Insecurity is a mindset that plagues all of us. It can be extremely limiting and can cause us to do the strangest, most outlandish things to gain validation and assurance. Insecurity is a weakness that we must accept, observe, and heal in order to free ourselves from the limits we’ve imposed upon our lives based on beliefs of inadequacy and lack of confidence.
What is Insecurity?
Insecurity is the feeling inadequacy. Most of the time, these feelings of inadequacy are caused by the act of comparison. We compare ourselves- our bodies, abilities, looks, emotions, etc. to others. We make life a competition or a rating scheme. We assign value to our aspects and abilities on a relative scale and then we make it personal. We become those assigned values. We reduce others to those assigned values. Instead of recognizing ourselves and others are growing beings, we reduce them to a stagnant mass of different levels of quality/quantity/ability/etc. Then we take that perspective and try to get the most of it. We become possessive, obsessive, controlling, dismissive. We behave in ways that make us feel the most comfortable with our insecurities and ratings of others. We objectify ourselves and others and “connect” with the image and story we’ve assigned to ourselves and others. Instead of really connecting, we merely possess and maintain an image and that insecurity fuels us to maintain or polish and sharpen that image.
Insecurity is that image.
Why Are You Insecure?
It is okay to feel insecure sometimes. Insecurity is completely natural. Insecurity is a survival instinct. Insecurity can be helpful- it can help you gauge your position or your mindset towards a situation. We become insecure when we try new physical things, especially in the presence of others who are experienced in that activity- like a beginner weightlifter walking into a gym full of bodybuilders or a new driver. That beginner eventually gets over that insecurity through practice and concentration because they have to. They know that if they don’t improve their skills and mindset, they will get hurt. Insecurity is natural and relieved in a relatively straightforward manner because the beginner knows they are a beginner.
Yet in other experiences of insecurity, we forget that it is okay to be a beginner and that it is okay not to be good at something. Instead of recognizing ourselves as individuals attempting to improve a skill or trying something new, we over-identify with our inadequacy and believe we are inadequate.
The overweight person over-identifies with their larger body and reduces themselves to the “fat” girl or the “big: guy. The person who finds them-self as unattractive over-identifies with their appearance and reduces them self to “ugliness.” This over-identification can cause them to seek validation through overcompensation. They can just be the “really funny one” or the “really smart one”- seeing these better traits as ways to compensate for their self imposed inadequacies. These overcompensate actions and mindsets can cause them to pursue a life of delusion. They are no longer true to themselves- they instead commit to a story, a mental image, in order to maintain their beliefs of self value and self worth.
This may also happen in a less direct way. The insecure partner who is not happy with themselves will hold on too tightly to their partner and become possessive and controlling. The person who is not happy with themselves may become overly defensive and victimize themselves constantly- blaming the world and believing that everyone is too callous and harsh to be truly happy around. The person who clings too tightly to one of two of their self perceived best traits can become arrogant and conceited- developing a superiority complex because they hold on too tightly to that one polished aspect.
All these insecurities stem from the fact that one has not accepted themselves and is not happy with one’s self. These insecurities are a sign that one has many unresolved issues that need to be healed and beliefs that need to be let go of so that one may stop looking for validation externally and victimizing themselves.
How To Deal With Insecurity
Insecurities are deeply personal. I would honestly suggest keeping a journal and writing about what you felt and thought during your bouts of inadequacy. If you keep track of these instances, you will notice patterns that lead back to the same issues. You must work through these issues yourself and find ways to resolve these issues.
I suggest that during this time of heightened awareness of self healing, you engage in a hobby that brings you joy and gets you out of your head. Try connecting with nature and/or others by going on hikes, taking yoga classes, learning how to draw, learning a new musical instrument, learning how to dance, or anything that seems fun to you. Allow yourself to pursue this new hobby without judgment and recognize yourself as a beginner. Journal about these experiences as well and compare them with your entries on insecurity.
I also suggest spending a few hour doing volunteer work. Helping others without expecting anything in return really puts you in the moment and gets you out of head and helps you just feel in the present moment. The more you feel in the present moment, the less you adhere to your mental images and stories in the moment. Allow yourself to surrender to the moment and actions- fully give yourself to that moment. Like stretching and feeling the tension and relief in your extremities, allow yourself to fully stretch in your hobbies.
Relieving deep seated insecurity is all about self exploration and healing. The less you tell yourself that story and prescribe value to yourself and others based on comparison and the need for validation, the more you fully allow yourself to live and just be. Allow yourself to just be as often as possible and allow yourself to be natural. Do not over-identify with your abilities and thoughts, and you will allow yourself the space and openness require for healing and health.
You deserve your love and time, so allow yourself to give it.
All the best,