Have you ever looked around you and concluded that everyone else but you is self-assured and confident? Have you paged through thousands of pages of bestselling and award-winning self-help books trying, yet failing to find solutions for dealing with women’s insecurities? Have you listened to endless episodes of motivational podcasts by some of your favorite or recommended speakers in search of elusive answers?
When you have insecurities especially those that seem stubborn and have in a way become a part of you, you may easily find yourself shrinking in fear rather than face them. You may easily fall into the trap of feeling insignificant and small and sometimes, you may even be tempted to think that you are one of the few women that must deal with the issue of insecurities.
You are not alone.
Nothing fuels one’s insecurities more than the assumption that you are the only one who grapples with such insecurities. However, such an assumption is untrue and dangerous in that it sucks you further and deeper into the dark hole of women’s insecurities. If you have role models that are public figures, look up their life stories and you will realize that most of them also have their own insecurities and vulnerabilities.
The truth is, most if not all human beings have insecurities regardless of their gender or social standing. Let’s turn to the Bible for example and look at Esther a widely celebrated woman whose story is chronicled in the Old Testament book of Esther.
In Esther 2:5-7 we are given a brief history of Esther who we are told was a Jewish orphan raised by her cousin Mordecai in the citadel of Susa. Their ancestors had been taken captive and brought into exile from their land of Jerusalem by king Nebuchadnezzar. From that history, we can pick out two points of Esther’s vulnerability: her being an orphan and her being a Jew in Persia whose presence in Susa was traceable to her ancestors who were brought in as captives.
Esther had two things working against her; Firstly, her link to her captive ancestors- captives were held in poor regard and downtrodden, and secondly, she was an orphan- it is well documented that a significant number of orphans are susceptible to low self-esteem and a wide range of other long term psychological issues.
If you feel you are the only one dealing with vulnerabilities or other women’s insecurities, read the book of Esther, and see how Esther, regardless of her seemingly poor standing, is still celebrated today for saving the Jewish people in Persia. She had a vulnerable and insecure background, yet rose to such great prominence.
Women’s insecurities: causes and solutions from the book of Esther.
History shows how society has always been harsher and more unforgiving about women’s physical appearance. Women grapple with; body size issues before and after birth, the acceptability of makeup free faces in public, keeping up with fashion trends while trying to juggle life’s other issues. Needless to say, this can be overwhelming and lead to insecurities. In the book of Esther, we are told in Chapter 2:7 (NIV) that Esther had a “lovely figure and was beautiful.”
When King Xerxes was looking for a young woman to marry to replace Queen Vashti, Esther was part of the group of beautiful young women that were specifically selected because of their good looks and placed in the care of Hegai the King’s eunuch. Before appearing before the king however, all these young women had to undergo twelve months of special beauty treatments.
Isn’t it ironic regardless of their beauty, all these beautiful young women had to undergo a full year of beauty treatments before they were considered fit enough to appear before the King? Can you imagine the pressure that those young women must have felt?
The lesson from Esther’s experience is that sometimes the world is just never satisfied when it comes to women’s looks. Women are constantly being pushed to be more and to want more. Instead of falling into this blackhole of trying to conform to the world’s beauty standards, (which are often unattainable anyway) rather embrace and learn to love the person you are.
Let everyone else find you in that place of self-acceptance and self-love. A space where the world realizes they cannot force you to conform to its definition of beauty and that your sense of worthiness is hinged on more than just looks.
Celebrate your body and its abilities. Affirm yourself and be intentional about loving that body you were been blessed with. Resist the temptation to fall into the comparison trap because we were all created differently and each with a special and unique purpose.
I don’t fit in.
This is probably an insecurity that most women have to deal with at some point of their existence. It could be in the workplace where often womanhood is weaponized until you begin to doubt your own capabilities. Maybe you have been faced with a situation where you feel you don’t fit in because of the color of your skin, your age, your account balance, your religious or political beliefs etc.
Esther was a foreigner – a member of the Jewish people whose nationality she had kept a secret while she awaited her turn to appear before King Xerxes. Imagine how she felt carrying that secret around especially after Haman’s plot to destroy the Jews which is detailed in Esther Chapter 3.
As a Christian you must avoid dealing with issues in the same manner that unbelievers do. Romans 8:28 (NIV) says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Instead of focusing on that which you think disqualifies you, how about focusing on He who can qualify you no matter what anyone else may think of you.
Have faith in God and trust that He will come through for you regardless of the insecurities that you may have. It was all part of God’s plan for Esther to be chosen by the King regardless of her not fitting in
Another big driver for women’s insecurities is fear- fear of not being good enough, fear of not being smart enough, fear of not reaching certain levels in one’s career, fear of not having the word’s standard of “it” all (a great job, a great husband, great children). Fear is debilitating and crippling and sometimes, you become so engrossed by fear until you lose the will to try. It becomes a vicious cycle whereby your fear leads to inaction and inaction fuels your insecurities.
2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” How powerful are those words as a weapon to fight all your fears with?
In Esther 4 we see Mordecai in distress after Haman puts in motion his plot to have all the Jews killed. Mordecai comes up with a plan for Esther who was now queen, to go to the king and beg for his mercy so that he would spare the lives of the Jews.
Esther was scared and in verse 11 of Chapter 4 she sends word to Mordecai that appearing before the king without being summoned could lead to her death. Esther did not even want to try and her initial response to Mordecai’s plan was actuated by fear.
In Esther 4:15-16 (NIV) we see a bolder Esther whose boldness lay in her trust and faith in God. It says, “Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”
The punishment of appearing before the king unsummoned was still death but Esther remembered where her strength lied and felt emboldened. A further reading of the story of Esther tells us how she found favor in the king’s eyes and through her request managed to spare the lives of all the Jewish people that would otherwise have been killed had she given in to her fears.
Choose to deal with your fears through trusting God like Queen Esther did and you will realize that in Him and through Him, you are good and smart enough. Through trusting Him, all your financial or career needs will be met by His grace. In Him and through Him, you can have His version of it all. Through God, His word, His grace and a sprinkle of your faith you can do all things including fighting all your insecurities.
Christian counseling for women’s insecurities.
The mind is a powerful thing and sometimes if you have struggled with some of these women’s insecurities it takes so much more than one article to turn things around. If you need further help, get in touch with us and we will help you on this journey of regaining control of your life.
“Esther”, Courtesy of Tim Wildsmith, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Studying”, Courtesy of Joel Muniz, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Night Sky Through Trees”, Courtesy of Mike L, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Natural Bridge”, Courtesy of Brooke Lark, Unsplash.com, CC0 License