The Irony of Insecurity

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When I was a teenager, I had the opportunity to work on a construction crew. I helped roof houses for the most part but at times helped in framing a house, probably more clean up than anything.

I learned a very important fact however in this process. It was apparent that in order for the house to be built properly, the foundation had to be laid properly. Trying to frame a house on a foundation that had flaws or was not level was an impossability. Literally, when it is time to start framing if the foundation is not right, it has to be done again before anything is built on it.

The irony of insecurity is that its like building on a faulty foundation. Meaning, when you’re insecure its like a builder who is more concerned by the appearance of the house than the reality of the house. So let the chips fall where they may, as long as it looks good, its fine.

The problem is that when pressure, storms, someone living in the house comes, there are things far more important than appearnces. like safety, stability, strength, endurence. These things become incredibly important at this point, but if the foundation is faulty than the future of the home is in question. At some point it will come crumbling down, if the foundation isn’t fixed.

Insecurity in large part is an undue emphasis on appearnces. When we are insecure we function in pretend mode. Herein lies the irony. Insecurity causes us to pretend to be secure. We build on a faulty foundation. Our priorities are out of whack. Peoples opinions take first place in our lives, what it “looks” like becomes far more concerning to us than what it “is” like.

So we go about making the house look good. We put the right brick on it, we paint it pretty colors, we deck it out with the most current, trendy decor. Problem is, it is not what it appears to be. Once the family moves in and life gets started, cracks start showing up, things start breaking down.

Insecurity is a life built to look secure, but in reality is emotionally falling apart.

We look happy, but are truly sad. We look like, “the life of the party,” friends all around, but lack the security to have solid, lasting, vulnerable, loving relationships.

We look like we have it all together but have constant concern that someone is going to see the cracks.

We Look like we love mentoring that young upstart employee fresh out of college while fearing everyday they are going to take our spot, even to the point of subtly sabotaging them.

We look like our life is full, but it is a big gaping whole of emotional emptiness.

The reason I write about insecurity is because I think its terribly sad that people with such potential to be solid, secure, and confident, are raging fear mongers on the inside, and are getting in their own way, and keeping themselves from significance, and success.

So, put the breaks on. Get off this pretend ride. Tear this fake facade down, get rid of this faulty frame work, all the way down to the foundation, and start fresh.

How?

1. Realize your foundation should be laid based on the specs from the designer.

>God built you to know who you are, and to be someone unique and
special
>It’s in a relationship with Him that brings security, and confidence.
when you know the designer, you know the plan, and you don’t have to
pretend.

2. Listen to the builder.

>Its amazing how many people will hire a builder and then not listen
them.
>Out builder is Jesus Christ the son of God. When we know Him, and
listen to him, he puts us right with our designer and helps us apply
the plan in away that produces security and confidence, not in our
own ability but the ability of the builder to make a great product out
of the framework of our lives.

3. Stick with the plan.

>The plan is the Bible the word of God. Knowing the plan causes us
to be saturated with confidence, and security. Know that the plan is
flawless, and will ultimately give us the outcome that is best. A grand
palace of a life, not built on pretense or appearances but on a strong,
good foundation. Let the storms come, let life happen, the house will
be strong!

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Worthless Treasure

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I love people. More than that, one of my favorite things to do as a leader is discover and develop the potential in a persons life. 

I truly care about the people I lead. I do my best (not always perfect at it) but I do try to invest in, care about and develop them to live a more fulfilled life. 

I’ve had the privilege for 25 years to occupy my life with this endeavor. At times I’ve had success and others times I’ve failed. 

Having had this many years working with people I have learned a few things. One thing I have seen over and over again is people, including myself, at times have failed to reach their potential because of insecurity. Insecurity buries potential beneath the rubble of fear. 

It is my contention that potential is like buried treasure inside each of us. It’s great to know you have wealth and treasure hidden away somewhere but it has very little value when it’s buried. To see the value in treasure you spend it or invest it or even save it for a later purpose but to simply bury it away and then claim to be wealthy is a farce. I submit to you the proof of the pudding is in the eating. 

Potential, our buried treasure, needs to be dug up and used, but we hide it away for fear it won’t be accepted. We bury it because we are afraid we will look foolish, or that someone will think that we are acting like we are better than them. 

The fear of the lack of people’s approval, the fear of rejection, the fear of losing everything, so we gain nothing by doing nothing. 

Layers and layers of insecurity burying the treasure, God given I might add, that gives our life value and meaning. 

So yes we have treasure, but it has no worth because it’s hidden. It’s worthless treasure. I can’t think of anything more sad. 

I encourage you get a shovel, take a risk and start throwing the dirt of insecurity off of your dream, dig it up, and start investing in life. I believe worth and value will flood your life and you will be confident to produce your potential, once you use your potential by clearing away the thief of insecurity.

The Isolation of Insecurity

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Proverbs 18:1 He who isolates himself, rages against all wise judgement and seeks his own desire.

When I think of this text or even just the idea of isolation, the culprit that comes to mind is insecurity.

It seems to me that insecurity’s ultimate end is isolation. If I fear rejection, if I am threatened by others, if I am guided by the approval or disapproval of people the ultimate end for me is isolation. It may not be total isolation, or even physical isolation, at minimum it will be emotional and relational isolation.

Not getting out of relationships what you could. Not doing as well as you could on a career path. Possibly finding independence but interdependence seems to avoid you all together.

If we truly look at insecurity, it involves us in pettiness, and pretense. Insecurity refuses to hear what wise voices say, it rages against the judgement of those trying to help.

It is such a contradiction. Needing peoples approval but being so insecure or afraid of rejection, we want people to approve but will not acknowledge that we need them. Thereby isolating ourselves from true, vulnerable friendships.

Insecurity seeks self, is focused on self, is centered around self, and cares only for self.

An unhealthy obsession with self will result in a self implosion, which is the ultimate result of insecurity.

How do we avoid the isolation of insecurity?

1. See people as partners, not competitors.
>Realize interacting with others even competitors can build you and
make you stronger if you take the right perspective. Don’t be
threatened, be inspired.

2. Learn to learn from others.
>Don’t be so busy trying to impress with what you know, that you miss
opportunity to learn something you don’t know.

3. Make it about purpose not about self.
>practice making things about the goal and not about the person.
EVERYTHING IS NOT ABOUT YOU. Know it, believe it, achieve it.

The sad thing about insecurity is that a lot of people who are highly insecure also have a high level of potential, and are incredibly talented. It grieves me to see potential greatness defeated before it really gets started over foolishness like jealousy, fear of failure, negativity, disrespect and approval addiction. Ultimately ending up alone, disconnected, realizing that what they feared has come upon them.

Be the you God intended when He created you with all your specific gifts, talents, personality and potential. Focus on that and you will find confidence not in your own abilities but in the purpose and power of God.

The instability of Insecurity

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Insecurity creates an instability that is much like walking on sand. I was recently walking along the beach, what serenity the ocean always provides, and I love it.

We walked right beyond where the waves were coming in, because it was a bit cool. So we were walking on sand that had been patted down significantly from others walking on it.

It was hard, no give in it. It was like a solid surface. It was interesting though when we decided to venture out a little and get our feet wet.

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There was an immediate change in the surface we were walking on. The hard surface became immediately pliable and lacked stability. As a matter of fact if we weren’t careful the water could almost pull the footing right out from under us.

I have found insecurity to be much the same way. Insecurity is all about appearances. How do things look? How do they feel? On the outside things can appear great and much of the time our security is based, not on internal confidence but rather on, what other people think about us.

This is why when someone falls from greatness we are all shocked. “I can’t believe that would happen to them,” we say, because most of what we saw looked stable, but if we could see through all the pretense we would see the ground under them is not stable, but shifty. Add the right amount of pressure and it all comes tumbling down.

Jesus tells a story in the Gospels about a man who builds his house on the sand and one who builds on stone. Storms come to both their lives but the one with the real foundation, the stone foundation stood while the one on sand was completely destroyed.

Our foundation is the application of truth as opposed to the mere appearance of truth.

Insecurity is fear based on deceit. Lies that say “you will be rejected” or “you can’t trust anyone,” or “everyone is against you.” These lies force us to pretend, but in the end the truth comes out. Because the right amount of pressure will knock your pretend life born out of insecurity to the ground.

Stability and security are born out of confidence in the truth. Insecurity is about pretending. It’s not what something looks like that makes it stable it’s authenticity that is the foundation that can not be moved.

So…

1. Be real

Admit where things really are and make a plan to improve.

2. Be true

Drop the need for people approval and live to please God and His purpose for you

3. Be secure

Place your confidence In a loving father God who is generous and powerful

QUESTIONS:

1. How has insecurity created instability in your life or the life of someone close to you?

2. What are you doing about it?

3. How can I pray for you?

The Secure Leader (final in series)

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Secure leaders are not afraid for team members to be better than them. In their mind it equates to overall success not personal competition.

Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. (Galatians 6:4 MSG)

Sadly many leaders are short sided or small minded. They find it hard to see the big picture because they refuse to look beyond themselves.

Secure leaders see far beyond themselves and even their organization to the greater cause of why they exist.

A secure leader surrounds himself with talented, skillful people high in character and competence. He is not threatened by them but embraces what they bring to the table, knowing that if everyone puts their best foot forward it benefits the whole team and is not a hindrance or harm to his own personal success but rather contributes to it.

The truth is being threatened by team members will stifle success. Hiring people that are far less gifted then you may make you feel big but will ultimately make your organization small.

Are you cooperating or competing with your team. Cooperating wins competing loses.

If you want to be successful surround yourself with people of high character, competence and consistency. Then enjoy them and turn them lose to use their skills and together you will build something worth having. You’re the leader you know it and they know it You don’t have to prove it. Just lead.

How?

1. Know you who are.

If you’re confident in who you are then you’re free to let them be who they are.

2. Cooperate don’t compete.

You’re on the same team, work together, and allow your skills to sharpen each other.

3. Celebrate them.

Realize their strengths cover your weaknesses they don’t expose your weaknesses. It proves you know who you are and are comfortable with yourself.

4. Be the leader.

True leaders don’t have to remind everyone all the time or put others down, or hold others back to prove their leadership. They simply pull the team together and lead. If you can lead big people it makes you a big leader.

I would love to hear stories about secure leaders you’ve worked with or insecure leaders you’ve worked with and what it was like in either case.

If these secure leader blogs have been helpful to you feel free to share with others.

The Secure Leader 6

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“Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you: A prophet to the nations-that’s what I had in mind for you.” But I said, “Hold it, Master God! Look at me. I don’t know anything. I’m only a boy!” God told me, “Don’t say, ‘I’m only a boy.’ I’ll tell you where to go and you’ll go there. I’ll tell you what to say and you’ll say it. Don’t be afraid of a soul. I’ll be right there, looking after you.” God’s Decree. (Jeremiah 1:5-8 MSG)

Secure leaders enjoy affirmation but don’t have to have it. They get their fulfillment in their purpose, not from popular opinion.

It’s always been amazing to me how important the opinion or affirmation of others are to a leader. I think every leader, if they are being honest, can Remember times when the affirmation or approval of others were entirely to important to them.

This is truly a significant difference between a secure leader and an insecure leader.

The insecure leader needs constant affirmation. In order to move forward they must have people who dote on them, and tell them how great they are. It’s almost as if affirmation is the fuel that keeps them going.

The sad part about this is in every leaders life there are times we must stand alone. It’s the very essence of leading. Sometimes you are standing out front by yourself.

The secure leader wants their followers to be with them, and to be happy, however their main goal is to reach their destination. To accomplish the purpose. They find their fulfillment and satisfaction in their purpose not in popular opinion.

The insecure leader will never get very far, because they are dependent on the emotional responses of others, and we all know how inconsistent that can be.

The secure leader will normally achieve their goal because they keep leading no matter what, realizing that’s what leadership is. Getting people from where they are to where they need to be whether they like it at first or not, or whether it’s hard or not.

Like Jeremiah, we need to keep our focus on what we were created for, our purpose as leaders and not on fearing those we are leading.

Remember affirmation and approval can be addicting. Leadership is not a popularity contest it is a journey of purpose.

How?

1. Know your purpose.

It’s been said, if you don’t know where your going your not going to like where you end up.

2. Let fulfilling your purpose be enough.

People stroking your ego may feel good for the moment but it won’t be enough in the long haul. Especially when some of the same people will speak against you when they don’t agree.

3. Learn to affirm yourself.

Encourage yourself. Celebrate your wins.

4. Acknowledge your need for affirmation.

Every human being needs affirmation. It’s ok to get it and to give it, but we can not get addicted to it or make decisions based on it. Appreciate it and let it go.

Be secure in your purpose and don’t seek affirmation.

The Secure Leader 5

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Good-tempered leaders invigorate lives; they’re like spring rain and sunshine. (Proverbs 16:15 MSG)

Secure leaders are refreshing to those following, and their confidence makes followers feel secure in submitting to their leadership

We’ve all met those leaders who bring complication, difficulty, and demand to the table. Many of us at times have been that leader. The type of leader that is ill tempered, always irritable hard to get along with, hard to please, never satisfied. This type of leader is not refreshing, they are like the hot sun. Not the, “it’s a great day to get a tan sun,” but the “it’s hot I’m parched, where is the air conditioner sun.”

The secure leader is confident doesn’t need coercion to lead because they use vision, encouragement, coaching and positive confrontation. This type of leader is refreshing. They are like the fresh cool rain that relieves us from the sweltering heat of organizational pressures and stresses that come from challenges.

The secure leader gives confidence to those following because the more refreshing you are the more people want to follow you. If you bring answers, and positive attitude to the situation it makes it better. If you bring fear, threats, and blame to the situation no one wants to follow you anywhere.

How to become a refreshing Leader:

1. Bring solutions.

John maxwell talks about bringing water to the fire and not gasoline. Adding to the problem is not refreshing and doesn’t solve anything. Leaders turn the mountain into a mole hill.

2. Don’t jump to conclusions

Always assume the best first. There could be a real good reason for the thing you are frustrated about. Get the whole picture before you make any judgements.

3. Be a thermostat not a thermometer.

Anyone can tell the temperature but a good leader regulates it. Create your own atmosphere. When you come in the room it should change for the better. People should not want to duck you.

4. Love what you do and love the people you do it with.

Enjoy your work. No complaining, or carrying around frustration. Be happy and hopeful.

5. When you have to press make it fun and full of meaning.

Explain why you’re pressing and why it’s important and find creative ways to make it fun.