Tag Archives: insecurities

The Battle Within

Some of you know that I recently joined Toastmasters. Last Thursday, I was asked to introduce myself by giving my first speech called The Ice Breaker. The objectives are to begin speaking before an audience, and to discover speaking skills you already have and skills that need some attention. You only have four to six minutes to present it.

I’d like to share with you my Ice Breaker speech which I titled, “The Battle Within.” Was I nervous? You betcha! Did I stumble? Ah, yeah … but you move on and finish. By the way, I won best speech of the night. Go figure. You never know the outcome if you don’t put yourself out of your comfort zone and try.

toastmasters-1-the-ice-breaker

Thank you Mr. Toastmaster.

Hi, I’m Mary Ann.  I’m a published author, currently working as an Inside Sales rep for a customer service company in Sugar Land, Texas. I am happily married to my best friend for 22 years, and I have four amazing children and two adorable grandchildren.

I was born in New York and raised in Miami after my parents separated when I was 3, and divorced by the time I was 5.

I lived with my single mother and we were dirt poor. There was no money, no food and no love.  Now, when there’s no money, you don’t have any shoes, and you get a lot of eviction notices. When there’s no food, well, you’re hungry all the time. And when there’s no love, you feel isolate, insecure and invisible. Forced to grow up too fast, wearing shoes too big for my feet, and being my mother’s mother, crippled me emotionally.

At an early age, a battle was raging within me and that was the feeling of being “less than.”

Ashamed of my upbringing, heritage, and status, I felt only the ritzy kids went to summer camps, swimming lessons & Girl Scout gatherings, but not me; I was always on the outside looking in.

In my teens, I grew bitter and thinking that I could do better than my mother, I eventually ran into the arms of a ruthless man, twice my age. He was an alcoholic, a womanizer, a brow-beater, and he ruled with an iron fist. All the while, I struggled with that battle from within called insecurities. I wore a mask to try to cover feelings of low self-esteem and self-worth, which clouded my vision.

He and I did married. By the time I was 22, I had my 4th child. I was only a “baby-machine” to him, and he constantly fed my insecurities and never let me forget I was under his feet.  I felt I couldn’t do better, so I stayed in that relationship. I felt trapped but I made the best of my situation for my children’s sake. Long story short, that marriage lasted 15 years. I guess I grew up.

In retrospect, it wasn’t until I returned to the God of my grandparents that my mind, past and emotions were healed. I know now that what I endured yesterday as a child and as a young adult made me the stronger woman that I am today.

A few years ago, I decided to write my memoirs for my kids so that they can know some of the history, struggles and hardships their mother faced. I wanted them to know that no matter what, our past does not have to dictate our future. And it’s been my present husband who encouraged and supported me all along, telling me, “You know you need to write for other women so that they can be inspired.” He was right.

Although no longer ashamed of my pain, you know I still fight a battle from within? I struggle with low self-esteem. I DO! But I know that I have God on my side now. He not only had given me the grit to come this far, but He also gives me His grace to carry me through every obstacle that I ever faced! I learned that the battles are not mine but are His.

In my book, “Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace,” I share the coming-of-age journey about a girl’s refusal to be defined by her environment while seeking inner-healing thru her brokenness. No matter your past, you can still be a person of worth! And it starts with a made-up mind!

I have joined Toastmasters to help my battle from within that I may gain confidence during book signings, attending book clubs & author’s events in helping me by overcoming the fear, the insecurities & the nerves when it’s time to open my mouth. You see, it’s one thing to write a book, it’s quite another to be able to speak to others. I know I have something to say and I am here to learn how to say it well.

Thank you.

About

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UnMasked

Photo Credit: justposhmasks.com

All through my life, I’ve dealt with feelings of low self-esteem and self-worth. I felt undone, incomplete, or insignificant. Along the way, I realized this stemmed from my childhood. I did not ask for it. I certainly did not want it. But with an undeniably painful past and a seemingly questionable future, I muddled through life. I thought a man could save me, but he only tried to create me into his own image! I became his shadow, even worshiped the ground he walked on, subservient to his every whim. I was truly lost, with no identity, no voice – no me. Yet I held on, not wanting to lose him. This by the way, is a perfect example of insecurity: the more easily threatened we are, the more insecure we are.

Beth Moore says: “Insecurity lives in constant terror of loss.” As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been reading Beth Moore’s So Long, Insecurity with the subtitle you’ve been a bad friend to us. How I wish she wrote this book 40 years ago! She says, “insecurity is not only a woman’s battle.” She identifies insecurity as a “profound sense of self-doubt – a deep feeling of uncertainty about our basic worth and our place in the world. The insecure man or woman lives in constant fear of rejection and a deep uncertainty about whether his or her own feelings and desires are legitimate.”

I thought about myself as a Christian, why from time to time do I still struggle with insecurities? Why does rejection crush me so? Why do I second guess everything? Beth reveals an interesting point about herself in her book: “I not only lack security, I also lack faith. I don’t just doubt myself, I also doubt God about myself.

Now I don’t know about you, but that struck a chord in me!

She goes on to say how some of us never seek healing from God for our insecurities because we feel like we don’t fit the profile. But insecurity’s best cover is perfectionism. Now there’s a mask for you!

A person who has no self-worth or a low self-esteem

tends to hide behind a mask.

Note: Here’s a thought provoking poem I came across: Don’t Be Fooled By Me

What masks are you prone to wear? Looking back, I recall hiding the pain behind my smile…

Don’t try to be somebody you’re not, no one is perfect. It’s okay to let your guard down. We will face difficult and troubling times. Just remember God loves us just the way we are; He loves us too much to leave us that way.

Sign2

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Filed under Beth Moore, insecurities, Masks

UnMask

  purple_masquerade_masks_for_kids_BAMPIC02G

All throughout my life, I’ve dealt with feelings of low self-esteem and self-worth. I felt undone, incomplete, or insignificant. Along the way, I realized this stemmed from my childhood. I did not ask for it. I certainly did not want it. But with an undeniably painful past and a seemingly questionable future, I muddled through life. I thought a man could save me, but he only tried to make me into his own image! I became his shadow, worshiped the ground he walked on, subservient to his every whim. I was truly lost, with no identity, no voice – no me. Yet I held on, not wanting to lose him then. By the way, that’s a perfect example of insecurity: the more easily threatened we are, the more insecure we are.

Beth Moore says: “Insecurity lives in constant terror of loss.” As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been reading Beth Moore’s So Long, Insecurity with the subtitle you’ve been a bad friend to us. Wish she wrote this book 40 years ago! She says that insecurity is not only a woman’s battle. She identifies insecurity as a “profound sense of self-doubt – a deep feeling of uncertainty about our basic worth and our place in the world. The insecure man or woman lives in constant fear of rejection and a deep uncertainty about whether his or her own feelings and desires are legitimate.”

I thought about myself as a Christian, why from time to time do I still struggle with insecurities? Why does rejection crush me so? Why do I second guess everything? Beth reveals an interesting point about herself in her book: “I not only lack security, I also lack faith. I don’t just doubt myself, I also doubt God about myself.

Now I don’t know about you, but that struck a core in me!

She goes on to say how some of us never seek healing from God for our insecurities because we feel like we don’t fit the profile. But insecurity’s best cover is perfectionism. Now there’s a mask for you!

What masks are you prone to wear? Looking back, I recall hiding the pain behind my smile.

A woman who has no self-worth or a low self-esteem tends to hide behind a mask. 

 Note: Here’s a poem I came across: Don’t Be Fooled By Me

6 Comments

July 6, 2014 · 6:30 PM

Did You Say, “Insecurities”?

So, I’m reading Beth Moore’s, So Long, Insecurity. I’m not even past chapter four yet and find myself re-reading and digesting the words on the pages. She states in her book that we all have insecurities and most have enough insecurity to hinder. As I reflect on whether I’ve felt insecure before, I’m sad to admit that I am well acquainted with insecurity.

Beth Moore ties insecurity to a profound sense of self-doubt. Ouch! But I think I knew this already. How many times have I determined to do something but then reneged on my decision? How often have I started a task only to lack the courage to move forward? My palms get clammy. My confidence deflates. My resolve wavers. My bravado crumbles. I bet I’m not the only one who struggles with this.

I’m a common woman sharing common problems seeking common solutions on a journey with an uncommon Savior.

The word rejection is also mentioned in the book and that brings me to ask: Well, who in the world likes to be rejected? To the point where I sometimes think, if you reject me, I’ll go out of my way to prove you wrong—sometimes—in spite of my own hurt, creating my own misery. I can honestly say, I know my own flaws, or at least I’d like to think so. But the astonishing thing for me is reading what an insecure woman looks like:

She may easily cry, avoid the spotlight, and have a strong desire to make amends whether it’s her fault or not. If someone gets angry at her, she has a difficult time not to think or to dwell about it. The insecure woman sometimes feels anxious for no apparent reason; her feelings get hurt when she learns someone doesn’t like her, and she may even fear that her husband might leave her for another.

Talk about a lack of self-worth!

Well, I asked my husband what insecurities did he see in me? (Because after all, I know I have some.) And this is what he answered: The big one is you not being in control. Not having a say so about something, and having a tendency to micro-manage. He said this goes back to my early years when others told me what to do and when to do it. What an eye opener! While this was true during my childhood, it was certainly the same in my first marriage.

Before I became a Christian I struggled with insecurities, and now as a Christian I still struggle at times. I learned a long time ago I’m not perfect, but I’m forgiven. I’ve opened myself up in sharing some of these truths with you because I know they are life’s lessons. I’m still learning and if there’s a pulse and breath in your being then you are still learning, too. No one on this earth is perfect or has arrived. I’ve determined to work on my insecurities.

How about you?

© M.A. Pérez 2014, All Rights Reserved

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Filed under Beth Moore, insecurities