Saturday, April 25, 2015

Dealing With Insecurity

I have always had certain insecurities, some developed so long ago I have forgotten what it is like to live without them. Some of them are harder than others, and they all flare at different things. Dealing with insecurities, often which are quite personal, can be hard.

Recently, some of my insecurities have been bad. I've removed myself from the main situation that was causing it, but you cannot always avoid people. The more I try to ignore my insecurities, the more I find myself walking with my head down, clutching my folder begging people not to notice me. I don't honestly think that any human being can lay the claim to not have ever feeling insecure. There are however, ways to deal with it.

Remove yourself from the situation that causes you to feel insecure  
Up until this week I hung out in the library with two friends at lunch. However, often about 10 boys from another crowd would normally join us. They were noisy, rude, made comments, whispered and talked about other people ruthlessly. They rarely mentioned me to my face, but I knew that I was probably ripped apart behind my back.
This week, I finally made the decision to stop hanging out there, because it just made me feel very insecure in myself. What should have been a lunch break with friends was turning into 45 minutes of tension, while I hid behind my hair and counted the minutes to the bell, praying that they wouldn't make me the subject of a joke.
I've lost the time to hang out with my friends, but at the same time, I feel more relaxed about myself and I don't feel like I want to disappear. And in the end, not feeling miserable and insecure about myself is more important, which is why I removed myself from the situation.

Learn to recognise when you are feeling insecure 
Ignoring your insecurities will not make you happy. Learning to recognise that you feel insure will help you understand your insecurities and what sets them of. Some people start to point out faults in others, some people say they don't feel insecure and some become very defensive when something they feel insecure about is raised.
Different situations set insecurity off. It may be having to wait for something, which gives you time to think, it may be other people talking about it or pointing it out. Recognise that feeling insecurity is only unhealthy when you let it rule you and that once you recognise it, you can start to try and control it.

Don't hang out with people who point your insecurities out to you
Often I tie my worth up in doing well, so I feel insecure when I don't. This week I failed something for the first time that I can remember and nothing drastic happened. I am still me, and my friends are still my friends and they don't care that I failed. They also haven't pointed it out to me because they know me well enough that I hate to fail and it's not something I talk about.
Someone who points your insecurities out is going to make you feel worse and more aware of them. It's very unhealthy and unproductive toward your self confidence. People who point yours and others insecurities are probably doing because of their own ones. That doesn't mean that you should put up with it.
People who support you are the people you need in your life.

Understand that insecurities are invisible, but very real 
You see all your own insecurity, but that doesn't mean that others do, which is often our biggest worry. Everyone else has insecurities, and they are just as busy trying to hide them. What you feel insecure about specifically is invisible to other people. They might guess you are insecure, but unless you tell them, they will probably never know what about.
I struggle a lot with this, but many people tell me it's true: what you think people are seeing, they probably aren't. But just because other people don't notice them most of the time does not make them any less real.

Speak positively to yourself 
Tell yourself that you can be strong, and that your insecurities don't rule you. When I feel like a day is going to be bad, I make myself look in the mirror, make eye contact with myself and tell myself that the day is going to be good. This might sound like it's not a big deal, but making eye contact shows confidence and interest, and it's harder than it sounds- especially with yourself. Give yourself a quick, positive pep talk before you leave the house; you can do this, you are strong, you have people who support you.

God loves you no matter who you are
And it hurts Him when you hurt. He wants you to tell Him about it and rest in Him.

Do you have a way with dealing with insecurities? Do you notice them very much in others (apart from your best friends)? Out of pure interest (and if you are comfortable saying), could you pin point an age you become aware of your insecurities, or started to develop them? 

_______________________________________________________________________________
Opal would like to recognise the soldiers from New Zealand (and Australia) who served in the First World War. She thinks that recognising the thousands of men who gave their lives for our freedom is important.  
'Lest we forget...'

18 comments:

  1. Thank you for these tips. I could relate to each one. I wasn't much of an optimist when I was younger; often I let my insecurities stop me from doing things I love and generally make me feel worse. It wasn't until I was older that I realised that no one was going to be there constantly looking after me and cheering me up, so that become my role. Beautiful post :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here- I've never, for example, been a camp leader on a camp I actually want to go to, because I don't think I'm good enough or skilled enough to. I want to change that though- what is life without a leap of faith where you take your happiness into your own hands?
      Thanks :)

      Delete
  2. I often feel insecure, and I cover it up with bravado. Teenage boys are so hurtful sometimes, to you face and behind your back. I agree with these tips and that they're really helpful. God is someone who helps me feel confident in my self everytime, even when I don't remember that. Thanks for this, Opal
    -Shanti @ http://weavingwaveswords.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With my friends, I tend to joke, with people I don't really know, I pretend they don't exist. Boys certainly are and they are also physically bigger than me, so I am terrified of being in a group with them (I am the only girl).
      You're welcome :)

      Delete
  3. Wow, this is very true. Our insecurities can really weigh us down from day to day, but these are some great ideas for keeping ourselves strong, even in the midst of our own doubts. Thanks for the encouragement, Opal. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They do and often we don't realise it. Welcome :)

      Delete
  4. I deal with insecurities every day. I'm a short person in stature in general, and it's so hard for me to not let these insecurities weigh me down.

    xoxo Morning

    ReplyDelete
  5. What an encouraging post =) Insecurities seem to often weigh down on me every day, but every morning as I drive to start my day, I give myself little pep talks and pray to God. And I definitely agree with you on avoiding situations that make you feel insecure...for myself, it's a little hard because I almost feeling like I might be missing out...but missing out on what? Insecurity? I mean hey, that's what I wanted, so I should be happy =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks :) Starting the day positive defiantly helps :)
      I get worried I'm missing out as well, but I'm learning that the thing is when you are missing out one one thing, it opens the door of opportunity to another.

      Delete
  6. This is an inspiring post, and I'm glad you took the time to write it and share your own experiences. I got hit pretty hard my last year of college, and it wasn't until after I graduated that I realized I just was insecure about being done with school and joining the "real world." I was convinced that as soon as I wasn't forced to be surrounded by people my own age, I wouldn't make any friends or meet anyone. Because I'm not social enough to just go introduce myself to people. And I knew I was going to be working in an industry with a HUGE generation gap. It wasn't until I was able to recognize that THAT's why I'd been so depressed for MONTHS that I was able to start picking myself up again and fixing the problem. So I definitely resonate with your advice to "Learn to recognize when you are feeling insecure."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :) I'm am terrified of leaving school. I don't know where I will fit in, what I really want to do with my life- my questions have questions xD
      Feeling insecure about the future is often something we don't think about, but it defiantly makes us miserable. I'm glad you were able to pick yourself up. A friend once said to me 'to do things that seem impossible, you need to have faith in you.'
      I'm glad you could relate :)

      Delete
  7. How did you get to be so wise? (Only kidding, I know how - you inherited it in the direct female line.)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I was so ridden with social insecurity (up until maybe two or three years ago) that I came very close to just stopping going anywhere where I'd see people I didn't know very well (of which there were none, because of my insecurities I was so painfully shy I hadn't made any friends, which made things worse). Honestly, things didn't get better - they got worse, until I started crying about my loneliness not only to my mother, but also about how I feared I was just some sort of mess-up of God's and that I was doomed to friendlessness because of my shyness for my entire life. And still, things didn't get better. Then I started reading the Bible, and writing about what I'd read, and then praying and crying my heart out to God every night in bed. And THAT is when things started changing, because I realized I didn't need other peoples' approval, I already had God's, and His is the love and opinion and help that matters. That gave me confidence, which in turn healed the problem which started it all in the first place - having no friends. It wasn't instant and it wasn't easy, but I would do it the same way again because I know that I'm stronger for it. And that is how I try to tackle anything I feel insecure about now - give God my every opinion and feeling about it, tell Him that I'm at least trying to trust Him, and try to let it go as much as possible and know that God is going to do something marvelous through it all.
    Your points were very good ones! Just, removing yourself from whatever makes you feel insecure isn't always the right thing to do (though it certainly sounds like it was in your situation). Like, if I'd removed myself from all social situations, I never would have met some people that are now in my life who God used to bring me closer to Him. I just thought I'd point that out, but otherwise I agree with everything you said.
    And hey, if there's anything you ever want me to pray about for you, just let me know - you know how to reach me. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I often have to force myself to leave the house when I hit a low point. God defiantly is a life line when things seems to be all over the place. True, I didn't think that point through as much as I should have.
      Thank you :))

      Delete
  9. I am such an insecure person, and I can definitely attribute it to my fear of failure. When I fail (and I do that A LOT), it does nothing to help my insecurity. I try to do all the things that you mentioned here, but it's. So. Hard. I don't think I have to tell you that, though, as I'm sure you already know that. The only thing that has helped me is going for things even though I'm insecure about them. It's a really difficult thing to do, but it helps so much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Failing is defiantly a trigger of insecurity. It is terribly hard, but to keep going makes you a strong person. There is point though, where it is good to just step back at let it go :)

      Delete