To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.Lao Tzu
The more I work with clients, the more I’ve found that there’s one major thing that people are looking for. We all seek confidence in our abilities to tackle life’s challenges, as well as our worthiness of life’s gifts. Unfortunately, self-confidence is something that happens to be more in demand than it is in supply nowadays.
Which has led me to writing this article.
When we don’t have self-confidence, it’s usually because we have developed a collage of insecurities about ourselves. And insecurities only come into the picture because we’re wired to be social creatures. It’s okay to have insecurities – in fact, it’s hardwired. So give yourselves a compassionate break!
Because we’re wired to be social creatures, it means we’re always looking to prevent social isolation and ostracizing.
When you think about it…
Insecurities would be null and void if we didn’t have to worry about fitting in.
Of all reasons to be insecure about ourselves, I’ve found that five tend to come up again and again. Beyond the typical “not looking good enough” or “not having enough money” insecurities, there are five major insecurities that tend to run rampant in our society today. Along with today’s major insecurities, I’ve also included ways to overcome them as well.
What are the top five insecurities?
- When emerging from your cocoon. When you’re beginning to really find yourself, learning about yourself and the world around you, there are things that just don’t feel familiar anymore. The moment that happens, it’s like learning to walk all over again – perhaps on a planet with less gravity than earth. And so, we become uncertain or anxious. The solution to it all? Have fun learning something new. When you’re emerging from a cocoon, it means you’ve been blessed with the opportunity to see the world with new eyes, new skills, and new talents to be expressed. Enjoy how you’re experiencing the world differently.
- Not knowing your origins. Especially for those of us who don’t share similar backgrounds with the peers around us growing up, coming from a different background than what we’re surrounded by can be unnerving. It fosters a sense of shame about where we come from or our origins. This is the case whether we’re from different cultures, have different color skin than those around us, or even a different socioeconomic status. What can we do when we’re feeling a little insecure about our family or ancestral backgrounds? Get to know your story. Your story entails not just how you grew up, but those that came before you. What did they need to give up or sacrifice for you to be here? What struggles did they go through that you may not know? What great stories of strength, heroism, and heart can you uncover?
- Being afraid of your heart’s desires. It’s terrifying to admit that you want something different from what everyone else wants. I’ve had my fair share of friends, students, colleagues: reveal so much angst, fear, and uncertainty who’ve struggled to share with the world that they’re physically attracted to members of the same sex, that they don’t want to wear makeup, that they don’t find any interest in sports, that they want to wear size 11 heels… etc. I get it in my own way, from my own experiences. It’s hard to say you want something that others are condemning. So how have I found courage to pursue what I believe in to be true? I take it one step at a time. I overturn one stone at a time, finding bits and pieces of truth-nuggets that resonate with me – and then applying it, expressing it. You can do the same. Pursue what your heart desires (it only takes one step at a time).
- Being unsure of how to express yourself. Insecurities also stem from not knowing how to set clear boundaries. When it’s difficult to share with others what your needs are, it usually comes from a place of feeling responsible for how others feel. Share what you need to share from a place of love. Don’t expect everyone to understand your intentions or where you come from, but do understand yourself that if you stand your ground and express your needs, thoughts, and opinions from a place of love, it becomes almost impossible to go back to being silencing yourself.
- Having regrets about the past. If there’s one thing that I’m certain about, it’s that I have zero regrets about the past. There isn’t a thing I would take back, not a thing I would change – and it all stems from knowing that everything has led me to now. Every loss, every heartbreak, every “wrong” turn, if you will, has only led me to who I am today. And I wouldn’t give up who I am today for anything anyone else can offer me. You can’t get up if you haven’t fallen down. And learning how to get back up is one of life’s major gifts in the shape of major life lessons.
Live with intention. Inspire with Love.