So many “ah-hah” moments as I read this book. It forces me to dissect myself, my thoughts, my actions, and all of my reactions through a different lens. It points out insecurities I didn’t even realize were insecurities. in a nutshell, through chapter four it breaks me down, but not without promise to help build me back up!
Before I get into the actual ‘journal’ questions for chapter 4 I wanted to go over something that I actually learned in chapter 3 that I didn’t quite grasp until after our group discussion last week. Beth Moore called it False Positives... What is it? What is my prominent one? What is yours? She basically explains it as “the one thing that would make you more secure in all things” (pg. 37). This ins’t true; however, hence why it is called FALSE positive. It is merely our personal belief. She suggests that we have many false positives but one prominent one. Our prominent false positive is most likely some type of characteristic, thing, situation... that we often seek for our overall security, peace and/or happiness. When we have this prominent false positive, because unconsciously we believe it to be true, our minds give it so much power over us. An example would be if you felt that above all else you always found yourself absolutely convinced that if you were skinny you would have it all (it would solve all your problems). She gave a ton of examples including: having a great relationship, having an amazing significant other, financial wealth, beauty, thinness, power, prestige, intelligence, credentials, job security, and the list goes on... What it insinuates though, in our tricky little minds, and that our minds reiterate to ourselves over and over is that “if only I could have that ____, then I would be so happy and life would be good.” NOT true though... how many of us have had plenty of experience in this arena - always thinking it is ONE magical thing that will change the entire dynamic of our life and dictate our happiness, only to find out when we have it that it indeed did not fulfill us, and then we replace that prominent false positive with something new. Oh, and I forgot to mention, that you can usually easily pin point your false positive when you pay attention to your emotional reactions to other people who have that something. For example, are you always envious of your beautiful friends? Or the relationship your best friend has? Or perhaps that house your cousin has and the car he drives? Generally if there is a repeat ‘thing’ that you constantly admire in someone else or wish you had - there might be a correlation.
Ok ok... so what is mine?? Such a tough question. I went back and forth in my mind, but when it comes down to it - I really think it is intelligence/wisdom (in particular around passions). I think if I am truly honest with myself, I feel (and probably have felt my whole life) that I always tell myself “if I were only smart enough and talented enough at the things I was passionate at - then how amazing would my life be.” I envy those people who seem to have it all figured out. They know exactly what to do and my gosh, they are damn good at it! Those lucky lucky people - how did they have it so easy? Why is it that I am not good enough at the one thing I love so much? Now of course - these are just the silly little thoughts that go through my head - aka - my FALSE positive. It isn’t real - it isn’t truth. I could have it all figured out and that wouldn’t bring world peace, it wouldn’t bring me to complete and utter security. Nope - impossible. Therefore, it is important for me to break away from this false positive, and seek security in the ONLY place that true security can be sought.... my relationship with God. Now, I have a VERY VERY common false positive example I can give you that floats amongst (if I had to guess) almost ALL people... It is the 10 pounds to happiness false positive. For women it usually looks like this: IF I could just loose only 10 pounds I would be soooo happy. For men it usually looks like this: If I could only gain 10 more pounds of muscle..... Get the drift? But.... a blog on that topic all to itself coming soon (I PROMISE) ;-)
So .... what’s your false positive? I encourage you to think about it... It could change you !!!
Ok... Chapter 4: (PS... this is a VERY VERY hard topic for me to even be honest with myself about - let alone a single other soul, but what have I got to loose?... a little pride, maybe...)
Insecurity is driven by a fear of loss. What do you MOST fear losing, and how does that fuel your insecurities?
This was a very tough question for me. I found myself resisting it at first glance. I actually left it blank the first night, and let it sit with me for 48 hours, through the group discussion and beyond. But, as usual, if I get down and dirty honest with myself, I always come to realization. I actually wanted to share the story above on false positives, and my false positive, as I think that my biggest fear of loss and that strongly correlates, oddly enough (I’ll do my best to explain) But before I can even start writing about what I most fear loosing, there is one other new concept I learned that I must share! It is something that Beth Moore calls Imposter Syndrome. Ever heard of it before? Me either... She describes it as “when you feel that, although everyone else may see you as competent and qualified for whatever position you’re in, you know better. You assume that if other people knew you the way you know yourself, they would agree that you’re just not good enough” (workbook pg. 22). WOW. Have you ever felt this way about anything before? I would be lying to myself to deny this exact feeling.. I mean - I couldn’t have described it better myself (as I read it - it was as if she vacuumed my thoughts right out of MY head - but how could she?) I do this with work (and I used to do it in college) It is a problem - a big one... It holds me back - or should I say, it causes me to hold myself back. It holds me back from attempting to grow my health & fitness career. It inhibits me from feeling capable or good enough or smart enough or wise enough to open my own facility someday. It is intense. It is real ONLY in my head, but the reality is that real in my head is still real. OK.... so are you guessing yet what I am most afraid of loosing??? IF my false positive is intelligence/wisdom, and if I suffer from intermittent imposter syndrome around feeling smart/wise enough, then it makes 100% and total sense that I would most fear to loose the facade of my intelligence. Now, I am by all means (on a wise day) not saying that it is a facade... but what I am saying, is that if I value and give power to intelligence, and if I intermittently suffer from imposter syndrome around intelligence, then it couldn’t be more clear that I would fear being stripped away of my appearance of intelligence, as it becomes the one thing that I hold onto to deem myself worthy or good enough. Am I making sense? Now I can sit here and write about all this, dissect it, and understand it, and even acknowledge the absurdity of it all, but that doesn’t mean that on a rough day, when I am operating unconsciously that these silly thoughts won’t slip back into my mind. The good thing is, that every time I become aware of them and their lack of realness, I can diminish the power I place on them, and therefore, the power they place over me.
Consider the threats (both real or perceived) you face that trigger insecurity in you. What are you afraid of losing, and how does that fear affect your thoughts and actions?
Hmmmm.... honestly, the one thing that stands out the most right now that I have been battling and just faced, is my relationship with someone very special. I have a horrible track record of sabotaging relationships. I would like to believe it was always because they were with the wrong person, but I don’t know that to be total truth. Truth be said, I think it is because it is ultimately easier to sabotage them myself, and find reasons to get out before it gets too real - because real means I am vulnerable and vulnerable means I could get hurt. So because I feel that this relationship has gotten more ‘real’ as of late, I have been, at a more unconscious level, displaying classical sabotage behaviors. Some things have come up that have made me realize how real it is/could be. It has brought to light how I really feel. This is scary for me. I know some people can’t understand that, but after my last relationship I created majorly huge thick steal walls, refusing to every allow myself to feel the way I felt before, swearing to myself it wasn’t worth it ever again. Well, over time, I slowly chipped away at these walls, through personal development & growth. As I developed spiritually and in faith, I have realized that the wonderful feelings you can experience through love are worth the risk. However, this of course, is easier to say, then to always live by. Consciously I recognize this, but at a deeper level I still have some destructive behaviors that occasionally seep out. So with that said, naturally, this fear has affected my thoughts & actions greatly. It was only today that I was able to step back, process the situation, and recognize these behaviors for what they really are. Now I have the knowledge and I get to decide what to do with it... Today I choose to go to God for support. Today I pray. Today I ask God to use his strengths to shine through my weaknesses. Today I am not alone. This means that today I do not let my past behaviors, heartache, fears, or walls define me or lead my actions any longer.... today. Today I will remember 2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (ESV)