1. Not confident: anxious and lacking self-confidence
2. Not safe: unsafe and unprotected
3. Unstable: not firm or steady
Have you ever had the experience where you were sitting in a meeting or presentation and all of a sudden you realized that you knew as much about the subject as the people who were talking?
For some, this may happen quite frequently; for others, it can be a pretty rare occurrence. But everyone deserves to have it happen at least once.
At any rate, it usually will bring a subtle smile to our face while our body relaxes almost imperceptibly. Our mind becomes free to focus on the solution and pretty soon we find ourselves part of the discussion.
Those are good days.
But we’ve all had the bad ones, haven’t we?
We are sitting at the same conference room table and we feel like everyone is just a step ahead and we aren’t quite sure what is going on. Time to duck and cover. Hope no one notices us. Time stands still as we wait for the end to come and we can escape.
Ah yes, we can all probably share an experience or two like that.
The thing is, over the years I have learned that most of the people in the room are in the same boat, and just doing the best they can with what they know. Often times we are prepared just as well as they are, and we have just as much experience in the matter as they do.
So, why are we so sure that they know more than we do?
I think it is pretty normal, and to a certain degree, pretty healthy. Can you imagine someone who walks into the room and is ALWAYS certain that they know more than everyone else? All right, we don’t have to imagine, we’ve all met one.
So, a little humility is a good thing.
Are humility and insecurity the same thing?
Let’s go back to the definition up at the top: anxious and lacking self-confidence; unsafe and unprotected; unstable: not firm or steady.
As I read through these words, the same concept keeps filling my mind: alone.
When we feel insecure, we feel alone.
In the middle of a crowded meeting around the conference table we are miles away, on a deserted island, all by ourselves.
No solution in sight.
It seems more often than not, our most basic instincts kick in and we cry out, if even only inside our minds.
Help me. Please.
Because the truth is that we are never left completely alone. There is always safety and protection for us, even if not in the exact manner we would like it to come.
How do we open our eyes to be able to see it?
We close our eyes and trust.
Very, very rarely is the whole escape route from our current problems outlined in detail so that we know the beginning to the end.
Usually, it is just the first step that is made known.
And usually, it doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Will we do it anyway?
This is where we have a choice to make, a choice that will affect many choices to come. We can stand alone and do what we think makes the most sense, seems the smartest thing to do.
Or we can stand up and follow the first step, listening closely for the next, moving forward slowly, but forward nonetheless.
Glancing back we can see more than just our footprints in our path.
We don’t know what the outcome will be, or what the entire plan is. But we do know that it will work out great.
And we know we are not alone.
Suddenly in our insecurity we have become secure. Safe. Protected. Stable.
We walk on firm ground, our foundation solid enough to hold us up even on the days that we feel two steps behind everyone else in the meeting.
Because we will close our eyes, call out with our spirit, and trust.
And when we open our eyes, we will usually see a way forward, even if it is only the first step.