Overcoming insecurities and removing external definitions

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?

Advertisements

Working through your insecurities

One of the biggest challenges people face are insecurities.  They’re tough to deal with because insecurities are those areas of ourselves and our lives that we doubt.  They wouldn’t be insecurities in the absence of doubt, and it is that doubt that makes them so overwhelmingly hard to overcome on our own.  However, it isn’t impossible to overcome them, and you are the last piece to the puzzle that is needed to cast all doubt away.

Before you can even work on your insecurities you need to identify them.  Once you’re aware of them, recognizing your self-judgement of those areas is also required.  Even though our insecurities stem from the interaction of us with the outside world, we solidify them with our own judgement.  This is why you must also be aware of your self-judgement if you’re going to work through your insecurities.  You can point your finger to the outside world, their definitions and system to find where your insecurities come from, but you are just as involved in the process as they are.

With clarity of those insecurities and an in-depth exploration of your judgement on each individual insecurity, you gain active awareness.  This allows you to know what you’re facing clearly, which consequently allows you to decide or start exploring your options.  In the meantime, your support system is important since it can help you by giving you strength and a sense of security to overcome and dissolve your insecurities.  If your support system isn’t the best, then your road will be somewhat more arduous to walk; nevertheless, with your own judgement in the forefront and your desire to rid yourself of doubt you will be able to move forward.

The real question you’ll want to answer is if you truly believe in your heart that those areas of yourself and/or your life that you doubt are things you know are only in your head.  Meaning that you believe you shouldn’t be insecure about anything or that at the very least, there is something you can do to remedy the situation.  This belief is what will make the difference in you working through and resolving your insecurities once and for all.

Your focus should not be on the time it takes to resolve your insecurities or involve comparisons with others and how they work through theirs.  If that’s what you’re looking to as your indicators of success or failure, you’re not working through your insecurities, but rather adding to them.  Your focus needs to be on your belief that those insecurities can be removed.  Your focus needs to be on your heart and knowledge that you’re fine just the way you are, even if those insecurities potentially stick around.

If you believe in yourself truly, from the depths of your heart, you will have the love needed and the lack of self-judgement to get you to work through those insecurities and dissolve them, even if that dissolution meant accepting yourself with those insecurities.  Once accepted as a part of you, they are no longer insecurities because doubt does not surround them, because you are not judging yourself for having those characteristics and/or being in a certain situation.

What do you think about insecurities?  How do you work through them?  How have you helped someone work through theirs?

Everyone has insecurities, it’s what you do with them that can make a difference

As we explore life, our ups and downs, and continue our inner growth journey there are bound to be moments of insecurities.  Everyone gets them, even if they may be few and far.  Insecurities can have different ways of making us feel, but if we stay away from attributing a negative connotation to them we can reduce those down feelings and use those moments of insecurities in favor of strength and inner growth.

When it comes to insecurities and inner growth, it’s always a matter of perspective.  From where does your thought process on the situation begin?  If you begin contemplation from a place of judgement towards yourself as someone who’s not good enough (for example), then you’re already thinking in a way that doesn’t give you the drive to move forward.  It’s not that you don’t want to be driven, but you’re thought begins with a limiting belief on your own capabilities, which means within your peripheral view you see a limit.  The limit becomes your “solution” because that’s what you’re seeing.  If on the other hand, you begin your thought process from a place of neutral ground towards yourself, so knowing that you’re feeling uncertain about something, but without the component of limited belief, this leaves you open to the contemplation of different options because you’re not telling yourself you can’t.  In a neutral mindset, you’re seeing a challenge (insecurity), but leaving yourself open to the possibility of a different outcome.

There are a lot of people who think they are the only ones who are insecure, which adds to that feeling of loss and limitedness.  I’m sure you’ve had those friends who when you’ve told them about your insecurities have said something like, “Wow, so I’m not the only one who feels this way about this or that thing?!”  Feeling like you’re the only one doubting things makes you feel even more alone and like there’s no way out.  This is why so many people find comfort in hearing the individuals they look up to, share insecurities and challenges.  It helps individuals know they’re not alone, but also that it doesn’t mean they are limited in any way.  Hence, the absence of judgement on yourself when feeling insecure.

With a neutral feeling towards yourself and your insecurities you can move to the next piece of the puzzle, which is questioning what is going on with these feelings.  Why are you feeling insecure?  Is it that you’re comparing yourself to others?  Is it that someone you love has expressed an unsatisfactory comment?  Is it you trying to meet expectations you’ve set for yourself without realizing what external forces (you don’t control) are playing a part in meeting your set goals?  All of these questions and more are things to ask yourself whatever the insecurity may be.

An inner growth mindset can help you reduce the limited feelings and thoughts that come with life challenges, such as insecurities, but what will dissolve that feeling to a minimum is the self-worth you give yourself and your own opinions, actions, and so on.  This isn’t to say you should ignore external advice or people when it comes to doing something, but you should personally feel good about it and realize that your opinion on something that affects your life is worth just as much as the next.  Your focus needs to be on your heart, on you, not on the right or wrong measured by everything and everyone else.  Those components are necessary for you to know and unavoidable to have around, but it’s up to you what power they have over how you see yourself, feel about yourself, and live your life.

Our insecurities stem from a comparison with someone or something that is outside of us or something that we’ve heard or seen, or someone who’s pointed out some comparison and their own measure of excellent or not.  This doesn’t mean we’re not good enough or that we’ve failed.  It only means we’re measuring our situation with something else (or someone else).  The judge of whether it is better or not can come from the outside world or yourself.  The more you rely on what you feel inside on being ok with you, the more you will diminish feelings of inadequacy.  Does this mean other people measuring success or failure in their own way will be the same as yours?  Not necessarily, but that shouldn’t be your focus because these people are not your solution and they are not a solution to your insecurities either.

How have you pursued inner growth thanks to the insecurities you’ve faced and/or continue to face?

What real self-confidence looks like and what it doesn’t look like

What real self-confidence looks like and what it doesn’t look like

There’s a big difference between a true sense of security and one that only appears to be so.  Even though sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference, due to subtle indicators that aren’t visible from the outside.

There’s at least two reasons I can think of that make this topic something important to explore.  One is for one’s personal growth and the other is for when you’re dealing with others.  The key determining factor of confidence is not requiring proof.  What I mean is that if someone is confident in their idea or whatever it is they’re taking on in life, they won’t feel the need to prove it to themselves or others.  If there’s even a minimal need of this, then confidence might be around the corner, but it hasn’t fully taken place just yet.

When we look at the definition of confidence, three of them are:

  • The feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust.
  • The state of feeling certain about the truth of something.
  • A feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.

The way confidence is defined makes it pretty clear that there is no need of proof.  You know (you feel and/or believe) whatever the decision or whoever the person you’re bestowing confidence upon is a sure thing.  I would go a step further and add that even if it’s confidence in uncertainty, it’s still confidence because it’s rendering uncertainty a sure thing.

So when it comes to yourself, if you notice a need for approval or confirmation of being on the right track (with a decision or your thought process on a subject), you may want to explore why you feel this need.  Through questions and thought on the need for approval you can arrive at the reason for your uncertainty or lack of confidence on the matter and in turn, you can find answers or get the confirmation you need to move towards confidence.

If it’s confidence when dealing with others, what I’m talking about here (for the purpose of this blog post) is confidence portrayed in a boastful, arrogant and conceited way.  Confidence at its purest form, at least in the way I’ve experienced it and seen it, is authentic (it feels super genuine, like it’s a part of that person).  It usually comes across as a person who is expressing in their body language, tone and choice of words certainty, affirmation in regards to their belief with no signs of belittlement towards others.  When I’ve seen it in its arrogant form (so to speak), it is quite different.

When someone acts with confidence, but isn’t; it comes across as a competitive dialogue or as a person who is talking in a way that expresses superiority (where they are superior to me or to those they’re talking to or about).  This type of confidence when encountered can tell you an entirely different story about the person you’re dealing with and that story is that this person is super insecure.

Their confidence is merely a façade that gives them a false sense of security (and superiority, if I may add) that is a clear sign of them needing confirmation from the external (validation) that they are good at what they do or are doing the right things. When dealing with these types of individuals, it is quite hard to empathize or be nice to them, and think nicely or at least neutrally about them.  The reason is the belittlement component.  No one likes to be talked down to.  With awareness of this though, one can know that when dealing with someone who shows signs of arrogant confidence they are most likely quite insecure.  Their need to feel superior, which is shown through their behavior and how they talk, is a representation of this.

The next time you see someone who expresses themselves with an arrogant confidence, just remember that they are probably suffering with many doubts and insecurities.

 

How do you identify true confidence?