I am a type “A” personality. It’s in my nature to strive to be the best. I work hard, push myself, and excel at whatever I do. I have had various careers during my life. I started my work life in accounting and quickly moved up to the position of controller in my early twenties. Then I worked in IT and computers and became a director of IT managing servers and people. Eventually, I owned my own computer shop. After that, I opened a web development agency and ran that for 15 years. Now I am a professional writer. In each one of these areas, I received frequent compliments about my achievements and high praise from friends, family, and clients. However, deep down, I never lost my sense of insecurity.
TV Mirrors My Real Life
I was watching a popular medical drama this past week when a confident, accomplished character described how she felt going to work each day. Her words resonated with me down to my bones. It was as if she could read my mind. I thought I was the only one who felt like an imposter, but I was wrong.
What Insecurity Feels Like
Each day I get up for work. The thoughts start creeping in slowly, and then they speed up. I am not good enough. How am I even allowed to do this job? I worry that I will be discovered as a fraud, and they will drag me out here kicking and screaming. They will see that they made a mistake and that I am really not “all that,” and I can’t do what they want or expect, I will fail. I am a failure. I am just fooling them all by pretending I know what I am doing, but I am a fraud. At any moment, they could discover that I am not good enough. When they find out that I am really just a mess, it will all be over.
Eventually, those thoughts quiet down, and I can get to work, and then I am okay. But when I get up the next morning, it starts all over again.
How I Turn Opportunity into a Nightmare
Nowadays, when I receive word that I have been awarded a new contract, especially with a big-name company, I am thrilled. I feel joyous and grateful to have been chosen. That lasts for about a day, then the old ego kicks in and begins pestering me with other thoughts. Suddenly I am consumed with fear and start to question my abilities. What if I am not good enough? How will I ever get the job done? They might change their minds and suddenly realize they made a mistake and I am actually no good. All my confidence drains out of me as the waves of fearful thoughts just keep rolling in. Because of this, I end up putting off starting the assignment until the last minute, which in turn causes even more stress. Sometimes I am so paralyzed by this fear; I want to call the client and cancel the entire contract because the fear of being judged is stronger than my desire to shine. Even though I know this is ridiculous, I can’t seem to stop it.
I am Not Alone in My Insecurity
I saw a video once of Elvis Presley, the “King of Rock and Roll.” After a particularly successful show, he went backstage and nervously asked his crew, “was I okay?” and “did I sound alright?” Here is a guy loved by all of America, and he wasn’t secure in his own talent.
Hemingway once wrote 30+ endings to a novel because he was too insecure about which one to pick. I have heard tales of his insecurity for years, so why should I be any different?
Watching the TV show last week and hearing the words the accomplished woman spoke, made me think about this topic and wonder how many of us feel like this deep down inside.
Don’t Let Insecurity Rob You of Your Dreams
For many years, I let my insecurity stop me from doing what I really wanted. All the success during my career did nothing to bolster my confidence. It took a lot of praying, spiritual work and meditation to finally find my voice and stop telling myself I wasn’t good enough.
From time to time, I still suffer from these bouts of crippling insecurity, but I keep moving forward anyway. For the most part, I know my own worth, and I am happy where I am.
If you are letting insecurity stop you from fulfilling your dreams, make it a priority to get past it. I would never be where I am now without addressing it and moving beyond. I now believe that I am good enough, I am worthy, and I am deserving, and so are you!