When I was a kid, I always wanted to be the best at anything I did. Being the best at anything brought me much attention, affection and praise. Something that made me feel good about myself: we all look for cues which make us feel good or loved, don’t we?
You must be wondering what these cues have to do with insecurities? I will tell you, there is a small line of difference when it comes to looking for these cues and wanting these cues to keep going in life. Most of us, growing up, start to believe these cues are what we need to become the best version of ourselves. Is that really true?
No, it isn't. And this is where insecurity starts building up. For some it might be a lack of appreciation bringing insecurity about their abilities, for others, it might be a lack of trust making them insecure about their relationships with others. The list goes on and on. But how does it all start? With us looking for those cues which make us feel good or confident or loved, or anything positive and affirming.
There is nothing wrong with looking for cues which make you feel good. But they should not become the validation for who you are. Because, that my friend is not actually validation, it's your insecurity speaking to you. And if not handled at the right time, these insecurities can hamper you and your mental health in ways you cannot imagine. You might not even notice how these developed insecurities start to affect your behaviour, your actions and even your judgements about yourself.
A few insecurities I experienced and still experience, (only the magnitude differs) growing up was, not being good enough, lack of trust in myself, not fitting in, and always being a loner. And these started to reflect in my day-to-day behaviour. I stopped taking part in competitions, never shared my pain with anyone wondering if they will call me weak and make fun of me, stopped going out and meeting people, and became quiet amongst a group of people, friends or colleagues.
I’m sure, you would have been through a few or all of these insecurities I mentioned. The funny part is, that we never realise these until it's too late. And these start affecting our mental health. We start facing issues like anxiety, disturbed sleep cycle, crying at random times, not expressing what we feel, bottling up bitterness, developing trigger points for anger, and none of these is good for us.
It took a toll on my performance in studies, my boards, and also my belief in myself. And when I realised how my thoughts were affecting me, I started writing them down. I would cry randomly for no reason, but it made me feel good. Ever since my encounter with insecurities, I started to channel those emotions into writing or crying, because I was not sharing my pain with others, but had to get it out. And eventually, it started working well for me. So, writing and crying became my weapons to fight insecurities. Though, I would not want anyone to get to this extreme situation.
So how do we not reach this extreme, you ask? Well, it's easier said than done, but the only way to not get to such extremities is to keep your insecurities in check. And it starts with the smallest of steps like keeping your thoughts in check, surrounding yourself with people who believe in you, who support you despite your ups and downs, and never building yourself up solely on the cues of others. Always, ponder who you are, what are your skills, and what you can do and build yourself on those. By doing so, you will not feel as insecure as you would have felt being dependent on the cues to feel good and feel yourself.
What others think and speak about you, is something they feel. But you should build your confidence and self-esteem, not on what they feel about you, but on how you feel about yourself. Because, no one knows you better than you, my friend!
This definitely puts you in a better place mentally, helping you think clearly, work on your goals and achieve whatever you wish to achieve. Insecurities will come in, I won't say they will be gone forever, but now you will have the strength and people around you who believe in you to get you out of it and always remind you, that “you are greater than your insecurities!”
I hope you gain perspective on how to not grow your insecurities but your self-esteem. I’m no psychiatrist, but having had my share of insecurities wanted to share how I keep them in check and get myself going.
Lastly, “Life is a battle, and we continue to fight our inner demons to become who we are.”
Keep fighting. Keep living. Keep growing.
Written By - Prachi Singh
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