Joanna Gaines Reveals Her Struggles with Insecurity

Joanna Gaines and daughter
Joanna Gaines | Joanna Stevens Gaines via Instagram

When you see Fixer Upper’s Joanna Gaines on TV, you likely see a confident, self-assured woman. However, she wasn’t always so confident. The wife, decorator, and mom of five says she struggled for a long time with her self-esteem. Here’s what Joanna had to say about her struggles with insecurity.

Joanna tried to hide her insecurity

Although Joanna appears to have it all together, she worked to make people believe this was the case. Joanna told Darling magazine she tried hard to cover up her insecurity. “I don’t think confidence has ever really been one of those things that came naturally for me,” said Joanna. “If people thought I was confident, it was really just the way I masked my insecurity, because I didn’t want people to really get to know the real me. I let that build up throughout the years. I was never completely confident in my skin.”

High school was tough for Joanna

Joanna says things weren’t easy for her in high school when she switched schools during her sophomore year. Her parents told her to just walk into school and that she’ll make friends, and everything will work out. However, things didn’t go as planned. Joanna said she had a tough time meeting people and she was so fearful she stayed in the bathroom during lunch time.

My parents told me, ‘Walk in. You’ll make friends like you always do,’ and I just remember walking in and … I just did not know what to do with myself. In the lunchroom everyone was a blur and I was thinking, ‘How do people do this? How do you find that one person to sit with?’ So I literally walked in the lunchroom and walked out and went into the bathroom. My fear and my insecurities just took over and I felt like I’d way rather sit in the stall than get rejected.

However, things began to improve when Joanna and her family moved again. Her next school was smaller, so she was able to make friends easily. “Later on, we moved towns again and to a smaller school, so I never had to deal with that feeling again because there were 28 people in my class in Waco. It was easy to make friends there,” she told Darling.

Joanna teaches her children not to bully others

Joanna Gaines and Drake
Joanna Gaines | Joanna Gaines via Instagram

What Joanna experienced was unfortunate, but some good did come from what she went through. She says she has decided to raise her children to be kind to others. “I think when you come from a place like that, even though it was only six months for me, there’s always that place of humility you never want to forget, and that experience grounded me in that I want to look for the lonely, the sad, the people who aren’t confident, because that’s not where they’re supposed to stay,” she said in her interview with Darling.

“I always tell my kids to look for that kid on the playground who’s not playing with anybody, to go reach out, ask them their name, to look for the kid in the lunchroom who isn’t sitting by anybody, be their friend,” Joanna continued.

Finding her place in life

Joanna says those lonely days in school pushed her as an adult to find her purpose. She says she’s here to help others who also struggle with insecurity and push them toward greatness. She told Darling she now knows her time in high school had a bigger purpose:

I discovered that my purpose was to help people who are insecure because I didn’t like the way it made me feel, in that stall; that’s not who I am. That’s not who I was made to be, but I let one stupid lie overcome my thoughts … I think confidence can be confusing. You think beauty is confidence, you think what you have is confidence … when really confidence is a mindset of, “I am created to do what I do, to be the best at what I can.” It doesn’t come from your giftings and talents, it comes from knowing who you are and that there’s a purpose for your life.

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