There’s a wonderful support group for insecure writers and I know some of you are in it. I’ve learned a lot from you all who’ve been incredibly open about your anxieties on this creative journey.
I don’t join the group in posting because my blog topics don’t fall under that category, but this week I’d like to share a major insecurity. One that stems from my personality and which somewhat affected my creative life. One I’ve been living with ever since childhood.
Truth be told, I’ve never been the warm type of person.
I realize that online, I can come off as being friendly and even cheery. (Perhaps quietly warm?) I haven’t been putting on a false front. It’s really easier being warm online.
But back in school, I was quite well-known for being “cool,” “the quiet one” who “kept to herself most of the time.” Come to think of it, people were being polite with “cool.” What they meant was that I was “chilly.”
One nickname stuck with me throughout my teenage years.
Wow . . . thought it was rather grand then! Yea, what people really meant was that I was difficult to be close to.
And I was.
By now, we can all guess accurately that most of my frost was due to insecurity, or self-consciousness.
Insecure of what?
Of not being a nice enough person. Not genuine or sincere enough. Not witty enough. Not knowledgeable enough (of what, I’m not sure. I think I was expecting myself to be a know-it-all who lived humbly up in the mountains!).
This carried on to my adulthood, too. So when my Dubai freelance client and his wife and daughters came to Singapore recently, he asked if I’d like to meet them up.
Instincts kicked in.
What if we have nothing to talk about?
What if I become awkward and clam up like I always do?
I really wish they hadn’t asked!
(By the way, such thoughts are extended towards men and women alike. It’s the thought of meeting people that makes my mouth dry with dread.)
Yet, I surprised myself this time.
I made myself go.
Two reasons (and they had to be in this sequence, otherwise I would have wussed out again):
So I went.
Of course, it turned out very well. I’d expected a half-hour meet-up but it turned out to be two-and-a-half hours. My client and his wife are very warm people and I’m glad we got to meet.
Hmm, so is the ice queen beginning to thaw?
I think she is finally beginning to figure out that her heart has always been quietly warm. And worthy.
All those frosty insecurities? Some of them remain. Some have been let go of. (Of course, if I’m not careful, they creep back and pretend they’ve never left!)
I just met another new client today. What I’d expected to be a 45-min meeting rolled on to a 3-hour chat. We talked about our work, families, dreams, career journeys, self-care, and our businesses.
That one move of making myself show up has paid off. And I hope many more moves keep paying off, too. In fact, this move (of talking about my insecurities) isn’t a small one for me either.
But I figure, it’s time. Time to address it and talk about it openly.
And who else better than to you guys?
The first thing I thought of while preparing for this post was how some of you talked about your first networking conference or workshops, or even meeting your blogger mates in person. And how we all inwardly freak out at some point.
You know, freaking out like that is . . . normal. Don't panic.
More importantly, decide what you really, really want to do after that. Make it a point to be your own heroine. If it's something you don't like doing, don't do it. But if it's something you're curious to try and your insecurity is talking you out of it, sit with it for a while. It needs you to be understanding towards it.
Then poke at it with your sugar spoon.
Nobody is free from insecurities. Still, our limits can be pushed or stretched farther out. Much, much farther out.
I might still say no from time to time, but I doubt it'd mainly be because I worry about appearing awkward. Because truth be told . . .
I'm really rather cool after all.
What are your stories involving insecurities?
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Hey, I'm Claudine. Welcome!
Want to know what children's stories can inspire & lead to?
by Kate Hanney
Really enjoyed the honest voice of this narrator ~ a teenager let down by his mother and the foster care system, and almost-picked up through his involvement with a gang.