I don’t know where you’re reading this. Maybe this doesn’t apply to your country or culture. I am writing to you live from the United States of America, where we are born, bred, and raised to be CONFIDENTCONFIDENTCONFIDENT while internally, we are combustion engines of self-loathing, wrenching insecurities, cloaked and coddled by toxic-fied ego. I try to save everyone some time and just write my crippling insecurities on my face in sharpie, but sometimes I have to leave the house and talk to people (like Monday-Friday and usually weekends, too) so I wipe off the scribbles, put the CONFIDENT.WOMAN.NO.SERIOUSLY.I.AM face back on and keep going.
Many of my clients and students deal with this. Their readings show that they are good at what they do, or attractive to other people. Their answers in class are evocative and introspective. They carry confidence when walking into my studio for a reading. It shouldn’t keep surprising me, but it does: a whip-smart student ends their profound statement with, “But I don’t know….I’m not good at any of this stuff” or a client’s reading is all criss-crossed-to-hell with cards that block their progress to love and success. These same people sigh and say, “I know. I need to get over my insecurities. I’m working on it. I’m working on it.”
“No,” I tell them. “Just put them in the back of the van.”
We think we’re supposed to unload all of our insecurities and humble moments and just be the most confident person we can be. Here’s the problem: 1.) Overconfidence is a big, nasty social turn-off. Confidence is good. Overconfidence is repulsive. 2.) Why are you wasting all of that energy trying to push your insecurities out the door? There’s probably some link between being insecure about your abilities to kill saber-tooth tigers and humanity’s ability to survive. Being insecure about your abilities–to a point–is part of Knowing Thy Friggin’ Self. But clinging too much to them will hold you back.
Imagine your life is a road trip and you are driving a big van. These are all your passengers. You. Your Intuitive Self. Your Past Mistakes. Your Future Ambitions. Things Your Parent/s Taught You (Or Didn’t.). Your Wants. Your Needs. Your Desires. Your Animal Self. Your fears. And, of course, your insecurities.
This is a packed load. Driving, like leadership, is a collaborative process. You can’t do all of this alone. You need your passengers to navigate, to care for other passengers, to play “That’s Your Boyfriend” with other cars to keep you from falling asleep from boredom, and to make a huge scene when you’re going in the wrong direction. If you didn’t have all of these things in the van with you, chances are you’d just drive in circles or fall asleep at that wheel.
But here’s the problem…
Many of us keep our insecurities in the front passenger seat, clutching the GPS nervously and insisting that both you and the little voice in the GPS (Boyfriend and I call her Tammy Lynn) don’t know what they hell is going on. We also often stick Fears right behind us to whisper stupid nothings in our ear. These feed the dark side of Things Parent/s Taught You Or Didn’t–which can be a helpful passenger, but not when it’s positioned between Sister Mary Insecurity and Sister Mary Fearful. It turns off the “Wipe you mouth and say please n’ thank you” into “I told you this was a terrible idea! Insecurity and Fearful are with me on this!” So then you’ve got a chorus of nay-saying. At this point, the Animal Self has climbed into the third row and is grunting and humping the seat, wildly turned on by all the adrenaline in the van. Past Mistakes jumps in and starts wailing. Wants, Needs, Desires, and Ambitions are by default squished in the back row–their reasonable protestations drowned out by the circus you’ve created by allowing Insecurities into the stupid passenger seat. Oh, yeah. And Intuitive Self is stuck behind the back seat with the luggage, weeping quietly.
Sound dramatic? It’s not. Don’t lie and say this doesn’t sound familiar once in awhile. It gets even worse when Insecurities and Fears panic and actually take the wheel from you. That happens, too.
Here’s how you want to assemble your passenger list:
Just behind you are your Wants, Needs, Desires, and Future Ambitions (let’s pretend your van seats are super-wide). They’re the ones that marvel at the scenery and make helpful suggestions of places to stop and eat along the way. They’re the ones who set the initial destination and will have lots of ideas of things to go and do.
Past Mistakes and Things Your Parent/s taught you should sit behind them. They raise their voices only to thank the toll-booth guy–because it’s polite–to remind everyone to use hand sanitizer after a rest-stop break, or to not pick up any twitchy hitchhikers (again…). From their position in the center of the van, they can share their wisdom with everyone on the journey fairly easily without annoying the crap out of you or panicking when they see how fast (or slow) you’re going.
In the back of the van–this is where your Animal Self, Your Fears, and Your Insecurities can sit and stew. Few people can hear them. No one is paying them much mind. If you start heading in the seriously wrong direction, they can still make noise like, “HEY! YOU REALLY DO NOT KNOW WHERE YOU’RE GOING, DO YOU???” “HEY! YOU’RE HEADING TOWARD A CLIFF’S EDGE AND THAT IS SCARY!” “UG! UG! UG! KILL AND EAT! THEN PULL SHIRT OFF THAT TROOPER DUDE AND BRING TO CAVE!”
Now, your Intuitive Self is in the passenger seat next to you. Why? They’re going to navigate. They don’t need GPS. They know exactly where to go…
Don’t bother eliminating your insecurities–or your fears The blessings of them is that they can steer you away from trouble. You know they’re there. They know you’re there. But they shouldn’t be anywhere near you. You have places to go, people to see, and things to do. You don’t need to have them breathing in your ears all the time.
And you should NEVER let them drive!