I don’t understand this notion people have that Sokka from ATLA was insecure.
Watching the show, I was actually surprised by the amount of confidence he had. His character type is usually played up or off as the funny guy who hides his problems behind his jokes. And whilst that’s true for Sokka, the fandom keeps on insisting he was the most insecure member of the Gaang.
My vote for that title would go to Zuko, by a long shot. Zuko was extremely unstable about many aspects of his life. He didn’t think he was a good enough son, he thought he was a failure until he could capture the avatar, he had doubts about his fire-bending ability especially when compared to his sister, so on and so forth….
Sokka, on the other hand, had only ever explicitly stated he was felt bad compared to the others in the episode where he trained with Master Piando. Before that, all he needed was his trusty boomerang and his brain. Sokka is a man of science and while he had respect for benders, he remained firmly rooted in the belief that on a basic level, non benders could achieve the same thing their magical counterparts.
Sokka not being able to bend an element or infiltrate a city like Zuko could doesn’t mean he lacked self-assurance. He was the one who single-handedly took out Combustion Man after all.
Another point of contention is that he had self-doubts because his father left when he was small, leaving him with no father figure and the only one to defend their tribe. Sokka definitely had trouble feeling up to par; his dad was his role model and he felt obligated to be a warrior his dad could be proud of.
But he did just that, didn’t he. The show never dwells too long on how Sokka wishes he were good enough, because Sokka was always striving to be better. Sure, he made mistakes. He learned from them and grew into a leader of caliber. You don’t notice if he’s struggling internally unless you spend hours picking apart his dialogue and the context surrounding it, which isn’t the point of the show. It hurt seeing him crumble under the pressure of giving a good speech but we have to remember he was still a kid and he’d never done that before. There’s room for growth. That doesn’t automatically add it up to be a problem of insecurity.
After his training, his confidence grew to new levels. He gained a sword he could actually wield and there wasn’t a shortage of Sokka being absolutely kickass. He became a leader, a fighter, and a character to be proud of, all while keeping his humor and charm.
So stop treating him as if he was plagued by security issues. He wasn’t. He was going through the typical growing pain like a character with his type of arc should.