Are Your Insecurities Holding You Back?

Don't let your insecurities hold you back.

Confidence and Insecurity might as well be the “good angel” and “bad angel” sitting atop our shoulders governing every decision. In many of us there is a constant battle within to achieve our full potential and do great things with confidence which is somehow crippled by insecurities and self-doubt.

We end up letting the “bad angel” belittle us into believing the terrible lies and then feel even worse for doing nothing about it. Insecurities can be quite a beast to overcome. The first step is learning to recognize the beast. Then avoid falling victim to the exaggerated narratives seeping into your mind.

Sounds easy enough, right? It’s not. We are conditioned throughout life to believe these insecurities are as true as the sky is blue. From cultural conditioning to what we believe as other people’s opinions, we allow the insecurities to grow into an unruly, unrelenting monster.

Signs Insecurities Are Holding You Back

” Self-deprecating talk.
” Lack of confidence when making decisions.
” Focusing on the negative in situations.
” Overly critical of self.
” Expecting rejection.
” Problems standing up for yourself.
” Difficulty accepting compliments.
” Avoid taking risks.
” Care too much about what other people think.

If any of these signs sound familiar, it’s time to take back control of your life and stop allowing insecurities to hold you back. Think of all the missed opportunities and the accomplishments just waiting for your confidence to outweigh insecurity.

Overcome Insecurity

By practicing these few steps you’ll find yourself stronger, more confident and able to hit the mute button on the “bad angel”. The negative inner-dialogue pulling you into the rabbit hole despair won’t be nearly as powerful as you make greater and greater strides in the direction of self-assurance and self-worth.

The most important part is to remember that this process is about you, not the bystanders in your life. You are the only one with the power to create the life you want and deserve.

Identify: Because insecurity is habitual, sometimes it’s hard to identify. Think of the signs listed above as triggers. They start the whole process of doubt and despair. You have to identify the instances before you can take further action.

Objectify: Once you identify a moment when you’re feeling insecure and like you want to retreat into your shell, now is the time to stop the train and objectify the situation. Look at this from an outward and unemotional standpoint. A common mistake here is to think of what others may think instead of being truly objective.

Strengthen: Now you’ll want to build up your confidence by looking at past successes and reflecting on how you felt during that time. When you recall those emotions, you’re likely to move forward with achieving that same level of self-satisfaction and accomplishment.

Reassess: So, your confidence is boosted a bit and you’re ready to take this thing on, head first. Time to reassess the previous doubts and insecurities by asking yourself some questions.

¢ What’s the worst that could possibly happen?
¢ And if the worst thing does happen, who will that affect?
¢ How will I act if the worse thing that could happen actually happens?
¢ Will I have any regrets if I let my insecurities hold me back?

Oftentimes we allow our insecurities to have so much control, they trick us into believing things will turn out one way or another when in fact that’s probably the least likely thing to happen.

Reframe the insecurity by acknowledging the worst-case scenario and apply your new confidence in knowing it will probably never happen, but if it does, you’re ready to handle it.

Follow Through: And finally, you’re going to use positive self-talk and commit to making this insecurity disappear by following through with your plan. Steer clear of any negativity and keep pushing forward.

Don’t allow yourself to hide in the turtle shell. And even if it doesn’t turn out the way you dreamed, you got out there and showed insecurity who is boss! That’s a huge step!

You’ll find that each time you follow the steps above, your insecurities diminish and a newer, stronger, more self-assured version of you emerges. Insecurities don’t have to hold you back and you are the only one with the power to make it stop.

It gets easier over time as your confidence is slowly being restored, mostly because things usually never turn out as bad as we imagine they could.

Stop Seeking Approval From Other People

Trust in yourself

If you could wave a magic wand and make it disappear, this incessant need to seek out approval from other people, you probably would. If we could just find it in ourselves to trust our own gut and be comfortable within our own skin, wouldn’t that be a prime example of living the best life possible?

The need for validation is something we are all guilty of doing, and sometimes without even realizing it. The pattern started long before you could even walk or talk. Parents teach their babies to mimic them and seek their approval by providing positive feedback for a job well done.

They used clapping, kisses and hugs, smiles and laughs; everything a small brain needs to form an attachment to approval-seeking behavior. Was it wrong? Of course not! But it certainly doesn’t have to control thought-processes as an adult.

Even long into the school years a child is rewarded for good behaviors and achievements. This type of structure laid the groundwork for the desire to fit in, to be part of something bigger than ourselves and to reach for reassurance that we were on the right track.

The downside is the incapability to trust our own judgment without reinforcement. It’s easier said than done, but with some self-awareness and behavior modifications, it’s very possible to break the cycle and learn to stop seeking the approval of others.

Your Life, Your Choices, Your Consequences

If you struggle with seeking the opinion of others before making decisions in your life, you could be headed down a long road of insecurities and failed relationships. These other people aren’t in your shoes.

They aren’t really living your life or dealing with the consequences of your decisions. So really, they are putting their own spin and personal preferences on the advice rendered.
If I were you” type of advice is often times flat out wrong, and sometimes can even be dangerous. You are the only one who can evaluate your situation from all sides and effectively weigh the options.

The problem in cases like this is that we don’t trust our gut enough to stand firm on a decision. It’s also likely we know what we should do, but don’t really want to do it because it’s hard, we are scared or will be faced with a painful aftermath.

Believe in Your Opinion

You didn’t get this far in life without an opinion and the capability to make decisions. So, don’t believe the hype that your opinion isn’t worth anything or not worthy of self-validation.

If your first inclination seems a bit off the beaten path, go for it. No harm, no foul. Don’t short-change yourself by believing you have to be part of a flock to be worthy. You are more than capable of dancing to the beat of your own drum if that’s the direction you choose.

If you find yourself hush-mouthed in meetings at work because you are afraid others will think your idea is stupid, you’re going to love this. First, upper management thrives and builds on new ideas. And creative thinking starts with a single idea that gets shifted, molded and formed into a great idea with teamwork.

And second, you aren’t the top priority of your coworkers. You might think all eyes are on you, ready to pounce at the first sign of vulnerability. The opposite is probably true and you’re giving them the courage to chime in with their own input.

Unrealized Fear is Counter-Productive

If your approval-seeking needs are based out of fear, you’ve already made up your mind. You are telling yourself a future that you simply don’t have the power or fortitude to predict, and it’s usually because you’re afraid of what might happen without relation to the likelihood of it happening.
It’s during these times that you need to ask yourself what you are really afraid of and are you automatically jumping to the worst-case scenario. Because 9 times out of ten, the results are never as bad as we allowed ourselves to imagine.

A healthy dose of fear should be a contributor in the decision-making process, but it shouldn’t have the authority to dictate an outcome. We tend to seek approval from others in just about every area of our lives. It’s entirely too easy to fall down the rabbit hole of self-doubt and feared consequences.

Start with little steps and work your way up to the big stuff. Gain a little bit of confidence in your ability to make good, sound decisions for your own life and then keep going. Like with anything else worth your time, it takes a bit of practice.

But it does get easier. You’ll become stronger emotionally and mentally and in the long-run you’ll thank yourself for taking the initiative to trust yourself.