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If you’re like most people, insecurity is something that you’ve probably had to deal with at some point in your life. You’re definitely not alone. The effects of the media and the internet on our culture have been devastating, and that is unlikely to change anytime soon.

So what can you do about it?

In this episode, Dr. Rick discusses the root cause of our insecurities, a tool you can use to instantly overcome your self-doubt, and the one thing you must know to maintain belief in yourself.

Show Highlights Include:

  • A crowd-pleasing way to overcome negative feelings about yourself (2:23)
  • This factor has a huge influence over the way you see yourself today (3:43)
  • An extremely effective tool you can use to instantly combat insecurity (4:30)
  • The insidious source of the forces that shape your self-image (9:09)
  • You must do this to develop unshakeable self-confidence (9:40)
  • Knowing this one thing can make you immune to destructive outside influences (11:04)

Do you want to stop existing and start living your best life right now? Click here to get the first chapter of Dr. Rick’s best-selling book, Lessons From a Third Grade Dropout, for free.

Read Full Transcript

Welcome to “How You Living?” a transformative podcast featuring best-selling author, inspirational speaker and minister, Dr. Rick Rigsby. And, now, Dr. Rick.

Dr. Rigsby: Hey, everyone. Dr. Rick. So glad you can join us. I’ve got a question that I've been waiting for this episode to ask you.

Do you ever ask yourself this question? Why am I so fat? Or why am I so thin? Or do people like me? Or I wonder what they're thinking about me? So, if you've asked yourself any of those questions, the question is why, and I think it boils down to the fact that most of us deal with insecurity, insecurity of some type. I know I certainly do. I deal with it every day.
But here's the good news about this podcast. Today, we're going to uncover a way to minimize insecurity in our lives, so stay with me for just a second. [01:09.3]

I grew up chubby. Still chubby. That's a lovely word for saying overweight, doing something about it. But I have always been teased for being chubby. And so, I would often walk home from school and I would ask myself, Do people like me?

And I remember one time going into my mother's room crying because I would say, “Mom, people are laughing at me. They're laughing at me. I…I don't like it. I don't like how I feel.” And she said a couple of things. The first one I didn't pay attention to till years later.

The first one was “So what? What? Who cares what people think about you?” I had to work to get to that point and she was absolutely right. Are you with me?

But here's the second thing she said. “Ricky, beat him to the punch.”
“What do you mean, Mother?”
“Laugh at yourself first and then they will join you and laugh with you.” [02:06.4]

She must have told me that when I was seven or eight years old. I've been doing it ever since. I do it now all over the world. I have found when I don't take myself so seriously, it diffuses the moment, and now we're all celebrating, laughing. Guess what the by-product has been? I see myself as a healthier person. I am a healthy, wholesome person, with no need to feel insecure.
I happen to be a person of faith and my Bible tells me that I'm fearfully and wonderfully made, and so to combat insecurity, I have to remind myself with that on a regular basis.

What if you're not a person of faith? What if you're the kind of person who still battles with insecurity and you can't get a handle on it? Stay tuned, because what I'm going to share with you toward the middle and end of this podcast I believe has the potential to free you.

Remember what my mom said? “Why do you worry about what other people think?” It's easy to say that, but it's very difficult to really do that, unless you know what the root of insecurity is. [03:06.5]

Insecurity is rooted in how we view ourselves and insecurity is rooted in how anxious we feel about ourselves. I was reading this article that I have ready to go right now that is from Psychology Today as Psychology Today makes this real strong argument and the argument is how we view our past failures, how we view our past mistakes, how we view anything that has gone good or bad in our lives really shapes the way that we see ourselves.

Also, Psychology Today continues to say that we tend to minimize the good and focus on the bad. I can tell you all one thing. Tell me if this isn’t insecurity. I can speak to a thousand people. Nine hundred and ninety-nine can come up and say, Rick, that was a phenomenal job. You did a great speech. One can come up and say, Uh…it quite wasn't what I was expecting. [04:06.2]
Guess what I focus on for the next several hours? It can even cause me to lose sleep if I don't reset my focus, if I don't remind myself that I'm fearfully and wonderfully made, if I don't hold on to some wisdom that can counter what that one person said. I will feel so insecure because of the comments of one person.

Friend, it's important to have a tool to combat insecurity. Here's a tool. How do you view yourself? That's a tool. How do you view yourself? Up until third grade, age eight, I was viewing myself as this chubby kid who was getting laughed at, and in one day, I started viewing myself as this fun, gregarious, outgoing kid that was the life of the party. Ho-ho, baby. In one day, a tool from an uneducated mother simply transformed the way I viewed myself. What is it going to take for you to transform the way you view yourself? [05:01.8]

It's really interesting. I was in television for years and then studied television critically, and so I'm well aware of the effects of television. Years ago, there's a man by the name of Marshall McLuhan who made this very bold predicament. Back in the ’50s and ’60s, everybody was talking about the effects of television programs. Marshall McLuhan comes along and says our focus is in the wrong place. It's not necessarily that television programs that are going to shape us, but it's the way that the television programs are being disseminated.

And so, he made this statement, “The medium is the message,” got criticized all over the globe for it. But he turned out to be a prophet, because that medium of quick bits of information produced what we call now a soundbite culture. A soundbite culture, people just disseminating anecdotal information in very shallow ways, hoping to make sense, void of any kind of depth, breadth or context. [06:03.1]

Take a look at your local newscasts. Take a look at those things that you like to stream and you don't see a great deal of depth. Nicholas Carr comes along years later, just a few years ago and sort of picks up where Marshall McLuhan left off.
Nicholas Carr. If you haven't read his book, jot this down. His book is called The Shallows, how the internet is affecting our brain, and he says it's the same thing. It's the quick dissemination of information. So, imagine this: is it possible that television or the internet can shape us in such a way that it can encourage insecurity?

Let's go back to television for a second. I remember studying this woman by the name of Jean Kilbourne, who was a professor at Harvard University, had a series of lectures titled Killing Us Softly. She looked at images of women in magazines and discovered something that was just simply devastating that body parts were being separated and used. [07:01.3]
Each individual body part was being used to sell a particular product and it was just devastating the way in which a woman's body was being distorted for the purposes of commercial gain. And Kilbourne's conclusion is basically this—when you reduce a human being to an object, you've just given license to do whatever you want to that particular object.

Look at the sexism we're dealing with today. Look at the way in which women are still treated as voiceless people, even in this day and age.

What's really sad is this. Kilbourne said that most women starting in second and third grade are not gaining their ideal standard of beauty from their parents. They're not gaining it from themselves. They're gaining it from watching television.
And in Kilbourne’s day, which was in the ’80s and ’90s, the ideal beauty standard was basically this. For a woman, you had to be thin. No unsightly hair, no pimples, obviously no pores. You must be blonde. You must weigh no more than 90 pounds. [08:10.5]

That excludes the majority of women that I know. And who says that an image art be what informs you about how pretty you are or how successful you are? But look at how we allow that. Do you think the internet has continued that? Absolutely. Now instead of ideal standards of beauty, now we're governed by likes. Mhm? Want folks to like us. Want folks to follow us. Want folks to be our friend.

And so, this continual perpetuation of what my value is is not coming from ourselves. It's not coming from the creator. It's not coming from parents. It's not coming from reasoned voices. It's coming from influences that are external, and dare I say it, digitally constructed. [09:09.9]

And if you don't have a sound sense of the root of what causes your anxiety, it's going to be exacerbated in a shallow, superficial culture where images of beauty and images of who's accepting me rule the digital airwaves.

So, here's the bottom line, friend. The bottom line is we have to know who we are and we have to accept who we are and we have to like who we are. Let me say it again. We have to know who we are. We have to accept who we are and we have to like who we are.

That doesn't mean that you don't grow. We should always be in the state of growing. But do you love you? That's right. How can you love somebody else if you don't love you? And when you love yourself and when you genuinely like who you are, the words of other people lose power. They literally lose power. [10:09.2]

And so, what we think about ourselves has the power to make us more secure. Let me say that again. What we think about ourselves really does have the power to make us more secure.

So, I'm in a world where I have to use social media every day. Just like you, I'm in a world where I'm measured by likes. I'm even measured by book sales. I'm even measured by numbers of engagements. I'm even measured by how many people like my podcasts or how many people give me affirmation from my speeches.

Watch this. If I don't know who I am, I'm going to allow all those variables to dictate and determine my value, my wellbeing, my “me.’ And, friend, that is a dangerous place to live. Here's why—you will never ever measure up. Mhm? [11:09.0]

I don't know the secret to success, but I guarantee you the secret to failure is trying to please everybody. Why not start this day pleasing yourself.

So, Rick, what should we do? You're not going to like this, but here's the key. Unplug and recharge. Ho-ho-ho, baby. Watch this. Watch this. Don't close me out. Don't unplug just yet. Is it possible that you're getting too much of your image from a digitally-transmitted source? Is it possible that you're spending way too much time in front of impulses that don't know you, and not nearly enough time in introspection and reflection and meditation?

Friends, I want to tell you all the leading scientists are saying the same thing to us today in the 21st century. They're saying that we are gaining our value from digitally-transmitted sources that don't know us as opposed to unplugging, centering on what we know to be true, believing that and acting accordingly. [12:21.7]

And so, here it is. Every day, unplug, so that you can recharge. I have specifically started turning off my phone for hours throughout the day. Guess what? If it's that important, they'll call back. Guess what? If it's really on my mind, I'll check it out a little bit later. Guess what it does? It gives me a chance to center on what I know to be true.

What do I know to be true? I am fearfully and wonderfully made. What do I know to be true? I'm a good guy. I'm funny. I am a great father and a great husband, and a great friend and a great coworker. I know those things. I'm flawed and I'm working on those flaws, but those flaws don't reflect the totality of who I am. This is what I know to be true. I'm going to give my best every single day, so that the world might be a bit more encouraged. [13:14.5]

Friend, this day, unplug and recharge long enough to focus on your positives, so that you can minimize your negatives. Guess what will happen? That insecurity will start to become more secure.

Until we meet next time, this is Dr. Rick asking you the most important question I can ask you, How you livin’? I’ll see you soon.

Are you ready to make an impact in your world right now? Do you want to stop existing and start living your best life right now? Dr. Rick wants to give you the first chapter of his bestselling book, “Lessons from a Third Grade Dropout,” absolutely free. Just go to www.RickRigsby.com/freegift to get the print or audio book right now.

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