Let me set the scene for you for a second: you’re in a room filled with 30 ultra-confident people who seem to have their lives together, and you just can’t help but look around and think “gosh, does everybody have it figured out but me?” Or, at least, that’s what happened to me not too long after I launched The Edited. I was in a room with a bunch of entrepreneurs, all of whom seemed to have their businesses, lives, etc. figured out and here I was, just some girl with this dream of encouraging people of their worth. Almost immediately I was filled with roughly 50% self-doubt (should I really be here right now?), 30% imposter syndrome (who am I to do this?), and 20% with that feeling where I could seriously just barf at any moment (don’t worry, I didn’t).
I had walked into that room feeling pretty confident in myself – what I didn’t really realize was that I was going uncover two major insecurities of mine: 1) my ability to actually run a business in the first place (my four-year marketing degree suddenly felt unapplicable); and 2) if I were even really qualified to remind others of their worth when I wasn’t even 100% there myself. Turns out that I had these insecurities buried so far down that it wasn’t until I was in the moment that they decided to pop on up and say something along the lines of, “oh hey there, gf, what do you think you’re doing? This isn’t in your comfort zone, you must head back immediately.”
Alright, let’s get real
To put it simply, nobody likes to talk about it, but we all have our own insecurities. Yes, all of us – even the guy from your Grade 11 English class who always showed up late, coffee in hand, and proceeded to capture the attention of his peers for the remainder of the class. Sometimes our insecurities are super loud and in your face, screaming at you to put on the brakes, and other times they’re buried deep down and come out when you’re least expecting it. It’s that little voice that pops into the back of your head that stops you from raising your hand in class even when you know the right answer or the feeling that stops you from applying for your dream job just because you don’t feel completely qualified for.
When we’re in the moment, it can be so difficult to notice what our insecurities are even saying to us. Our emotions get involved, and suddenly it becomes so hard to look at things objectively. Have you ever noticed how much easier it can sometimes be to give advice to your friends, but how much more difficult it is to take that same advice for yourself? Imagine for a second that your best friend came to you, saying “I’d really like to work as an (insert dream job) and I saw that (insert dream company) was hiring but I’m just not sure if I should apply or not because I don’t have (insert random qualification).” You would most likely jump into full-blown HYPE mode, complete with a 30-minute lecture on why they’d be perfect for the job, offering to rewrite their cover letter to include all of the amazing things they’ve done that you think directly relate to the job, as well as offering to personally submit their application for them if they’re still nervous to take the leap because “the worst that could happen is that they say no and you continue working at your current job, while knowing you tried and that’s flippin’ amazing”. Without feeling the emotions involved, we can normally see how insecurities are clouding our view on what’s actually happening.
Yes, insecurities are those little things that keep us in our comfort zone – and once we conquer them, it just seems to be met with a new one. For example, maybe you’re insecure about how you look, so you start to work on your self-love, only to scroll through Instagram and see a ton of other people who love themselves, leaving you feeling insecure about the fact that maybe you don’t love yourself ENOUGH yet. Or, maybe you’re insecure with your job so you decide to go back to school, only to realize you’re now feeling insecure that the other students look like they’re half your age – you get the picture.
So, now what?
Being able to work through whatever it is you’re feeling, where the feeling is coming from, and why exactly you’re feeling that way is absolutely huge. Now is probably a good time for me to shout from the rooftop that it’s okay to seek out professional help (like, SUPER freakin’ okay x1,000,000). An athlete doesn’t wait until they’re in the Olympics to hire a trainer, and you don’t need to wait until your insecurities have grown to work with a therapist on the root cause. It’s okay to talk with a professional about how you’re feeling to work through it.
Even though we all love to look like we know what we’re doing, insecurities are pretty common (I know I for sure am filled with them). There’s truly something beautiful that happens when you’re able to not only identify what the heck they are, but also why the heck they are there, what the heck it is that they’re actually telling you, and how the heck to turn them into an advantage. Realizing your insecurities are half the flipping battle right there because once you can put a name to it, you can announce to yourself “you know what, I am insecure about sitting in a room filled with other entrepreneurs because I don’t feel like I belong”, which allows you to really break them down, work through them, hype yourself up the way you’d hype up your friend, and turn your doubts into determination. For example, instead of saying “I don’t belong”, realize “I DO belong, that’s why I’m here. That’s pretty freakin’ neat because there are only 30 of us and I was chosen.”
Sometimes, you’re so close to your own superpowers that it’s hard to see them for what they are, especially when your insecurities are constantly whispering in your ear. Never feel bad for feeling insecure – just use the realization as fuel to work through it.
You are worthy of all the beautiful things this world has to offer.