Insecurities

28th July 2017

Everyone gets insecure at some point. This is the feeling of general unease or nervousness that can be triggered by seeing yourself to be vulnerable or inferior, or a sense of instability which threatens your self-image.

 

It is completely normal to be insecure from time to time, but some of us feel insecure most of the time. For someone to feel this way most of the time, will result in insecurities feeding off of each other and becoming worse. This is why it is important to put things in place to reduce these insecurities. Insecurities can be caused by a range of things such as; the kind of childhood you had, past traumas, recent experiences of failure or rejection, loneliness, social anxiety, negative beliefs about yourself, or being a perfectionist can all contribute to having insecurities. We have reduced this list to three key categories. Let’s take a look at the different categories and I have added a few tips on how to deal with each.

 

 

 

Failure or Rejection

Moments in our lives can affect both our mood and the way we feel about ourselves. Up to 40% of our ‘happiness quotient’ is based on life events. Some of the most negative effects on our happiness can be: the end of a relationship, the death of a loved one, job loss, and poor health events. Since being unhappy also attacks your self-esteem, failure and rejection can deliver a double hit to your confidence. Rejection can lead us to see both ourselves and other people more negatively, at least for a bit.

Those people with lower confidence to begin with, are more sensitive to failure. A negative experience takes hold of old negative beliefs about yourself and brings them back to the surface. Failure is an unavoidable experience, I doubt any one has been successful in every single endeavour throughout their life. Persevering despite failure can lead to eventual success which will raise your self-confidence. The key is to not give up build resilience and keep working toward your goal.

Below are some tips I found that you can use to help deal with failure or rejection:

  1. Give yourself time to heal, it’s okay to get upset.

  2. Get out and enjoy life, do more of what you like.

  3. Reach out to friends and family for distraction and comfort.

  4. Get constructive criticism from people you trust.

  5. Keep moving towards your goals, you can do it! You just have to keep trying.

  6. Be willing to try a something new, look for a new angle.

 

Social Anxiety

Many of us experience and lack of confidence in social situations including parties, family gatherings, interviews, and especially dates. The fear of being judged by others can lead to you feeling anxious and self-conscious. As a result, you may avoid social situations, or have anxiety when you even think about social events, or feel uncomfortable during them. Past social experience can add to your social anxiety making you feel unimportant or uninteresting, or just as though you are not good enough.

Being bullied or excluded from a group of friends previously in life continues to have an affect on your confidence as an adult. If you grew up finding it hard to fit in you can also be over-sensitized to how others perceive you. This kind of insecurity is generally based on you thoughts about your self-worth and about what other people think of you. Most of the time, people are more focused on how they are judged rather than judging others. Those who do judge and exclude are often covering up insecurities of their own so their opinions may be less than accurate.

Below are some tips for insecurity in social situations:

  1. Talk back to your inner critic. Remind yourself of all the reasons that you can be interesting and fun or would be a good friend or partner.

  2. Prepare yourself!! Think of some things you can talk about—current events, movies you’ve seen, hobbies, your job, or your family.

  3. Avoiding things just makes it worse! So go and do the things. Your anxiety should settle once you get engaged with others maybe not the first or second time, but eventually it will.

  4. Set yourself social goals like talking to new people or finding out more about one person’s work and hobbies.  

5.        Focus on others to combat self-focus. Put on your observer hat and notice what other people seem to be doing it might work for you to.

 

Perfectionism

Some of us have extremely high standards for everything we do. You may want the highest score, the best job, the perfect figure, the most beautifully decorated home, or the dream partner. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always turn out exactly the way we want, even if we work extra hard. The outcome can be out of our control. Bosses may be critical, jobs may be scarce, partners may be jerks, or you may have a body that’s not the way you want it to be. If you are constantly disappointed and blaming yourself for being anything less than your version of perfect, you will start to feel unworthy. While trying your best and working hard can give you an advantage, other aspects of perfectionism are unhealthy. Beating yourself up and constantly worrying about not being good enough can lead to depression and anxiety.

Tips below to combat perfectionism:

  1. Try to evaluate yourself based on how much effort you put in, which is controllable, rather than on the outcome,

  2. Be realistic. Was the time and energy spent in checking and re-checking really be worth it?

  3. Perfectionism is based on all or nothing thinking, so try to find a happy medium. Is there something you learned along the way even if the end result wasn’t perfect?

  4. Perfectionists have conditional self-esteem: They like themselves when they are on top and don’t like themselves when things don't work out to their standards of perfection. Learn to like yourself even when you are not doing well. Focus on the qualities you like.

 

It’s okay and completely normal to have an insecurity - even multiple insecurities, however it’s not okay to let them rule your life.

Get out and talk to your friends and do the things you love. Love you for being you! People are all so different and that’s a good thing. Life would be boring if we were all carbon copies. If you’re feeling insecure take some time to recuperate and then try again. Life is supposed to be fun so don’t judge yourself so harshly and enjoy the ride.