Overcoming Insecurity and Self Esteem
Feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem are emotions everyone is familiar with, they manifest themselves by making you feel hesitant and uncertain about your decisions and actions. You struggle with anxiety, paranoia and judge yourself harshly for your failures. Insecurity also leads you to form unhealthy attachments to others, you rely on your partner or friends to boost your self-esteem. When they let you down, you plunge deeper into your insecurity, over and over again. Most insecurities stem from past traumas, childhood experiences, failures, rejection, negative beliefs, perfectionism, and a critical parent or partner.
It's pretty normal to feel insecure sometimes, the real problem is when you feel insecure most of the time and it affects the way you function and relate with those around you. When your insecurities and low self-esteem cripple you and stop you from going after what you truly want and being happy. If you find yourself in such a situation, then you’re certainly looking for ways to overcome your insecurities. Though it’s not an easy thing to do, you can actually get the better of them with the right attitude, tools, and support. That will help you build your self-confidence, change how you see yourself and respond to others. Let’s take a look at some actual steps you can take to overcome insecurity in your relationships and friendships.
Overcoming Insecurity in Friendships
1. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
In this social media age, where everybody else's life is always in your face, it’s very easy to feel unworthy and insecure. We have the tendency to compare our lives with the glitz, glamorous and adventurous lifestyles we constantly see on Facebook and Instagram. What we fail to remember is people share just glimpses into their lives, focussing only on the positive and they too have ups and downs like everyone. If you understand this and don’t compare yourself to others, you’re less likely to have insecurities and low self-esteem issues.
Comparing yourself to others isn’t healthy at all, you end up either feeling inferior to them and try to measure up or feel superior to them which gives you a false sense of power and confidence that will come crashing down when you fail to maintain your ‘position’. So, stop comparing yourself to others and accept who you are, you’ll realize that everyone is unique in their own way. We all have our strengths, weaknesses, talents, knowledge, and skills. The moment you come to terms with this, you automatically let go of all your insecurities.
2. Stop Judging
Though everyone is guilty of judging others, some people take it to a whole new level, they’re judgemental about everything and everyone including themselves. This kind of attitude is very detrimental to your self-esteem and to those around you. Let go of your failures and your past, accept your experiences and do the same for those around you. Cut your friends some slack and appreciate them for who they are.
Every time you feel the urge to be judgemental towards someone, compliment then instead, if it’s towards yourself, give yourself a compliment. When you practice this daily you’ll become non-judgmental, your friends will feel great around you and you’ll feel good about yourself.
3. Change Your Attitude Towards Life and People
Perspective is everything, there’s a famous saying that goes ‘’if you don’t like your reality, change it; if it doesn’t work, change your attitude’. This pretty much sums up the fact that you have the power to determine how you feel about yourself, your circumstances and the people around you. It all depends on you, to be truly happy you have to make a conscious effort to appreciate the good things in you and in your friends and family.
Change your outlook on life, start valuing the people in your life and show them they matter to you, giving love will prompt others to love you in return and this will keep you from feeling insecure. You’ll end up feeling worthy, cherished and special, leaving no room for insecurities.
4. Start Appreciating Your Own Uniqueness
Embrace the fact that you’re different, people have the tendency to hate themselves just because they feel different from those around them. This is a very common sign of insecurity which leads to self-hate. The best way to overcome this is to surround yourself with people who genuinely love you for who you are. If you can’t have someone by your side, remember to love yourself and appreciate your own worth and good things will follow.
Overcoming insecurity in relationships
5. Identify Your Insecurities
The first step to overcoming insecurity in a relationship is by identifying the root of your insecurities, you need to be aware of the kinds of insecurities you struggle with before knowing how to beat them. According to Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D. a licensed clinical psychologist and life coach, the key to identifying your core insecurities is by asking yourself the following questions:
- What exactly do I tend to feel insecure about?
- What worries or fears are making me feel insecure?
- Why am I feeling insecure about these things?
- What underlying irrational beliefs are at the core of these insecurities?
- What is the root cause of all these insecurities?
The root cause of most insecurities is from memories you hold onto from past experiences and the ways in which they now influence your life. How you interpret those experiences shapes the way you react, the decisions you make and how you feel.
6. Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself
We tend to judge ourselves harder than anyone else, when it comes to others most people show compassion and acceptance more than they would to themselves. A critical voice at the back of your brain is one of the major reasons why you feel insecure. To fight this you have to stop being too hard on yourself, tame your inner critic, any time you feel like putting yourself down for the way you look or something you did, stop. This inner critic will try to convince you that you’re not good enough for your partner or relationship. Remember to show yourself a little compassion, remind yourself that the power to feel safe and loved in your own skin is in your hands.
Meditation is a good way of relieving stress and anxiety from the body, a few minutes of meditation activity per day can help build your self-esteem and minimize insecurities in your relationship. Spend at least 5 minutes focusing on positive thoughts and releasing negative energy. Clear your minds from thoughts that often trigger your insecurities and replace them with positive affirmations. You can even invite your partner to join you in this exercise. For example repeat phrases like :
- I am confident and capable
- I am beautiful and smart
- I can do ….
- I am worthy of good things
- I am healthy and well.
8. Let Go of the Thought of Perfection.
Trying to be perfect is the sure route to failure and disappointment, it’s okay to strive for the best as long as you don’t expect everything to be perfect. Have goals and do your best to achieve them but accept where you are in life and make the most of it without any negative thoughts and emotions. Don’t try to have a perfect relationship, to be the perfect girlfriend, wife or mother, be you and accept your shortcomings.
9. Accept the Things that You Can’t Change
Every relationship has realities that cannot be changed, there’s no need to grieve over such issues, accept the things you can’t change instead of letting them fuel your insecurities. Know that the challenges you and your partner face are part of life and that in the same way there are good times so too will there be bad times. When you stop worrying and fussing about things you can’t actually fix, a huge burden is lifted off your shoulders.
10. Keep A Success Journal
Another long-term strategy that will help you conquer your insecurities is to keep a journal. Keep track of all your successes and achievements, write down positive affirmations you can read when you’re down, make a list of your strengths and qualities and go through them when you need a boost. Take out 5 minutes every day and read your journal, as time goes by all the things you wrote will become a reality, they’ll pump your confidence and build your self-esteem. With consistency, all your insecurities will fade away.
Quotes on insecurity
Top 3 Books on Overcoming Insecurity
1. Insecure In Love by Leslie Becker-Phelps
If you find yourself being insecure, clingy, anxious and worried about your partner or relationship, this book is for you. Insecure in Love teaches you how to overcome anxiety, insecurities and unhealthy behavior patterns that are often attached to your childhood experiences. The author uses compassionate self-awareness techniques to recognize and overcome negative thoughts that help create insecurities.
2. Don’t sweat the small stuff by Richard Carlson
This is a self-help book that shows you how to reduce stress and anxiety through small daily tasks. It reveals insights on how to focus on one thing at a time, learn to trust your intuition and share the glory with others. Richard Carleson Ph.D., the author uses this handbook to coach you on changes you need to make to successfully drive away all your insecurities.
3.The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
The gifts of perfection is a New York Times bestseller by Brené Brown, it sold over 2 million copies in more than 30 different languages. Forbes recently named it one of the "Five Books That Will Actually Change Your Outlook On Life". It is a groundbreaking self-help book with ten guideposts that will help you explore the psychology behind your quest for perfection.
Having read through the steps, we hope you now understand what it takes to overcome the insecurities affecting your life. It won’t be an easy process, and it could take some time to see results but if you commit to it and consistently follow through, you’ll be amazed at the changes in your life. Begin by focusing on a single insecurity at a time and tackle them one by one until the very end. Only in this way will you progressively break free from your insecurities, and begin living up to your full potential.