We all have insecurities and are not sure with how to deal with insecurities. They are part of what drives us to better ourselves, push forward and question the nature of our choices. It is also a common denominator that keeps us in fear of each other, of judgment and of rejection.
Insecurities are a tricky subject. It is almost never about the observation our lover makes regarding our new pot-belly, it is not about the comparison our mind makes between our IQ and that of our friend’s. It is without a doubt ALWAYS about the way we were loved, validated and seen as babies. In the real world, parents – no matter how loving, involved and emotionally mature – are just people. And people never fail to deliver when it comes to mistakes. As babies, we are completely dependent on the constant love, care and intuitive understanding of our mothers. We need our facial expressions to be mirrored, our feelings validated and our diapers changed all the time. Sadly, mothers are only human. And because they are human they have flaws, needs, and preferences that sometimes come into conflict with our primary needs. It is these very imperfections of our mothers that shape our little personalities that will define us for the rest of our lives. But let’s not blame our poor mothers. It is important to remember that they themselves have some personal baggage and insecurities because they themselves were also babies.
So, mixing external factors with our very unique emotional make-up and you get each human being’s custom blend of our first trauma. Certainly, trauma is not defined entirely by and in childhood. The special thing about these early bumps and bruises is that they emotionally shape our attachment patterns throughout our lives.
Insecurities are the protection we create around these early scars. They are psychological problem areas that we always try to protect.
We all want to be loved, to be accepted, to fee valuable, attractive and be truly seen. As young adults, we put in a tremendous amount of effort into ourselves as we work toward this goal of achieving real intimacy. We invest our time and resources in being nice. We share “the right” things about ourselves and in selecting the perfect outfit for each of our human interactions. We spend a great deal of our precious time thinking about the people that we want to please. We invest so much in assessing if what we did right, wrong and if what we could have done things differently. We work hard for it! So, there is no doubt that intimacy is really important to all of us. We prove it by doing all that we know best in order to achieve it. So, why then do we often find ourselves unable to establish or maintain this intimacy? Yes… the answer we are looking for is because of our insecurities.
So what can we do to get control of our human interactions?
Work Towards Being Objective and Rational
The “good” news is that everyone has insecurities! We might be lead on to believe otherwise but let’s not be fooled!
We might be aware – in theory – that most of our insecurities are being fed by outside sources that lurk in all walks of sensory stimulation. Everywhere we look, society tells us that we are just not good enough. And if we were to buy X or Y product we would, maybe, become more worthy of love and attention. So, our insecurities turn into monsters that torment us for the sake of all capitalist reasons. Yes, we might be aware of this in theory. But being aware simply isn’t enough to allow us to heal and to allow us to feel better about our smile, our hips or our bust size.
So, how can we defend ourselves from the interior and exterior attacks?
The answer is simple. But it implies constant commitment and vigilance. It is important to make a constant effort to have a mind of our own. This is hard and it doesn’t happen overnight. It means researching on our own. It also means asking the right questions, giving up the wrong crowds and switching social media for real social interaction. It also means connecting with our history, our values, and nature.
It can also mean standing out and sometimes feeling lonely. But it is well worth it on the long run when we will finally regain our right to be unique and wonderfully imperfect. The benefits are even larger than our own happiness: whenever we open our eyes and we stand up for ourselves we offer others the power of personal example.
We should make it our mission to use compassion. Instead of comparing ourselves with others constantly we can make a decision to accept that we are all insecure and unhappy at times. It is only in this inner space where everyone is equally worthy of the love that we can finally allow deep and real intimacy to grow.
Make a Conscious Effort to Trust our Objective Mirrors
It’s no secret that for most of us hearing someone speak kindly about our perceived flaws can fall on deaf ears. We might think that our friend is only telling us our mouth is a perfectly acceptable size only because they don’t want to hurt our feelings. Or, we might live under the impression that our partner will keep telling us we look great in that white outfit so they can boost our self-esteem.
It is about time to realize that this attitude works against us on all levels. It basically tells the people around us that we don’t believe them and, naturally, it discourages open conversation. It also forces us to remain in that same, debilitating frame of mind.
What we can do is start by acknowledging that it is important to honor and understand what other people see in us. We can start by opening honest conversations with our loved ones and by sharing our fears, thoughts, and insecurities. You can also ask those around us to hold us accountable and to remind us of our intentions every time we fall back into the same patterns.
Art is always there for us when psychology, medicine, and science reach their limitation. We don’t have to be a formally trained painter to produce unique, valuable and therapeutic works of art. Whenever we feel like our insecurities are coming up or taking away our joie-de-vivre we should go for the brushes! Putting all our feelings into our choice of artistic expression does make all the difference in our quality of life! Drawing offers us the opportunity to give our unconscious beliefs, fears, and resources a voice. This alleviates anxiety, allows us to express feelings that we might not be fully aware of while preventing depression.
Drawing can also help us represent ourselves and our insecurities as we truly perceive them. This way, looking over the evolution of our art we can see our inner healing process and where it has been taking us.
Because insecurities have their root cause so far back in our past we need to tackle the issues with patience. Accepting ourselves, shifting our perceptions, forgiving our loved ones and changing is a life-long journey. Setting realistic goals for ourselves when it comes to dealing with our insecurities is vital. When we experience setbacks it’s important to remember to forgive ourselves and to push forward. Also, it is important to remember to set and celebrate important milestones on our journey.
Exclude Abusive People From Your Life
Sadly, some of the people we credit with our trust come across as honest but turn out to be quite manipulative. It is vital to read the signs well and to learn how to distinguish between someone who is being honest and someone who is being abusive. Allowing people we trust to make us feel inferior and hurt is not only unacceptable but dangerous as well.
The best way to go about it would be to make sure that we always trust our intuition. We should remember to trust that deep inner-knowing and honor our truth. In other words, if something feels off to us, let’s not question it. Learning to honestly assess if the people we trust are really looking out for us can save us a lot of time, energy and pain. Setting healthy boundaries and learning where we end and here others begin is the only way that we can ever experience real human intimacy.
At the end of the day, things are simple. We don’t have to take anything for granted, especially not ourselves. We should all keep in mind that intimacy starts when we remember to become our own best friends. These are my opinions on how to deal with insecurities.
Related: You’re Only Human