Insecurities

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Insecurity is something I have struggled with my entire life.  It ebbs and flows, with the high points being middle school (but maybe that's everyone) and my junior year of college.  For the last several years, I believed my confidence to be growing, and prided myself on "overcoming" this problem.  But, within the last year, I have taken on more tasks and responsibilities, which have resulted in my need to finely control every aspect of my life.  With this control comes over analyzing all of my day to day actions, and criticizing myself for not living up to my own expectations.  This leads to insecurity, which is pervading every part of my life.

Over the weekend, I began to really take notice of the insecure thoughts that I have on an almost hourly basis.  I find myself constantly criticizing the things I do and choices I make.  I realized that I always get extremely anxious at the checkout counter of Whole Foods, because I think I spend too much money on food compared to others.  How do people eat for $50 a week?  Is there a secret that I don't know about?  Am I doing something wrong?  Am I a horrible wife for not knowing how to save money at the store?  

Another thing I criticize myself for is "messiness".  Whenever we have company or know someone is coming over (and don't even get me started on "pop ins"), I freak out, telling Dayv that the house is a mess and we need to clean.  But, he quickly points out that there is nothing to clean, except for picking up Mina's toys and sometimes vaccuuming.  Having a clean, tidy house is extremely important to me, and I am very insecure that people will view me as messy.  I also have this insecurity in regards to my appearance.  No matter how much I groom myself, wear nice clothing, and accessorize, I inevitably believe myself to be a mess. 

The other major part of my life that I am very critical of is my ability to be the perfect wife.  Something that I still really struggle with, even after three and a half years of Dayv being gluten-free and vegan, is preparing food that he likes.  After I made the commitment to make other people's recipes every week (which I am still doing!), there have been so many meals that he hasn't enjoyed.  I know I shouldn't take it so personally, but it really hurts.  All I want to do is feed my husband food he loves, but sometimes it feels like I am fighting an uphill battle with no end in sight.  Whenever we watch movies or television shows and the wife is preparing dinner, I always think to myself, I wonder what it's like to make dinner for your husband and know that he will like it... That must be nice.  

I know that everyone struggles with their own insecurities and that no one is fully confident in every aspect of their life (or maybe no aspect :/).  I am continuing to understand my thoughts and feelings, in attempt to find some solace.  If there is one thing I know for certain about myself is that I try really hard.  All the time.  And maybe I need to work on not putting myself down so much for not living up to my own expectations of being perfect, which is an incredibly difficult mindset to get into.  But until then, I will do what I can.  Because that is all I can do.

18 comments:

  1. Oh Caitlin, I know. I can totally relate to this post. I myself am a devout perfectionist and it's ruining my life. My husband and I had a long chat this weekend about it. But no matter how many times he tells me it's okay, you don't have to be perfect, no one is...I still don't hear it. Somehow I believe the lie that if I just dig my toes in and try a little harder then I can finally attain to that perfection I long for. It's just not true. Perfection is an illusion and trying to capture it is like chasing after the wind. I probably don't sound very encouraging, but sometimes it's nice to know that you aren't alone. Keep fighting.

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    1. thank you so much for sharing your stuggles, sarah. i can completely relate to believing that perfection is completely attainable as long as i "dig my toes in and try a little harder". i think that's the real issue- making myself understand that it's never attainable. maybe i should explore that more and write a post about it...

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  2. you are absolutely not alone. I've been married for over ten years and have a almost two year old daughter and you will make yourself sick by obsessing over life's imperfections. I am the same way-my anxiety and random thoughts of making the right choices and keeping that almighty control keeps me up at night. You will grow into your own happy balance of what is comfortable for you. I am perfectly okay with being obsessed with my house being clean and organized. I'm even obsessed with going to the gym and making sure I get my pilates-but over the years, as you face different life situations, you learn to not go crazy over the little things that you are unable to change and focus on the things you do.

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    1. thank you so much for sharing your story! i appreciate your support and views. i agree with you that i will always want my house to be clean and that will never change. i am also obsessed with getting my workout in everyday. it's one of the most important things to me. i just cannot miss it.

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  3. I too can totally relate to this post, Caitlin. I have always struggled with major insecurities with manifest differently at different times in my life. Currently I am constantly worried and doubting that I'm a good enough mom and partner to jason. No matter what people tell me I will question and sreess over this to the point where I am reading into all kinds of things that aren't there. I believe one of the best things to do to battle insecurity is name it and call it out which you have done beautifully here.

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    1. thank you, sarah. i want to give you a big hug and kiss. i personally think you are wonder woman and don't know how you do all the things you do (well, i know it includes peanut butter and jelly ;) ). even if we have these struggles, i feel so good knowing that i am not alone and someone even as amazing as you has insecurities :-*

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  4. Oh, caitlin. I just want to give you a big hug right now. We all have insecurities and I personally am dealing with a few (the big one being not contributing anything substantial financially since I left my consulting job - that is so hard for me). One thing that really helps me is to ask myself whether what I'm telling myself is what I what tell a dear friend. It never is. We are so much harsher and critical in our own minds. YOU ARE ENOUGH. No one is perfect, and it's our imperfections that make us approachable, relatable, and unique. Like you said (and this is something I also tell myself on a daily basis), do the best you can do in the moment, because that's all you can do. xoxo

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    1. thank you, amanda! i want to give you a big hug, too! i can totally see how you are having insecurities right now, but i think you are so strong and applaud you for making your happiness and goals a priority.

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  5. Wow! I thought I was the only one who felt this way! Thank you for sharing. I know it doesn't help you much but now I know I'm not insane, it appears that others feel this way too. Thank you :)

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    1. you are not alone ;) thank you for commenting!

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  6. It isn't "perfectionism" it's "control." I know, I lived it for years and years. If I could create the me I wanted to be for everyone else then I would also be happy. It took raising four children to teach me that living as the person I really am was far more valuable to them and others than trying to be the perfect everything else. I let go of rigid schedules (arranged around my 3x a day workouts!), constantly tidying and organizing, nit picking at myself and (I'm ashamed to confess) others at times when I felt if they would just do it MY way it would all be fine. I am so blessed to be free of the burden of that inner critical voice! Love yourself enough to make mistakes, have an untidy room or a less than stellar meal. Your heart is kind and loving and what you have to offer this world far outshines any of that. BELIEVE IT. xoxo

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    1. thank you so much for sharing your story. i'm so happy that you were able to rid yourself of the control that was running our life. i appreciate your encouragement!

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  7. I just went to a business building seminar. The guy, Shad Helmstetter, shared the importance of what we say to ourselves. He taught that our brains record sensory detail (like sound/sight etc) and the more often we experience that same detail we begging to build pathways that our brains will default to. And our brain doesn't know the truth from false, it only records and acts on what it's told. And if we repeat things to our brains, the pathways get huge. But we can give our brains new pathways and starve the old. He said even in the counseling and psychology world they've discovered that the old way of therapy, rehashing what happened, didn't bring healing, they've replaced it with retraining and rethinking..building new pathways. Insecurities are paralyzing and they have a root somewhere that is probably false!!! After I listened to his talk I realized that I've been telling my brain that I can't "get" the violin because I'm struggling with all the aspects of it. But that's not true, and I'm forming this pathway that I can't get it and my brain is taking that as an order. I can get it. It takes repetition and practice, but it's going to happen. I'm getting better every time I play/practice. When you go to Whole Foods you can tell yourself that you are filling your cart with foods that nourish you and your husband. That you are buying healthy food and foods that you enjoy. Stop telling yourself that you look messy and your house is messy. Maybe tell yourself that your house is comfortable and welcoming. Too clean, too tidy is off-putting to guests far more than lived in.

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    1. what an interesting seminar, kelly! i've read similar things before and definitely agree with them. i started reading the secret recently, and it shares these same sentiments. it's a little hokey, but i appreciate the overall message. thank you for sharing!

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  8. I think you're doing a beautiful job with this blog, and I've been particularly inspired by your "Other people's recipes" series. Even if the meals aren't always big hits, your husband is really lucky that you put so much thought and care into your meals for him, and I'm sure he knows it. I put a lot of pressure on myself too, so sometimes it feels like I don't do anything well. I wanted to remind you (just in case you need it) that for everything you think you do wrong, you're doing plenty right. I hope you have a great day!

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    1. you are so sweet, michelle! thank you so much for your sweet words. thank you for the reminder, and you have a great day, as well!

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  9. This seems to be a topic that everyone can relate to. I am constantly assess my life and readjusting where I am lacking. This is a greatly beneficial activity however, it does come with some dangers. It is possible to get so wrapped up in being perfect that you stop seeing the good things. You should try thinking of one positive thing about yourself every time you think about one negative thing. Trust me Caitlin, your positives far far far out weigh any thing you see as negative.

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  10. Oh Caitlin, I'm so sorry you're struggling with this. I wish I could take those horrible feelings of insecurity away and instill the belief in you that you ARE good enough.
    Striving for perfection is a tricky one since there's never an end in sight and so you'll always be disappointed in yourself
    I don't know what advice I can give you other than to try and celebrate what you have achieved and try your best to let go of the disappointments as they're likely pretty insignificant in the bigger picture. Big hugs xxx

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