• Nicole Rungo

What to do when someone pokes your insecurities?

Updated: Aug 16, 2021

Everyone has insecurities.

At least that’s what I believe.

Insecurities are nasty things that we shouldn’t have for we were wonderfully made by God (Psalms 139:14), but this world has managed to infiltrate our minds and convince us that there is something wrong with us.

They have come up with weird definitions that are out of context and yet we praise them like nothing else.

We have social media constantly edging us to be that and do this, people trying to influence our perceptions and that can be strongly unhealthily.

We worry about things that have no significance in our lives at all.

We worry if we are good enough for others.

We worry about our appearance and social status too much.

We even worry about people not liking us for being ourselves and even when we stop for a while, when we manage to finally see our worth, there comes a moment when someone or something that triggers your insecurities and you are left feeling like trash.

That has happened to me and it took a while for me to finally realise that I need to stop letting people have so much control over my self-esteem and these were some of the things that helped me get there:

Recognise that everyone has imperfections

We were born imperfect and we will die imperfect, and that’s the tea.

Perfection was only achieved by a single human and that human was Jesus Christ. Other than Him there is no human being who is perfect, so give yourself a break.

Perfection will come to us when The One who is perfect comes back.

Listen, I have a scar on my forehead, one that had been a huge cause of insecurity in my life and had made me feel less beautiful than I am.

There was a time when I would look in the mirror and feel like a disgrace but now, now I don’t really give a second thought to it because, one, I did not ask to have it so I should never beat myself up for it, and, two, I believe everyone has scars, whether apparent ones or not, physical or emotionally, we all have them.

I have a scar, you might have a burn, a horrible past, a beauty mark, a chronic disease, poor social skills, mental disorder, etc but we all must remember that those don’t make us any less beautiful or human and they shouldn’t bring us down.

Everyone has at least one imperfection and that’s alright.

Learn how to deal with criticism

Some of us don’t really know how to deal with criticism, especially negative ones.

Perhaps you are a victim of past criticism. Maybe what people did or said in the past has birthed your insecurities.

Growing up, I have had my fair share of being teased and made fun of, especially because of this crazy condition I have going on right now, known as Ankyloglossia, which pretty much means that my tongue clings more to the floor of my mouth than others and that’s why I have difficulties pronouncing letters like ‘R’ that requires me to roll my tongue in a certain way.

Anyways, I was bullied for not being able to pronounce certain words properly and it was even worse when I needed to pronounce my last name, Rungo.

It started when I was a toddler and it grew with me that I was a joke because of that. That said, I began to avoid talking to strangers because I always felt like people would laugh at me.

Then came a time when I couldn’t handle it anymore and cried - a lot - and my mum comforted me and told me that, whatever I would do and however great of a person I could be, people would always say something about me, there would always be someone out there trying to bring me down. It was up to me to let them or not.

After that, I decided that I was done giving people so much influence over my self-esteem and that I shouldn't feel bad for something that I did not ask to have. I was going to own it and live my life well with it, irrespective of what anyone had to say.

When people criticise you negatively, you have the choice to give their words the power to demolish you or not.

Practice self-approval and self-love

God loves everyone, and last time I checked, that includes you.

The question is, do you love yourself or do you crave other people’s love?

Do you approve of who you are or do you go out and about looking for approvals?

Are you constantly shifting from the person you truly are to someone you believe others will approve or are you always fighting to be your best version and loving yourself more?

It’s a waste of time and energy to go after people’s approval when you need your own and God’s.

You don’t need Instagram likes and followers to be loved, appreciated and beautiful. You can do that on your own.

Instead of constantly running after people’s approval and love, practice loving yourself more every day.

Whenever I look at myself in the mirror and that scar starts staring at me, I pause then look at myself and smile, even for a second, and that usually results in me admitting that I’m beautiful.

Even with acne spots, braces (yup) and that scar, I know that I’m beautiful and you can come at me and throw as many insults and harsh words as you want and I will still think I’m beautiful. It might sting to hear those words but my self-approval and love will always cast out what you have to say about me.

It will take some time to be able to love yourself no matter what, at least it took me some, but you will get there and keep on going because it never stops. You should never stop loving yourself.

Stop comparing yourself to others

There are many reasons why I avoid following celebrities and public figures online, and one of them is the trap of comparing myself to them.

There was a time when my Instagram feed would be filled with celebrities living their lives and then me wanting to live their lives when I had mine to focus on.

I would see certain bloggers talking about earning tons of money here and there, going to amazing places, having ‘perfect’ partners and taking care of cute babies and I would always feel like I was failing in life because I didn’t have that.

I would want to travel as they did, to earn money as they did or to live like they did and I would feel pretty bad when I would look around me and see that I was nowhere where they were in life.

And that was because I was not supposed to be where THEY were in THEIR lives.

I was, and still am, supposed to be where I am in life and go where I need to go and that isn’t necessarily where everyone is going.

Through the grace of God, it clicked on me that I was made to be me and live my life, not be someone and live theirs.

I was made to share my story, not mimic someone else’s.

God has created each of us in a unique way.

That said, He didn’t make me so that I could be someone else, otherwise, He would have just kept that other person around and never bothered Himself with creating me.

You are you for a reason, not a mistake, so stop wanting to be like someone else for everyone has their role to play, their own stories to tell and their own selves to be.

Mind your relationships

The people around you are either building you or destroying you.

I had to cut ties or loosen holds on people who I felt were planting bad seeds in my life and hold on tight to those who were doing me good and helping me grow.

I feel like I still need to mind a few relationships that are not giving me good vibes but the good thing is that I’m working on it and you should too.

Don't stick around people that only seem to be planting bad seeds in your life.

Maybe that ‘friend’ that keeps telling you that you need to lose weight, even though you have told them that you are fine like that, needs to go.

Or that family member that keeps reminding you of that not-so-great person you were before even though they know that you are trying to be a better you now; yeah, they need to go as well.

In this life, many people will come and go, and it’s alright because Jesus never leaves. So, you can trust in Him not only to be there for you but to show you who shouldn't be in your life.

Extra tip

Remember that God loves you and He made you in His image. Whenever someone poorly criticises you, remember who you are in Jesus Christ and that He died for you too.

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