Feeling Insecure? Here Are 3 Healthy Ways to Deal

Written by Dr. John Townsend

August 20, 2018

Feeling insecure from time to time is completely normal, especially when you are actively trying to grow and challenge yourself to be your best. From a young age, we learn to compare ourselves to others. While this comparison in small doses is natural, it also sets us up to feel negative things sometimes, including insecurity.

Social media makes this human tendency of comparison a little too easy sometimes because it creates a space to feel insecure. Have you ever found yourself seeing a social media update from a friend or family member that made you lose confidence in yourself? That uncertainty, that anxiousness about yourself, that’s insecurity!

Insecurity can be a big problem if it isn’t addressed because it will slow you down and keep you from accomplishing your goals.

Deep down, we know we have enough resources, talent, and motivation to accomplish our goals. But, when we’re insecure, we’re not confident. That lack of confidence can hinder us from taking that next step toward the finish line! Don’t let your self-doubt hinder you!

The 3 Ps: Negative Approaches to Handling Insecurity

When insecurity comes into play, it can be hard to immediately know how to handle this negative feeling. I’m going to talk about a few of the negative ways people try to deal with insecurity, what I call the Three Ps.

  1. Being Passive. The first P is being passive. Insecure people tend to want to stay in their comfort zones. For example, sitting around on a Friday night, waiting for someone to invite you somewhere instead of proactively asking someone to try out a new restaurant. Sorry, wishful thinking doesn’t actually work my friends! Over time, being passive about your life (instead of actively trying to improve and grow) causes you to become a very insecure person, and you isolate yourself more and more as you wait for something to change.
  2. Pretending. The second approach to handling insecurity involves pretending you’re confident. Just saying “fake it ‘til you make it” during public speaking or engaging in polite conversation will only get you so far. It’s not a true fix. It will just get you in the ballpark, but you’ve got to be honest about your insecurity to get off the bench.
  3. People-Pleasing. The third approach has to do with people-pleasing. Insecure people tend to give enormous power to other people, instead of using their own power. You say “yes” to attending events or doing favors even when, deep down, you should focus on yourself and re-energize.

If you have some insecurities in your life, don’t be discouraged. You can change the tone of your inner voice to be positive and healthy! A good first step is to put an end to self-judgment. You can read more about that here.

The 3 Rs: Three Healthy Ways to Deal with Insecurity

So far, I’ve shared my three Ps for handling insecurity in a negative way. Now, I’m going to go through three healthy ways to deal with insecurity that really work, what I like to call the three R’s.

  1. Relationships. The first healthy way to deal with insecurity is through relationships. In your life, you must have a few healthy relationships with safe people that see you, see through you, and say, “You know, there’s a lot of good in you and I know you’ve had bad experiences before, maybe you’ve made mistakes, but I see a good person there. And I like you and I will help you.” The key is to focus on those relationships that don’t control you and grows you in the right direction.
  2. Risk. The second way to handle insecurity relates to how you view risk. If you’re an insecure person, you become risk-averse by not putting yourself out there to try and engage in new relationships or hobbies. Learn to live with risk, move past your anxiousness and try new things. To clarify, when I talk about “risky” behavior here, I am not referring to anything that could be harmful to yourself or someone else. This risk is more along the lines of taking a chance or trying something for the first time. It’s not easy, but it’ll be worth it.  
  3. Resetting. Finally, dealing with insecurity sometimes means resetting. You’ve got to hit the reset button on how you feel about yourself, especially when you engage in (positive) risky behavior designed to push your boundaries. You begin to reset how you feel about yourself because of putting yourself out there, and you are also changing the way you react to new, risky situations.  

Insecurity happens. No matter how confident you are, you will have insecure moments. The key to handling insecurity in a healthy way is in how you manage it. Remember the three R’s (relationships, risk, and resetting) if you get stuck. Get out of your comfort zone and get beyond insecurity!

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