Psych Corner: On Overcoming Insecurity

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Insecurities. We all have them! You might feel like you are the only one out there who struggles with a particular insecurity like body image, trust in your relationship, or your abilities, but that is absolutely not true. It can seem that the rest of the world has their life together and that no one else struggles with feeling inadequate at times, but the person you pass on the street might be worried that they are not pretty enough or they might be worried that they aren’t smart enough. We all feel inadequate from time to time.

Insecurities are difficult burdens to bear and can even be overwhelming at times. However, just because you have insecurities right now doesn’t mean that you have to let them dictate how you run your life and relationships. You deserve to have the chance to fight back against your insecurities and to stop them from running your life because you are much more that what your insecurities are telling you. But before we look at how to fight back against your insecurities, let’s take a look at how damaging they can be in your life.

Feeling insecure about a particular part of your life means that you aren’t comfortable about some part of yourself. And, when you’re not happy with yourself, it negatively affects how you treat yourself and others. For example, if you feel like you aren’t pretty enough, you might find yourself constantly trying the latest beauty product or embracing the latest fashion trends as you search for something that will make you happy with how you look. Or, you might not feel like anyone would love you if they knew who you really are and so you never let anyone form a close relationship with you and you push people away. If you aren’t careful, your insecurity can really take over your life. You might isolate yourself, sabotage relationships, or punish yourself unnecessarily because you believe what your insecurities are whispering in your ear.

What our insecurities tells us is so powerful because it is a constant, negative voice in our head that always seems to be there or creeps up whenever we might have a chance at happiness or something good happen to us.

However, there is relief!

The secret to ending this negative cycle of insecurity is to challenge those negative thoughts about yourself. Just because you think it, it doesn’t mean it’s true. Just because the thought of “I’m not pretty enough” enters your head doesn’t mean it’s true.

The first step to overcoming insecurities is recognizing when that inner critic begins whispering these negative things to you. The second step is to look for evidence to disprove your insecurity. For example, what kind of evidence do you have that you are not lovable? No one is perfect. We all struggle with imperfections, but that doesn’t disqualify a person from being loved by someone else. Maybe you’ve gone through some bad relationships in the past and that’s why you feel like you aren’t lovable. Is that a good reason to say that you’ll never be loved by anyone ever? No! (Plus, there are probably many people in your life that love you even when your past relationships didn’t work out.)

Make sure to challenge those insecure thoughts when they enter your head, and then look for evidence to prove that voice wrong. Chances are there are more reasons to celebrate who you are than there are to feel insecure about yourself. Finally, if you are having trouble finding evidence to disprove your insecurities, confidentially ask your family, friends, and coworkers for help. You might even be pleasantly surprised by some of their reasons!

Fighting against your insecurities isn’t always easy and takes hard work because those insecure thoughts are often the first knee-jerk reaction thoughts that enter your head in certain situations. But, you’ll be glad you fought against them when you realize that you are much more than your insecurities tell you. They’re feeding you the lie that you aren’t enough and that you’ll never be enough. That couldn’t be further from the truth!

Your insecurities are only telling part of your life story and, often, it’s not even the true story of your life. Don’t let your insecurities stop you from being the amazing person you are. And remember, if you discover that conquering your insecurities requires more work than you initially thought, contacting a good therapist can be really helpful. They can give you an outsider’s perspective and help you make useful connections. The point is, you deserve to be more than what insecurities tell you that you are!

 

 

Flickr/Pabak Sarkar

Julia

Julia is a Licensed Professional Counselor who is passionate about building and strengthening positive relationships by applying the latest research to everyday life. You can follow her on Twitter at Julia_M_Hogan. (Her articles are not intended to be a substitute for or serve as professional counseling or treatment.)
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