Today you’re going to learn how to deal with insecurity. Do you often have the feeling that you are not good enough? Do you feel like you just don’t quite “fit in”? Do you feel like an imposter at work, that you are not fully qualified for the position you hold, and that you don’t deserve that promotion? At some point or another, we have all experienced feelings of insecurity, no matter how minimal.
Insecurity threatens even the best of us, so you should not feel like you are all alone in this. There are those who are very good at camouflaging their feelings of insecurity and downplaying it to the point where you will never notice their wavering confidence. Then there are those of us whom insecurity has gotten the best of. Whether you belong to the former or the latter, worry not.
Know this: It is possible to get rid of the feelings of insecurity. They may feel overwhelming right now, but read on and I assure you that you will definitely feel better by the time you are done implementing all the steps and tips outlined here.
This article will help anyone who may be harboring feelings of insecurity. It is meant to be a short guide to help you overcome your feelings of insecurity and build your self-esteem.
How To Deal With Insecurity:
Tip 1: Self-Assessment
How well do you understand your feelings of insecurity? Do you know when they started? Are you aware of what triggers the feeling? The very first step to overcoming insecurity and building your self-esteem is analyzing your situation and understanding where your insecurity comes from. Different people have different explanations behind their feelings of insecurity. The most common reasons are:
a) You may have been brought up in a harsh chaotic environment unconducive for learning.
In this case, you will find that you may not have had a chance to ask questions and get appropriate answers because someone may have always been putting you down and demeaning you. Therefore, you have always lived your life on edge.
b) You may have been put in a position where you felt like you had to always compete with someone.
You would always end up feeling like you have to prove yourself, and you may keep feeling like you are not good enough because your successes were always compared to someone else’s achievements.
c) Did you experience a major setback in life?
No one is perfect, and even the best will fall at some point. After a fall, there are those who are good at picking themselves up. But at the same time, there are those who can never quite recover from the blow and so in their minds, they will always perceive themselves as failures.
d) Lack of direction in life
Do you feel like you are lost in this world? Like you have no idea what you want to achieve or where you want to go? This may be the reason you have insecurity issues-because you simply lack the drive and direction to find your purpose.
e) Being around belittling and demeaning people
Who are the people you surround yourself with? Are they people who celebrate you, or are they constantly putting you down, dismissing your efforts or simply taking you for granted? Humans were created to flourish on compliments. If there is no one complimenting you, even on your biggest accomplishments, you will feel that you are not worthy of appreciation. This will always put you down.
f) Poor self-image
Are you constantly criticizing your body? Always highlighting your faults even if it is something as trivial as a tiny mole on your cheek? Are you uncomfortable with your body size and always feel awkward? Sure, we have mornings where we wake up and feel completely unattractive. But when your self-image is constantly negative, this will take a toll on your self-esteem and end up making you feel inferior.
Fear happens to be one of the greatest triggers of the feeling of insecurity. This is because you will constantly fear failure, you will fear rejection, you will fear criticism, you will fear so many things that you will always be afraid to try out something new. This will turn you into just another face in the crowd, afraid to venture and discover your limits and capabilities.
This may generate from within you, or it may have been imposed on you by someone else. Are you always pressured to match up to someone else’s ideals? Are you constantly thinking of how your actions will make other people react, instead of how they will make you feel? If you feel pressured to live up to someone else’s ideals, you will always beat yourself up because you will never truly experience self-satisfaction.
Even for your own ideals, if you set the bar too high you will be doing yourself a great injustice because you will always criticize and judge yourself harshly when you fail to reach your high expectations.
Tip 2: List All Areas of Your Life Affected by Your Insecurity
The importance of this tip is that you realize the huge impact your feelings of insecurity are having on your life. By seeing the damage, you will be better motivated to work on overcoming insecurity and building your self-esteem.
What have you had to give up because you felt insecure? Maybe you failed to apply for a new position at work because you felt like your application would have been rejected, or that you would have been ridiculed for even “daring” to apply.
Perhaps you destroyed all your past relationships because you have always felt like you were being cheated on, or feeling that you were not good enough for the man/woman you were with.
What have you had to sacrifice because you simply did not have the confidence to stand up to the task? Do you find that your tendency to stay indoors holed up in your house has affected your social life?
Do you find that you rarely engage in activities with your colleagues or even family members because you do not want to get something wrong?
Write it all down; the longer the list the better. Outline all that you feel you have missed out on because you did not have the self-esteem to trust in yourself and just spread your wings.
Tip 3: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
I am sure you have realized that you have been missing out on a lot. But all is not lost. Why not try to change the situation and reach for what you would have accomplished instead of belittling your efforts?
Say maybe you had to sacrifice your social life because you did not feel good enough to hang around other people. You could take the first step to dealing with this by going to a party and bringing a close family member or friend along.
The idea of bringing your friends is not so that you end up hanging around them all night long. It is so that they may act as a buffer. When there are familiar faces around, you will feel less intimidated to interact with the rest of the party crowd.
One day after work, instead of heading home to watch a rerun of one of your favorite TV show, hook up with a couple of friends from work and grab a drink or two. It does not matter that you really want to go indulge in that tub of ice cream in your freezer instead. Leaving your comfort zone is all about engaging in activities you may have previously cringed at the thought of.
Take baby steps though. Do not just decide to go all out and head out alone to the movies. Start small, maybe by going to the movies with your family; then narrowing down the crowd to maybe 3 people next time, then two maybe, then just go alone after several months or so.
Tip 4: Journal your Progress
The best way to achieve any milestones is to document your progress. After leaving your comfort zone, what did you do? How did it make you feel? You will realize that the feeling may have been scary at first; but keep at it and you will even end up enjoying it.
You may find that you will constantly be looking forward to spending time outdoors, and interacting with new unfamiliar faces. Keeping a journal will help you see where you have come from and how you are faring. It will also enable you to know what works for you and what does not. For instance, you may discover that you would rather spend time at the theatre rather than at the movies, or you would rather go hiking than go for a picnic.
You may find that you would prefer going to an art exhibition rather than going drinking. You may find that you are fascinated by history rather than by sports. Write it all down, because it will come in handy in the next step.
Tip 5: Do Something You Love and Are Good At
The feeling of insecurity stems from low self-esteem. So in order to beat it, you should engage in activities that build your self-esteem. What is it that you absolutely love doing and you know that you are tremendously good at it?
If it is painting, go ahead and whip out your paint brushes and start painting. If it is baking, then by all means, bake all you can and even give out your pastries to family, friends, neighbors and colleagues. When you hear them complimenting your great baking skills, it will make you feel good and boost your self-confidence.
If you are good at planning events, why not volunteer to organize your department’s next team-building exercise? You will receive your satisfaction after you hear all your colleagues marvel at how well-planned the event was.
Find your niche and indulge in it instead of indulging in things that you are not good at. When you find your niche, you will be in your element every time you indulge in it and this will make you shine and bring out your assets.
Do not allow yourself to stay in a field where you have to struggle to achieve good results because this will take a toll on your confidence and self-belief.
Tip 6: Surround Yourself with People Who Appreciate You
The importance of this tip cannot be emphasized enough. You should evaluate the people you hang around with and detoxify your relationships. Detoxify simply means getting rid of the relationships that seem to be crushing you rather than helping you make advancements.
If you are around people who love and care for you, they will celebrate even your small accomplishments, and this will help you feel good about yourself. If you are constantly around people that are always putting you down, it will make you feel inadequate and you will constantly not feel good enough.
Tip 7: Thinking “So What” Instead of “What If”
A change of attitude is needed. Instead of asking “What if she is prettier than me?” you should be saying “So what if she is prettier than me”. One fact of life is that there will always be some richer, smarter, prettier, taller, and just generally better than you; just as there will always be someone lesser than you.
Instead of focusing on how someone else has surpassed you, strive to work on building who you are as a person and focus solely on yourself. Many times, we are so concerned with the “what if” that we are too afraid to ever try anything new.
If you adopt a “so what” attitude, you will be well on your way to overcoming your insecurity because instead of putting yourself down, you will be attempting to try new experiences regardless of whether you fail or succeed.
Tip 8: Set Goals
Documenting your progress in a journal is not enough. You also need to set goals. Personal and professional goals give us a purpose in life; ways to go about working toward specific achievements. They also push us towards our capabilities.
With goals, you should always try to work to not just achieve it- but to surpass it. This is why goals are so important. They will give you a sense of accomplishment and achievement and this will constantly boost your mood as well as your self-confidence.
In life, the more you achieve, the more confident you will become. You should try adopting this policy because it will help with your insecurity. When you have many accomplishments under your belt, you can confidently face the world without belittling yourself.
Tip 9: Make a List of Your Values and Good Attributes
Every once in a while you might need a pick-me-up. What better way is there to get that than having a list of the things you love about yourself?
In fact, it does not even have to be the things you love about yourself. It could also include things that others have complimented you on in the past. They say that you should “fake it ‘til you make it”. If everyone keeps telling you that you have beautiful eyes but you do not quite believe it, you should constantly tell yourself that you have beautiful eyes until you eventually begin to believe it.
Anytime you feel feelings of self-doubt creeping in, just whip out your list and read it out loud to yourself. This will remind you that you are worth something, and that you should value yourself for that instead of always berating yourself.
In case you are wondering what to include on this list, here are a couple of ideas:
- Your accomplishments
- Your skills
- Your talents
- Your best physical attributes
- Things people have complimented you on
- Things you love about yourself
Tip 10: Adopt the Mentor or Buddy System
This tip involves finding a friend that you trust, can relate to, and talk to about your low self-esteem as well as your venture to overcome your feelings of insecurity. Having someone to talk to, a person that understands you and your situation, will be very helpful.
This should be someone you can open up to about your insecurity. You can talk to them about your frustrations, troubles and even converse about your goals and other such things.
The mentor or buddy you go for could be anyone: a relative, a sibling, a friend, or even an older person you look up to. It could just be anyone that you are comfortable with.
The friend will also hold you accountable on your progress, and this will keep you on the path towards improving your self-esteem and working on dealing with your insecurity.
Tip 11: Work on Improving Your Self-Image
How do you truly perceive yourself? Do you see yourself as a success or do you just deem yourself a failure? Are you happy with where you are in life? Are you satisfied with the person you have become?
Life does not always turn out the way we planned. Things will not always go our way. In fact, things will rarely go our way. So do not beat yourself up if you are not where you would have pictured you would be by now. Be gentle on yourself.
Working on your self-image is all about loving who you are and where you are. It is about knowing your potential and working on it so that you may be the very best you can possibly be. If there is something about you that you do not like but can work on; you should work on it.
For instance, if you think you are overweight, you should go to the gym and work on shedding some extra pounds. If you have feelings of insecurity because you did not attend college, you can work on getting that education and becoming even smarter than you already are.
Make sure your self-image is positive because this is what will determine your self-esteem.
Tip 12: You Are What You Eat
The food you eat can have a huge impact on your mood and your feelings. Science has shown this to be true. There are foods that will make you feel depressed and there are foods that will uplift your mood.
Watching what you eat will ensure that you are constantly feeling great about yourself. That is, if you are eating foods that are good for your mood.
Besides, if you eat healthily, you will keep your body size under control, which means that you will not be unhappy with your body. Your muscles will be toned, your bones and teeth will be strong, and your diet could even be used to fight acne. Therefore, do not underestimate the power of a good diet.
Another benefit of eating healthily is that it shows you care about your body, which in turn shows that you love and care for yourself. It also shows that your self-esteem is adequately high. This is a bonus, a boost in your quest to overcome your feelings of insecurity.
Tip 13: Setting Limits and Boundaries
Oftentimes, people will treat us according to how we let them treat us. You will find that people push you around and look down on you because you let them do it. To prevent this, set some boundaries.
Have some standards for how you want to be treated and set boundaries for just how far you are willing to be pushed. When someone pushes you too far, let them know you are not happy, or even sever ties with them altogether.
Do not allow yourself to be around people who do not respect you, and do not have any regard for your preferences and conditions. These are the kinds of people that will constantly be undermining you and making you feel like you are not worthy of anything meaningful.
Even when it comes to your dating life, do not tolerate someone who undermines you. The same deal applies even with a boss at work who may always be subjecting you to harsh work conditions and severe criticism. You can always resign and seek employment elsewhere, rather than putting your self-esteem on the line.
This tip really comes down to self-respect. When you respect yourself enough, there is only so much you can take. You will not agree to being pushed around and trampled on.
Tip 14: Get Back up After a Fall
You will always fail in some instances. You will always go wrong at some point in life. Do not use one instance of failure as a benchmark for who you are. Learn to forgive yourself, dust yourself off, and get back up.
Learn to flip the page and try again because that is what life is all about. It is about getting things wrong at some point and learning the lesson that came from that experience to give it another try.
You don’t think Thomas Edison invented the incandescent electric light in just one attempt, do you? How many times do you think the Wright brothers failed? Just because someone rejects your idea does not mean that it was a bad idea.
There is a wise quote that says: “He who has never failed has never tried something new”. Therefore do not despair. It is through our failures that we learn the lost life lessons, not through our successes.
Keep trying many things, almost anything that comes to your mind. After all, even if you fail, you can always go back to what you were doing before and be richer for the experience.
Tip 15: Take Risks
When testing new waters for the first time, we will always fear the outcome. Sometimes we will fear the outcome so much that we may give up the venture altogether. But that is not what life should be about.
In fact, you should get in the habit of taking so many risks that you are no longer fearful of the outcome. If you give yourself plenty of exposure, it tends to harden you to the point where you do not cringe at the thought of being put under scrutiny.
Take, for example, the life of a college student. When they are presenting a project before their lecturers for the first time, they will have some fear in them. Their voice will quaver, their feet will feel wobbly, and their palms will start sweating. Basically, they will nearly fall apart.
But with practice and as they continue to make more presentations, the experience will not feel that bad. They will find that they are more relaxed and will even be able to crack a few jokes.
This is the same case with everything in life. Take risks and give yourself exposure if you want to build your self-esteem to a stable level.
Having learned all 15 of the vital tips to dealing with insecurity and building your self-esteem, you can now go out and seize the world. Venture in all that you may have been missing, and in time you will realize that it is quite a beautiful world out there.
Human beings are not as harsh as you had previously imagined, and you will not fail as many times as you had anticipated. You will find that nearly 97% of your fears will fail to actualize and it is at this point that you can boast of a full recovery. You will not feel so insecure anymore.
Now you can spread your wings and fly! Test all your limits while stretching yourself to achieve even more!
Thank you for reading this article about how to deal with insecurity and I really hope that you take action my advice. I wish you good luck and I hope its contents have been a good help to you.