3 Times When It's Good To Embrace Your Insecurities #WomensDaySpecial
“What are some of your strengths and weaknesses?” asks the interviewer, and it’s almost like your entire life’s worth of failures comes rushing back to haunt you in one sitting like Scrooge’s Ghost of Christmas Past.
Funny how we seldom remember our list of strengths but when it comes to our weaknesses, the parchment roll is so long it can roll right out our front door. Don’t you ever wonder why Life, being as hard as it is and being thrust upon us with no instruction manual whatsoever, then decides, almost cruelly, to throw us this huge baggage of insecurities that seems to weigh us down even more?
As with a lot of other things in life, however, it’s a matter of perspective. Here are three times in life when it’s actually good to embrace your insecurities and reap the benefits they bring.
1. When You Cry
You and I all know someone who has said to us that we shouldn’t cry because it’s a sign of weakness. In fact, it might even have been our mothers who first reprimanded us with, “Don’t cry, don’t cry…” And thus, we learnt, even from such a tender age, that crying was wrong and if we were tough, strong girls (like we should be), we needed to hold everything in and remain stoic.
And crying has retained its bad reputation even through adulthood. If you’re a woman and you cry too much, you’re weak, too emotional, full of drama, hysterical, can’t be taken seriously – and get this, this is a good one – you’re “feeling too much”. And it’s probably even worse that when men cry, they’re told to “stop being such a woman!”. Oh no they didn’t!
Well then, why do some of us feel this innate urge to cry when we feel upset or heartbroken? Why do the tears just fall? And should we really stop them from falling?
It’s a fact that we usually feel better after we have a good cry. This isn’t just something in your mind but is supported by biology and psychology. Our sympathetic nervous system is activated beforehand and when you cry, your heart rate and breathing slow down and your body relaxes automatically. Releasing our tears does break down our emotional dam and lets all the negative feelings out. The converse is also true; by holding back our tears we are also holding onto the negative feelings that led to them in the first place. Crying also releases stress hormones and helps your immune system.
If anything, crying is a sign of strength simply because you’re telling all those people who told you it was “wrong to cry” to go fish themselves. It means you’re matured enough to face your truest and more difficult emotions, that you’re willing to work through them in a healthy manner and find your way to move on in life. When you’re feeling lost, crying is sometimes the best way get everything back under control. It’s also saying to all those people who think it is womanly and feminine to cry, “So? What’s wrong with celebrating my womanliness?”
The last thing you need to remember is that tears are not toxic, in fact they are made of water – and water makes things grow. Going through a tough situation and feeling like giving up, crying, and them picking ourselves back up – that is growth. And that is always to be commended.
2. When It Comes to Style
There is a ton of pressure from societal standards when it comes to fashion, even if we don’t follow trends or care about what walks down the runways. There’s always some kind of regimental dress code hanging over our heads; to dress up for professional events, to dress down for going out with the girls… the key question here is probably the same one Aladdin asked Princess Jasmine in song: “Now, when did you last let your heart decide?”
What we wear is always going to make a statement and an impression; it is part of our voice and our expression of who we are. But instead of it speaking to others and trying to project someone we’re not, it should speak to ourselves and help us discover just who we truly are inside. Some days, it’s okay to let our insecurities show. It’s okay to say, “You know what, today I’m not going to try and look Instagram-ready. Today I’m just going to be me.”
Maybe our idea of casual chic is pairing Yuriyasa’s V-Short Pants with a Super Mario graphic tee and a blazer over it. Maybe today what we feel like wearing for our girls’ night out are the same pants paired with a boyfriend shirt, and we don’t even feel like doing up all the buttons.
Fashion shouldn’t be about wearing what other people tell us to wear or looking at ourselves in the mirror and feeling so frustrated we can’t see past our flaws. It should be about understanding ourselves and our body, flaws and all, our likes and dislikes, and most importantly, how we feel in the clothes we wear. We should take our insecurities and run with them; buy clothes that fit us, that flatter us, that make us feel sexy and confident, and that let us forget what we have on and focus on making new connections and experiencing all there is to life.
3. When It Comes to Love
You may be single, dating casually, dating someone special, engaged, married, divorced, remarried, in a long-term relationship, in a long-distance relationship, living together… or it might say “It’s complicated” on your Facebook relationship status – we still all have insecurities when it comes to love and relationships.
But sometimes our insecurities have a good spin to them. If you’re single, there’s always this pressure to keep marketing ourselves to find a person to be with. We might worry if we’re not good enough or have enough to offer. But what you don’t realize is that these insecurities are what keeps us growing as a person, discovering ourselves, and discovering our self-worth.
If you’re in a relationship, the worry of breaking up with our other half can make us treasure them more and find ways to spice up the relationship and keep things fresh and exciting.
If you have been burned by love before and have second thoughts about getting into another serious relationship, those insecurities can help you keep an eye out for any red flags you may need to address early in a relationship, and set some standards of what a loving, healthy relationship should look like.
Our insecurities keep us humble, motivate us to learn and grow, and help us acknowledge that we are only human, we are bound to fail, but we are also stronger than we know, and we always get back on our feet and push on. So good job, insecurities. We couldn’t do it without you!