Insecurity! You Lying Sack of…

Insecurities are like Swamp Things. Just when you think you’ve escaped, they rise up for a surprise attack.

Insecurities are like Swamp Things. Just when you think you’ve escaped, they rise up for a surprise attack.

As I write in my book 101 Secrets for your Twenties, “In 8th grade, insecurity became a permanent fixture in my life. Like that 1970’s oak entertainment center in your parents living room– freakishly huge, yet it’s been there so long you don’t even notice it’s there.”

An acne attack kicked off my sweet thirteen insecurity party – acne of the face, chest, and back variety all making themselves quite at home as my uninvited guests.

Then top that off with braces and love handles the size of Coke cans, and my Insecurity cruise ship was sailing through the choppy waters of puberty with a Titanic-esque chance of survival.


 0     Insecurities are like Swamp Things. Just when you think you’ve escaped, they rise up for a surprise attack.

Hiding Under Tables

As lights flashed all around and Loveshack boomed over the speakers, you wouldn’t find me during a school dance.

Well unless you looked under the back table. A school dance going on around me as the over-sized tablecloth concealed me from all the girls I hoped would realize I was missing.

I’d picture all the popular girls desperately searching for me like their childhood dog had gone missing. And once they found me, ahhhh yes… they would sweep me out from under the table and parade me around the dance floor, showering me with kisses like a war hero just come back to the states. Of this I was sure.

But it never happened.

I wanted to be paraded as a war hero.

Instead I just fought my own war.

Alone under a table.

Problem is most people don’t know they’re supposed to be looking.

Insecurities make us desperate for people to come find us while hoping we can remain hidden.

And that’s the cancer of insecurity – we artificially remove ourselves from our own lives so that we can be missed.

When the only thing I missed was moments of my life, a theme that continued for years to come.

Insecurities. And Their Lies. That Become Truths

And that’s the thing with insecurities.

Just because you grow up doesn’t mean you grow out of your insecurities.

Sometimes, if you’re not careful, you grow into them.

We must actively face these insecurities and work on removing the root, or the weeds will just keep growing back.

That’s why we need help. All of us. A friend. A counselor. A mentor. A pastor. Seek help. Don’t hide your insecurities in the dark and let them spread like a fungus. Blast your insecurities with air, light, and open conversations.

Insecurities don’t make you a freak, they make you a human.

Find support to face those Swamp Things in the eye and tell them, “You have no power or control over me any longer.”

Attack your insecurities before they can attack you.

It wasn’t my acne that isolated me. It was insecurity. You lying sack of…

I want back what you stole.


  1. mike

    Paul: I have loved many of your articles…. but you freaking nailed it with this one. I’m saying this is the best of your already great collection of insights.

    If there’s one thing I want for my new daughter (and any future children) along with faith, it’s confidence. Freedom from insecurity. And, because I was deeply loved by my parents and deeply knew love through faith, yet still battled (and battle) insecurity, this is a complete mystery to me. She’s an infant, but every day I want to yell right into her heart: You’re loved! BE SECURE! Trust it!

    Anyway, thanks for this article.

    • Paul | All Groan Up

      Mike – Thank you for sharing these kind words. “Freedom from insecurity”. Love that line. I often wonder what my life would look like if I didn’t let insecurity make the final call so many times.

      And maybe if we tell our daughters these truths enough times, they will actually believe them.

  2. TMZ

    Once again I completely relate with your post, both from a past perspective and a current one. I’m glad you referenced the Acuff post because I totally thought of that as I was reading your “lying on the gym floor” story. Been in that “wanting to be missed/found/loved” place so many times and am actually there right now even as I type this.

    Hard stuff…

  3. Paul | All Groan Up

    Thanks TMZ. I often have found myself requiring people to constantly prove my value by their validation. Without them (or me) even knowing it.

    Definitely a slippery slope because sooner or later their validation will go missing and all we’ll have left is the mud at the bottom of the downward slide.

  4. Taylor

    Nice work Paul. Well said. I was transported back to middle school dances.

  5. Annie

    Very well articulated. I could feel the pain of your acne days there! Insecurity is a double edged sword indeed. I loved so many lines in this article because as everyone else, I have definitely allowed insecurity to isolate me many times. Thank you for the encouragement and insight.

    • Paul

      Thanks Annie!

  6. Amanda

    Well first of all Thank you again for the picture love..:)

    And Oh my goodness, this is great!!! It’s one of those articles I need to print out and read often. We definitely need to remember this as we move forward in our lives. Sadly we can’t get back what has happened in the past but we can make sure the future is so much more secure :)….

    • admin

      Awesome comment Amanda. Thank you!

  7. Nammu

    Hi Paul,
    I ran across your site today.. exactly at the time that I needed it!! I felt so lost and was drawn to your website by the article “21 secrets for your 20s”.. thanks for all the insight!!’s nice to know that i’m probably not the only 20 something year old who has no idea what the heck is going on!

    • admin

      Thanks Nammu! You’re definitely not alone!

  8. Lily

    Beautiful, as always. I wonder if we’ll ever outgrow our insecurities and become all groan up and secure in what we are becoming. Thanks Paul.

    • admin

      Thanks Lily. Great question. I don’t think we ever fully grow out of our insecurities, but just become more secure within our insecurities.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You’ve got questions.

We’ve got your-


SurVival PAckAge

A free, super-stuffed care package of resources to help you get through your twenties (and thirties too).

Order my new book "25 Lies Twentysomethings Need to Stop Believing"!

25 signs its a quarter life crisis

Instantly access: 

- "3 Ways to Pay Better Attention to the Answers Right in Front of You" - a quick, three step action guide to paying better attention that you can implement today.

- The first two chapters from best-selling author Paul Angone's new book Listen to Your Day: The Life-Changing Practice of Paying Attention.