Insecurity can be defined as lack of confidence or assurance; self-doubt; instability; vulnerable. We all have insecurities. They only vary in degree, when and how they manifest. Insecurities can be of two types – Physical and Psychological (Emotional).
When dealing with physical insecurities we are of the belief that something is flawed in our physical appearance. An example could be the presence of stretch marks, a large or prominent nose, wrinkles, crooked teeth, body odor, the color of skin, height, weight, thinning hairline and so on.
This type of insecurity affects our body image.
We each carry psychological insecurities too. These could be based on something about our existence where we are of the belief that we are falling short in some way.
Examples could be the manner in which we were raised, the neighborhood we belong to, friendships or lack of friendships, children, marital status or lack of one, nationality, ethnic background, financial status, relationships, past mistakes, social challenges, feelings of worthlessness, spiritual and so on.
Many people don’t realize how insecurities impact their lives and allow feelings of helplessness and hopelessness to perpetuate. They don’t believe they can do anything about them.
The reality is that in order to establish any level of peace in our lives it is important to address our insecurities and deal with them in a mature and objective manner.
We will now consider 5 ways in which people can handle and manage their insecurities.
1. Take inventory
List out your insecurities mental, physical, emotional, spiritual that you are consciously aware of. You might be aware of them just because they pre-occupy your thoughts or present themselves time and again in different situations.
Write them down one by one – what you believe to be true about yourself and what others have told you have come to believe as true about yourself.
Once you have noted them down, identify the true value of the insecurities. You do this by asking the questions:
- Is this an insecurity I have come to believe about myself based on my own thinking process?
- Is this an insecurity I have come to believe about myself based on what someone else has told me?
- Is it true because I know it to be true?
- Is it true because someone else has told me?
- Is it partially true?
- Is it absolutely false?
Next for each of the questions above, further, identify what you can do about it.
- Can I do something about it?
- Can I permanently fix it?
- Can I partially improve it?
- There is nothing I can do about it.
The next thing is to stop fighting the insecurity that cannot is true or partially true and for which nothing can be done is to just accept it. Easier said than done because we would love for our insecurities to just go away.
The reality is that when something cannot be changed, rather than fighting it non-stop it is better to accept it and let the inner battle stop. In our lives, there are some things we cannot change – for instance, we cannot change our height or the color of our skin.
By wasting our energy denying or resisting these facts of our life we only hold on to unnecessary stress and stay connected to unproductive thoughts and emotions. In the long run, our physical, mental and emotional health can suffer. It is a better option to learn to accept it and be at peace with it.
Develop a practice of giving voice to some powerful self-empowering affirmations.
We are not all born and brought up in ideal conditions and it might become necessary for us to find healthy ways to boost our own level of empowerment.
Affirmations are one way this can be done. When practiced regularly they can help. As a guideline, say your affirmations in the present tense, using “I am” statements.
For example, “I am confident”, “I am valuable”, “I am persevering and determined”. Shift the focus of the negativity that is present in the insecurity and affirm its positive equivalent.
It isn’t that affirmations will clear away the insecurity overnight, but over time they will lessen its influence in your life.
Practice Gratitude daily. This involves reminding yourself daily of all those things that you are truly grateful for. You could be grateful for our family, your pets, the great weather, the opportunities that come your way, your socioeconomic status, the work you do, your contribution, your network of friends, etc.
Gratitude and Insecurity are mutually exclusive and you cannot be grateful and insecure at the same time. Make it a practice to remind yourself of those things that are going well or for which you are grateful, you will see an improvement in your attitude, stress levels and overall sense of happiness.
5. Practice Self Love
The act of simply looking at ourselves from a place of love can be one of life’s greatest struggles. We must realize that none of us is perfect and we all have those not-so-great things about ourselves. We must choose to stay in a place of loving compassion for ourselves self. This can relieve a lot of insecurity.
The unpleasant feelings of insecurities touch all our lives in some way and the key is to become aware, address them and make peace with them. Stay focused on strengths and work on what can be done to deal with what has become our insecurity.
For insecurities that cannot be controlled or changed, accept them. For those that you can work on, do what it takes to help yourself in the most practical and sensible manner possible.
Reframe your perspectives so that insecurities do not come in the way of you leading a peaceful life.