Insecurity is a very common feeling that most people experience at some point and, generally, presents itself as lack of confidence or certainty in oneself. These may be in relation to one’s own worth, abilities, skills, and values. This negative feeling of insecurity can have a significant effect on one’s life, especially when present for a long period of time. Usually, this is evident in that person’s struggle to form lasting relationships or attend to daily tasks and is accompanied by feelings of helplnessness and inadequacy. It is evident that insecurity impacts one’s life, relationships, and sense of self and its negative impact is not only emotional but also physical and mental. In fact, an array of mental health conditions and personality disorders, including narcissism, anxiety, paranoia, and addictive or dependent personalities, may be present concurrently.
The following are all common causes of insecurity:
- Innate personality qualities, for instance introversion vs extroversion, reactive vs calm.
- Overly critical parents, parents with very high expectations, and overprotective parents can all block their children’s growing process.
- Bullying, especially about things you can’t control, such as gender, race, looks, and ethnic differences.
- The struggle to live up to stereotypically beautiful and fit people, even if you don’t need to.
- Learning disabilities and struggles in school or work.
- Life failurse, including divorce, losing jobs, and unfulfilled goals.
- A traumatic experience which develops into fear of reliving the experience and the distressing feelings that accompany it.
- Aging and losing your more youthful self.
The following are some ways that help a person with insecurities:
- Identify the role insecurity occupies in your daily life, specifically school, work, trust, communication, self-esteem, and mental health.
- Identify the source of insecurity and address the problem. Although outside issues, situations, and people may be the cause of insecurity, it can also be stemming from past life experiences, mental health issues, or current relationships.
- Communicate openly with people you trust about the insecurity concerns to avoid isolation and shame.
- Speak to yourself more positively, challenge your negative self-talk, stay focused on the future and find good things in the world around you.
- Look after your physical health, especially by exercising, getting good sleep, and eating healthier foods.
- Come to terms with your limitations by accepting what you cannot change and embrace what makes you uncomfortable to find peace with your insecurities.
Finally, insecurity is very limiting because security enables a person to accomplish full trust and to function to his or her fullest potential. If you don’t manage to resolve your insecurities on your own and it is impacting your mental, social, or physical health in an unwanted way, it is recommended to seek professional help. With the help of a therapist, you can achieve long periods of well-being and security.
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Johanna Cutajar is a Master in Counselling graduate from the University of Malta. She works with children and adolescents as a counsellor within the education sector on a variety of issues including relationship issues, trauma, bereavement, transitions, and general mental health.
Kirby, S. (2021). Insecure: Define and Manage It. Retrieved from https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/self-esteem/insecure-define-and-manage-it/
Patterson, E., & Troy, B. (2021). Insecurity: Definition, Causes, & 7 Ways to Cope. Retrieved from https://www.choosingtherapy.com/insecurity/