Insecurity rears its ugly head as I sit here on a cold afternoon in New York City, struggling to find the words to write a story about saving for travel in the New Year. I’m not sure what triggers the insecurity, but I imagine it shows up like a trench coat-clad debt collector lurking in the corner of the room, ready to be paid in confidence.
Insecurity is a funny thing. We all have it, all experience it and all do our best to cover it up with layers of bravado, only to realize that sometimes it is our insecurities that make us endearing and, hell, even unify us. I’m guilty of this too as I can often overexert sarcasm and confidence in the face of adversity, only to be hurt when I’m told to be “intimidating” or “unapproachable.” Me, intimidating? Clearly, you haven’t seen me on a Friday night in cat slippers, watching Netflix.
When insecurity walks into the room, I feel devastatingly small, as though the whole world is a high school cafeteria and I’ve managed to walk in at the exact moment everyone is talking about me. Of course, insecurity is all in the eye of the beholder—which is to say, I am the only one who sees that goon lurking over there.
Insecurity in creative work can sometimes be an even harder pill to swallow. All too often, I’ve let that trench coat wearing confidence collector hover over my shoulder as I attempt to write a story, paint a picture and simply create something beautiful. The thoughts start to flood: Will anyone care? What is the point of doing this? Will it be successful? Will people like it? What if they think the worst of me? What if it’s all a giant waste of time?
I’ve let these questions get the better of me in the past; have paid that goon in my confidence, only to be left throwing in the towel on an idea that could have been great. Then, I realized something: we are what we create and our legacies are what we leave behind. For me, that means that one day I will melt into my stories; that one day (hopefully far from now) there will be nothing left of Nikki Vargas but words on a page and paint on a canvas. So, I started to think about my art from that perspective: what do I want to leave behind? The answer, dear reader, is not click bait listicles and viral videos, but rather genuine reflections of my thoughts, ideas, and emotions.
It’s not to say I won’t fall on the altar of insecurity from time to time, or that I won’t dish out a listicle when need be; but rather, it’s to say that when it comes to creating, insecurity should not get the better of any of us. All of this is coming to mind as I stand on the cusp of reigniting my blog and potentially embarking on the writing of a book. I am equal parts thrilled and daunted by the prospect of these two projects.
For my blog, I had burnt out on my blog writing only to now have it revitalized. I am keen to hire SEO specialists, have joined an ad network again, have taken to writing more often and all-in-all am sprucing up the joint. For my book, well…don’t get me started. An opportunity has appeared as an idea and I’m standing like a deer in headlights just blankly staring.
As I stand here looking at a horizon that is far away but promising, I want to remind myself (and all dreamers out there) to not let that goon, insecurity, stand in your doorway. Whatever you wish to create, whatever idea you have tugging at your sleeve, never turn your back on it because of insecurity. Now to take my own advice…