Friday, March 17, 2023
Do you experience any insecurity…….ever? The American Psychological Association defines insecurity as: a feeling of inadequacy, lack of self-confidence, and inability to cope, accompanied by general uncertainty and anxiety about one’s goals, abilities, or relationships with others.
The truth is we all as leaders experience some insecurity from time to time. Some people experience it much of the time. What is particularly interesting is that even people who are extremely successful can sometimes experience deep insecurities. Over the last year or so I have watched the bio pics of Elvis Presley, Johny Cash, Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson. All of them extremely talented and that talent brought them great fame yet all four of them suffered from deep feelings of insecurity. Insecurity most always shows up in a person’s life. It can be disguised, but it can’t be hidden.
As I consider my own life particularly my younger self as a pastor and leader I now recognise the feelings of insecurity I felt and to my shame displayed a few times to many.
Here’s how it shows up:-
- jealousy of others who are gifted
- overly critical of others
- easily angered
- needlessly defensive when challenged or disagreed with
- a tendency to control
- the constant need for affirmation-seeking
- low level paranoia
Insecure people need to show off their achievements. It is not always necessary for an insecure person to reinforce himself through behaviour that will push another person to feel insecure. Many times, it is enough for insecure people to boast about their great lifestyle, their amazing education, their achievements or how fantastic their family is. This is their way of convincing themselves (and others) that they really have value.
Insecure people make jokes out of everything. One huge sign of an insecure leader is that they make a joke about everything. Joking is a coping mechanism used to bring attention and a false sense of being liked to the insecure leader.
Insecure people are overly concerned about personal appearance. Some insecure leaders are never far from a mirror. They are overly conscious of their clothing. Afraid of not being in style or being accepted as hip or cool, they are constantly looking for the latest fashion trends or attempting to be cutting edge with the gadgets they carry.
Please understand, all of us have moments of insecurity. None of us are good at everything. As Pastors and Leaders it is so important we learn to recognise the signs of persistent insecurity, figure out the root causes of it, and attempt to limit that insecurity from affecting our leadership and our relationships.