We can't avoid insecurity, here's how to make it help you be a better person despite it.
I’ve noticed lately that lots of people have the idea that feeling insecure is a character flaw. While it’s true that we don’t value insecurity as a positive thing in our society, it may be worthwhile to re-evaluate that position.
Insecurity is simply a part of the human condition. Many famous people have both suffered from it and commented on it over the years. On of my favorite quotes came from Georgia O’Keefe. She said, “I’ve been absolutely terrified every day of my life, but I’ve never let it stop me from doing a single thing.” Eleanor Roosevelt recommended doing “one thing every day that frightens you.” But others, like Carly Simon, let their insecurity cripple them for years.
How can you make the shift from being crippled (or at least stunted) by your insecurity into a place of acknowledging it and even learning from it? I think it’s important to make that shift in all areas of your life so you can live fully, and when it comes to your romantic relationships, facing your insecurities is a powerful tool for growth. Here are some steps you can take to face your insecurites head on and use them to help you grow.
- Take an honest look at your insecurities. What are your triggers? Do you tend to feel more insecure in business situations or interpersonal interactions? Identify the “what” first: what are you insecure about? For example, let’s say you’re insecure about your partner’s willingness to be faithful.
- For each insecurity, ask yourself “why.” Can you remember the first time you felt this way? Can you remember something one of your parents, siblings or other important people in your life may have said to install that insecurity? For example, perhaps one of your parents cheated and you felt the effect it had on your other parent (and the family in general).
- You will invariably find proof that this insecurity plays out in your life. Instead, look for examples when it didn’t. Continuing with our example, have you ever had a partner be faithful for any length of time? This is a powerful opportunity to shift. The Law of Attraction tells us that we always attract into our life what we think and feel about the most often; you are the one responsible for shifting your thoughts and feelings from expecting your partner to cheat to expecting him or her to remain faithful.
- Look for clues to your part in the dynamic that creates your insecurity, and commit to changing your own behaviors. For example, are you overly suspicious or controlling about where your partner goes? You can’t make someone cheat, but you can certainly drive someone away with obsessive, controlling behavior like that.
- Decide to embrace the insecurity: it’s there in an attempt to keep you safe. In our example, your subconscious mind believes that being suspicious and controlling will prevent you from getting hurt by a cheating partner. Take a moment to thank your subconscious mind for trying to keep you safe.
- Decide how you want to replace the insecurity. The great thing about being an adult is that you get to choose your thoughts and beliefs. Instead of fearing that your partner will cheat, what if you decided to attract someone faithful?
Steps three and four are where the growth happens. They may sound simple, but it takes consistent action to make the shift. Step six is an ongoing process: small steps taken consistently will shift your thoughts and feelings and you will begin to attract what you really want instead of what you’ve been accustomed to getting. Stick with it; it may take months, and sometimes years, to fully shift a long-held insecurity, but you’ll notice progress along the way. Celebrate your successes and remember: it’s ok to be afraid, but it’s not ok to let your fear keep you from living your life fully. Life isn’t a dress rehearsal!