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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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.

Secure Leaders 2

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Give yourselves to disciplined instruction; open your ears to tested knowledge. (Proverbs 23:12 MSG)

Secure leaders are not afraid to hear, or implement good ideas from their team. All ideas don’t have to come from them to be used by them.

If we are not careful as leaders we begin to see ourselves as the source for our organization and everyone in it. We can become threatened by those around us who have good ideas and skills.

It’s the insecure leader that is threatened by the input of others. If we are honest we can all say at times we’ve struggled being threatened by talented people around us.

The secure leader is a wise leader because they don’t see using the ideas of others as a personal loss to themselves but an incredible gain to the whole organization.

When we are threatened by those working around us, or under us we create an unhealthy competition as opposed to a healthy cooperation.

Being secure and empowering causes, freedom to grow, high moral and positive progress in your organization.

Being insecure and controlling stifles creativity, innovation, and ingenuity.

Be a secure leader, listening to and using the ideas of others on your team and don’t worry about who gets the credit.

Remember being secure broadens your horizons and throws opportunity wide open to you, while insecurity continually shrinks your world and minimizes your potential and that of those around you.

How?

1. Listen

If your the only one talking growth is not happening.

2. Be open

Listen for those ideas that you haven’t thought of, and don’t prejudge because it didn’t come from you

3. No defensiveness

Don’t be defensive about your own ideas. If you are, there is no chance they could be modified for the better.

4. Have a team flow

Allow your team the freedom to speak by using their ideas. If there input is never acknowledged they will stop giving it, or go somewhere else and give it.

5. Remember why they are there.

Your team is not just there to carry out tasks you give them. They are there to think, and to implement great ideas to accomplish the purpose of your organization.

Practical Ways to Defeat Insecurity

I recently received a comment on a blog about insecurity, it was a question. “How do I overcome insecurity in my life?”.

As I have already established in other blogs insecurity is nothing more or less than fear. Our fears are based on our own perceptions, what we believe about something. I believe there a four major areas in which we can have wrong perceptions that will establish a foundation for a cycle of insecurity in our lives. I think in order to break that cycle we must change what we think about these four areas.

1. How we relate to God
2. How we relate to self
3. How we relate to others
4. How we relate to our purpose/destiny

Our perceptions in these area can create security or insecurity. The key is to have the right perspective and be purposeful in these areas.

1. How to relate to God.

Many people have a wrong perception about how to relate to God and much of the time it has been because of religious teaching or just spiritual misconceptions. I always like to go to the source. God tells us how to view him in the bible.

Can you see how insecure you might be if your perception of God is skewed. If you believe Him to be a mean spirited ogre waiting for the opportunity to pounce on you for any reason at all. Or maybe you view him as a god with human emotion who is up one day and down the next. There are many inappropriate ways to view Him that will not keep fear out but actually invites fear in.

What is the appropriate way to view Him?

So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. (Luke 11:2 NKJV)

Jesus tells us to view Him as father.

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15 NKJV)

Paul tells us to view Him as father, even daddy.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. (James 1:17 NKJV)

James tells us to view Him as father. A good, benevolent, loving father.

I could go deep into this but for the sake of brevity let me just ask you, if you view God as your loving, benevolent, father who knows you best and what is best for you, knowing that He has all power. What is there to be afraid of? When you see God as your dad you need not be afraid of anything. No reason to be insecure emotionally when you know Your father God has your back.

2. How to relate to self.

Note: Many times to break a cycle we must create a new one. A cycle of fear grows and expands in our lives until it overwhelms us. Imagine this cycle of proper perspective at work in your life. Viewing God correctly, causes us to view self accurately and appropriately, which helps us in having right thoughts about others and the role they play in our lives, which enhances confidence in our purpose and destiny in life. When we are sure about who we are and what We are here for it reinforces our perspective of the father who created us for that purpose.

Relating to self accurately is very important. Many people fail to be honest about who they really are. Strengths and weaknesses, wins and losses, goods and bad’s. There is entirely to much pretense in the world today. Authenticity is a deep need in the lives of so many. The reason we must start there is because you don’t want to build on a faulty foundation. If you build on a pretend version of yourself it won’t be long before your identity disintegrates into a pile of rubbish. Start with who you are and then begin to build on who you can be.

For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. (James 1:23, 24 NKJV)

I’ve often wondered what was meant by identifying yourself in the mirror and how that relates to being a doer of the word. Its because when we look into the word of God we see the potential of what we can be, and if we don’t do what we see then we have forgotten who we are.

Security comes when you realize that you may not currently be who you ultimately will be, but you’re not who you used to be. It’s getting comfortable in your own skin, the skin of who God has made you to be. Your identity is in him.

So if you know who you are in Christ and you see yourself that way. There is no need to be insecure because insecurity in identity is simply a feeling of inadequacy. In Christ you are more than adequate.

3. How to relate to others

It’s unreal how much insecurity is birthed out of misunderstanding the role others play in our lives. We get hung up playing the comparison game, or see others as our competition or worse we have a compulsion to attempt to please everyone. All of these behaviors are born out of the wrong perspective about the way to relate with others.

For in fact the body is not one member but many.

If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body?

And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”

And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. (1 Corinthians 12:14, 15, 21, 26 NKJV)

In these three scriptures we learn a valuable lesson about how to relate to others.

In dealing with others

First, we must appreciate who God created us to be as it relates to whatever He created others to be. No need to compete or compare just relate.

Second, we must appreciate what God created others to be realizing we need their contribution in our lives, whatever that contribution is.

Third, we must learn that we are in this together. Not to please each other or to approve of each other but to combine our lives for the purpose of a greater cause and call.

So security comes when we see others not as the competition or the enemy but as our necessary partner in becoming everything we are intended to be. Your highest achievement is to become what God created you for, not what he created someone else for.

4. How to relate to your purpose and destiny.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV)

Gods plan for us is good, hopeful and filled with the greatest of purpose.

The key to identifying with your purpose is to embrace it. Don’t be intimidated by it, or attempt to exchange it. Rather live it, be it, do it.

When we realize our life is not some cosmic accident, or meaningless journey but it is destined to fulfill a higher purpose, then confidence and security become second nature to us.

If my father is God, whom shall I fear?
If I understand I’m significant in Christ, I’m secure and fulfilled
If I see people as my companions not my competition then I’m settled
If I see my purpose as a good plan from God then life has meaning.

If our perception is right in relating to these areas insecurity will have a hard time being prominent in our lives and we will win the battle over it.

That’s what I have to say, I hope it helps.