Do you sometimes feel insecure? Maybe it’s about your looks, relationships or career path. Whatever it is, rest assured that you are not alone. Everyone feels some form of insecurity at some point, it is totally universal and completely normal.
Even the most confident person you know has at some point felt insecure. The nature of life and the constant change that it brings means that fear of the unknown, frustration and doubt are bound to come up 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, judgement and unhappiness.
If constant insecurity is affecting the way you live it’s important to look at the unconscious ways you may be giving it power to stick around and claim your happiness.
One of the most detrimental things you can believe about yourself and your life is that you are stuck. Whether it be stuck in a habit, way of being or old thought patterns. The truth is we are all capable of changing the things we don’t like.
Don’t believe me? Think about how incredible our brains are. We have something in the realm of 70,000 thoughts a day and nearly 90% of them are exactly the same thoughts that we had the day before. Think about what that implies. All those thoughts going round and round in the same hardwired patterns of repetition serve to create a fixed, internalized way of seeing the world.
In the field of neuroscience this is the idea that our brains hold imprints of every single experience, trauma, thought, action and behavior we have ever had.
Insecurity may have begun for you in childhood, perhaps you were raised in difficult circumstances and suffered emotionally or physically at a young age. You may have experienced relationship difficulties, betrayal, have 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 lingering effects over the years that become internalized and built upon as part of your negative thought patterns. Whatever the reasons, it’s important to look at and understand where insecurity has become a frequent emotional state for you.
We tend to condition ourselves towards repeating 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 patterns of thought in the brain. The good news is that you can teach yourself to transform those negative patterns and unlearn bad habits.
Steps for Releasing Insecurity For Good
Become very aware of when you feel a sense of insecurity and teach yourself to stop in that moment and acknowledge what is happening. Sit with the feeling instead of acting upon it. Recognize why it happened for you and check in with yourself.
The great thing about practicing this is that you learn to connect deeply with your true self growing your self-knowledge and learning to sit peacefully with the feeling rather than reacting impulsively.
Change the Thought
In the moment of feeling insecure question the thought that lead you there. Is it actually true? Can you turn it into its opposite? For example if you are feeling a lack of self worth in the moment, can you ask yourself in what ways in fact you are worthy?If you are feeling unconfident, question in what unique ways you are in fact a confident person. Your brain will find the evidence for you. Making a conscious effort to turn that negative thought on its head is an amazing way to break out of that old cycle. Turn down your inner critic and turn up your inner cheerleader!
If you are insecure about yourself in some aspect of your life instead of just accepting it as how you are, think of how you could 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 out of your comfort zone each day. Perhaps by taking the initiative to call someone to meet up or speaking to someone new at a gathering. When you practice these new actions you are challenging your old, familiar patterns and causing new pathways in your brain to light up.
Speak 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 at each other in the eyes and tell each other what you love about the other. Either in the 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 when you do you will pull away at those layers of insecurity you’ve been used to and boost your self esteem.
It does take some effort to stop your cycles of negative thinking and practice turning your thoughts around, but once you gather momentum in this way you will find a natural ease about it. New ways of thinking will eventually light up different neural pathways in your brain making it easier to think differently until you have established entirely new patterns of thought.
Believing that your mind is capable of change is half the battle won. When you know that you do not have to remain in the old ways of being, you are opening yourself to change and the universe will work with you, leading you always towards positivity and a fresh, new outlook.