Everyone feels insecurity. It’s a part of our lives, which are filled with uncertainty, no matter how much we want to get rid of that uncertainty.
We often use the term “insecure” to negatively label a person who doubts themselves, but in truth, no one is free from feeling insecure. We feel self-doubt, we feel anger that stems from a feeling of insecurity, we feel fear and groundlessness and frustration. All of this comes from the insecurity of the uncertainty of life. And none of it is a problem.
Cause & Effect of Insecurities
Let’s look at some common examples of feeling insecure, where the feelings come from, and how people often react:
- Jealous of someone on Social Media – You see someone on there that has qualities or a lifestyle that you want (they’re beautiful, fit, living glamorously, etc.), and you feel jealous. The cause: Insecurities about yourself, whether you’re good enough in the ways this person is showing up. Also understandable, as we all have uncertainty about ourselves. Common reaction: You feel bad about yourself and/or irritated with the other person, and these can lead to a number of actions, like stalking the person with jealousy, criticizing yourself more, or comforting yourself with food, distractions, shopping, etc.
- Irritated with the way someone acts. You see someone acting a certain way (maybe they’re being annoyingly brashly confident) … and it irritates you. The cause: Often it’s not really a problem with the other person, but more of an insecurity about yourself — you’d like to be more confident (for example) and so when the other person seems confident, it touches a wound of uncertainty about yourself. Common reaction: You get irritated with the person, shut yourself down to them, judge them, putting up a wall between yourself and others.
- Feeling self-doubt. We all feel self-doubt about ourselves, and it can come up in many ways. The cause: This self-doubt stems from not knowing if we’re good enough to deal with the uncertainty of the world around us. We don’t know if we’re strong enough, smart enough, good-looking enough, likable enough, interesting enough to be liked, admired, loved, successful in this world. Common reaction: There are a lot of common reactions to self-doubt — hiding from doing hard things, criticizing yourself frequently, projecting your doubts on others, and more.
We can’t avoid the feeling of insecurity in our vastly uncertain lives. But we can find more helpful ways of dealing with the feeling.
Here’s how I’d recommend working with the feeling of insecurity:
- Don’t act on your feeling of insecurity. Whatever you do, don’t take action from this place of insecurity. Not yet. Notice your first urge, what action you want to take … but don’t follow the urge. It might be to judge someone, complain, lash out, run to distractions, procrastinate, comfort yourself, shut your heart down, hide, avoid, quit. Don’t take that action. Just stay in the insecurity for now.
- Relax into it. We often feel tension and anxiety around having a feeling of insecurity. Allow yourself to relax into it, relaxing the muscles in your body that have tensed up because of the feeling of insecurity. Open your mind to this feeling, allowing it to be there, finding more curiosity about it.
- Find joy, gratitude & deliciousness. In the middle of this feeling of insecurity, see if you can find a little gratitude for being in this space, alive and witnessing the beauty of chaos. See if you can find a little of its nourishing deliciousness, filling yourself up with the life force of insecurity. See if you can find joy, being alive right now, fully feeling your insecurity. It’s not a problem, this feeling, it’s a beautiful experience.
Through this practice, we start to change our relationship to this feeling of insecurity. It’s not a problem, it’s completely OK. We can be friendly with it instead of needing to get away from it or banish it. It’s just a part of our human experience, nothing to panic about.
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