Insecurity is Normal?


In April of 2011, I was caught off-guard by a silly combination of factors:

  • I finally got a smart phone.
  • I discovered “notifications” and activated them all.
  • I combined my Twitter with my Facebook status updates.
  • I went to a great conference for my own development and was live-tweeting many things.

Toward the end of one day, a notification popped up during a pre-dinner networking event:

Everyone else is just as insecure as you are.

I wished I hadn’t seen that — it would be a while before it would be possible for me to smoothly check my facebook and see what my friend Mitchell (Mick) was commenting on.  And so I wondered, all through the reception, all through dinner:

  • Was Mick annoyed by my oversharing?
  • Had I made some snarky comment without thinking?
  • Had something else happened that offended Mick?
  • How insecure am I, really?  I guess a lot, because I couldn’t stop thinking about this!
  • Can I fix this, whatever I did to him or myself? Because I don’t want to put up an insecure front, and I really really really want Mick to keep liking me.

Finally, after a few hours, I made it back to my room to check out what I had done or said wrong.  And I laughed.

Mick had responded to something I had put forth as a question, and he answered it. Nine hours later.  After dozens of other tweets and notification.  And it was brilliant.  I had asked “What advice would you give to the younger version of yourself?” and forgotten about it.


But, I guess he was right, based on my reaction.  And I’ve not forgotten this. (I’ve also disconnected my Twitter and Facebook from each other, and turned off most notifications.)

Think about it – the next time someone responds more defensively than they should, the next time you feel that chip on your shoulder, the next time a puzzling and out-of-character conflict pops up, just realize that this could be a possibility:

The person you’re feeling tension with might just be as insecure as you are.  Guard against letting your own insecurity mess up your reactions, and realize that the inevitable insecurity of others might explain their irrational or defensive behavior.

Everyone else is just as insecure as you are.

Thank you, Mick.




2 Responses

  1. Shari Bush
    | Reply

    When you realize the truth that everyone on the planet is deeply insecure about one thing or another (or lots of things), you begin to see the world in an entirely new light! You realize that we are often driven by our biggest fears rather than our greatest joys. We spend a great deal of our energy trying to hide those fears from the rest of the world. Look at the tough guy who carries around a big stick. To whom is he really trying to prove his power? The rest of the world or himself? The person who is overtly competitive….what is it he/she is really competing to prove? Dominance over others or worthiness of self? We spend most of our lives living in the shadow that is created by ego, oblivious that the shadow even exists.

    • Alan Feirer
      | Reply

      Yes, Shari, yes! Thanks for weighing in. Good thoughts.

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