Life can be full of surprises at every corner. One moment you feel like you’ve gotten everything figured out, and the next you doubt yourself and second-guess every decision you’ve ever made. I ask myself the latter every time an opportunity comes my way because of my insecurities.
I’m sure everyone has their own insecurities; something that would constantly bother them and hinder them from doing great things. As an overthinker, this would constitute even the little things—my weight, my skin, my talents, my social skills (or lack thereof), and even my intelligence. Even if I would constantly get high grades, I would still think this would be substandard and would punish myself for not getting a point higher. It is a bad habit that consumed me day in and day out during my first few years of adolescence.
Some people would say that you would eventually bloom as you get older. I, however, did not blossom and grow gracefully and naturally; like the desert rose, I took my time to grow. Being an introvert, mingling with other people gave me social anxiety. While everyone would be going out with friends, I would be at home reading a book, or binge-watching my favorite TV shows. Because of my insecurities of not being accepted by everyone, or thinking way too much about what other people think, I decided to just stay in my own little bubble. College, however, opened my mind and made me realize that there is life outside of my own little bubble.
The first step was overcoming my social anxiety. I joined an organization and I excelled at it. The following year, I ran for a student government position, made even more friends, and got to know so many people who had the same worries and woes that I had. I was able to get out of my comfort zone and deliver public speeches. It was a nerve-wracking step, but it was a step I had to take forward.
The next would be to tone down my overthinking problem. The perfectionist that I am would not settle for mediocrity and this is something that I am proud of. But in college, I learned that there is life outside of my grades. To punish myself for every little mistake is not necessary, because mistakes make me learn. Mistakes make me realize what I could’ve done better. Mistakes open my eyes to what I could be. Mistakes give me the opportunity to be.
The last step was learning how to love myself. Growing up with insecurities, it was a challenge to even consider the flaws that I had as beautiful. No matter how many songs on the radio would preach self-love, the lyrics never seemed to resonate in my ears. I would compare myself to every other girl I see, and I would always find at least one negative thing to critique about myself. This is where God comes in– knowing God gave me the capacity to love myself, which in turn, showed me how to love others. He showed me how my imperfections breathe life into my being. Knowing that He loves me despite all my bruises and scars and brokenness was enough reason to give myself a chance, and I did.
I am still a work-in-progress. I still have social anxiety, I still fear the future and the career choice I would end up making, I am still a perfectionist, and I still have all my insecurities. Just like the desert rose, I am still blossoming and finding my way into this earth–feeling and yearning and reaching and growing. Life certainly has its surprises at every corner, but I am now ready to welcome them with open arms.