I absolutely love the episodic adventures of Issa, Molly and company on HBO’s Insecure.
There are many reasons why this show resonates with me, but one of the biggest reasons is because as the title says, it highlights, explains and shows how young professionals manage insecurity in adulthood.
In each season of the show, we witness Issa and her friends figure out the complicated post-graduate world for young African-American singles in Los Angeles. My friends and I all react strongly to the (sometimes questionable) decision-making of each character of the show, as we watch them navigate dating, relationships, friendships and professional ups and downs .
But in being entertained by this show, I can’t help but wonder, what’s the difference between being insecure and having insecurities?
Dictionary.com breaks down the definition of insecure as subject to fears, doubts, etc.; not self-confident or assured.
Like most of the characters on the TV show (and most of us in the real world), having insecurities is pretty natural. When we were children and first experiencing our siblings and peers, we are put into a position to compare ourselves to one another. Judgement soon follows and, more often than not, insecurities are formed.
Yet, to take on the identity of being insecure is a whole different story. This ‘identity’ means that your insecurity steps into the room before you do. What you feel most insecure about leads your walk-around world and it feels like you’re living in stuckness.
Taking on the identity of being insecure can look like:
Feeling reactive or combative when your insecurity shows up
Having a pattern of shaming, blaming and projecting onto others
Frequently judging and comparing yourself to others
Feeling uncomfortable, unsatisfied and unworthy in your own skin
Unlike taking on this “insecure identity”, there is the experience of having insecurities. In having insecurities, you recognize that they are just a normal part of life. Self-reflection and self-awareness are the themes that regularly show up in your life when recognizing that you have insecurities.
Instead of letting insecurities lead your walk-around world, you lead with self-compassion. You are mindful of what comes up for you when you are feeling insecure and you remind yourself of your strengths, skills, and talents. Having insecurities is just a part of you, it’s not your whole identity.
If you notice that you are taking on the “insecure identity” more than accepting that you are a person that has insecurities, take some time to explore why your insecurities are taking up so much of your emotional space.
Who’s showing up right now, me or my insecurity?
What are my beliefs about myself? Are these beliefs positively serving me, or is that my insecurity talking?
What makes me feel proud, excited or satisfied about myself? How can this part of me take the lead?
[Mini spoiler alert!] When learning to live a self-loving life, like Issa at the end of last season, you learn to love being with yourself and all that comes with you. That includes accepting what you love about yourself and what you feel are your insecurities.
What do you believe are the differences between being insecure and having insecurities?