Are You an Insecure Woman?

Are women more prone to insecurity than men? Maybe. At least about some things. Who is under the magnifying glass more on appearance? How about how clean a house is? My brother-in-law once said, housework is more a reflection on the woman than the man. Fair or not, it’s true.

That’s not to say that men don’t also grapple with insecurity, but being natural communicators, we are more likely to talk about them. It’s our way to vent, support, and conquer,

When I reached into my pile of books that periodically show up in my mailbox, I pulled out two books about overcoming insecurity: one relating to married women and the other to singles. So, this article is for insecure women everywhere.

The Single Woman

Go Bravely: Becoming the Woman You were Created to Be, written by Emily Wilson Hussem was once told by a guy friend, that “No one likes having you around.”

“No one? “she asked. Nope, not a single girl liked Emily. Ouch! Imagine the hurt!

There were variables involved. Going to church, not sleeping around and getting drunk, trying to fit in with others very different from yourself, and feeling competitive and critical of other females, was a recipe for creating dislike. But rather than sink into despair, Emily plugged into her faith and found security by tapping into God. She is now happily married, an author, musician and evangelist, and a recovering insecure person—because after all, are we ever fully cured?

Here are some gems from her book:

  • Bravery is not the absence of fear but the ability to conquer our fears and choose to do the right thing. It brings us closer to God.
  • Step out of the huddle. Step away the people whose values don’t support yours.
  • Every woman God every created is beautiful and unique. Instead of treating women as competition, support one another. The key to this is not to compare yourself with anyone.
  • Every guy that walks away from you because you are choosing chastity is doing you a favor.
  • Find people on your journey going in the same direction. Community and friendship are a way God shows his face to us.
  • Failure is part of life. The beauty of life is that we can select our response; allow them to cause despair or to propel us to try again.
  • Don’t compete or criticize other women. “When I was letting insecurity dominate my heart, I was never found celebrating other women…No one wants to be around the woman who is constantly speaking poorly of other women.”
  • None of us will be exempt from having untrue or unkind things said about us.
  • Give each day to God from the time you wake up to stay in tune with him so that he can light the way.

Motherhood Insecurities

Then there is love and marriage, graduating from college and working successfully in your field that is a confidence builder. But alas, insecurities are often again just around the corner. Parenting opens up a whole new world of frettings.

Colleen Duggan, author of Good Enough is Good Enough: confessions of an imperfect Catholic mom fell prey to insecurities based on unresolved issues in addition to being an imperfect human desiring perfection. “I embraced an entire set of unconscious ideas about Catholic parenting that were based on lies,” she wrote.

Intellectually, she understood that God is supposed to be the ruler, but she lacked conviction. Duggan took on the responsibility to become a saint and get her family to be saints and then felt like a failure whenever they fell short.

As she came to grips with her mere humanness, Duggan clung to the Scripture verse in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “…he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” Once she came to grips with the flaws in her thinking, she learned to relax, let go and let God.

“As it turns out, what God actually wanted from me and for me was a lot different from what I thought,” Duggan said. To get out from under the cloud of insecurity required her to accept her and her family’s limitations and accept suffering at times.

With five children in the first eight years of marriage, it was on-the-job training for Duggan. It included letting go of lofty goals for her first son while struggling with his health problems and basic functioning skills.

She found peace in learning to lower expectations, resist cultural expectations and focus instead of living in union with God and counting on him. Pomp and circumstance are not what our children need, Dugan came to understand.

“What my kids really needs is a sane, attentive, fully present mom; a peaceful home, and parents who love each other,” she explained. “They need me to tell them that they have what it takes to survive in this world. What they don’t need is an overbearing mother pushing them to excel in school and sports and make herself crazy in the process.”

Duggan is not against activities or extracurricular activities but came to understand that a calm family life is more important than being a prisoner to crazy schedules. “Pride tempts us to wonder about what we see as the better more prestigious path, but we must let those worries alone. Jesus wants us to pay attention to his call to us, and he wants us to be faithful and obedient to it, and not to worry about his call to our neighbor.”

It is only then, whether single or married and whatever stage of life we are in, that we find peace and overcome insecurities. Living in union with God’s plan for us, means letting go of the pressure we put upon ourselves when we don’t measure up to the plans of others.

Patti Maguire Armstrong, is the mother of 10, and has a B.A. in social work and M.A. in public administration. Her newest book is Holy Hacks: Everyday Ways to Live Your Faith & Get to Heaven. Others include Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories from Everyday Families and the Amazing Grace Series. Follow her at @PattiArmstrong and read her blog at PattiMaguireArmstrong.com.