One factor that can lead to experiencing huge insecurity is the need for constant approval.
Sometimes people experience this constant need for approval due to a troubled past involving abuse and/or neglect. This sort of insecurity is usually intermittent. A person can feel completely fine for a period of time, then a gap may develop where the individual feels neglected. They perhaps notice a lack of compliments or recognition in their day-to-day life and insecurity creeps in as they start to wonder if people have stopped liking them.
**Please note that when I mention insecurity in this post, I am in no way suggesting that experiencing such insecurity makes you a weak person. I have experienced insecurity in many different forms, as I'm sure you have too. The point is that if we address our insecurities and acknowledge them, we are able to reduce them.**
One way to counteract the need for constant approval is to turn attention from the way others view you to the way you view yourself. Think carefully and find out if you the have 'self-approval' that you so desperately desire from others. Remind yourself that self-reflection is infinitely healthier than relying on others for approval.
A good tip on how to deal with insecurity is to remove your focus from the past, and chose to focus on positive aspects of your current situation. Being stuck in the past can make you depressed as it often means you are over-thinking your mistakes and even the mistakes of others.
Experiencing negative criticism can be a particular sensitive spot when it comes to insecurities. Perhaps someone tried to give you advice but their words came across in a hurtful, demeaning way. Or perhaps someone just directly tried to hurt you and lower your self-esteem. Sadly, it happens.
Whatever the case, it's easy to continue replaying such scenes long after the conversation occurred. It can bring up pain, and insecurity, and self-doubt. It crazy because, in the moment when someone tries to confront you, you may be able to confidently reject their insults and spiteful allegations. However, during alone-time, you might return to what was said and start to question everything, wondering if they actually had a point.
You can deal with such insecurities by refusing to linger on past negative events. Reject such memories whenever they try to sneak into your consciousness.
Another tip on dealing with insecurities is to avoid comparing yourself to to others. Insecurity can be triggered when you place too much emphasis on what others are doing or what they have. It's good to be interested in other people, but you shouldn't look at them in order to compare.
Something that we may have been proud of a few moments ago may become nothing if we compare it to the possessions or achievements of our neighbour.
You can reduce insecurity related to comparison by being grateful for what you have and remembering how much aspects of your life mean to you based on what you have gone through. For instance, insecurity can develop if you feel inferior for working hard for something that appears (emphasis on 'appears') to have been acquired more easily by the person next to you.
Last but not least, insecurity can develop when you feel ostracized from the people around you. Having a strikingly different personality, an accent, or simply looking different are some reasons that have led many to feel insecure. The world we live in enforces the unwritten rule that if you're different from the norm, you're not as good.
There can also be the pressure to change who you are in order to fit in. But changing who you are actually leads to more insecurity, because it's very awkward and difficult to act like someone you're not. To combat such insecurities, you simply need to learn to love yourself and realise that beauty comes in different shapes, sizes, colours etc.
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