Insecurities are such a time waster, and yet we spend so much time on them (me included). Every single person on the planet has insecurities, and if they think that they don’t then they’re not very self-aware. Dictionary.com defines insecurity as “lack of confidence or assurance; self-doubt.”
This lack of confidence and self-doubt happens every single day in our lives, but we cover it up by tricking ourselves into believing that we’re not insecure…because being insecure is known to be a weakness. Often times when we become insecure we look around for people who we feel are “lesser” than us, or who would seem to have an even bigger insecurity surrounding that issue. Overcoming an insecurity will not happen from something outside of ourselves because it begins from within. So let’s start there.
The basis of an insecurity, such as being overweight, is in comparisons. We compare ourselves to others who seem to be confident in the areas that we aren’t. They seem to have the physique that we desire, the brains that we wish we had, and the money that would make all of our problems go away.
It’s in that comparison that our insecurities creep in from our depths and show their ugly faces. It would be a quick fix to just say “well, stop comparing yourself to other people!”, but that’s much easier said than done. We’ve been doing it since we were kids. I remember comparing myself to the popular boys in the 4th grade, the Jocks in the 10th grade, and the Professionals with nice things in my 20s. These guys all had “it”, whatever that was. All I knew was that the girls liked them and the other guys wanted to be like them. I can easily say that I was “above” all of that and that those things didn’t matter to me, but I’d be lying to myself. They weren’t my top priority, but they also weren’t outside of my awareness.
I’m hesitant to say it’s easy to overcome insecurities, but I will tell you with complete confidence that if you practice these three things as your insecurities arise, you will eventually be able to put them in the past. Here are the 3 easy steps to overcoming insecurities:
1) Accept that it’s an insecurity
Everyone knows that admitting it is the first step, but it’s easier said than done because we all think that it’s wrong to have insecurities. It’s not. It’s human. That’s not an excuse for having insecurities, just a reminder that you’re not a weirdo for having them. When the insecurity arises, catch it, and then accept it. Tell yourself “okay, I can feel that I’m insecure right now about how my hair looks” or “that I have a huge zit” or “that I’m feeling fat”. Once you accept it, you’ll feel a weight lifted from your chest. It won’t make everything go away all of sudden (although it might), but you’re not resisting it anymore so it naturally makes you feel lighter.
2) Compliment that person that you’re comparing yourself to
Huh?! I know it’s odd and goes against how we normally operate – which is exactly why you should do it. We tend to become awkward around those people who “make us” feel insecure. If someone has a rockin’ physique and it’s making you feel larger than normal, go compliment them. If someone is rollin’ in a nice ride and you’re feeling insecure about your 1985 Volvo station wagon, go compliment them on it. Not in a way like “man, I can never have that”, but rather like “wow, that’s a really cool car and I’m happy for you that you have it.”
When you give to others (tangibly or intangibly) your mindset changes, and you can’t be in a negative mood at that point. This is a tactic to get your mind out of the negative whirlwind that it was heading into. Self-pity is no good for anyone, and it doesn’t accomplish anything. Getting out of your head, however, does accomplish something – a big something.
If your momentary lapse into insecureland wasn’t due to someone else presenting something that you wish you had (like if you have a zit), then you can still use this tactic…on yourself! Compliment yourself on what you DO have going for you – it will still work by flipping your mindset (but you have to be genuine in your compliments).
3) Commit (or recommit) to doing something about it
Humans are habitual. That means that we have good habits AND bad habits. To be able to put these insecurities in the past we need to turn this bad habit into a good habit, a positive habit. If you’re feeling overweight, commit to a diet and exercise plan…then stick to it as often as you possibly can. If you relapse, no problem – just recommit to it. If you’re insecure about your income level, make a plan to either prove to your boss that you deserve a raise or create a side business for yourself.
Making a plan is great, but the key is sticking to it. Use the Kaizen philosophy and start out slow. Don’t change your entire life around in a moment’s notice, because that usually leads to failure. Give yourself a week to choose your diet and exercise plan, rather than deciding that it has to be ready by tomorrow. Start out walking instead of running, then work up to running. Allow yourself to be successful with the plan. Don’t beat yourself up about your insecurities either. You know that person you’re comparing yourself to? THEY have insecurities too, so try to stop thinking that other people have it all together 😛
What tactics have you had success with in overcoming insecurities? Please share with us in comments section below