For those of us wired with shame and self-sabotage, insecurity is like a frenemy, an enemy disguised as a friend, and one that goes with us EVERYWHERE whether we invite her or not.

It is interesting though, because it seems a lot of us who have this particular frenemy often receive compliments or admiration from others. The natural instinct is to shrug off the kind words thinking they are just trying to be nice or make us feel better; but what if that is not true? What if, just for the sake of argument, they really mean all those nice things they say about us and they really think we are strong, smart, beautiful, capable, successful, hard-working, and so on.

If other people can look and see us this way, how can we both be right? Who is right??? Honestly, it seems more logical that the unbiased outsider would have more credibility than our very jaded self. The self is so complicated. The self has so much to consider, too much input; too much data. Maybe if we could really believe the perspective of others and let that sink in somehow, maybe we could begin to see ourselves through their eyes. Oh, how I wish I could! Oh, how I wish YOU could!

I have not been able to lose this frenemy from accompanying me 24/7 throughout my life. If there is an easy answer, I have yet to discover it. However, I think under the circumstances, the best tactic to countering her impact is for me to bring along another friend; one who speaks kindness and compassion; the positive sides instead of the negative. The trick to her being effective is to make her as ever-present as her counterpart. This requires effort and awareness. On the other hand, she is free and always available. She is me. She is the part of me that can see the positive realities in my life and experience; my actions and my accomplishments.

I think we have been taught that listening to that part of ourselves is a bad thing; it would make us arrogant when we should be humble. However, I disagree. I do not think anyone carrying the level of insecurity I am referring to could EVER be labelled arrogant. If you remove that concern, what is the harm in letting her in? Let her walk with you. Just try it. It reminds me of the concept of having an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. There are two sides to every coin. If we cannot eliminate the one, the next best thing is to counter it with its’ opposite. Balance the scales. Let in truth and light and optimism. She is there. She is knocking on your door. Will you let her in?

With both sides of the coin,

Nikola Rosa