*I also published this article on The Huffington Post.
Insecurity: noun, lack of confidence.
I encounter so many girls who lack confidence and self-esteem, and it makes me so sad. I feel like it’s something that needs to be talked about.
Let’s be honest, everyone has felt insecurity at one point or another in their life. Some people feel insecure all the time. Some people really have a problem with it and trust me, I know how painful it can be. On a personal note, this is something that I’ve struggled with for most of my life.
Sometimes there’s a voice in your head that tells you that you’re not good enough, you’re not pretty enough, you’re a failure, you’ll never make friends, the list goes on and on. You feel a negativity towards yourself for whatever reason(s). I know how tough it can be. It can tear you apart.
Insecurity and low self-esteem can affect pretty much every area of our lives. Sometimes I feel like it becomes an even bigger problem for me when I’m becoming more successful in any certain area. I keep thinking about how I can’t be this good, I’m just going to screw up.
It’s often said that insecurity is not all bad, though. It’s essentially a sense of humility, which is a great quality. I know you may not feel that way when you’re struggling with the internal pain of insecurity, but try to remember that feeling insecure doesn’t mean anything is wrong with you. You are not the issue. You’re amazing.
But let’s get down to the point of this post. Dealing with insecurity or low self-esteem is a constant battle, but here are some ways to help you deal with it when it’s really eating away at you:Dealing with insecurity or low self-esteem is a constant battle, but here are some tips that can help... Click To Tweet
Realize what is real and what’s imaginary.
You create your own reality; it’s true. Sometimes you might just need to take a step back and figure out if what you’re thinking is actually real or if it’s just your mind playing tricks on you. No, you’re not crazy. But sometimes our fear/anxiety can mess with our heads. Sometimes when we’re feeling insecure, we see the worst in every situation. We assume that everything has a negative meaning, even when nothing does. Let’s say you sent an email to someone yesterday, and they still haven’t responded. You might automatically be thinking “Why haven’t they responded? Do they hate what I said? Are they avoiding me?” when, really, they just haven’t read it yet. Try to keep your imagination from running wild when there is no real reason for it.
Avoid people who make you feel insecure.
This may seem obvious, but it might be tougher than it sounds. If you know there’s someone you feel extra insecure around, try not to spend so much time around them – if possible. If there’s someone on social media that makes you feel bad, unfriend them. Do what you can to make yourself feel better.
Related reading: How To Deal With Toxic People
Surround yourself with people who make you feel good.
Spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself; people who support you and/or make you feel at ease. Their support and encouragement may just rub off on you and make you feel better about yourself. Plus, they just make you feel happier overall, which can affect your insecurity.
Stop comparing yourself to other people.
I know, you probably hear this one all the time. That’s because it’s important, though. I feel like it’s at the root of most insecurity. Nobody is perfect. That person you’re comparing yourself to? The one you think is better than you? They aren’t. Everyone struggles in some area of their life. When you constantly tell yourself someone is better than you, you’re focusing too much on your flaws and hurting your self-esteem. Whenever you notice that you’re comparing yourself to someone else, think about it and consciously make yourself stop. The only person you should be comparing yourself to is yourself. Meaning, try to be a better person than you were yesterday.The only person you should compare yourself to is who you were yesterday... Click To Tweet
Tell yourself it’s okay to feel insecure sometimes.
It’s natural to feel insecure sometimes. Everyone feels it occasionally. Remember that next time you’re beating yourself up over feeling insecure. Being hard on yourself over feeling insecure is just going to make the feeling worse. There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re amazing, flaws and all.
One of the best ways (for me, at least) to deal with insecurity, is to push yourself out of your comfort zone. When you challenge yourself, whether you fail or succeed, it builds your confidence. It makes you more courageous. Working hard to take risks, does pay off. Use your insecurity as motivation to prove to yourself that you can accomplish the things that make you doubt yourself. It’s okay to fail, so accept that fact and push yourself. It’ll be worth it, trust me.
Do some light exercise.
Getting some exercise can boost your serotonin levels, which can make you happier and break up your negative emotions, putting you in a better mood. You should try to exercise a few times a week as regular exercise can boost your overall mood, give you more energy, and of course, help with your health. Taking care of your body is also important for your self-acceptance. When you treat your body well, you’re showing yourself that you love your body (which will cause you to think more highly of yourself). I know that sounds kind of weird, but it’s true.
Related reading: Workouts That You Can Do At Home
Think of everything you like about yourself.
Focusing on everything you don’t like about yourself only leads to negative self-image, making you feel more insecure. Instead, why don’t you focus on what you like about yourself? For every negative thought you have about yourself, think of something else that you like about yourself. If you want to, you can say these things out loud, or write them down on paper. You could make a list of the things you like about yourself; when you’re feeling down, pull out the list and read it. Build yourself up instead of tearing yourself down.Build yourself up instead of tearing yourself down! Click To Tweet
Be more grateful.
Studies show that gratitude improves self-esteem. Practicing gratitude is also said to rid your body of many toxic emotions (including envy and regret) which can help improve your mood and make you feel more secure with yourself. I practice gratitude by making a list of everything I’m grateful for each day. I do this in the morning because it helps me start my day off on a positive note. Here is a list from The Gratefulist on other ways to practice gratitude!
Related reading: Book Review: Thank & Grow Rich
Step back from social media.
There are also studies that show a link between high use of social media, and depression/anxiety/insecurity. If you think that social media could be causing any of these issues for you, take a step away from them for a while. Go a week (or two, or a month) without using social media. Besides feeling better about yourself, and life in general, I think you’ll also find that you become very productive. I recently took a break from social media and I got a lot of stuff done that I’d been wanting to do for a while. Just try this one out and see how you feel. Who knows? Maybe you won’t want to go back to it.
Fake it ’til you make it.
When in doubt, just fake it. Act like you don’t feel insecure. Even if you’re not feeling confident, pretend like you are. I know this seems strange, but science proves it’s actually helpful in building your self-esteem and making yourself feel less insecure. You might trick yourself into thinking you’re confident. If anything, it will make other people see you as confident and self-assured, which will lead to them treating you like you are. This could boost your self-esteem and make you feel better about yourself.
How do you feel about this list? Is there anything you would add to it? How do you deal with feelings of insecurity? ❤