We live in a world where technology, social media, surge of innovations seem to give most people an over inflated sense of self. But even in the midst of these “highs” there is one emotion that pokes at our self image and influences our behavior, this emotion is insecurity. If you could peep into the minds of people even the most ego inflated ones you are likely to encounter wild impulse of insecurities. Insecurity is a critical voice with feelings that unsettles us. Whether your self esteem is high or low, one thing is clear; when you compare, evaluate and judge yourself by outside standards you are prone to become insecure.
When you understand where your insecurity comes from, why you are driven to put yourself down and how the critical voice is affecting your life; you can start to challenge and overcome the destructive inner critic that makes life miserable. Insecurity and the critical voice within are born out of early painful life experiences, hurtful attitudes toward us or those around us. As we grow up we subconsciously adopt this pattern of destructive thoughts toward ourselves and others. Examples of hurtful statements from parents, teachers and peers from early on are:
* You are stupid.
* You never get anything right.
* You are not like other people.
* You are a failure.
* You are fat and ugly.
* You will never make friends.
* No one will ever love you.
* You will never accomplish anything.
Painful experiences we had early on with parents, uncles, aunts, siblings, peers can be the root of our insecurities as adults. Some adults dread being laughed upon because it triggers embarrassing moments during childhood which still dent their self confidence. A parents absence, a father’s regular fit of rage, a mother’s depressed eyes, a siblings death can leave children feeling insecure and believe there is something wrong with them. Harsh parents can cause children to become introverts or self reliant in ways that make them mistrust others.
Children must be seen for who they are to feel secure because a lot of issues of insecurity comes from early childhood. When children are being shamed, over pressured, they may start to feel insecure and lose a sense of their actual abilities. A healthy attitude parents should maintain is to see themselves and their children realistically and treat them with acceptance and compassion. Allow children to find that thing that is unique to them, it should be the child’s interest not the parents interest. As the child pursues the interest parents should support and acknowledge the effort involved as opposed to focusing too much on the result.
“I love you the way you are” goes a long way in building secure children who are comfortable within their own skins. It is clear that early experiences shape the inner voice thoughts we have about ourselves. Insecurities can affect countless areas of our lives, you may feel very confident at work but weak in love relationships, you may even notice when one area improves the other deteriorates. Everyone can relate one time or the other experiencing self sabotaging thoughts. Old feelings that we are incompetent or that we will never amount to anything can send our insecurities through the roof and make us make poor decisions.
Once we have a better sense of where our insecurities come from and the profound influence it is wrecking in our lives, we can begin to confront it. You can start by overcoming the critical thoughts: Why am I so stupid. What is the matter with me. I would never amount to anything by focusing on what brings about growth in your life. Read good books, inspiring blog posts, avoid people that trigger old insecure feelings and start to affirm healthy statements about yourself. Challenge the critical voice within, whenever it bring up negative thoughts and feelings replace them with positive responses. Never feel depressed and shamed anymore, the past is over and the present can become liberating.
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