Every person out there has experienced insecurity at some point in their lives. Even confident people!
Some are good at hiding it, others grin and bear it, while some are putting in the work to overcome it.
It’s natural and okay to feel insecure at times. The problems start when insecurity keeps you from pursuing the type of life you want to live and being the person that you want to be.
You have to be the one to decide to identify the problem, build a plan for confronting it, and start working to overcome it.
How do you do that?
Identify The Insecurity And Look For The Roots Of It
One must identify what a problem is before we can begin to tackle it.
First, we must put intangible feelings into more concrete words. A person who says, “I’m feeling insecure.” isn’t really saying anything that can be acted upon.
What are the feelings surrounding that insecurity exactly? Are you nervous? Afraid? Feel unworthy or undeserving? Like you can’t trust? Like you’re not good enough? Not accomplished enough? Not progressing fast enough?
What are the specific emotions and thoughts you are having that you attribute to insecurity?
Identifying the emotions surrounding insecurity is only one part of the equation. The other part is identifying where those emotions are coming from. Once you understand that, you can start attacking the root cause of the insecurity until you overcome it.
Are you comparing your journey to that of others? Are your friends or family supportive or hypercritical of who you are and your shortcomings?
Frankly, a lot of insecurity is rooted in the perception that we have of ourselves that is created and reinforced by other people.
If you grow up in a household where you are mocked and belittled for the things you enjoy, the things you’re proud of, the things you accomplish – then you’re not going to feel happy or at peace with them as you get older.
Similarly, if you have friends, coworkers, or a spouse that is constantly making you feel like you are less than worthy, a nuisance, or unwanted – then you’re not going to find happiness and peace in your everyday life.
Other people love to impose their own mental image of who they think you should be onto you, but that isn’t their choice to make. It’s yours.
And if you’ve been subjected to those narratives for a long enough time, then you start to internalize them more and more until you actually believe that is who you are. But it’s not. You’re not who other people say or think you are.
Methods Of Improving Self-perception And Tempering Insecurity
Once you’ve identified the causes of your insecurity, what can you do about it?
1. Affirmations – A regular affirmation and practicing kindness with yourself is an effective means to change your internal narrative.
Write yourself a short pep talk, memorize it, and repeat it to yourself regularly, especially when you’re feeling low or unsure of yourself.
2. Forgiveness – You’re human! You’re going to make bad decisions, you’re going to make mistakes, you’re going to do stupid things sometimes. That’s just how it is. Every single person does because we are all flawed creations.
3. Mindfulness – Mindfulness is about being awake and aware in the moment, not what transpired yesterday, not what you may think is coming tomorrow.
We must understand that we are all on a long journey where we can only truly affect where we currently stand. The mistakes you made yesterday do not have to define where you are at today, where you will go tomorrow.
Much of the baggage that affects us in the present is the result of unhealed wounds of the past and fears of the future.
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4. Celebrate Accomplishments – It is so common for people to dwell on the things that didn’t work out and brush past the things that they do accomplish. There needs to be some balance here.
It’s okay to have some regrets or experience some pain for past mistakes or missteps, but we also need to acknowledge the positive things that are in our lives.
An accomplishment is something worth acknowledging and celebrating, because it is positive reinforcement that you and your contributions are valuable.
5. Fail More – That sounds negative, doesn’t it? Failure is not a negative. Failure is simply a part of overall success.
There are only a handful of lucky people in the world who absolutely nail what they set out to do at the first attempt. And most of the time, that just doesn’t happen.
The people that succeed are the people that continuously try things, and in doing so, they fail. But that’s good! Because as you try more things and experience failure, you realize that it’s not the end of the world at all. It’s just another part of the overall journey.
Shoring Up Your Personal Space…
There is an old saying to the effect of, “You are the sum total of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Audit your personal circles. Take a good, long look at the people you’ve surrounded yourself with and make sure that they are positive contributors to your life and well-being.
If you surround yourself with negative people who talk down to you, insult you, and undermine your interests and excitement, you’re going to have a much harder time building up a positive mentality.
Conducting that audit is a hard thing to do, especially if you realize that the people you call your best friends or your spouse are directly harming your well-being, ability to grow, and succeed.
Unfortunately, the process of self-improvement sometimes means you have to outgrow the people around you. There are so many people in the world who are perfectly complacent with being miserable and unhappy because that’s what they’re used to, and the thought of changing is scary.
You may feel as though you want to inspire or bring those people along with you, and it is certainly possible that some of them may want to grow with you, but don’t be surprised if they don’t.
Don’t be surprised if they scoff or call into question why you’re bothering. Don’t be surprised if they try to undermine you, call you foolish or worse, and try to make you feel bad about yourself.
People often do this as a defense mechanism because seeing someone else improve is a reminder of their own flaws, failings, and misgivings. And rather than attempting to address that in a healthy way and be better, they simply languish and choose to drown in their own misery.
The Complicated Nature Of Self-improvement…
The goal of self-improvement, overcoming insecurity, and finding greater happiness is a lofty one; and it can be extremely difficult.
Trying to unwind our own emotions, reasons for being, and the reasons for doing the things that we do is complicated.
If you are a person who has a traumatic history or has been intertwined with toxic people for a long time, you may require more assistance than self-improvement articles on the internet.
Do consider looking into a certified counselor if you feel lost or unsure of how to proceed. Though they cannot do the work for you, a certified counselor can serve as an effective guide to navigate your way though the complicated things that you may have experienced and survived.