5 Ways To Overcome Insecurity.
Are insecurities getting in your way of living the life you truly desire?
Maybe self-doubt is holding you back from starting that new project or business venture. Or perhaps you lack the confidence to voice your ideas or opinions in a meeting or to significant others.
When we feel insecure about ourselves we doubt our ability, feeling as if something is standing in our way, we struggle to take action on our desires. We make irrational interpretations about the situation and our ability to handle an appropriate outcome, often thinking worse case scenarios. This lack of trust in ourselves enhances our feelings of doubt as we worry about being judged or criticised by others.
Our struggle with insecurity arises from the critical dialogue that goes on in our head. Often referred to as the inner critic it anticipates our proposed actions and in no uncertain terms lets us know why that idea is not going to work the way we intended it to. It doesn’t mince words and for many of us can be degrading and very personal in its attack. These words can stop us dead in our tracks, causing us to doubt our ability and ourselves. Shaped in childhood from hurtful attitudes or events we experienced, we unconsciously absorbed and internalised these destructive patterns of thought towards ourselves, damaging our self-confidence.
Here are some proactive ways to overcome your insecurities and regain confidence
- Manage your inner critic. Become aware of the negative self-talk; often we react to it before we realise it is occurring. Learn to recognise it and identify the physical sensation that occurs in your body as a result. Listen to what it is saying without being influenced by it. While it’s meant to protect you from a possible threat, it’s often irrational and is basing its understanding on childhood beliefs so respond to it by expressing a rational or updated viewpoint.
- Practice self-acceptance. All too often we are quick to remember our flaws and limitations and find it challenging to acknowledge those areas we are competent in. While the need for improvement can open doors to higher learning and increase our self-esteem for mastering new skills, it loses value when it becomes an obsession for achievement at the expense of enjoying what comes naturally to us. We are all good at certain things and not that good at other things. Take the time to focus on what comes naturally to you, along with those things you enjoy doing and accept there will be things you cannot change. This doesn’t mean you are flawed but somewhat human.
- Create a success list. Write down all the events and circumstances you have successfully handled in the past. Continue to record events that you, fortunately, navigated even though you may have initially doubted yourself. Read this list each morning, reliving the experience. This practice will provide your mind with the evidence that you are capable of taking action, handling circumstances and in turn will increase your confidence.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. This is somewhat difficult, in the age of social media when you see photos of others having a good time or excelling in something that you are struggling with. The key to remember here is when we look at something we give it our own subjective meaning. It only becomes hurtful because we are telling ourselves a story about how they have it all together and we don’t. We are all born with a unique set of talents, and we experience different circumstances, which strengthen our abilities and knowledge in different areas of life. Comparing yourself to other people is an unhealthy habit. Embrace your uniqueness, accept who you are and commit to being the best version of yourself.
- Include self-compassion to your daily routine. Leading on from accepting things you can’t change, it’s often comforting to understand that you are not alone in feeling this way. We all suffer from self-doubt and lack confidence in different areas of our life. Acknowledge your feelings and speak words of kindness as you would to a good friend that was going through the same thing. Think about what you would say to them, how would you encourage them? Now apply it to yourself. You are the change agent in your life. Start treating yourself with kindness and be your own advocate.