How To Stop Being Insecure And Second Guessing Yourself
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You’re about to do something you don’t normally do.
Right up until this moment, you could tell yourself everything would go smoothly (enough), and you wouldn’t regret the attempt.
But now . . . you’re freaking out a little.
Because the same fears that dogged you whenever you tried something similar in the past are at it again.
Those same insecurities are making you second-guess yourself and reconsider the wisdom of what you’re about to do.
- “What if ….?”
- “What was I thinking?”
- “How do I get out of this?”
But what if you knew how to stop being insecure, so you could do more of those things you’ve been telling yourself are “not for people like” you?
Wouldn’t you rather feel confident and trust that the universe really does have your back — no matter what happens?
It’s time to stop telling yourself you deserve all the criticism you get.
Feeling insecure isn’t what you deserve, and it’s not something you’re stuck with for the rest of your life.
Read on to learn how to break free of it.
How to Stop Being Insecure
Follow the steps described below to learn how to not be insecure, even if that’s been your default setting for as long as you can remember.
Confidence is your birthright, not insecurity.
You have as much right as anyone to live a courageous, fulfilling, and impactful life. Don’t let old and limiting habits get in the way.
Time to replace them with better ones.
1. Have a conversation with yourself.
Talking to yourself isn’t weird at all. And when it comes to insecurity, it can change everything.
Every insecurity is a question in need of a better answer. So, rephrase your insecure thoughts as questions, and answer them with positive statements.
For example, if you’re looking at yourself in the mirror before going out and thinking, “Whoa! Did I always look this bad?” rephrase it as a question, “How do I look?” or “What do I like about the way I look right now?”
When you force yourself to ask a question and answer it, you pay more attention to the words. You’re not just reacting with habitual phrases.
And in response to the question, you can say what you need to hear to feel more confident and ready to face the world.
Even if you don’t 100% believe your positive answers, you can still act as if you do.
2. Turn envy into action.
Instead of dwelling on thoughts that compare you negatively to someone else, ask yourself what is it that the other person has that you don’t.
Then find out what it would take for you to attain the same advantage.
Learn from the person you’re tempted to envy instead of resenting them for having something you don’t.
And while learning more about them, you may find that the advantage you seek isn’t as enviable as you thought. Or you may find ways to improve your situation.
3. Practice self-compassion.
You know the importance of compassion and treating others the way you want to be treated.
But don’t forget to show compassion to yourself, too.
Not everyone will be compassionate toward you, and you don’t have to double-down on their negativity by tearing yourself down and saying over and over again, “I deserve it.”
Instead, treat yourself with kindness and focus on the good you’ve done.
Focus on the things you wish other people focused on instead of the things critical people tend to notice first.
Be the voice of encouragement and support you need — especially if no one else will be.
4. Build other people up.
One of the best ways to beat insecurity is to build up others who are struggling with it.
Help them see that their insecurities are questions that need better answers, and help them come up with those answers.
Help them see what you admire in them, so they can notice it more and be grateful for it.
Sometimes we don’t think of better answers to those questions until we’re looking for them to help someone we care about.
So, in addressing other people’s insecurities, you learn ways to deal with your own, too.
5. Be grateful for what you have.
Gratitude is one of the most powerful antidotes to insecurity.
Look around you and take a moment to mindfully appreciate what you have and what you can experience right now.
Then express genuine gratitude for all the good in your life.
Writing down your grateful thoughts gets your brain more fully involved in the exercise and makes it more likely you’ll remember to be grateful more often.
And when you’re grateful, you’re not focusing on what you don’t have or on what you think is lacking in you.
Gratitude reorients your mind to what is true, good, and beautiful.
6. Invest more in what you love.
Spend more time doing what you love to do.
If the things you’re passionate about are always ending up on the back burner, your sense of self will remain there with it — pushed back in favor of what’s supposedly more important.
Except, as often as you tell yourself, “One of these days, I’m really going to get back to that,” you know on some level that if you keep doing things the same old way there will never be time or money for the things that light you up inside.
Make room for those things.
7. Give yourself credit for accomplishments.
Make a list of things you’re proud of — every accomplishment, however small, that made you proud of yourself in that moment.
And give yourself at least some of the credit for making it happen.
Think of things other people have said that made you feel unique and grateful for your gifts.
Think of how far you’ve come and, along with gratitude, allow yourself to savor those moments as important milestones on your path.
If it helps, take a moment the next time you see your reflection and recall one of these accomplishments.
Let a smile brighten your face at the thought of it and tell yourself more good things are coming.
8. Reframe your mistakes.
Every mistake is an opportunity to learn something.
If you think you make more mistakes than the average person, you can take some comfort in the fact that you have more opportunities to learn and to grow as a result.
You gain nothing by trash-talking yourself or assuming that no one likes you or appreciates you because you’re “just a screw-up.”
Instead, focus on what you’ve learned over the past year or few years, and take a moment to be grateful for what you’ve learned.
If you still struggle to improve at something — a particular job, for example — consider the possibility that there’s a better job for you out there.
Be grateful for the experiences you’ve had, but don’t close yourself off to new ones.
Insecurity makes you want to stay with what’s familiar, even when it hurts you or holds you back.
Doing something that scares you — at least a little — will at least prove to you that you’re brave enough to try it.
More than that, it could lead to other accomplishments to add to your list.
9. Forgive yourself and others.
As long as you’re holding onto anger toward someone else for what they’ve said or done to you, you’ll always feel like the helpless victim of that person.
Ultimately, the goal is to grow into the person you were created to be, and you can’t grow or heal if you’re clinging to injuries from the past.
Every one of us has done things we regret. But when it comes to forgiving those who’ve done regrettable things to you, the person who benefits the most is you.
Not only do you get yourself unstuck, you then begin to see more of who you are and the good you’re capable of. No one can rob you of that, no matter what they take from you.
Forgiveness is more powerful than anger can ever be. And truly powerful people don’t give insecurity a moment’s thought.
What will you do first?
Getting rid of insecurities is easier when you know why you have them.
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From there it’s a matter of confronting the underlying fears and acting contrary to them — even when it scares you or feels uncomfortable.
The more you make a habit of doing this, the more you reprogram your subconscious in a way that makes insecurity feel unnatural and false.
In other words, self-deprecation won’t be a reflex, anymore. You won’t miss it.
Instead, you’ll feel capable of and ready for one new challenge after another. And you’ll wonder why you ever let insecurity slow you down.
May your courage and potential for transformation influence everything you do today.