One of my biggest fears is disappointing others.
It’s a fear that has controlled much of my life – the way I respond in situations, the amount of things I choose to carry, where I put my “yes” and my “no”. I hate the thought of letting someone down, of not meeting their expectations.
I’ve battled most of my life with feelings of insecurity, of feeling as though I’m not enough, of trying to live up to a certain standard. It’s left me empty, raw, and stuck in an impossible place more times than I care to count.
And the thing I’ve been discovering is, this fear is not unique to me. I’m not the only one who’s lived in this space. I’m not the only one battling this day in and day out.
So, let’s talk about it. Because I’m guessing if you’re reading this, you’ve found yourself there before too.
I’ve got a whole list when it comes to weaknesses. They’re honestly not that hard for me to think of when people ask me what they are. It’s more a question of how many do I share?
Weaknesses and fear tend to go hand in hand. Most often the places we feel weak are the very places that are the breeding ground for shame, fear and insecurity.
- I hate the thought of disappointing others. I have a fear of letting them down, of not being who they expected I would be.
- I daily battle with feeling in over my head or unqualified to do the things I do. It brings out every insecurity within me.
- I often misinterpret what someone thinks of or expects of me. Why? Because I take in what they say or don’t say through the filter of my own personal insecurities.
- Vulnerability is a tough one for me. I fear letting people see too much of me. I often tell myself I’m guarded to not burden others who are already carrying burdens, but in truth, it’s a defense mechanism rooted in shame and insecurity.
The list could go on and on but the theme would remain the same – fear, shame, insecurity.
Here’s the thing, all of these things written above are rooted in a lie. They’re based on this lie that who I am is not enough, that who I am is not who I am meant to be, that who I am will not measure up to those around me.
That’s an awful place to live. It’s unsatisfying and depressing. Yet it’s a place so many of us walk into time and time again.
On the flip side, one of my greatest delights is being around kids.
To the parents out there, you may be thinking, “Kristy, just wait until you have your own, then let’s talk.”
That’s fair. A friend of mine’s daughter has hit the “terrible 3’s” stage, and it is not always delightful to be around her. I get it.
But something happens to me when I get around kids. It’s like this involuntary response. Put on the song “Can’t Stop This Feeling” or any other song from Trolls, Frozen, or Moana, and I turn into a dancing fool! Arms flailing, body twirling, hips swaying, I just embrace it and dance around like I don’t have a care in the world. Inevitably I end up out of breath and a sweaty mess, but with kiddos shouting “Again!” or laughing uncontrollably.
As a woman in my mid-30’s, I should probably be embarrassed dancing around like this. But in these moments, I lose my sense of others-awareness. I throw off my insecurities of what people might think or say. I shed all those fears and just let myself go.
Sitting with Jesus the other morning, He brought some of these moments to mind. I was struggling to write a post for this blog. I had been stopping myself mid-writing because my insecurities crept in saying, “what will people think of that?” or “you didn’t say that very well”.
So I’m battling these thoughts in the midst of writing when Jesus asks me, Kristy, you know when you dance around the house with Joy?(Joy is a sweet 3 year old girl I get to do life with out here.)
“Yeah, I dance around with her a lot. What about it?” I responded.
Those are some of my favorite times with you.
“Those?” I asked. “Why?”
Because you don’t have a care in the world. You don’t stop to question who’s watching or what anyone might think. You’re free to just be who you are. You are so full of joy.
Kristy, that’s who I designed you to be- who you are.
Sometimes silly. Sometimes dancing and laughing. Sometimes vulnerable and raw. I designed you to be someone who is unlike anyone else I’ve created. That’s the beauty of you. I don’t expect you to look like anyone else, to talk like anyone else, to think like anyone else, to sound like anyone else. I love most when you are who YOU are.
There’s nothing more freeing than just being who I am.
For as much as vulnerability intimidates me and I’ve carried around a negative connotation of that word, when I give in and allow it to be the place I live from, I breathe a little easier. Because I know I’ve embraced who I am. I’ve embraced how I feel. I’ve let someone in to what’s true of me.
And the truth is powerful.
There’s so much more to say on that statement alone. The truth is powerful. Our fears only hold as much power as we allow them to have.
I am daily trying to learn what it is to live from a place of truth over lies, confidence over fear, and freedom over shame. I’m striving to live from a place that calls out the lies whispered in my ears and replaces them with truth. A place where I can let myself go and be who I am.
Welcome to my journey…