I was once under the impression that everything gets better with time. I thought that as an adult, I would figure out exactly what I wanted in life, overcome my fears, and actively pursue the things that matter the most to me. Apparently this is not the case because I still struggle with self-discovery, not to mention that I still have an irrational fear of clowns and dolls. As I look to other people for inspiration, I’ve noticed that many people are not sure of their passions or purpose in life either. That said, whenever I meet accomplished people, I’m shocked to find out that even the most admirable ones can have trivial insecurities. This comes to show that what you feel is often not what others perceive.

In a nutshell, insecurity is a state of mind that makes people feel like they are not good enough. It could be self-inflicted or stem from any external sources from childhood, bullies, negative people, or the media. My pal believes that we have two lives existing – the one we live and the one we dream of living. Whenever we push ourselves closer toward the life that we dream of living, we sometimes stumble along the way and doubt ourselves when we fall. The anxiety that comes with insecurity can be crippling and people sometimes just give up on their goals just because they’re afraid of admitting failure.

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

I remember one rather frustrating summer in 1996 when I thought my grandpa was teaching me multi-digit multiplication, but I learned something even more valuable that evening. He said I would be allowed to watch TV if I finished all his practice problems, but as an Asian who still can’t do math, I didn’t grasp the concept in time to catch The Simpsons. As I kept getting each and every problem wrong while missing my show, I eventually dropped the pencil and gave up. That was the day Grampy sat me down and passed down his words to live by. He made me realize that life only gets harder, so giving up is not an option. Find what scares you the most, and do it over and over until it doesn’t feel scary anymore. Except heroin. That stuff is scary for a reason – stay far, far away.

Insecurities are just areas of opportunity to challenge ourselves and grow. It is important to remember that we all have to start somewhere, so you cannot compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 30. Fail over and over, but do not give up and most importantly, always remember to love yourself for who you are.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Eleanor Roosevelt