Overcoming insecurities and removing external definitions

Typically, we all get defined by our loved ones as we grow up.  You know, those comments that end up defining you as the talker of the family or the neat freak or the nagger, and so on.  While these traits can be a part of who you are, they don’t have to define you in such a way as to make you insecure or self-conscious.  Yet, they do affect each one of us in a way that makes us justify or excuse our behavior in numerous circumstances.  If it only stopped there that would be fine, but these definitions of us also end up affecting what we do or don’t do.

When you’ve been told for most of your life that you’re a certain way (whatever the traits and behaviors you’ve been ascribed) you also think that maybe you can’t do something because of it, and this is where these external definitions stop you from doing something.  But the little component that stops you for good is you, which is why you need to remove these external noises.  The only way you’re going to do this is if you stop thinking these traits are something you need to remove or something that need to be justified.  So, how do you do this?

For starters, recognizing that many of the definitions (vices and virtues) of you come from others.  By others I mean loved ones and guides.  This includes parents (first and foremost), siblings, teachers, friends, and colleagues to name a few.  With this knowledge, you can now move on to recognizing when you’re getting on your own case because of something someone else has told you is a “bad” thing or is something that could be avoided.

We all have had these situations where we stop ourselves or think about something we’re doing in a way where we make an excuse and justify why we’re doing what we’re doing.  It’s in these instances that you should remember that the only reason you’re justifying yourself is because someone has told you that you do this too much or that you should stop doing this because it’s not a good thing.  You become self-conscious and this makes any insecurities you may have regarding yourself that much more present.

This heightened insecurity then brings about a feeling of lack or not good enough or maybe just a tiny doubt about yourself; no matter how big or small, it stops you from being yourself 100%.  You hold back because you have your loved ones’ repetitive voice in your head telling you to get rid of that habit, to stop doing that thing, or just that you’re too much of this or that.

Once you sit down with yourself and ask if you’re ok with being that “too much” or “too little” then it’s up to you to come to your defense the next time your insecurity arises and you hear those voices, those comments, that allow doubt to creep in.  Stop in that moment and remind yourself that you’re ok with that trait, that you accept it and it is others who are different and that this is ok.  It’s ok to be different and at the end of the day, the comments that these loved ones have made are based on their personalities, their perspective, their behaviors.

Another thing you could do in addition to helping yourself overcome these external definitions and stop having them hang over you and keep you from being you is to in turn stop doing this very thing to someone else.  If you define your loved ones or anyone and tell them why they shouldn’t have that trait or that they have too much of that trait, remember how you feel about this exact same situation and keep the comment to yourself.  Instead, be encouraging to them and help them to be themselves 100%, all the way, with no shame and nothing that needs to change.

How have you worked through external definitions of you and in doing so helped to eliminate your insecurities too?

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Inner Growth Word of The Day 193 – Thought

July 12

Inner Growth Word of the Day: Thought

 

Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition: (n.) 1. something that is thought: such as – 1a. an individual act or product of thinking; 1b. a developed intention or plan; 1c. something (such as an opinion or belief) in the mind; 1d. the intellectual product or the organized views and principles of a period, place, group, or individual.

 

Thought in a sentence: A thought that you think of every day can be very powerful in how it affects your life and the things it gets you to do or not do.

 

Thought in action: When you come up with an idea, something you want to do or a plan you want to put into action, that is a thought.

 

Thought and inner growth:  When you look at recurring thoughts or a thought pattern that is present in your day to day this allows you to explore that thought from all angles and it is through this exploration that you find out some of those hidden core beliefs or values that are a part of you.  As you go through this process inner growth takes place with the realization of what core beliefs and values are actually yours versus taught ones.

 

Thought and inner growth action steps:

  1. In-depth self-exploration questions: What is a recurring thought that comes to mind when I think about life? How have my thoughts influenced my life?  What have I done to explore the thoughts I have on a deeper level?  Do I contemplate similar patterns of thoughts that I have or random ones?  What common traits do my thoughts have when it comes to relationships?  What else stands out about my thoughts to me?

 

  1. List or word bubble: Make a list or word bubble with thought at the center and then list or put around it all the other words that come to mind associated with it. From this list pick one word that makes you think of an important thought that has affected your life in a major way.  Next write about that event using the other words from the list.

 

  1. Bring your awareness to your feelings about thought and allow them to freely flow. As you do this notice if any emotions stand out more than others or if they settle in certain places across your body.  As you do this visualize a river flowing so that you can evenly disperse your feelings and when you’re ready allow thoughts to come in, and pay attention to the very first thought that crosses your mind.

 

Your turn – Share your thought sentence, life examples, and inner growth action steps; and let me know if you’d like to see something added to our Inner Growth Word of The Day explorations 🙂