Wouldn’t life be great if it was as simple as me shouting “Stop feeling insecure!”?
Unfortunately life just isn’t like that and insecurity is something that many suffer with daily. If you’re reading this post, then maybe you too deal with insecurities. Maybe you know all too well that feeling of being “not something enough”.
Not pretty enough, not smart enough, not strong enough.
Insecure thoughts are invasive and life-draining. You must fight them and take control of your life. In fact, I believe you can only live a life of freedom once you have conquered your insecurities.
I suffered from massive insecurity for as long as I could remember. It took me many years before I finally learned how to deal with them and actually start living.
I’ve pushed myself to be an over-achiever since I was in school. I wanted so desperately to be the best at everything that I was anxious nearly constantly. Of course, it didn’t help that, despite my great academic performance, I was awful at sports, socialising and pretty much everything that is actually important to a teenager in school.
I constantly berated myself for making mistakes in sports. If I got even one bad grade, I would tell myself that I was stupid. The girls at school ignored me, so I began to believe that I was ugly.
I was never good enough, smart enough, funny enough, athletic enough or any kind of ‘enough’ I could think of.
This persisted throughout college and most of university, getting progressively worse. I would go to bars and clubs with my friends to try and meet girls. However, more often than not, I was met with rejection after rejection, which only fuelled my insecurities.
My grades slipped, my social life continued to crumble and my relationships with friends and family nearly disintegrated.
I only began to get a handle on my insecurities once I began to purposefully rebuild my confidence.
Important Realisations About My Insecurities
I soon came to realise that, when I went to bars and clubs, girls were not rejecting me. Sometimes, they were just out to have fun without meeting guys. Other times, it may have simply been my approach that they rejected, not me as a person.
I shifted the blame away from myself and away from others. I began to change my thoughts and became more honest with both myself and with others. Over time, I discovered some important rules for overcoming insecurities.
Today, I live my life relatively free from insecurities. I still feel them every now and then, but now I have the tools to fight back against them.
As I’ve said before, I write to help those who are in the same position I was not too long ago. So, if you feel insecure or that you’re not good enough in some way, then read on. Maybe you feel like you can’t go on feeling like this and you need to make a change right now.
I have no doubt you’ve heard the popular psycho-therapeutic and CBT remedies for your insecurities. Furthermore, there is no further need for more articles doling out the same tired advice.
Instead, I’ve based these 6 tips to stop feeling insecure on my own personal experience with insecurity. I hope you’ll find something useful and life-changing in the next few words.
6 Tips To Stop Feeling Insecure Today
1) Recognise That Everyone Has Insecurities
You may have heard this particular one a thousand times. However, it does not make it any less true.
As I’ve said earlier, everyone feels insecure. The only thing that differs is our ability to get over insecurity issues. For some it is easy and for others it is more difficult.
At first, it was terribly difficult for me to overcome my own insecurities. I could hear them like physical voices in my head constantly whispering that I would never be enough. However, over time, I learned to quiet the voice of insecurity in my mind.
Accepting that everyone feels insecure was a massive piece of the puzzle for me. It had never occurred to me before that a potential reason for rejection is the other person’s personal insecurities.
Once you start to look for it, you begin to realise that there are insecure people all around you. They all feel the same way, but very few can cope with insecurity in the most effective way.
In the next eleven steps, I hope to provide you with a few more tools and realisations that will help you to beat your insecurities.
You never know, it might be you one day who tries to help other to overcome their own insecurities.
2) Make A List of Your Insecurities
In my previous post on self-care, I suggested making a stress list to begin eliminating stress and anxiety from your life. I’m going to suggest you do the exact same thing as the next step to stopping the feelings of insecurity.
The reason I am such a big proponent of list-writing is because I believe you should know your enemy.
Block out about an hour of your time and just write. No matter how big or how small the insecurities are, write them down so that you can see them and recognise them for what they are.
Here’s an example list of 5 insecurities I had a few years ago:
- I’m not attractive enough (I’m ugly)
- I have a big nose
- Ginger hair is disgusting
- I’m stupid
- I never do the right thing
Just looking at that list of insecurities now almost makes me laugh at how silly they are.
In fact, when you look at your own list of insecurities, you may just realise how truly petty some of them are. You may even laugh at a few of them. I chuckled at the thought of me thinking that my ginger hair was disgusting. I absolutely love my hair now and wouldn’t change it for the world.
So, take some time, write your list and know your enemy.
3) Fix Your Insecurities
Simple as, right?
Don’t worry, I’m not that naive. I know it’s not nearly as simple as just switching off the insecurity button in your own. However, there is something to my suggestion.
Once you’ve got your list, I recommend you rate them on a scale of 1 to 5. Try to be as objective as possible, don’t just rate everything a 5. If you’re having trouble, pick the worst one you can think of and label it a 5 then use it as a baseline for all other insecurities.
Now you’ve got a list of everything that you feel insecure about; you can now see your enemy. Start with the 1’s and ask yourself what you would have to do to eliminate that insecurity.
For example, if the lowest item on your list was “I have crap nails”, what would you have to do to get rid of that insecurity? Maybe it’s getting a regular manicure (whether you’re a guy or a girl) or learning how proper nail care on your own.
Some of them will not be as simple as getting a manicure though. Some, especially the 4’s and 5’s, will be a lot more difficult to deal with. However, when it comes down to it, I realised that I always had two options to beat my insecurities:
- I can find a way to fix them – lose weight, study harder, read more, etc, or…
- I can find a way to accept these things and love myself for them
Perhaps No. 2 up there is not very helpful, so Tips 4 and 5 should be able to shed a little more light on what I mean.
4) Recognise That Everyone Has Their Own Genius
I struggled a lot with believing that I was stupid, slow and otherwise just not good enough. No matter how many great grades I got or how many people told me how smart I was, I always felt like an impostor.
Eventually I developed a very narcissistic defence mechanism and began to feel like everyone else was stupid and I was the brilliant one. (I believe that narcissism and insecurity are two sides of the same coin, but that’s a conversation for another time.)
The cure for both of these things was realising that everyone has their own unique genius. Maybe you can’t speak very eloquently, but you can write the funniest jokes. Perhaps you aren’t very athletic, but you are a brilliant coder. Maybe you’re not academic, but you understand people better than they understand themselves.
There is something that you are amazing at, whether you realise it or not and that is your personal genius.
Focus on your personal genius and leave those other things behind.
A quote – often mistakenly attributed to Albert Einstein – states that, “Everyone is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by it’s ability to climb a tree it will live it’s whole life believing that it’s stupid.”
Bet on your strengths and drop everything else.
5) Attractiveness Can Be Built
No, I’m not talking about plastic surgery, using gallons of makeup or Nicholas Cage face-swap technology. I’m talking about the mistaken idea that your level of attractiveness is fixed.
When I got into university, I was a broken man. I felt awful about myself and, every single day, I would remind myself of how unattractive I was.
One day, I read a book called “The Game” by Neil Strauss and it changed my perception on everything. Literally, everything.
Disclaimer: I do not agree with the vast majority of things taught in “The Game”. Most people fail to realise that the book is a cautionary tale, not a guidebook.
In this book, I learned that attractiveness was not only changeable, but it was easily done too.
For the most part, attractiveness is a behaviour, not a physical condition. We all know handsome or beautiful people who are terribly ugly on the inside. At the same time, we also all know those whose inner beauty transcends their physical appearance.
Once I started to develop myself, I found that I was far more attractive than I had knew. I am by know means a conventionally attractive person. I’ve got pale skin, ginger hair, a big nose and a weird sense of humour. Yet, over the course of two years of self-improvement, I went from a guy with no friends and no romantic options to a guy with amazing friends and more than enough romantic options.
If you think you’re ugly, stop. Attractiveness lies very little in the physical and more in your behaviours and the way you treat yourself.
6) Transform Your Insecurity Into Motivation
Set regular goals to kick your insecurity’s ass!
If you know you’re insecure about your weight, find out everything you have to do to build the body of your dreams. I’ve got an ongoing series right now about my quest to build a superhero body. It can be done.
If you’re insecure about what you do for a living, ask yourself what it is that you want to be doing and find out why you’re not. If something is holding you back, find a way around it. Never underestimate how much your friends and family will help you to achieve your goals if you are open and honest with them.
Wipe things off of your list of insecurity one by one and, before long, you won’t even recognise the life that you used to live.
Whatever it takes to ensure you stop feeling insecure, do it!
And, when you’re a brand new person, free from your old insecurities, send me a message or comment on one of my blog posts. I want to hear how you’re doing.
I hope this post has been helpful to you. It’s something I wish I could have read a few years ago when I was suffering from my own insecurities.
Nevertheless, I wish you the best of luck and I’ll see you in the next post.