“OUR OWN EGO JUDGES US, SO WE BECOME AFRAID OF SELF-AWARENESS. IF IT’S NOT PUFFING US UP TO LOOK BETTER THAN OTHERS, IT’S TEARING US DOWN—ANYTHING TO BLOCK US FROM FEELING AT ONE WITH REALITY AND WHO WE ARE.” ~BETH MAYNARD GREEN
Have you ever had insecurities stand in your way?
Have you ever felt afraid to tell someone how you feel?
Have you ever felt like someone could never love you the same way you love them?
We all have insecurities that hold us back in our professional life, our social life, and most of all, our love life. This is something I’ve struggled with a lot.
As someone with a serious physical disability who is basically a quadriplegic, I have often told myself I am not complete.
I’ve told myself I’m not enough, that I’m not good enough or strong enough. I’ve told myself that other people are not interested in knowing me or that they have already made all sorts of judgments about me.
Through my self-criticism, I’m actually imposing my self-image on other people, assuming they see me the same way I see myself. That way, I have an excuse to refrain from being vulnerable because I already made their minds up for them. I don’t have to open myself up and see what they actually think. I have an excuse not to take chances.
So, in a twisted sort of way, I’m actually feeding my ego while also “protecting” it from any actual feedback that I could learn from. Also, I’m missing out on the possibility that I could reach out and make a meaningful connection because maybe my self-criticism is off base.
How Insecurities Blocked Me From Telling Someone How I Truly Felt
I remember struggling with insecurity when I met a girl in college. She was beautiful and talkative, and I was an attentive listener. She liked to tell stories, and I loved to listen to her slightly British-sounding Caribbean accent.
She was energetic and outgoing while I was more laid back and introverted. Our temperaments complemented one another. We hit it off right away.
I really liked her, and I felt like she might like me too, but my insecurities kept getting in the way. In my mind, she could never like me the way I liked her.
We spoke on the phone late into the night and spent every moment we could together. But we were just friends.
So I talked around the issue. I poked at it from one direction and prodded at it from the other. I did everything I could to avoid being the first to say something really dangerous, to avoid showing my true feelings.
My subtlety was without compare; my hints were so obscure that even I wasn’t sure what I was talking about. She never suspected a thing.
Eventually, my ego got tired of protecting me from the terrible fate it knew would result. I decided to try something different.
I got up the courage to let her know how I felt about her, and she reciprocated. The feeling was unbelievable. She was my first and only real girlfriend.