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Entries in Others' Opinions (1)

Tuesday
May212019

Facing Insecurity: 4 Steps to Freedom

I love Kate Hagen's fresh insights into many of the problems that plague Christians. In this Biblical Thinking UPGRADE, she counsels us to conquer the enslaving problem of "insecurity."

"I have wasted too much of my precious life," Kate says, "caring about others' opinions."

I (Dawn) have too, Kate. I think many people, especially Christians get sidelined by people's opinions. But Kate shares some important steps to freedom here.

Kate continues . . .

I still find myself held back by my perception of what others think of me. I want to be free from needing the approval and affirmation of those around me.

I would love to have total confidence in every choice I make, not wondering how it will be perceived.

But, the truth is, I do care. Sometimes I care a lot. Certain people’s opinions are extra insecurity-producing for me.

And, that’s where I start. With the truth of the situation.

  • I feel unsure and I want clarity.
  • I feel like I am foolish and want confirmation that I am not.
  • I feel insecure and want acceptance.

Phew. Even just being honest is helpful. It brings some clarity. I don’t have to hide what’s true about me. 

And, I choose to mourn—for a moment—the fact that I am not as confident as I think I “should” be at 43 years old. I choose to be sad—for a short time—that I still long for the approval of others. 

I know it is not healthy to stay in mourning too long (although I know the value of allowing grief as long as needed). So, eventually, I move on. 

These things I want—certainty, confirmation and acceptance—are legitimate needs! I’ve just been trying to meet those needs in a way that is not very successful.

Hoping others will consistently be the strategy I use to achieve confidence is an unstable route.

I have a choice to turn it around! Who do I want to be in this moment of insecurity? After being honest about my insecurity—and mourning it, if necessary—what can I do?

If I want certainty and security, where can I find it? I don’t want to get it from the opinions of those around me anymore. That gives them the power to determine who I am.

So, where can I find certainty about who I am?

In the quiet presence of the Father as I listen to the Spirit.

For me, that is where I find my identity. When I meditate on the reality that God’s Presence is always in and around me, I remember:  I am wanted! I am worthy of love!

And then I forget. Often within the hour.

But, the invitation is always there. Always available. To know, see, taste and smell God’s presence in each moment.

Today, as I find myself feeling insecure about what others might be thinking, I will ask myself this simple question:

Where is God's Spirit in this moment?

Once I’ve connected with Spirit, I can ask a quick follow-up question: 

Whose opinion of me do I want to believe in this moment?      

 My opinion of myself is usually much lower than God’s opinion of me. My perception of what others think of me is usually full of judgment.

God’s says to me, “Kate, you are:

  • Loved,
  • Seen,
  • Known,
  • Approved of,
  • Wanted,
  • Valued,
  • Beloved,
  • Beautiful,
  • and Secure!"

(Just as I am... no good works required.)

And my soul expands. And the opinion of others seems small and insignificant. Because I am already full. In Your presence there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11).

Four Steps to Freedom over Insecurity

Step 1 - Be honest about your insecurity. Name it.

Step 2 - Mourn the fact that you are needing others approval.

Step 3 - Choose to turn it around. Make it a conscious decision.

Step 4 - Ask the two clarity questions: 

(1) Where is God’s Spirit in this moment? 

Connect with Spirit! Ask God to open your eyes to His presence.

(2) Whose opinion of me do I want to believe in this moment?  

Recall the ways God loves you. Live confidently free of others opinions… you are free indeed!

And don't be too discouraged if you have to repeat the steps again tomorrow.

Do you occasionally find yourself held back by what others think of you? If so, how have you dealt with this?

Kate Hagen spends most of her time teaching, knowing and loving her three kids in their beach community of Leucadia, CA. She has a Master’s Degree in Biblical Counseling and has written, spoken and counseled women about mothering, body image and health. She runs a small essential oil business from her home, and usually smells pretty good. At her website you can read her journey of grieving and laughing as her mom passed of cancer, as well as her thoughts on the Bible and body image.