Feeling Insecure | Dawn M Owens | Blog Post

Feeling Insecure?

Feeling insecure? Me too.

It doesn’t take much..someone’s side glance, that new pimple that just made its grand appearance. Or possibly realizing you shouldn’t have eaten that second cupcake this weekend, after noticing the muffin that grew above your pants.

Insecurities can grow and fester in us until they have successfully done their job of making us feel uglier, fatter, dumber, less than, or (fill in the blank) everyone else around us.

Insecurities love to feed off of each other too. Ever have one of those days or even weeks where you had a pimple pop up one day, then the next day you get a cold sore, then you see Suzie So and So with her perfect hair and nails commenting on your ‘tacky’ shirt? I mean, really, did she say that about you when her pants were bright pink and way too tight, even if she is a size 2. I mean PINK?! Really?!

They can also come in the midst of a conversation. Perhaps someone makes a comment about how you responded to a certain situation. Or maybe it was at the meeting when you decided to make a comment about how the event was being planned and you heard some whispers around you. You were sure they were talking about you.

For the last couple of weeks we have been talking about approval addiction and many of you have commented that you now realize, well, yes, I am an approval addict. I have a problem.

The first week we took a little quiz to know whether we have an approval issue, last week we chatted about people-pleasing and understood we can make some choices…be like Saul and end up rejected from our position or be like David and be named “a woman/man” after God’s own heart.

Today we are talking about feeling insecure and how this feeling can send us into a cycle that can cause destruction, all because we don’t yet know who we are. Insecurities are just another piece of the approval addiction puzzle.

Insecurities are just another piece of the #approval addiction puzzle. @dawnmarieowens

Caught Up in The Approval Cycle

It typically begins with someone saying something that is not affirming to me. For example, someone challenges my leadership (I lead a non-profit, so it fits). They tell me what they think of a decision I made by calling into question my capabilities as a leader.

I want nothing more than to run and hide. I think, “Well, forget this, I’ll take my leadership skills somewhere that appreciates me.” Or if I feel like I really messed up, I’ll decide I am giving up leading forever.

That’s what addictions do to us; they take us to the extremes, where there is no grey.

When I return to my desk those words fester. The words run on repeat, amplifying in my head. I fight my feelings of insecurity by telling myself, “You are better than that person. Who do they think they are to point out my flaws? They have no idea what it’s like to be in my shoes, and I sure would like to see them try.”

I may make matters worse by sharing the other person’s comments to find approval elsewhere. Now my addiction yields to sin and the cycle continues.

From here it just gets worse. Distancing myself, I believe if that person thinks it, everyone does. I start to feel less peace, the guilt and shame are eating me up, and my time with God starts to lessen. Embarrassed by it all, I isolate myself.

At this point, I am far from the truth and God. Depression is sinking in and I don’t know how to get myself out.

Can you relate to this at all?

This is the approval cycle and it can all begin by someone or something making us feel insecure.

So what do we do, how do we change?

Did God Actually Say?

In the book of Genesis, we find the story of Adam and Eve. It is there we read how the first attack on humanities’ insecurities began. ?” In Genesis 3:1, ESV we walk in on the story of the serpent questioning Eve’s identity as a daughter of God.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’

Did you catch how the serpent began…“Did God actually say?”

Those four words are powerful, aren’t they? They can bring a confident person to their knees. Those words changed the trajectory of humanity.

Four words, one simple question: “Did God actually say?”

If you know the story, then you know how this ends. The question attacked Eve’s confidence in God, and it made her doubt herself, her husband, her memory, and her ability to make a decision.

The serpent in the garden called into question the perfection of God’s creation. He began by questioning Adam and Eve’s capabilities as caretakers. Today he does the same thing to us. Do we know who—and whose—we are? Are we aware of what we have been given to steward, or are we confused about our purpose? Do we understand the power within us, or do we see ourselves as powerless?

The question, “Did God actually say…?” undermines our sense of security in God.

However, you have something that Eve didn’t, the experience of her mistakes. We can take her mishaps and learn from it. Here are a few ways you can do that.

Recognize the Attack

When we are feeling insecure we, first of all, we need to realize there is an enemy, he is cunning, and he is always trying to undermine the image-bearers of God. But our enemies are not made of flesh and blood, Ephesians 6:12 tells us we wrestle “against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12 NLT).

Know Who You Are

In order to combat the attack from the enemy, we must know who we are and whose we are. It would have been great if Eve would have said, “Um, excuse me. Do you know who you are talking to? I am the Daughter of the Most High God.” But just because she didn’t, doesn’t mean we can’t. So instead of listening to the negativity, remind your attacker who you are and whose you are. As a believer in Christ Jesus, you are a daughter of God, an heir to the throne, a chosen people, a royal priesthood, He has equipped you and called you to do the good works that He has called YOU to do. You may not do it all perfectly, but you will do it in His strength and His power and by His name.

No More Guilt Trips or Shame Parties

Guilt and shame do not come from God. Did you know that? Isaiah 61:7 says  “Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.” So instead you can walk in His grace, rejoice in your inheritance, and receive the joy that comes from a relationship with Him.”

Combat Insecurity with Forgiveness

This is an essential piece to breaking this cycle. Forgiveness changes everything. We need to realize that on most occasions when someone says something hurtful to you it was because of their own wounds, and their own insecurities. Wounded people, wound people. But since we know they were not the ones attacking us, we need to release them by forgiving them. You also may need to ask for forgiveness from the person that you went and ran your mouth to about what was said in the first place. And you may need to seek forgiveness for yourself because you sought other things than God to fill your approval needs.

Redefining Confidence

Now the next time you are feeling insecure whether, over a pimple or a person, scripture is your weapon. Remember you are a mighty warrior, a royal priesthood, a child of God. You, my friend, are from a holy nation, and you have been declared righteous and worthy in the sight of the Most High God. You are seated in heavenly places and have been given the riches according to Christ Jesus that you can tap into any time you need them. You are not defined by the words of another because God did actually say you are all of these things and so much more. You are His friend; belonging to Him. You no longer need to worry about the approval of the world, because you already are approved by God.

Question:  What part of the cycle do you feel you struggle with the most and how can you combat it in the future?

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How to Quit People-Pleasing In Three Easy Steps

How to Quit People-Pleasing in 3 Easy Steps

The struggle with wanting to be a people-pleaser is real. Most of us, struggle with it every day. But what if there was a way to quit trying to please others in just three easy steps?

Last week, we talked about five ways to know if you are an approval addict. If you haven’t read that post, go back and read that here. It’ll only take a few minutes because you can’t get help if you don’t know if you have a problem.

To help us understand these three easy steps let’s look at the difference between two guys and how they handled their need to please.

First up is a guy named Saul. You can find him in the Bible in 1 Samuel. He was tall, dark, and handsome and from the tribe of Benjamite (the least significant of all the tribes). He was sent on a donkey-hunting mission by his father and like most teenage boys wasn’t super-excited about his assignment.

What he didn’t know is that his mission would take him to the “God-man” a prophet named Samuel. Samuel had asked God to provide Israel with a king (cause they wanted to be like other nations) and God said, “If it’s a King they want, then it’s a King they will get.”

Spoiler alert: Saul is anointed as King by Samuel.

But Saul had a small problem that he struggled with and we see for about6 chapters of his story…people-pleasing. Nearly every decision he made he worried about the people and therefore, he did everything in his power to please them.

And it only took a few years before Samuel came back to Saul and told him that God had rejected him as King because he cared more about pleasing man that seeking the approval of God.

Which is where we come to our next guy…well, at the time he was a young boy, about 12-years old to be exact. His name was David. And just like Saul, also grew to be tall, dark and handsome. He was from the lowest of professions in Israel, a shepherd.

Samuel anointed him as king to replace Saul (which Saul could not stand), but unlike Saul who was completely insecure and unsure of himself, David knew who he was and whose He was. David responded out of his identity in God rather than how man defined him.

There are three steps we can take to learn from David. These three ways help us to know what we do grounded in God’s approval and not seeking the approval of man.

People Pleasing1_Pintrest.png

Step One: Trust God at His Word

When David was anointed as King, he stood on that word. David didn’t question it, rather he rested in it. He trusted God knew what was best for him. He didn’t waver, he wasn’t insecure and he responded to every challenge with this in mind.

Step Two: Remember God’s Mighty Works

When David came to the battlefield where the Israelites were at a standstill with the Philistines and he told King Saul he could take out the giant Goliath, he did so out of a belief in the mighty work of God. He had already seen God kill a bear and lion with his bare hands, he knew that if God could do that, then he could take down this giant with no problem. David pulled out his sling and secured his rock, remembering what God had already done. He had all the confidence in the world, God could do it again.

Step Three: Believe in God’s abilities more than the abilities of man

When King Saul suggested to David that he put in on his army, David had no faith in him. When he looked at the army sitting on the hill, he had no faith in them. David believed in what God could do far more than he believed in the men around him.

You Only Need God's Approval

Now I ask you to consider these for yourself:

1. Can YOU trust God at His word?

2. Have you considered the mighty works of God and all He has done?

3. Do you believe in God’s abilities more than the abilities of man?

There is no doubt in my mind that we all struggle and will continue to struggle to rest in knowing we are already fully accepted and approved by God. However, if we consider these three areas, we can begin to see how worthy of our trust our God is knowing that He already knows who we are.

Take a moment and consider those three steps and ask yourself, which one do you struggle with the most?

How Do You Know If You are Addicted to Approval?

How to Know if You Are Addicted to Approval

How do you know if you are addicted to approval? Is it just something that resonates with you or is there a test you can take to know for sure?

I’d like to suggest yes, to both.

I think there are those of us that hear phrases like “people-pleasers,” “she is so insecure,” or “approval addict” and something inside of just shouts, “Yes! Yes! That is me.”

But for others of us, those same words reflect fear, and we want to know if the way we sometimes feel is okay or if we have a problem that needs addressing.

5 Ways To Know If You Are Addicted to Approval

  1. Are you able to make decisions on your own without worrying what anyone else thinks of you?
  2. Do you need the affirmation of others?
  3. Do you set high expectations for others and become disappointed when they don’t?
  4. Is it difficult for you to share your opinions or beliefs with others when they differ from your own?
  5. Do you have a hard time saying “no”?
Here are five ways to know if you are an #approvaladdict. https://wp.me/p7HNJY-AY

If you said yes to more than one of these, then you are more than likely have an approval addiction.

You Are Not Alone

I think we have all struggled with this on some level.

It doesn’t matter if we are female or male. Young or old. As I have shared how God has me in recovery to this addiction, people from all over have said, they struggle too. The irony is it’s affirming, right?

Over the next few weeks, we will begin to discuss some of the issues approval addicts struggle with daily. Things like: people-pleasing, insecurity,  need for control, taking up offenses, and fear of rejection.

These ways are all addressed in my book Like Me Or Not: Overcoming Approval Addiction coming out on May 15th by Worthy Publishing. However, you don’t have to wait; you can pre-order a copy online.

With your pre-order, you’ll get to download the first three chapters of the book, a beautiful print of 1 Peter 2:9, and two lock screens.

You will also be entered to win an exclusive VIP package for the Fall Outcry tour which includes front row seats, a backstage tour, two tickets to Outcry Collective and a $500 gift card for travel! I can’t even tell you the value of this package because you cannot purchase it.

Like Me or Not Overcoming Approval Addiction

Which of the five ways mentioned above do you struggle with the most?


Other posts you might like:

How to Know If You have a God Dream

10 Ways to Quit Comparing

Calling: How to Know If You Have One

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Join the Launch Team for Like me Or Not

Join My Book Launch Team – Here is 3 Reasons Why

This is your official invitation to join my book launch team for Like Me or Not: Overcoming Approval Addiction.

I know your busy, and your to-do list has a to-do list of its own.

But I am going to share with you three convincing reasons why you want to make the time to be on my book launch team.

Here they are:

  1. You wonder if you are an approval addict.
  2. If you are, you need a method to talk about it.
  3. You want other people to know there is help available.

Now, if you’ve come to this wondering what a Launch team even is, allow me to address that question first.

Launch team’s for books became a popular method for big publishing houses to use to help their author’s gain more Amazon reviews.

Yep…that was the reason. To get reviews. Not a bad strategy when you think about it.

And yes, you will be sought out to help with Amazon Reviews, but I have a more important reason than that one.

You see, I didn’t write this book for Amazon review, to build a platform (it’s almost an oxymoron for an approval addict in recovery), or to become a “name” in the industry.

I wrote this book because I realized I wasn’t alone. I was so tired of the cycle I was in trying to deal with other people’s rejection, while desperately wanting others to approve of me. All the while wanting to crawl into a hole and forget interacting with people ever again. Are you with me?

We are all walking around stuck on our phones allowing social media to dictate our identities were feeling like we have to confirm, compare, and live up to more.

We are walking around with our faces attached to our screens allowing social media to determine our identities. #likemeornot

It’s mind-throbbing at times – but it doesn’t have to be.

I am not an expert, but God has allowed me to have some experiences that have led me to identify scripture, PURE TRUTH, that has proven to break the cycle of approval addiction to find my approval in Him.

Which is why you too need to be on my book launch team so, let’s talk through each of these areas.

You Wonder if You are an Approval Addict

We all do, and none of us want to be. But the reality is that God created us with a desire to want the approval of others, including Him.

It doesn’t’ take much to see why it’s an easily formed addiction when we quite innocently want to seek the approval of those around us: spouses, children, friends, family, co-workers…our hair stylists and the guy at Lowe’s.

Hearing verbal affirmations feel good because they release dopamines. Those dopamines feel so good they’ll make you want more, and more, and more approval. Before you know it, you can’t get enough.

Being on my Launch Team means you get first access to the information inside the book that will help you learn how to lessen those desires and put your focus where it needs to be, on God.

You’ll be able to access all the different ways that approval addictions can manifest itself.  Which leads to the next reason…

You Need a Method to Talk About It

Being an approval addict also means we desire justification from others, right? We need to know we are headed in the right direction and for the sake of enabling each other, we are going to do just that.

Each week I’ll get online with you through a closed Facebook group, and we’ll go through parts of the book together. If you are an external processor like me, you will love this part. I can’t wait to hear all you have to say and what questions you come up with for me.

You’ll want to know if you are doing the right thing, taking the right steps forward, using the concepts appropriately. Being on the Launch Team gets you the ability to do that with not just me but with women from all over the US.

There you can share all the great things you are learning to add even more value to the team.

You’ll Want to Let People Know There’s Help

Remember how it felt when you first came to know Jesus as your Savior, and you wanted to go and tell everyone? It was kind of like the women at the well. After she figured out Jesus was the Messiah she went and told the whole town about it. She couldn’t keep it to herself.

Yeah. Like that.

Well, once you start to understand the concepts laid out in this book – that will be you too. Because here is what I know for sure, you will experience healing and freedom. I promise you that.

How can I make that promise? Because I did and I still am.

Before writing the book God had shown me so much about approval addiction. Enough that I thought I could write a book about it. But God kept me humble by teaching me knew concepts with each chapter I wrote.

I’d grow in areas like comparison and jealousy, getting over my fear of rejection to turn my God-dream into a reality, and learning how not to feel like I am so alone in life.

But since then I have re-read my book at least ten more times. Every time, there is another area God shows me that I still need to work on. As I do, I receive more healing and more freedom.

This is why you want to be apart of my Launch Team. Yeah, we’ll have you do some other fun activities like share memes on Facebook or Instagram. We may even ask you to write an Amazon Review online or ask your local bookstore to carry it. But by that time, you’ll be convinced that not only do you need this book, but everyone you know needs this book.

Apply for My Book Launch Team

Now that you realize you need to be on my book launch team, what do you do?

Head over to the launch team page here where you can apply. Once you do, you’ll get a confirmation email. We will have the application available only until 11:59 am on April 2, 2018.  So don’t wait.

We’ll then be sending you a copy of the book and some other goodies. You’ll then be invited to join our closed Facebook group, and we’ll start chatting. If you want to pre-order Like Me or Not before we begin you can enter in to win A VIP package to the Fall Tour of Outcry and get some downloadables, you can do that here.

Like Me or Not Overcoming Approval Addiction

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10 Ways to Quit Comparing and Build Community | Dawn M Owens

10 Ways to Quit Comparing to Build Community Instead

It’s hard to quit comparing to build community. Just last night I was on Instagram and I realized I was doing it, again.

Thankfully, I have learned a thing or two about comparison and how the enemy likes to tempt us with this to pull us away from our relationship with God and with others. So now when this happens, I have the arsenal needed to help me to recognize the devil’s schemes and respond accordingly.

How about you?

Do you know when you have fallen prey to comparison? Have you found yourself putting the phone down and feeling more anxious, maybe even depressed over the view on the screen compared to your life? Does that trigger the need to change your hair, body size, makeup, eating habits, or house? I have been there and done that.

Or are the times that you not only are finding yourself comparing online, but also when you show up to work, or the mommy-date at the park, perhaps at the event you went to last night or the store you were last shopping at in the mall.

It’s not difficult for any of us to get caught up in the trap of comparison. But how do we respond to it when we do.

As an approval addict in recovery, I can find myself caught up in this if I am not aware or careful. Doing so would send me into a downward spiral, and before I knew it, I had torn myself to shreds in my mind. At which point I decided I couldn’t do anything, be anything, or engage in anything because I was less than the person I was comparing myself to at the moment.

However, now that I lead a faith-based non-profit, that temptation to compare becomes even more challenging. Because now it’s not just me, but its just as easy to get caught up in comparing our ministry to another, which is the complete opposite of what God has given us as a vision for our community.

The reality is that for every truth there is about God and His desire for His people, the enemy has a counterfeit. Comparison, aka coveting, is that counterfeit. https://wp.me/p7HNJY-zY #quitcomparing

And the enemy is pretty dang good at it. Coveting is what got him kicked out of heaven in the first place. He wanted what he couldn’t have, and so God said adios to him and a bunch of his friends.

But we do not have to fall prey to that same scheme. We can choose a different path, and in doing so instead of sinning against God (coveting is a sin, which means comparison is too), we could choose a path that brings about unity in the body of Christ and therefore honoring and glorifying God.

10 Ways to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

10 Ways to Quit Comparing and Start Building Community | Dawn M Owens

Accept-Repent-Re-Focus

1. Accept what you have done
The first step in stopping any cycle, addiction, or struggle is to accept the fact that you have done the very thing you were trying not to do. Without this step none of the others matter.

2. Repent
As I mentioned before, comparison is just a nicer word for coveting. Coveting, being the 10th commandment is a sin. The quicker we repent, the sooner we can get into right relationship with God. He can use a repentant heart.

3. Re-focus your thoughts
Another issue with comparing is that our thoughts are often running wild. The Word says that we are to take our thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). When we are set on a path to compare ourselves to others, our thoughts have a mind of their own. They are no longer focused on God, but instead on ourselves.

Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Prayer is Powerful

 4. Stop comparing and start praying.
I have found that the quickest way to stop myself from comparing, and therefore focusing my thoughts on me rather than God, is to change my focus.  I start praying for the person in which the comparing began.  It might look like this,

“Lord, I love the way you have fearfully and wonderfully made ___________. You have created ________ to be beautiful in the sight of man. I pray Lord for blessing over ___________________ gifts, talents, and passions. That you would give ___________ favor, where ____________needs it. Bless ___________ hands and feet as _________________  does the work that you have called ______________ to do.”

5. Speak God’s blessing over you
We must keep our focus on God and His perspective during this process.  We not only need to pray a blessing over the person we are comparing ourselves with but we also need to pray a blessing for ourselves. When we compare ourselves to someone else, we also start to tear ourselves apart. But we are created in the image of God, He sees us as daughters and sons, and as heirs to His throne. We certainly do not want to speak against who God created us to be. So try this:

God, I thank you that you created me in your image, with your own two hands. You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. You know my inmost parts. I thank you God for how you made me and that there is no one else like me, which means I can not be compared to anyone else, I am unique in my own right. Lord, I ask you to keep my thoughts pure, to align my heart with yours, to help me see me as you see me, and to be quick to respond to the Holy Spirit’s voice when He tells me to love who you created me to be and not compare myself to others.

Get to the Root Cause

6. Ask yourself, “Why?”
There may be a reason that you are comparing yourself to others. It may be because of how you currently feel about yourself. It may be that you have become disconnected to God. Perhaps you are harboring anger or bitterness against God, yourself, or another. There can be lots of whys in this scenario, but asking the question will help you get to your root cause.

Join the Movement

7. #Cheerheron
I want to start a new trend. Every Wednesday I am showing women on my Instagram and Facebook accounts that I think my followers should follow. I am using the hashtag #womentofollow, but I am adding the hashtag #cheerheron. Because it’s great to mention women that others should follow, but I want to do more than that. I want to change our culture. I want us to build each other up and realize when we are tearing each other down.  So in sharing that woman to follow, I also want you to speak words of encouragement over her and her calling, (recognizing that God has all called us live worthy of our callings).

Dawn Owens | Live Worthy | Do you have a calling?

8. Celebrate our different gifts and talents
The best part of being in a community is that we are not all the same. Could you imagine what life would be like if everyone looked, acted, loved, served, and thought like you?

Although different can feel difficult, can you imagine how dull and mundane that scenario could be? Oh, I would be over myself fast.

The apostle Paul was extremely passionate about unity in the body, and we know this because he talked about in almost every one of his Epistles. In every message he shared with the local churches he was telling them over and over again, honor each other in the gifts that you have received. Stop comparing one gift, talent, or passion to another. Celebrate the fact that we are all created differently for different purposes.

Balancing Social Media

9. Take a break from social media
The best way for you to stop incessantly comparing yourself to others is to take a break from social media. Yes, you can certainly find yourself in a comparison trap off of social media, but it is not as in your face or this case, screen. If you find yourself in that scenario off-line as much as you do online than I would say stay away from those places, situations, or venues for a time if you are able. Giving yourself a break will also help you give your thoughts a break. Those times will bring clarity and focus.

10. Use your feed as a prayer list
The best way to change the way you think is to go into it with a different perspective. Instead of scrolling mindlessly and finding yourself caught in a trap, use your feed, (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) whatever your social media of choice may be, as a way to pray for others. When we are focused on lifting up friends, family, acquaintances or celebrities, we may or may not know about God, our perspective changes. It’s difficult to compare, covet or have feelings of jealousy when we are lifting up those people to our Father. 

There you have it, 10 ways to help you when you find yourself comparing your life to another.

I have got one more, we’ll call it a bonus, way you can help support someone else and dig into this character flaw a bit further.

You may know that my book Like Me or Not: Overcoming Approval Addiction just became available for pre-order last week. If not, you want to go check out all the great giveaways and downloads available.

LMON Facebook Pre-Order

Apply for My Launch Team

But now I am inviting women from all over to apply for my launch team. This is an excellent way for you to start learning how your need for approval will affect your relationships. In turn, this keeps us in a place of comparison and effectively taking us out of community. In fact, chapter 6 in the book addresses just that issue.

If helping yourself so you can help others sounds intriguing, then be sure to apply today. We will only be accepting applications until April 2, 2018, and spots are limited.

Join My Launch Team

Questions: Which of the 10 ways was most convicting to you? How will you start to implement it in your daily life?

 

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