My Pal, Insecurity

I’d like to introduce you to a very close friend of mine, Insecurity.  We have a knot that ties us together that is the result of a life-long bond.  Through thick and thin, Insecurity has always been here with me.

My husband has been known to tell me on occasion that Insecurity plays with him also.  This is akin to the puddle saying to the ocean, “Look, we are both bodies of water!”  True, yet so vastly different as to be laughable.

It is interesting, because I am forever telling my children that they need to exude confidence.  Mind you, I don’t tell them they need confidence, just that others need to perceive that they have it.  Personally, I don’t believe that you can “create” confidence where none exists, but I do believe that you can fake it really well.

I also believe it is incredibly important to be able to fake it.  People who appear confident are leaders.  Others will listen, and follow, those that appear confident.  And, regardless of whether or not confidence is a friend of yours, it is easy to fake.

So, I tell my children,

  • “Stand up straight.”
  • “Speak strongly and clearly.”
  • “Look people in the eye.”
  • “Give a firm handshake.”

This list seems overly simple, doesn’t it?  Mmm-hmm.  Take a look at all the leaders you know, and tell me in which of those areas they falter.  And what’s amazing is that they could totally be faking it.

A few years ago a friend of mine gave me a book:

I picked it up to read it shortly after receiving it, but then put it quickly back down.  The thing is, I don’t know that I want to be rid of insecurity; nor, do I necessarily feel that it has been “a bad friend”.  In fact, I would argue that I am a better person because of my insecurities, not in spite of it.

Think about it for a minute.  Because I am fellows with insecurity I question how I do things, I am constantly striving to improve.  I question relationships and whether they will make me stronger.  I question all the whys and hows and wherefores in an effort to excel.  (The trick, I will readily admit, is knowing when to stop.)

Go a step further:  How many “naturally confident” people do you know that need a book entitled, “Lose your confidence, because you have no reason to believe you’re that good.”

I seem to know a number of people like that. . .   Personally, I think they lack something that allows them to feel the insecurity they should.

Anyhoo

Insecurity and I are off to play today.  We are going to try something new and different in our school day and I’m looking forward to seeing how it pans out.  I’ve already picked my pen so I can write notes on how to improve in the margins.

Posturing

Some of my very favorite books are full of intrigue, suspense, and obscure meanings, (like one would see in diplomatic speech).

For example:

“I hope you can appreciate the fact that I am really not in a position to make serious changes in the government at the moment.” Drop dead.

“Please, I wasn’t suggesting that. I fully appreciate your situation. My hope was to allay at least one supposed problem, to make your task easier.” Or I could make it harder.

-from Executive Orders by Tom Clancy

I truly appreciate when the intended meanings are put in italics too as they would otherwise, most likely, be lost on me. I simply don’t speak/think that way. It would require training for me to get to that level of understanding.

My speech (verbiage and understanding) is very much like my driving. I actually use turn signals, and such to signal my intent. There should, in my mind, be no doubt in another’s mind as to what I’m actually doing.

Not so, other drivers in our state! Therefore, when our kids turn about 15 I start instruction on “vehicle body language”.

It usually starts something like this:

“Just what do you think that idiot is about to attempt to do?”

Towards the end of the child’s “training” I can expect,

“Well, due to lack of any signals whatsoever, I couldn’t tell you. They are in the left-hand turn only lane (which, you would think, would mean something); yet, their wheels are cranked in the complete opposite direction, and they keep throwing up furtive looks in their review mirror every few seconds. Therefore, the nut-jobs are going to attempt to cross three lanes of moving traffic and make a right-hand turn.”

We learn similar skills in body language too.

“Posturing” sets the ground work for identifying the “path” or the direction one wishes to travel.

In case you don’t recall, I wrote this post about how difficult I was finding it to determine how I wanted to lead a unit study class.

Well, nearly half-way through the course, I have FINALLY figured out my “posture”.

It’s about time!

Finding the Yellow Brick Road

I am including this video clip as it is sort of related,

and because CERTAIN people say I “overthink” things I thought they would appreciate knowing my thoughts:

  • Where does the red-brick road lead?
  • Why does she have (or choose) to start at the very beginning of a spiral?  (Seriously, I’d skip that. . .straightest distance between two points and all.)  Maybe it’s a play on the tornado?

Anyway, I love the idea of traveling a path towards learning.  Honestly, what more can one ask on an educational journey than that of “courage”, “heart”, and “brains”?

the-wizard-of-oz-original

So, when I am planning a unit study, I tend to seek out my Yellow Brick Road.  In reality, I merely try to find the path, for once I see the trailhead it has always seemed as if the way just fell into place.

Sometimes, this is very easy for me, for instance in geography.  Other times I struggle a bit, as in state studies.

It is interesting to note that regardless of how long it takes me to find the magical start point, I always enjoy it.  That is a whole route in and of itself.  I get to read, and study, and watch videos, and find interesting rabbit trails that may, or may not, qualify as bricks upon the path.

Not that I won’t gripe about it to my friends!  This process can be incredibly stressful, especially if there is a time crunch, or if the subject is too ambiguous or “large”.  Part of my griping though, is a vocalization of my brain’s scattered thoughts.  Sometimes, just saying things out-loud makes you realize their connection, or even if there is one.  Sometimes, in voicing my thoughts, a friend will pop off with some bit that was actually a piece of the puzzle I still had yet to realize was missing.  Many of my friends are brilliant and talented in areas where I am lacking and can offer an insight that I desperately need.  I greatly appreciate my friends!  (And, I’m truly sorry if I get a bit cranky sometimes.)

The unit study I’m currently obsessing over is money management / economics / and computers.  It’s HUGE.  I’m “talking” about it A LOT to my friends.  (My husband has already declared that his ears are off limits to this particular conversation. He suffers from a serious lack of stamina!)

I am starting to hit a point of panic, as I have yet to find my magical start point.  I’m beginning to feel that this may not be a “Yellow Brick Road”; rather, it may be a “Fieldstone Path” and the stones have been dumped at my doorstep awaiting me to piece them together.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t know that I have the finesse required to construct a fieldstone path, so I am still desperately seeking my yellow brick road.

But, I know one thing, once I find that elusive yellow brick road; I’ll have a grand time traveling it!