The Secret Reason for Your Insecurity

Have you ever met someone and experienced an instant connection? I felt that way as I sat across from Sharon Miller at a meeting recently. When she introduced herself, I found out that she has a book releasing this month, and when I read this post, I realized I had to share with you. Y’all she’s our sister from another mister! Another woman on the journey to break up with perfect.

Make sure to read to the end and leave a comment for the giveaway. Her publisher is generously donating three copies of her new book, so your chances of winning are terrific! Please welcome Shannon!

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Several years ago I found myself in a surprising situation. I was a lifelong Christian, growing in my faith, and following God’s call into ministry. I was writing and speaking and teaching women about the Bible, and from the outside everything looked easy and great.

Except that it wasn’t.

On the inside, I had become increasingly fragile and insecure. I wasted loads of mental energy on comparing, striving, and clamoring for affirmation. I needed to be seen, I needed to succeed, and I needed to be the best. And as a result, it sucked the joy right out of my life, even the joy of my calling.

Once I diagnosed the problem, I set about the work of fixing it. Like many Christian women, I devoured books on insecurity. I read blog posts and articles, listened to sermons and podcasts, and I meditated on my identity in Christ. I did all the “right Christian things,” but at the end of it all, I realized something:

None of it helped.

All of those messages, and all of that truth, had barely even scratched the surface. It’s not that I struggled to believe God’s promises—that I am loved, rescued, and delighted in—because I believed them whole-heartedly. Instead, something else was going on underneath my insecurity, and it took me several years to figure it out.

The Two Causes of Insecurity

Over time, through a lot of prayer and discernment, I discovered there are two root causes of insecurity. The first is one we talk about all the time: low self-esteem. We can define low self-esteem as an inability to see ourselves as God sees us, and it is real and painful, and God has an answer for it: His truth.

When we struggle with degrading lies about who we are, we can run to biblical truth about God and about ourselves. We can also surround ourselves with truth speakers who can declare God’s love into our hearts, especially on those days when we are unable to believe it ourselves. This is, in fact, how Christians usually attend to insecurity, and it’s important.

However, there is a second cause of insecurity that we almost never talk about, which is self-preoccupation. Self-preoccupation places you at the center of everything, which means everything hinges on you, and everything is ABOUT you. Your parenting, your job, that woman who looked at you funny in the lobby—it’s all a referendum on your value and your worth. And as a result, the stakes become impossibly high.

When everything is somehow about you, then your security constantly hangs in the balance.

But here is the trick about self-preoccupation: the solution to it is different than low self-esteem. If you respond to self-focus with heaps of affirmation—even biblical affirmation—it only reinforces the problem. Even when your self-focus is positive and godly, your vision is still locked on something inherently insecure—yourself—instead of fixing your gaze on the rock of Christ.

That was my problem. My self-esteem wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t really the problem.

My problem was my focus.

I wasn’t enjoying the freedom and confidence of living for Christ, because I wasn’t living for Christ. I was living for me. My eyes were fixed on me. My marriage, my parenting, my appearance—even my faith—had slowly turned inward, and I had become the center of it all.

I think it’s time to name this brokenness in our culture and in ourselves. For many of us, the cause of our insecurity isn’t simply low self-esteem, but a misplaced focus on self. We have forgotten the center of the gospel, which has taken all the power out of it. Our faith has grown small and weak, because it isn’t about God, but us.

The answer, then, is not simply remembering who we are in Christ, but also remembering that we are not the center of the story. Everything in our lives—everything that we have, that we are, and that we are called to—is all meant to point away from us and toward the glory of God. And once we get this, and live it, it’s freedom.

Adapted from Sharon’s newly released book, Free of Me: Why Life Is Better When It’s Not about You.

The Giveaway

To enter to win a copy of Free of Me, leave a comment sharing your response to Sharon’s powerful insight. If you’re living life on the fly, simply say, “I’m focused on Christ!” (US and Canada addresses only please. Sorry about that to my peeps who live on another continent! I love you dearly!!)

About Sharon

Sharon Hodde Miller is an author, speaker, pastor’s wife, PhD, and mom. She is a regular contributor to She Reads Truth and Propel, she blogs at SheWorships.com, and she is the author of Free of Me: Why Life Is Better When It’s Not about You.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Wow, that was convicting….I had not looked at this issue quite like that. I would love to read Sharon’s book to learn more. Thank you for sharing this today.

    • Thank you Sharon, for helping me to refocus on the fact that my Christian life is all about You and not me. Somehow when we have our eyes and focus in the correct place, on Jesus, everything works for the good of those who love Him. His word is true and everlasting.

  2. I struggle with insecurity and find myself comparing whoa and what I do tonothers who I think are and do it so much better than me. I really want to take the focus off of myself and put it on Christ where it rightfully belongs.

  3. Wow! Nothing better first thing in the morning than to have God smack you in the forehead and make you realize that all this trying and working and struggle to “fix” my insecurities was just making it worse!! Thank you thank you!! Can’t wait to read the book!!

  4. I definitely relate to this! I’ve always loved the stage, the spotlight. From my childhood and dance recitals I loved people applauding me. It’s a struggle to have both low self esteem and be self centered. God and I talk about it a lot. I want to be 100% God centered. Most days I’d be happy if I could just get to 75% God centered. Thanks Amy, for introducing me to Sharon. And kudos to Sharon for being brave enough to address this challenge so many try to hide!

  5. I can definitely related to low self esteem. I want to be 100% God centred and not self centred. Would this book be appropriate for me a MAN:?
    Thank you

  6. I can relate to this. I have struggled with self preoccupation for years. I used to call it responsibility because I thought I was responsible for every god,bad, success,or disaster related to me,my family, my job, my community…. age and exhaustion has helped – I had to give up and see it for what it was – I had put myself on the throne rather than Christ

  7. I stand convicted! I never really thought about my feelings of insecurity from the perspective that I was making it all about me and not about God. I have confidence about who I am in Christ, but never realized that my feelings of insecurity were because I was always looking at everything from my own point of view and remembering that I should be desiring a whole lot less of me and and a whole lot more of Christ. I would really enjoy reading Sharon’s book to delve deeper into this issue. Thank you so much for sharing a new way of looking at the issue of insecurity.

  8. Wow, this hit the nail on the head! I can’t believe how much I related to what you were saying. I have been struggling with this for so long & I can’t wait to get your book so I can continue digging deeper & resolving this issue with your book & God:s help.

  9. Wow! This totally convicted me. I tried everything you did and nothing worked. I kept wondering what was wrong with me. I would love to read your book to help me finally be free of self absorption and to keep Christ in the center for good!

  10. Congratulations Sharon on your book and thank you for your honesty. Thank you Amy for having Sharon on your blog. Many times, we as women seem to have it all together and look secure when deep inside we are insecure and compare ourselves. I have struggled with low self esteem for the majority of my life. However, the last several years due to a difficult season in my life I have been broken of certain insecurities which have made me stronger and more effective so God can use me for “him”. God is still working on me and not finished with me yet. (Philippians 1:6) ~Lisa~

  11. Wow, total conviction on this. I am actually glad I have this to blog to point out the issues. I don’t think I would have pin pointed it otherwise. I will purchase this book for sure. Thank you Sharon and Amy!

  12. Thank you Sharon for your vulnerability to share on this subject. I have been starting to peel back some of my layers exposing my insecurities and realizing that it is all about me. Immediately my first reaction to reading this was “God you have my attention”. I recently left a ministry position which took all of my joy. I hope your book Sharon will be the jump start to putting the focus back on Christ. Thank you

  13. Thanks for the blog this morning. I am insecure and focused on me… I would love to read your book. God Bless!

  14. Wow! What a revelation! I have struggled with insecurity all my life. This puts it all in a different light for me.
    Thank you for your Godly insight and willingness to be “real” with others! I know this will help us all!

  15. Yes, Sharon, yes…such truth about self-focus. Living and seeking the center of attention instead of Christ-center. What are our motives moving forward in Christ? I so understand your words. I walk that line at times. It is a day to day renewal in our Father. Thank you for sharing your heart. ❤️

  16. Thank you for the insight of the me focus problem. It makes perfect sense that we cannot reach perfection when we put ourselves at the center. Keeping our focus on Jesus as the center is something I know I want to and need to learn about. I would love to read this book.

  17. Very eye-opening thoughts!! I can see how easily we can switch our focus without even meaning to or realizing it. Scary, but I know God is gracious. He helps us on our journey and won’t let His children stumble too far!

  18. love this… what a humbling perspective. I feel this would be a great book for me to read. Lord help me to surrender to you and to the mission who have placed in me, for me, for YOU and your glory. I KNOW you will equip me, guide me and love me in the process and journey. I surrender to YOU

  19. This is so me! Thanks for the insight in your blog. I would really like to read more about it an become free of “self”.

  20. Whoa! This sounds like me! I crashed and burned inside myself over the course of four months. I’m learning that being still is good but staying stuck is not. Thank you for your words and for
    this opportunity.

  21. I want to be focused on Christ, and I want the same for my husband and daughters (26, 16, and 12) and my grandkids (4, 3, and 1).

  22. Help me Lord to focus on You and not on myself. Help me to be comfortable with imperfection and help me to accept Your plans wholeheartedly…whatever that might look like.

  23. This is so freeing! Sounds like an amazing topic for a book-can’t wait to read it. Are there study questions that go along with it? I might suggest it for my womens small group study.

  24. Wow! What great insight! I pray I can remember to keep my focus on Christ instead of myself! I need to get this book!

  25. Yes, I can identify with your devotion. Thanks for reminding us where our focus is always to be. I know there is a verse that tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith . As Liz Curtis Higgs reminded us on face book that ” Anxiety weighs down the heart,but a kind word cheers it up” Proverbs 12:25. Thanks again for helping us deal with insecurity..

  26. I can totally relate to this devotion. It definitely hit home for me. Thanks so much for sharing! I never thought of it that way. I guess I need to change my focus. I would love to get a copy of the book! God bless!

  27. Wow! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’ve always struggled some with insecurity and trying to be perfect in order to be accepted (not just accepted by others, including God, but accepted by myself too—I think we are truly our worst critics!). I’d never realized by doing this I am also being self focused and I’d never thought about it that way before. I’m so thankful you shared this and can’t wait to learn more! Prayers for all struggling and hopes we all are able to live a life centered in God! XO

  28. I was told once that there are two kinds of arrogance (pride). There is the “Wow is me”, which my mother stressed strongly that I should avoid…..and there is the “Woe is me”, which I seemed to embrace for much of my life. Your message today reminded me that I still have work to do in that area! So, thank you.

  29. My Bible Study at church last night talked about the “me focus” from Proverbs and now reading this
    devotion really has convicted me. I never realized the problem before. I would love to read more
    on this. Thank you so much for sharing. God Bless!

  30. Wow. That hit home this morning. I know that my issue is related to self-esteem and wanting to “prove” that I’m as “good” as other women. I can’t wait to read this whole book!

  31. I ‘ ve always struggle d w/ insuinscurity , being very shy as a child , self centerd yet give a lot of myself
    Want to be liked you know many of the things y’all are saying. It’s soo easy to fall back in the old rut .
    I’m thankful for Miss Amy’ s encourage ment , I would love to get out of this rut I get into from timecto time.
    God bless y’all , each & eveyone of you .

  32. Wow does this open my eyes. I’ve always had low self esteem. This has convicted me of exactly my problem. I focus on myself and how everything affects me. I want to be more God centered. I’ve been so blessed and I want to give him all the glory. Thank you for speaking such truth!

  33. Wow! I have been looking at it all wrong all along. Trying to please everyone has not been about low self esteem but more about what I get out of it. Never considered this perspective. Would love to have more insight to your walk and how you freed yourself to live for Christ. Want to from now on serve Him first!

  34. I am weeping. Thank you for sharing this! We are made to worship and I’ve been worshiping myself. What misery!!! Forgive me sweet Jesus. I am focused on Christ.

  35. Sharon’s post has spoken directly to a very difficult issue in my family’s life. I have been praying for a way to understand the underlying issues that have caused this so that I can speak truth into the conversations that MUST take place. I feel Sharon’s book would be the perfect place to start!

  36. This was an awesome devotional. I’m living for HIM. I try each and every day to live for God, beginning with devotional time and then on-line Bible study. Would love to win a copy of this awesome book. It will be such a blessing to anyone who wins. God Bless!!!

  37. WHOA! That is a huge wake up call for me. Incredibly thankful for your insightful words! Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this book!

  38. A few days ago I confessed to my husband how insecure I have been lately. When I opened my email this morning & saw the subject line from your email/blog I immediately opened it. WOW what an eye opening few paragraphs! God is nudging me for sure. Thank you for this post and sharing with us.

  39. I was a more Christ-focused follower prior to having my health fail and trusting in chronic pain 7 years ago. Pain makes you turn inward and I hate how it has made me so focused on myself and long to break free of this. I am asking the Holy Spirit to help transform me by the renewing of my mind. I am in counseling to see if whether this can also help me in my thought patterns that cause me such suffering in response to the physical pain. My whole life has been negatively impacted.

  40. What a wonderful reminder of a truth I already know, but tend to forget! It’s NOT all about me! Thank you for this gentle nudge to keep Jesus as the one who it’s all about.

  41. The Holy Spirit very recently convicted me…that EVERYTHING is about ME. I thought at first that I must be misunderstanding…but that was indeed a brief thought, for it became immediately clear! My initial reaction was to be horrified, then a kind of relief in understanding. I am so thankful for your post today and can’t wait to read the book!!

  42. This made me stop & think, I have been so low with all that has been happening in my life, have done about all the same things. This opened my eyes very much! Thank you & Bless you both!

  43. WOW!! This definitely hit home for me. The pride of self is difficult to see. The enemy is always there to keep us concentrating on self and not on Christ.

  44. What a great reminder that we all need to focus on CHRIST not ourselves, which tends to be the case in this society of “Look at Me” on social media and other avenues. Thank you for sharing and for the great reminder that it’s not about us! 🙂

  45. Wow! This is eye-opening conviction. With the social media push, it is so easy to be deceived and allow our focus to shift from Christ to Self. Thank you for your boldness to speak Truth in love!

  46. Thank you for this revelation and exposing the truth about insecurity. It’s funny how insecurity, pride, striving for perfection all centre around self. Help us turn and keep our focus on you, Lord!

  47. That definitely hit the nail on the head. I’ve been dealing with both of these issues and was aware of the low self esteem but never knew about the focus issue of self preoccupation. This has definitely opened my eyes to the other issue I’ve been facing so now I can find the right way to work on it.

  48. What a great article! I need to repent and focus on Christ in a moment by moment way. When I look out for my own interest, there is a subtle shift in my attitude of elevating myself instead of glorifying God. Thank you for reminding me that I need to be “Looking away to Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and has sat down on the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

  49. Wow, all I can say is WOW!
    I have been so focused on the situation around ME and now I understand how it is controlling ME. Thank you.
    “I’m focused on Christ!”

  50. “I’m focused on Christ” because the last 2 years have been very eye opening to me as Jesus showed me the errors I was making in my decision. I thank Him for showing me the way and leading me there.

  51. You totally nailed this! This is me through my whole life-low self esteem and being occupied wth myself! I’m so tired of living this way. Looking forward to reading and praying through your book-and I’m going to share it with my sisters, too. Thank you and God bless you!

  52. Wow! What an eye opener! Thank you Amy, for introducing us to your friend Shannon! I look forward to reading this book!

  53. I have been struck with some pretty annoying health issues lately, so all my focus is on me and how I can get better, what I need to do to become healthy again and crying out to God in prayer to heal me. I don’t want the focus to be on me but lately that’s all I think about. So in the mean time, until God decides it’s time for healing, I need to find a way to put the focus back on Him and not myself. Pray pray pray!

  54. Well …wasnt that the fresh cup of wake up I needed this morning!! Wow!! I absolutely love those divine appointments with God to start my day!! Soooo need to adjust my focus more on His promises about me and less on what the enemy fixed my thoughts on about myself!! I am a daughter of our KING!! What was I thinking!!

    Thank you for this today!! Love how the Lord speaks through a beloved sister in Christ as iron sharpens iron!!

    Much Love! ❤️
    Denise G

  55. I never thought of it like this before! Very insightful! Our culture is filled with “self” that is disguised with catch phrases and terminology that masks it for what it really is–an unhealthy inward focus on self.

    Thank you for this!

  56. Such an insightful new look to our insecurities! So simple yet so often overlooked. I love this fresh perspective!!! How much more enjoyable and less stressful our lives would be if we would simply take ourselves out of the picture and focus on His glory instead. I love it!

  57. Wow, this book is perfect for me! I can totally relate to Sharon. The more I step out in ministry areas the more I have been recognizing how self focused I am. I have definitely gleaned from the Christian books on low self-esteem, but had stopped getting them because they could only help me to a certain point. This book sounds like it goes to a bigger root of the problem. I’m looking forward to digging in.

  58. Wow, what a powerful insight, and so true! It really hit me in the heart and helped me understand why I can speak truth to myself over and over but not get free from the insecurity. Very freeing! I want more!

  59. This is so timely. I have too have been devouring books about self-esteem and the thoughts I think.

    It goes along with the book”Me ,Myself & Lies by Jennifer Rothschild. It takes the thoughts we/ I think and move them to a practical way.

    Thanks for the encouragement. I can”t wait to read your book and app;y the next step to getting myself focused on God and not me.

  60. Wow! This makes so much sense! I need to spend much less time focusing on me-even if it is focusing on who I am in Christ-and way more time simply focusing on Jesus Christ Himself! Makes me want to do a study on the Names of God. Excited about this book!

  61. The world doesn’t revolve around me? LOL. trying to remove “I” statements from conversation lately and realized the struggle is real! Thanks for your post, I would benefit from reading your book!

  62. This was sooo enlightening!!! I have been very self-consumed, always seeking to “be better”. My prayers are always about how I can be a better person/Christian…all self-focused!! Thank you for sharing!!!

  63. Wow, this is absolutely me! As others have said, very convicting and just the message I needed. I’m also thinking that my 16-year old daughter (and our kids in general) need this message. Amy, is there a blog like yours for teens? I’ve been looking for a devotion blog for my daughter and would love any thoughts or advice you all can share. Or maybe you could start one (in your free time right? ha).
    Thank you!
    Blessings,
    ~Julia

    • Julia, I checked in with my friend Lynn Cowell today to see if she could offer us any recommendations for your teen daughter. She suggested that you take a look at Megan Glover’s blog https://www.mintedtruth.org/. Also, for pre-teens, Lynn’s new book Brave Beauty is amazing. It’s a devotional for girls. Hope these resources are a help to you!

  64. Absolutely crazy that I had a counseling session just this morning about this exact thing. I know I’m late in posting/reading this blog but it’s all in His timing right? There was a reason I just now got to this email. I have lived my life for so many years based on the affirmation of everyone else and myself. When in fact, I don’t need any affirmation at all. I am loved. I am full of grace and mercy. I am good enough. Simply because God says so. Truly breathtaking words on here that you shared. Thank you!

  65. I had never looked at my self loathing this way. Thank you for your enlightenment. Please pray as I strive to focus on the One who really matters.

  66. I needed to read this now. I just woke up at 3 am. I decided to read a few emails. I followed link after link to get me here. Praise God! I struggle with clinical depression. It’s made harder because I have a wonderful life so I spend too much time asking why. It has only made me feel worse. Recently, i started counseling where I’m working on the underlying issues.. Maybe I can reach a turning point by refocusing on Christ and letting Him filll my unexplained emptiness.
    Thank You!

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