How to Stop Feeling Insecure
Insecurity is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as “a feeling of lacking confidence and not being sure of your own abilities or of whether people like you.” Everyone has experienced the feeling of insecurity about something or another at some point in life, it is natural. Fortunately, it is possible to learn how to overcome insecurity.
Although it is a normal feeling that everyone experiences, sometimes insecurities can get out of hand without you realizing it. They can take hold of the rational mind and infiltrate your thoughts over time until one day you realize that your insecurities are holding you back from the happiness you deserve.
“ I never have been insecure, because I see what a waste it is. I know there is a solution to insecurity. I don’t tend to be thrown by problems that don’t have solutions. And insecurity has a wealth of alternatives.” — Drew Barrymore
Your insecurities do not have to be road-blocks. Instead they can be stepping stones on your path to becoming the best you can be. Don’t worry about what people think of you. All it takes is a little bit of self-awareness. Interested? Then keep reading for tips on how to stop being insecure.
Identify the Source
Insecurity, like all feelings, stems from a thought we are having, such as I’m not good enough or I don’t deserve to succeed. These thoughts are usually rooted in some unconscious (and untrue) belief or fear we have about ourselves or the world we live in. According to licensed Psychologist, Sal Raichbach of Ambrosia Treatment Center, “the root cause of all insecurities is fear, and it’s shaped by our past experiences.”
For example, you could feel insecure in a relationship, even though your partner has given you no reason to feel that way because you unconsciously believe that you do not deserve to be loved. This belief could stem from a traumatic childhood event, such as a missing, neglectful, or abusive parent, that you have internalized and held to be true your entire life.
The first step to overcoming insecurity is to identify the thought or belief that is causing it. If you do not recognize and deal with the thoughts that are causing you to feel insecure, they can become habitual and ingrained in your psyche. Once you have isolated the thought or belief, you can begin to work on changing it to something that better serves you. Most of the thoughts that cause us to be insecure are irrational and unfounded anyway.
Now, when you notice that you are feeling insecure, take a moment to remind yourself that you are in control of your thoughts. You can decide to think of something different from whatever self-defeating thought you are having at the moment. Practice changing the irrational, negative thoughts into positive, confident ones instead. It may be hard at first to catch yourself at the moment you actually have the cognition, but after a few times, it will get easier. A daily meditation practice can help you to become more aware of your thoughts.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Caleb Backe, a health and wellness expert at Maple Holistics says, “To feel better about yourself, stop looking at others.” Humans have a habit of comparing ourselves to one another; we look at others to gauge ourselves and make us feel like we’re missing something. The problem is that we are our own worst critics. We know ourselves inside and out, flaws and everything.
However, we don’t necessarily see the flaws of someone else, and that makes the playing field uneven. I think that New York Times Best Selling Author Steven Furtick said it best when he said: “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” – Steven Furtick
It doesn’t help that we live in the age of social media where many people only post things that are flattering or cast them in the best light. Facebook and Instagram can solidify our insecurities and validate fears that we are not good enough. You can combat this by spending less time on social media sites and also by only following friends and people whom you admire or with whom you share similar values.
Instead of comparing yourself to others, try comparing yourself to yourself. That is to say, if you are trying to be a better person, you have to compare yourself right now to a past version of you. It is always possible to be better, not because you’re worse than anyone else but because you are not yet all that you can become.
Practice Makes Perfect
Everyone has heard the saying ‘That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” So what does it mean exactly? It means that when we face tough situations or conquer our challenges, we learn things and become better people for it. Overcoming struggles makes us better equipped to face future struggles, so why not give yourself some practice.
Stepping out of your comfort zone on purpose can help you practice for the times when you are being insecure about a situation. If you voluntarily do one new, uncomfortable or challenging thing each day, then you desensitize yourself to future situations that may be uncomfortable and scary but are necessary to achieving your goals or obtaining something that you want.
What are some examples of ways to get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself? You could introduce yourself to someone you don’t know at work, or volunteer to read aloud in class. If you are insecure about dating, you could challenge yourself to join a dating site and go on one new date a week.
Everyone will have different situations that make them feel uncomfortable or vulnerable, depending on what they are feeling insecure about or having trouble with. The key is to practice walking through difficult situations on your own when there is no pressure and nothing to lose so that you will be successful when it really counts.
In conclusion, having insecurities is a part of being human, but you don’t have to let your fears run your life. On how to stop being insecure, facing our fears and persevering through difficult situations builds character and confidence. It will ultimately make you a better person. So instead of hiding from or burying your insecurities, embrace them as ways to become the best version of yourself that you can be.