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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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?

Moving beyond positive and negative judgements

Moving beyond positive and negative judgements

Along this journey called life there are some that have a positive outlook, while others a negative one.  Even though I use these words, I do not believe they embody the true essence of what a positive or negative outlook entail.  Actually, I don’t believe they embody much, except for an initial thought that can bring about further exploration into that outlook.

For now, our world has a pretty dualistic view of things, this view stops at the surface of things and situations; it does not pursue the depth of each situation for each unique individual.  Humans, society, the world have had to find ways to group people, things and places so that we can function as a whole.  It’s hard to get anything to work without a system, without definitions, and decisions.  However, the reality is that each human being is more than just the words ascribed to them from the vocabulary established so far and from our dualistic system (good/bad, positive/negative).  Behind anything that happens there is much more than a positive outcome or a negative outcome, then good or bad.

Although there are many who still find comfort in dualism and do not venture off to talking about life in a way that tries to see the full depth of the situation or person; I also find that there are many who do see that there’s so much more that meets the eye when it comes to people and life.  Just look at how many are turning to meditation, the rise of leaders who are spiritual in nature (Deepak Chopra, Oprah Winfrey, Eckhart Tolle, Gregg Braden); by spiritual I don’t mean religious, but I mean those who are talking about humans and that deeper level that was pretty much hidden from us until now (hidden from the media and from our human eyes).

It is not positive or negative, it is not good or bad, it is more about encountering something you didn’t expect, it is more about feeling weighed down and like you have no escape from a situation, it is more like feeling there isn’t a place for you, it is more like trying to figure out how to feel secure and at ease when there are so many unknown factors ahead.  It is more about uncovering your purpose, meaning, and achieving things you hold in your heart.

I’ve never believed in good and bad, just different, more pleasant or less pleasant, choices of love or choices of fear.  Obviously, this type of thought doesn’t resonate with everyone and that’s ok because it’s not about bad or good, or positive or negative, but it’s about how you can overcome your frustrations, fears, weighed down feeling and get out of a rut if that’s where you’re at.

The reality is that those who believe they are chained down to and by the events and circumstances that happen to them aren’t reading this blog, they’re not even exploring such notions or if they are, they’re finding it very hard to believe that we, humans, have a choice and aren’t chained down to anything, but what we choose to have us chained down.

Those individuals with a negative outlook aren’t negative per se; they are simply weighed down by events that come their way.  They feel there is no escape and they’re stopping at what they see as their proof of that.

And they will say to someone who tries to tell them to believe that everything will work out, “I’m being realistic, stop dreaming.”

I’m sure you’ve heard that time and time again.  There is no changing someone’s outlook on life and their experiences, to someone who is in that negative mindset you can only offer unconditional love and support; as long as they don’t start imposing their challenges on you and stop you from pursuing your own inner growth and happiness.

 It is not right for anyone to impose their way or view on someone else or think they need to convince the other of their view because that’s what will bring them happiness.  Each individual has a journey and if they choose a negative outlook that is their choice, it is not up to anyone to judge it right or wrong.  And if you really want to help, then love and support are the only thing that will provide some comfort to those individuals.

For those who are struggling to believe in life and trust that everything will be alright and that these moments of discomfort are opportunities for inner growth, harmony and happiness; I say to you, it’s a process.  Up till now, we’ve been wired (so to speak) to see things as good or bad, to judge and categorize humans, identity, and things into sets of right and wrong.  To reach your balance, to lift that weight, you must start releasing these old ways of seeing things and the only way you’re going to do this is by applying your new found thought process to situations of discomfort, to situations and people you judge, to anything that comes your way and that you cringe at.  These are your opportunities to explore yourself, pursue inner growth as you do this, and rewire your brain to stop seeing only two sides of the coin, but instead to see the depth behind the surface of each situation of each individual.

It is known that each of us on earth is simply trying to pursue happiness, to understand our purpose, to reach the highest potential we can that makes us feel we are expressing everything we feel we are everyday of our life and in everything we do, and to live a good life.  When you start looking at the world from the depth that it is made up of, instead of stopping at the surface, then you will have begun an amazing journey that will also help those around you to catch a glimpse (at the very least) of the beauty that life entails.  There are no real chains, just our own chains.

What do you think about positive and negative outlooks?  About the dualistic view the world applies to things, events, people?

A blab story to overcome not speaking up

A blab story to overcome not speaking up

There’s a new social media platform that I’ve found really amazing for the potential it has in allowing people to connect and talk about topics of interest.  It’s a bit like Google Hangouts, but better.  It’s called blab and you create an account by logging in with your Twitter account (so technically you don’t have to set up a totally new social media account).  It allows you to host your own blab, schedule blabs and participate in other blabs (live ones), but also watch recorded ones.  Up to four people can join the blab on video and talk, plus there’s a chat area where you can write and submit questions.

I was on my third blab on Saturday, it was held by Stephen Heywood (a podcaster, broadcaster and tech guru), who you should definitely check out if you’re thinking about doing a podcast.  On the blab there was also Brian Aldridge (a computer consultant); and the topic was around podcasting, as well as taking care of your website and setting it up in a secure way for your users/listeners (which is where Brian‘s expertise came in handy).  I’m sharing a bit of background to introduce to you two awesome people, who you will also find helpful if you are looking to do something related to website or podcasting/broadcasting; but I also need to share this tidbit to set up what I want to share in this post.  So please, bear with me 🙂

As Stephen and Brian talked about podcasting and site security and upkeep, I had a question that I posted in the chat; but as the conversation kept going, more questions came to mind.  I held back from calling in because I was concerned I might interrupt the flow of the conversation, but also because I wasn’t sure I’d be welcome.  Luckily, I love chatting and socializing; so I thought to myself, what’s the worst that can happen; they make it clear that they don’t want me there?  It’s worth a shot.  Additionally, the way blab is set up makes it clear that it’s meant to get people to join in the conversation; that’s why there are the four call in slots.  Plus, blab hosts can choose to lock the open call in spaces if they don’t want others calling in.

I called in and the conversation lasted quite some time.  In fact once it was over, I noticed that Stephen and other blab chat participants had tweeted a bunch of GIFs; you should’ve seen some of my expressions haha.  Anyways.  The takeaways I wanted to share through this story (experience) are a few that I think we face not only in a scenario like blab conversations, but also in life.

  • Don’t be afraid to join in on a conversation.  Whether it’s through an online chat or in a group situation, if you have something to say, say it.  There’s no reason why you shouldn’t, and even if what you have to say isn’t welcome, it’s not the end of the world.  Someone who will judge you for sharing an opinion doesn’t make what you have to say any less valid.  Furthermore, you never know the amazing people you could meet if you don’t try to interact with them.  I’ve found that most people are happy to engage in conversation.  The ones who aren’t, well, that’s their choice and you simply won’t interact with them following your first approach; but to miss out on the opportunity because of fear is a pity because there are a lot of beautiful people out there.
  • Genuine individuals who are just as interested in what others have to say and don’t consider others’ opinions any less valid than their own are all around us.  They are easily identifiable too.  You can tell by the way they interact with others and by how they talk, their choice of words.  The more down to earth, the more they are likely to enjoy others joining in.  Also, even if they are a leader or expert in their field, the true leaders will always welcome others to share.  They are a leader because of their support in helping others to grow and see their own value.  A truly knowledgeable person knows that every person has something to share, something insightful and interesting to contribute; even if they disagree with the opinion being shared.

Whether you’re looking to share something with a group of colleagues, superiors or peers; or if you’re wanting to interact with others online, like in a blab setting, don’t be afraid to do so.  Give value to what you have to say, it is no less important than what others are saying.  If you discredit your own thoughts, you’re really not being fair to yourself; and if you find a person who makes you feel stupid, it doesn’t mean you are, that’s you allowing someone else to make you feel that way.  As long as you believe in what you have to say, your words will have meaning.

How have you overcome moments where you want to say something, but hold back because you’re intimidated?

 

 

“Trust in your journey, for everything that comes your way will add something to your life…” ~ FNM