Insecurities, self-doubts, fears… even the most confident person sometimes finds their mind invaded from time to time. But why? What are the causes of insecurities? Do you find yours as pesky as I find mine? I’m normally a fairly confident person, yet sometimes I still find myself wondering “Am I good enough?” or “Can I really do that?” I’ll share some encouragement for you in a minute, but first, let’s look at some common causes of insecurities. That way, we can start picking your insecurities apart and overcoming them!
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What are Insecurities?
The first thing that I do when I want to understand anything better is to examine the definition. For Insecurity, dictionary.com says: “lack of confidence or assurance; self-doubt.” It gives the words “uneasy; anxious” as synonyms.
Can you think of a time that you have ever felt that way? I know that I can. The truth is, everyone feels that way from time to time. We all have our own inner critics, doubts, and fears. However, that does not mean that we let them run our lives.
What are the Most Common Insecurities?
As my husband points out, I am really hard on myself at times. Before we can identify the causes of insecurities, it’s often easier to identify the insecurities themselves. Look at this list of insecurities and see if you can relate to any of them. Some common insecurities are:
- Am I enough?
- Being scared of failing
- Letting someone else down
- Hurting someone’s feelings
- I don’t fit in
- My work isn’t good enough
- Fear of losing the people I care about
- Fear of authenticity (“If people knew who I really was, they would not like me”)
- Afraid to tell people how I really feel
- Fear of being Alone
- Scared of being forgotten/left out
- Being unsuccessful
- Financial insecurities
- Health insecurities
*Thank you to all the brave ladies in The Inspiration Ladies Facebook group that helped me with this! <3
What are the Causes of Insecurities?
Why do people feel insecure? This is the big question, isn’t it? What are the causes of insecurities? The reasons for your insecurities are likely very personal. Chances are, it will take some self-reflection for you to identify your own causes of insecurities and self-doubt.
Fear of Rejection or Failure
If you have recently had a bad experience with something, chances are you do not want to repeat it! Often times, when we do something that pushes us beyond our comfort zones, it is scary!
I have done a lot of things scared in the past year and a half since starting this blog. When I recently launched my redesign of the home page earlier this month, I felt like I was standing at the top of the high dive looking down at the water below. (Which scares me every time.) One of the major causes of my insecurities about launching it was the fear that I would mess everything up, an no one would like it.
Sometimes you just have to take that risk. We learn much more from our failures than our successes. If you are persistent, you will eventually get it right.
I will be the first to admit that I struggle with transforming my perfectionism at times. I always want to over-deliver. I’m also scared of what others think of me from time to time. I think that we all are if we are honest with ourselves. Those first four reasons above on the “common insecurities” list are all mine. Some of the others I have also struggled with. No one in the world is perfect. In fact, like diamonds, our flaws are what makes us valuable.
What we perceive as a flaw, can actually be a source of strength. For many years, I thought that being an empathetic person was a flaw. I tend to feel or reflect the emotions of those around me. It’s not a superpower or anything like that, it’s just the ability to read body language well and to think about how I would feel in the other person’s shoes. It happens without me thinking about it so, if someone is upset, it also upsets me. However, it can also be my strength. I don’t think that I could write with as much feeling without it. Being able to feel it, helps me to understand people better.
Listening to your Inner Critic
Oh boy, do I have experience with this one! Listening to my inner critic was/is one of the primary causes of insecurities I have. I don’t know about you, but my inner critic is kind of a mean obnoxious person. My inner critic says things to me that I would never say to another person. We all have a critical inner voice, that can beat us down if we let it. Learning to silence my inner critic is one of the first steps that I had to do when learning to deal with my insecurities.
Comparing Yourself to Others
Here is yet another of the causes of insecurities that I deal with. Comparing ourselves to others comes pretty naturally for many of us. There is a natural competition to see how we measure up against others. It’s the driving force that most sports are based on.
Comparing ourselves to others can also work against us, mostly because there are many things that we don’t see when we compare ourselves to others. We see the success of others. We do not see all the things that they had to go through to get there, the areas where they feel like they are failing, and the things that they have to deal with that drive them nuts.
Remember that what you see is a highlight reel that only shows things on the surface. You can’t compare your life to someone else’s highlight reel. If something is driving me nuts, or I am dealing with something, it’s not going to be all over social media. Chances are, I’m dealing with it privately.
Instead of comparing yourself to others, look at your personal progress, and how far you have come since you started.
Effects of Insecurity
Though the causes of insecurities might be different from person to person, chances are they are holding you back. Is there something that you want to do that you are scared of doing? Does the fear of failure or rejection keep you from following your dreams?
Fear can hold us back from many things. Our comfort zones are nice, safe, and familiar. It is scary to get outside of them. However, that’s where most of your growth is going to happen – outside your comfort zone.
If you panic, end up procrastinating, or just not doing something that you feel that you need to do, you have fallen prey to your insecurities. Do not let your insecurities rule your life! Let’s look at some ways to combat the causes of insecurities so that you can start shining instead of shuddering! Don’t let your insecurities keep you from a happy and content life!
How Can I Stop Being So Insecure? 5 Ways to Overcome the Causes of Insecurities
No matter the causes of insecurities that you deal with, the solutions are largely the same. I will be honest with you – your insecurities will not vanish overnight. My insecurities are something that I still deal with from time to time. It’s not a one-time thing that you deal with and it’s over. There are some quick tips to give you an instant boost of self-confidence if you need something right now, but you will still have to deal with the underlying causes of insecurities.
If you want your insecurities to go away, then you will have to decide to do something about it. You have to decide to make a conscious effort to address the causes of insecurities and the insecurities themselves. No one can do it for you. The first step will be the hardest and likely the scariest, but you can do this. You are the only one that can change your life. No one else can do it for you.
1. Raise your Self-Awareness
In almost all personal development issues, raising your self-awareness is the first step. You can’t change a behavior or a belief if you are not aware of it. If you have made it this far in the article, you are already well on your way to raising your self-awareness because you have admitted to yourself that you have insecurities. You are also examining the causes of insecurities, trying to learn more about the problem. Good job! If you want to take it a step further, notice when your insecurities surface and try to identify the triggers.
2. Find Your Positive Peer Group
Some people come with batteries included. You feel more energized and alive after hanging out with them. Other people are more like leeches that drain your energy. How do you feel when you are done hanging out with your friends? You need some sort of a positive peer group that encourages you, believes in you, and maybe even pushes you a bit to get beyond your comfort zones. This support system can make all the difference.
3. Logically Think Through the Realistic Results
Sometimes things seem worse in our mind than they actually are. The consequences of failure seem huge just because the “failure” word seems to loom big in our minds. (Usually bolded, in all caps with dark clouds surrounding it, and gloomy music playing. Like… “FAILURE!!! Dum.. dum.. Dumm…” )
When I published my book, “The Pearl Perspective” I was scared to death. One of the scariest parts was (ok, fine… still is..) promoting it. I remember parking outside a local book store with my heart pounding before walking in to talk to the owner to ask if they would be willing to stock it. I was nearly paralyzed by the fear of rejection. Then I stopped and asked myself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” The obvious answer is “He says no.” Would I be any worse off for asking? I didn’t have my book stocked on any shelves now. I would lose nothing if he said no. I bowed my head, said a prayer, and with shaking hands, went in and asked.
4. Say a Prayer and Think “Do It Scared”
“Do It Scared” is a tagline from another blogger, Ruth Sodokup. She has a podcast, a book, a challenge and a whole community built around those 3 words. Whenever I feel scared to face my insecurities or to reach beyond my comfort zone, those are the words that I repeat to myself. They give me the courage to face my fears and to go ahead with whatever I need to do.
I also often find myself saying a prayer, asking God for help when I’m about to do something very scary or confront one of my insecurities. God is a great source of security for me. I know that his love is unconditional. I am incapable of making a mess that’s too big for him to fix. I trust him to look out for me and to guide me. This gives me an underlying secure feeling of “it’s going to be alright” no matter what.
5. Commit to Learning from Failures
Winston Churchill once said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Failures are learning experiences. It’s not a fun learning experience, but it’s one of the ones that stick with you the most. (Ever heard of the “school of hard knocks”?) Sometimes you have to jump in and decide to learn along the way. When I started blogging, I started from ground zero and knew nothing about it. I am still learning, and hope that I always will be. However, I can say that Contentment Questing is much better now than in its early infancy. I thought the articles were great when I started. Now I cringe when I go back and read them. Likewise, the design of the site has changed several times. What I thought looked great when I first launched, I look back and now and wonder what I was thinking.
Life is a continual learning experience. Start viewing your failures as lessons and learning opportunities.
The Last Thing You Need to Know About the Causes of Insecurities
Insecurity is something that most of us deal with from time to time. The good news is that you don’t have to let it cripple you. There are many causes of insecurities in our lives, but what matters more is how we deal with it. We can take steps to deal with our insecurities and to push on past our comfort zones. We can get to the place where we start to grow and blossom, but it does take some courage. We have to face the possibility of failure, or whatever we are afraid of. Some things are worth the risk. If you do fail, then learn what you can from it and move on.
Just in case no one has told you today, let me close by telling you that you are enough. You are special, precious, and unique. You are a pearl. There is no one in the world like you and you have your own sets of gifts and talents to offer the world. This is a better place because you are here. Push past your insecurities, dare to follow your dreams. I can’t wait to see you shine!
Leave me a comment and let me know what you are dealing with, what your insecurities are, or how you deal with them. God bless and Happy Questing!