We are all insecure about something, whether it be our looks, personality, skills or simply our place in the world. We might not be insecure all the time but at one point or another you are going to doubt yourself. We all do it from time to time. Insecurity is normally shrouded in very strong emotions and it can be easy to get lost in it if you are not careful. Whilst we all have insecure thoughts sometimes it’s important that you don’t allow those thoughts to take root and grow permanently in your mind.

Insecurity is a byproduct of being a conscious being having a human experience. Our brains work on comparison, our method to assess things is to compare them. This can work in your favor or it can work against you. Understanding that insecurity stems from basic human nature will help you realize that it’s not just you and that you are actually able to move past these feelings without losing too much time or energy if you simply stay aware of these feelings.

A lot of the time our insecurity is triggered by some event or some person. It’s important for you to identify what is making you feel insecure so that you are able to consciously address it. Fear and panic only exist in the presence of the unknown. If you ignore your feelings and constantly drown them out with social media, food or alcohol then you will only increase your feelings of anxiety and insecurity.

Once you identify the trigger you can begin to unpack it.

Ask yourself, “what made happened that made me feel this way?” 9 Times out of 10, someone said something or something happened that left you feeling inadequate and instead of dealing with the situation and your emotions internally you ignored it and like rotting fruit, it spread, affecting every other area of your life.

Learn to take stock of how you’re feeling and get curious. If you are able to identify the trigger point and logically unpack it, you can lay your insecurity to rest before it spirals out of control. It’s normal and it’s okay. You are not weak for feeling insecure, you just can’t feed the insecurity and allow it grow.

Insecurity dies with a shift in perspective. The truth is that no one is perfect. We are all just flesh, and blood and we all lucked out by getting a chance to experience life on this beautiful planet. No one knows what they are doing, no one received a handbook, we are all just doing our best with what we have. Shifting your perspective and focus off of what others think will help you break the cycle of insecurity that you are currently experiencing. Redirect your focus to something in your life that grounds you. This could be work, exercise or even play. Whatever helps you come back to yourself, do more of it.

Another great way to deal with insecurity is to talk about it. It’s really important that we all have at least one person in our life that we can truly be ourselves around. You should be able to openly share your thoughts and feelings with them without judgement. This is the person you voice it to. Just remember, there is a big difference between voicing something you are struggling with and fishing for compliments. Be honest about what is bothering you but be willing to let go of it once the conversation ends, don’t hold onto it because the attention felt nice. This is a nasty trick of the ego, learn to recognize it.

Our brains are really good at overwhelming us and convincing us that we are completely alone. We have to learn to recognize these pitfalls and successfully navigate around them when they do appear.

Like I mentioned earlier, comparison can actually be a good thing but only if you are comparing yourself to who you were yesterday. Comparison facilitates competition and competition is how we become better. Leverage your own nature and use these tools to your advantage, just be careful not to attach too much emotion to it or things get messy.

Life is a game of trial and error and we are constantly learning. You won’t get things right every time, but the goal is to learn something from every situation so that the next time you are better prepared to handle it. Confronting your negative emotions and self-doubt is uncomfortable. It makes us feel weak and vulnerable but its only through being vulnerable that we can become stronger and more resilient.

You have to be willing to do the internal work if you want to live a more centered and peaceful life within your own head. As much as you need to go to gym every day to build a strong body you need to work on your mind every day to build a stronger mind. It’s hard work and you need to be consistent, if you stop for even a day you will lose progress just like you do when you physically stop going to the gym, it’s the same principal.

The harder you work at cultivating a strong and resilient mindset, the more you will enjoy life because eventually you will be able to pick yourself up a lot faster than before and you will find that people and situations don’t affect you nearly as much as before.

– Caitlin Oelofsen