Overheard in an orchard
Said the Robin to the Sparrow: “I should really like to know — why these anxious human beings rush about and worry so?”
Said the Sparrow to the Robin: “Friend, I think that it must be, that they have no Heavenly Father — such as cares for you and me?”
There’s that famous bridge that you are supposed to cross only when you reach it. “Don’t cross the bridge until you reach it,” they say. And, yet, most of us spend our lives using our vivid imagination — conjuring up endless possibilities of disaster and being insecure about issues that may never raise their ugly heads in our lifetimes. We may sail through life without the problems we imagined, but a positive attitude would have ensured a more productive present. On the other hand, there may be the heavenly father that the Robin and the Sparrow are discussing, who might help avert many a disaster we spend our lives fearing, which have plagued a present that could have been blissful.
The insidious thing about insecurity is that it prevents us from attaining our full potential at work, in relationships, mars our performance, and prevents even the simple act of living life to the full conceivable ability we possess of joy and happiness. Our own limitations of fears and pitfalls prevent us from reaching out and conquering the paper tigers we fear. Often we imagine failure or rejection even before we attempt to achieve our goals. Or then those insecure people that do set about to achieve their goals and suffer failure, castigate themselves and load their minds with much self-blame. They feel judged and rejected and demotivated, unable to start again. They have given up after their first attempt.
Another even worse impact of insecurity is that we create relationships to bolster our self-esteem and self-worth. People most often let us down, and if our hopes are pinned upon people with their own agendas and issues, then we go deeper into a morass of low self-esteem and increase our apprehensions about life and ourselves.
Life is about much trial and error, failure and success, all of which is part of anything you venture to do. To live with a load of fear, blame and low self-esteem — all the fallout of insecurity — is unnecessary and can be worked out and dealt with. The important decision to me is to conquer insecurity, self-blame, patterns and fears that plague almost all of us. Some of us however work through and out of these moulds.
The answer is to work with oneself. Start with keeping a journal where you write down and address your fears one by one. You begin to realise a lot of these hypothetical fears are figments of a fertile imagination. Or then there are fears you’ve inherited and imbibed from your parents or siblings that have filtered into your subconscious. Secondly, try to face up to your shortcomings rather than covering them up with arrogance and high handedness at work or social settings. It is easier to work with one’s flaws when you ‘fess up and face up’ and work from a situation of humility and acceptance.
Once you’ve worked at writing down your fears, accepting your flaws, and speaking to yourself about your own shortcomings, you are easier with step two — which is working on yourself. The first step toward self-work is to begin the exercise of being objective. Are your fears rational?
Being realistic and accepting some flaws while working on those you can change is a great start. The thing to remember is that we often give up even before starting. That is an example of your insecurities working on you again. The patterns that took years to acquire, of fears, dread, frustrations and self-doubt, will quite obviously take some time to work out. The tiny triumphs upon yourself are what will egg you onto greater change and working on your self-confidence. Introspection and reading biographies about famous people who have overcome so many hurdles to get where they did, have been great motivators in my journey of success.
The writer is a columnist, designer and brand consultant. Mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org