Many of the people I meet and work with don’t do much reading, either because they don’t enjoy reading or say they don’t have time to read. Life without reading is a foreign concept to me. I love reading. I love the world of books and ideas and spend as much time as possible reading for the pure enjoyment of learning. So, for the non-readers among us, this blog is an opportunity form me to share snippets of things I have read that speak to me and I hope will speak to others who have the 2-3 minutes it takes to read them. Today’s topic is insecurity, a malady which strikes most of us from time to time.
“The feeling of insecurity is based upon a concept or belief of inner inadequacy. If you feel that you do not ‘measure up’ to what is required, you feel insecure. A great deal of insecurity is not due to the fact that our inner resources are actually inadequate, but due to the fact that we use a false measuring stick. We compare our actual abilities to an imagined ‘ideal,’ perfect, or absolute self. Thinking of yourself in terms of absolutes induces insecurity.
“The insecure person feels that he should be ‘good’ — period. He should be ‘successful’ — period. He should be ‘happy,’ competent, poised — period. These are all worthy goals. But they should be thought of, at least in their absolute sense, as goals to be achieved, as something to reach for, rather than as ‘shoulds.’
“Since man is a goal-striving mechanism, the self realizes itself fully only when man is moving forward towards something… Man maintains his balance, poise, and sense of security only as he is moving forward — or seeking. When you think of yourself as having attained the goal, you become static, and you lose the security and equilibrium you had when you were moving toward something. ‘The man who thinks he has “arrived” has about used up his usefulness to us,’ the president of a large business said to me… St. Paul is generally regarded as a ‘good’ man, yet his own attitude was, ‘I count myself not to have achieved…but I press on toward the goal.'” — Maxwell Maltz, M.D., F.I.C.S.
So, here’s your homework. Carefully, answer these questions. Are you using a false measuring stick? Are you living a life of “shoulds?” What are you doing that is giving you a sense of forward momentum in your life…a sense of progress? Do you see yourself has having “arrived,” giving off an aura of false (or arrogant) bravado? What’s next for you that will bring meaning and fulfillment to your life? A truly successful life, a life that leaves a legacy, is a life of continually asking yourself the hard questions and always pressing on toward the goals you have chosen.