We all have insecurities. These insecurities come from wounds at formative times. But, the question remains – are we going to live from a place of wholeness or from our wounds? This isn’t a choice that’s given to us. It is a choice that is earned. To live from wholeness, we need to be able to acknowledge these wounds and choose otherwise. However, even when we do choose to live from wholeness, we will have the occasional flights to insecurity. And, I’d like to make the case that we ought to welcome them.
The other word for wholeness, of course, is confidence. But, confidence is often misunderstood. Seth Godin had a great post a few months ago about widespread confusion around confidence and strength. He called out that we often take loudness, brusqueness, bullying and external unflappability for strength. I clearly remember a time in my life when I have behaved that way. But, I’ve since learnt that real strength lies in the courage to be vulnerable.
And, therein lies the challenge with living from a place of wholeness. We need to be able to summon the courage everyday to care, to put ourselves out there and be vulnerable. Furthermore, it requires us to embrace an approach based entirely on our ability to learn and grow. For, there is no love and care without learning and growth.
Now, even when we do that, every once a while, we’ll find our confidence and wholeness tested. This isn’t just about the times when we get tough feedback about our style. All it might require is a casual question from someone around us that reminds us of our wounds. It’ll be tempting to think nothing of it and move on.
However, I’d urge you (and me) to take a moment, pause and reflect. It isn’t easy to live from wholeness 100% of the time. Every once a while, we drift into living from our wounds. We get ahead of ourselves and lose ourselves. It is only natural. And, these flights to insecurity are gifts – moments that help us save ourselves from ourselves. After we do that, we might conclude that most things are fine and that we have nothing to worry about. But, the chances are that the reflection will prompt some action that will help us massage a few corners that we unknowingly hurt with our edges.
Flights to insecurity are a beautiful thing. They might make us question our wholeness for a little while. But, understanding our wounds and being comfortable spending time with them every once a while is the price we pay to earn our wholeness. And, it is from these questions that thoughtfulness, love and learning emerge.
And, thoughtfulness, love and learning are what we need to make this journey meaningful, to make it count.