letting some foreign fear debilitate me from doing what i should do doing best...? what if im a great wife, except for the times i annoy my husband by asking him to list reasons why...? isn't that ironic? dont ya think? what if you really are smart but you're letting your fear of failure keep you from trying? what if you're really the best kind of friend, but you never allow yourself to get close to anybody because they might reject you once they figured out the "truth"? what if you're beautiful but the frown you wear believing you're ugly keeps people from seeing your smile?

you've already admitted you're insecure. at the beginning of the post, when you nodded along, it's because something specific came to mind. and you've probably, like me, identified the option you're currently trying. but i think today's the day to try something new. what do you think?


Darcie said...

Dang, why'd you have to call me out on this?

Rachel said...

Oh Teresa, such wisdom in that head of yours

Darcie said...

RYC-I'm glad you aren't sick of me sharing stories yet. Why don't you share? Or do your students read this?