Last week, I facilitated my first group therapy session in my graduate program as a counselor-in-training. I was scared crapless. I felt like I didn’t have the necessary skills to lead a group at this point, and let alone do it at all. For the entire 30 minute session, I felt like a horrendous train wreck.
After the therapy, I met with my cohort and professor to break down the session and talk about what went well, and what didn’t go well. My professor asked me, “How did you feel about this session?” I told her, “Honestly, I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing. It was a mess. I’m not sure if I’m cut out for this.”
Then to my surprise, one of my cohort members gently spoke to me, “Chelsea, you seemed really confident.”
In my head, I was screaming, Are you freakin’ kidding! I was anything BUT confident! I was the complete OPPOSITE of confident! How could you think such a thing?! Nonetheless, her comment stuck with me, and carried me throughout the week. I did it! I managed my first therapy session, and I actually appeared to know what I was doing!
Facing My Insecurities
It’s funny, because I’ve been told by people that I appear confident by the way I carry myself, but the truth is that I have insecurities just like anybody else. This week, I’ve been reflecting about how often I’ve let my insecurities run my life when I didn’t want them to.
Insecurities about if I am intelligent enough to be in a graduate program.
Insecurities about my writing.
Insecurities about my crooked teeth.
Insecurities about my boy-ish figure.
Insecurities about the chicken pock scar below my right eye.
The truth is, I have LOTS of insecurities, and I will carry them with me everywhere I go. But this week was a major turning point. I won the battle; I beat this insecurity and fear.
I Am More Than My Insecurities
There is so much more to me than the scar below my right eye and my teeth that have unstraightened themselves because I failed to wear my retainer after my braces came off. (Still cursing myself for that one). I have a beautiful heart, and even though I may not always feel intelligent compared to the rest of my cohort, I know that I am a smart girl. I care about people, and I use my voice to advocate for those whom I feel need it. I have so many great things going for me! So why do I choose to only focus on my insecurities?
I think that at the root of insecurities is comparison, which I’ve written about my struggles with that before in this post. Although comparison is natural, I feel that I am finally understanding how to stop letting these comparisons and insecurities control my mood and thinking.
Taking a Stand
Sure, there will always be women who have more stylish clothes than me on Instagram.
There will always be girls with whiter, straighter teeth with picture-perfect hair and Barbie doll figures. There will always be someone smarter than me.
And you know what? That’s okay. Because I know that I have many special qualities that others would kill to have, like my empathic nature when listening to others. I may have a lot of insecurities, but I also have many qualities about myself that I am proud of. How come we never discuss the things about ourselves that we love? Too often, we trash-talk ourselves and only talk about the things that we don’t like. I believe that it’s time to start talking about the qualities that we love about ourselves and not feel ashamed for doing so.
I have seen other women take a stand and they inspire me to do the same. My friend Lindsay wrote an AMAZING blog post here about how she embraces her true self, flaws and all, on Instagram, and it really spoke to me! In addition, my other blogging pal Chelsie is a childhood cancer survivor and wrote in this post how she embraces her surgery scars. I love the positive messages. It’s time to embrace who we are and not be shameful for our flaws!
My Challenge for You
It’s normal for everyone to have insecurities, but I challenge you to get deeper with them. What exactly are you afraid of? If you are insecure about your figure, what is the fear that is holding you back? Are you afraid that you will lose friends? Are you afraid you will be made fun of? Once we learn to face our fears head on, the insecurities become only a small component of the entire solution.
We need to build each other up. Give compliments. Spread positivity. Start a gratitude jar. Post a positive message on your bathroom mirror. Be FEARLESS. We need to shed the negativity and remind ourselves of what makes our hearts happy. Remind yourself that you are LOVED despite your flaws.
You are so worthy. You are Enough. You are MORE than you Insecurities.