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Why Do I Feel Insecure? Identifying and Overcoming Self-Doubt

Learning how to identify and overcome our insecurities is essential to building a close relationship with God.
Why do i feel insecure?
Listen to this devotional

Insecurity is a feeling of lacking confidence and not being sure of your own abilities or of whether people like you.

We all have insecurities. These insecurities can cause us to doubt ourselves and question whether we are enough or will be accepted.

Identifying and learning to deal with our insecurities is important. We can learn from years of research from psychologists that dealing with insecurity helps prevent some of its unwanted effects on our relationships and overall health. Identifying insecurity is also essential to our spiritual well-being.

Insecurity ignored can lead us to make unwise and unspiritual decisions in our relationship with God and other people as we search for things other than God to make us feel secure:

 The same happens to all who forget God. The hopes of the godless evaporate. [14] Their confidence hangs by a thread. They are leaning on a spider’s web. [15] They cling to their home for security, but it won’t last. They try to hold it tight, but it will not endure.

Job 8:13-15 NLT

If we don’t learn how to let God help us overcome insecurity, we will end up clinging to other things that don’t last for security, like achievements, approval, or attention from other people.

In this article, we will look at five passages (along with five related questions) that can help us find God’s answers to our insecurities about ourselves.

Seeing ourselves the way God sees us can help us overcome self-doubt and its impact on our relationships.

Insecurity #1: Am I enough?

15 But Gideon answered and said, “Pardon me, sir.  How can I save Israel? My family group is the weakest in the tribe of Manasseh, and I am the youngest one in my family.” 16 The Lord answered Gideon and said, “I will be with you, so you can defeat the Midianites as easily as if they were only one man.”

Judges 6:15-16 ERV

God had a vision for Gideon, but Gideon was full of insecurities. He doubted why God chose him, and he was insecure about his family, his youth and his abilities.

He questioned if he was good enough for God’s calling. God reassured Gideon that he would be with him and would equip him to defeat his enemies. 

I can relate to Gideon. I am a middle child of three girls in my family and always felt like I wasn’t enough. I was always competing for the respect my older sister got and the attention my younger sister received.

I believed I had to be the smartest, the funniest, and the most helpful just to be good enough to be loved in my family.

Even as an adult, I struggle with the insecurity of not being good enough. I fear that I am not good enough just being me, or that I must be something “extra” just to be accepted.

It leads me to be competitive with and jealous of other people instead of appreciating and admiring people around me.

Reflection question

  • What insecurities make you feel not good enough?

Insecurity #2: Am I accepted?

6 When Jesse and his sons arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the man who the Lord has chosen.” 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Eliab is tall and handsome, but don’t judge by things like that. God doesn’t look at what people see. People judge by what is on the outside, but the Lord looks at the heart. Eliab is not the right man.”

1 Samuel 16:6-7 ERV

When Samuel looked and saw an outwardly impressive guy, he thought, “This is the man.”

He thought Eliab must be the one that God had chosen to be the next king. Samuel had to learn that God accepts heart over talent. It’s easy for us to believe that we will be accepted by others based on what is on the outside — like if we are cool, smart, attractive, or popular.

When I was in the fourth grade, my friend Jason was bragging about his mom’s new car, a Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. He was saying it was just like the car from the movie “Smokey and the Bandit.”  All my other friends thought it was the coolest thing. 

Then Jason asked me, in front of everyone, what kind of car my dad drove.  I was thinking of saying a station wagon (which was the truth), but when I opened my mouth, out came “Ferrari” (just like in Magnum P.I.).  Everyone listening erupted and shouted, “That’s so cool!”

I can remember feeling accepted and cool but just for a moment. I soon felt insecure again.  

Reflection question

  • What have you done or said in your relationships in order to be accepted?  

Insecurity #3: Am I valued?

13 The same thing happens to everyone who forgets God.     The hope of ungodly people dies out. 14 What they trust in is very weak What they depend on is like a spider’s web..15 They lean on it, but it falls apart.     They hold on to it, but it gives way.

Job 8:13-15 NIRV

Imagine falling, and the safety net you grab onto is a spider’s web.

How secure will you be? This is what insecurity is like, putting unwarranted value in something or someone other than God. This choice causes us to feel unsure, uncertain, and unprotected.

I got my value from my achievements as an athlete in high school. I received lots of awards, recognition, and attention for my abilities. So when I went to college, I assumed my talents would still shine bright.

My first day of weightlifting was a rude awakening. I stood in line and watched with fourteen other guys in my position as each one lifted 225 lbs on the bench press, ten times. I was the last one in line and thought “I got this!”

I attempted to lift the weights off the bench, and they would not move. I started hearing lots of laughter and comments.

Then I heard the coach say take off 90 lbs and see if he lifts that. Even then I was barely able to do two reps. I felt humiliated, embarrassed, and unsure if I could play college football.

This is what happens when we value and trust in something fleeting like human talents and abilities over God. You may not be into weightlifting, but I’m sure you have a story of your own that you can think of that helps you understand the futility of putting your confidence exclusively in your talents or abilities.

Reflection question

  • Where do you get your value from?

Insecurity #4: Am I loved?

Everyone longs for love that never fails. It is better to be poor than to be a liar.

Proverbs 19:22 NIRV

No matter who we are, where we come from, our level of talent, or our age, one thing we all have in common is that we all want unconditional love.

One of the most uncomfortable things for me to talk about is love. I would rather talk about mistakes, failures, sins, and even anger than to express my desire to be loved and feel love from others.

When I was 22 years old, I started my journey of faith, studying the Bible for the first time in my life. I did not comprehend everything I read in the Bible, but I captured the emotions and security that God offers. The Scriptures made me feel safe, protected and loved. I had never experienced anything like that before.

The attachments that I developed during my Bible studies deepened my belief in God and eventually led me to want a relationship with him. I learned that only with God would I experience the love that makes me secure.

Reflection question

  • Where do you look for love? What makes you feel loved?

Insecurity #5: Do I matter?

2 You perceive every movement of my heart and soul,and you understand my every thought before it even enters my mind. 3–4 You are so intimately aware of me, Lord. You read my heart like an open book and you know all the words I’m about to speak before I even start a sentence!

You know every step I will take before my journey even begins. 17–18 Every single moment you are thinking of me! How precious and wonderful to consider that you cherish me constantly in your every thought! O God, your desires toward me are more than the grains of sand on every shore! When I awake each morning, you’re still with me.

Psalm 139:2-4 (TPT), 17-18 (TPT)

We live in a digital world that sometimes can measure whether we matter or not by the amount of likes we get or the number of followers we have. However, God knows us intimately and intricately. Every detail about us matters to him.

I come from a family of high achievers, and I measured my significance by what mattered to them. I believed if I did well in school, had the best career, and accomplished “great things,” then I would matter.

This put a lot of pressure on me and distance in my relationships because I felt like I always had to perform.

Learning about God has taught me that I matter to him. God offers us unconditional love and acceptance simply for who we are. He knows everything about us, even the parts we would rather hide, and yet he cherishes us. We matter to him.

Reflection question

  • Do you believe you matter? Why or why not?

Personal application

Here are a few tips on how to take action after this study:

  1. Identify three insecurities you saw from this article.
  2. Reflect on how your insecurities affect your relationship with God and your friendships.
  3. Pray about each insecurity and ask for God’s help.
  4. Initiate with a friend and share what you are learning.
  5. Study the books of 1 ,2, & 3 John to gain insight on how to overcome insecurity. 

Suggested music playlist to go with this study:

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