Do you sometimes feel insecure? Maybe it’s about your looks, relationships or career. Whatever it is, rest assured that you are not alone. Everyone feels some form of insecurity at some point, it’s totally universal and completely normal.
Even the most confident person you know has felt insecure at some point. The nature of life and the constant change it brings means that fear of the unknown, frustration and doubt are bound to arise for all of us.
Insecurity is in some ways a normal response to the chaos of life. However, it can also be a very toxic and destructive force and one that leads to self-criticism, judgment and regret.
If constant insecurity is affecting the way you live it is important to look at the unconscious ways you may be giving it the power to hold onto and demand your happiness.
One of the most detrimental things you can believe about yourself and your life is that you are stuck. Whether you are stuck in an addiction, a way of being or old thought patterns. The truth is that we are all capable of changing the things we don’t like.
Don’t you believe me? Think about how incredible our minds are. We have something in the realm of 70,000 thoughts a day and almost 90% of them are exactly the same thoughts we had the day before. Think about what that implies. All those thoughts that go round and round in the same repeating patterns serve to create a fixed and internalized way of seeing the world.
In the field of neuroscience this is the idea that our brains keep imprints of every experience, trauma, thought, action and behavior we’ve ever had.
Insecurity may have started for you in childhood, perhaps you grew up in difficult circumstances and suffered emotionally or physically at a young age. You may have experienced relationship difficulties, betrayal, been a child of divorce or even experienced your own divorce and so on. As we embark on life’s journey, even small events can have lasting effects over the years that become internalized and built upon as part of your negative thought patterns. Whatever the reasons, it is important to look at and understand where insecurity has become a frequent emotional state for you.
We tend to condition ourselves to repeat familiar thoughts and feelings when similar situations arise again that remind us or trigger emotional memories of those past experiences. This conditioning is what creates those thought patterns in the mind. The good news is that you can teach yourself to transform those negative patterns and break bad habits.
Steps to release insecurity for good
Be very aware of when you feel a sense of insecurity and teach yourself to stop at that moment and recognize what is happening. Sit with the feeling instead of acting on it. Recognize why it happened to you and check in with yourself.
The great thing about practicing this is that you learn to connect deeply with your true self, grow your self-awareness and learn to be at peace with the feeling rather than reacting impulsively.
Change the Thought
The moment you feel uncertain question the thought that gets you there. Is it actually true? Can you change it into its opposite? For example, if you are feeling a lack of self-worth at the moment, you can ask yourself in what ways you are actually worthy? If you feel not confident, ask yourself in what unique ways you are actually a confident person. Your mind will find the evidence for you. Making a conscious effort to turn that negative thinking on its head is an amazing way to break out of that old cycle. Unleash your inner critic and tap into your inner cheerleader!
If you are insecure about yourself in some aspect of your life instead of just accepting it as you are, think about how you can take some small action to make changes. If you always feel needy or vulnerable in relationships, try doing things that make you feel stronger, more confident and independent. If you get overwhelmed by new people or social situations, practice going a little outside of your comfort zone every day. Maybe by taking the initiative to call someone to meet or talk to someone new at a meeting. When you practice these new actions you are challenging your old, familiar patterns and causing new pathways in your brain to light up.
Talk to yourself with Love.
Try this exercise every day – Look in the mirror and find 3 positive things to say about yourself. You can also do this with a partner, look each other in the eyes and tell each other what you love about the other. Either morning or evening free write in your journal about the positive things in your life and your appreciation and gratitude for them. Gratitude is such an important part of a happy life, you can retrain your mind to look for positive things, and doing so will pull you beyond those layers of insecurity you were used to and strengthen the your self-esteem.
It takes some effort to stop your negative thought cycles and practice turning your thoughts around, but once you gather momentum this way you will find a natural ease about it. New ways of thinking will eventually light up different neural pathways in your brain and make it easier to think differently until you have established entirely new thought patterns.
Believing that your mind is capable of change is half the battle won. When you know that you don’t have to stay in the old ways of being, you are opening yourself up to change and the universe will work with you, always leading you towards positivity and a new and fresh outlook.