Author: Justin Mckibben
Being insecure is nothing to be ashamed of because we all share varying levels of insecurities, but insecurity is also a trait of the negative ego that has a real potential to undermine the gifts we have been given in life and the purpose we are meant to serve through chasing those passions. The great sense of distrust is the root of our insecurities, and that distrust comes in many forms.
We distrust ourselves and our worth.
We distrust the value of our accomplishments.
We distrust those we love to actually love us and be faithful to that love.
We distrust our capacity to fulfill our destiny.
Depending on the kind of experiences you have, the severity of your insecurities may vary. Factors that impact your experience include:
- Your childhood and other past traumas
- Recent failures or rejections
- Social anxiety
- Negative self-image
- Critical loved ones
Se here let us take a look at 2 big insecurities we experience and strategies to overcome them that can actually improve our lives.
- Failure or Rejection
There has been actual research on happiness that suggests up to 40% of our “happiness quotient” is based on recent life events, so subsequently any recent failures or rejections can significantly affect the way we feel about ourselves, shaping insecurities based on negative self-image.
The biggest negative contributors to happiness are:
- Ending a relationship
- Death of a loved one
- Job loss
- Negative health events
Our unhappiness with such events is directly linked to our self-esteem, failure and rejection can elevate our insecurities.
“Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.”
-C. S. Lewis
It has also been said that rejection inevitably leads us to see not just ourselves but also other people more negatively, at least for a time, while those who have lower self-esteem to begin with are more sensitive to failure.
It may help to understand that failure is a nearly ubiquitous experience, and that the cure for insecurities created through failures and rejections is actually persevering through adversity. Pushing through these rejections can do an incredible job of raising self-esteem once a victory is accomplished.
“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.”
-J. K. Rowling
So instead of allowing these insecurities to defeat you permanently, the better strategy is to get out and engage with your life. Persevere through the setbacks and believe failing is part of the process.
In recovery from drugs and alcohol failure may seem like a death-sentence, but feeling hopeless is not the last thing you ever have to feel as long as you can follow it with feeling something like hope or willingness to try a new way. There is always a chance to change, despite relapse or feelings of rejection from family or friends, you can recover.
- Confidence and Social Anxiety
It is probably safe to assume anyone reading this has at some point experienced a lack of confidence in social situations. Social anxiety and insecurities associated with it all stem from some form of the fear of being judged by others- and by being judged being determined as unworthy or unwanted. As a result of the insecurities coupled with lack of confidence people will:
- Avoid social situations
- Experience anxiety just thinking about social events
- Feel self-conscious and uncomfortable during them
The fear of not being enough is a huge element of social anxiety as distorted beliefs about your self-worth, and a distorted belief about the extent to which other people are judging you, weigh heavily on how you carry yourself and how you react to social situations.
“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.”
The key word there is “distorted” because the reality is that you are worth so much, and most of the time people are more focused on how they are being judged themselves than on judging others.
An even more effective truth is that those who do judge are often doing so in light of their own insecurities, so in reality their opinions are probably a lot less than accurate because they put too much value in the superficial features of life instead of character and integrity.
In cases of lacking confidence or social anxiety, you can overcome your insecurities by refuting the inner critic. Instead of letting that voice tell you that you’re being judged and found lacking, remind yourself of all the reasons that you are amazing. Use positive and uplifting self-talk to establish a belief in the best version of yourself you have the capacity to be.
“We are what we believe we are.”
Avoiding social situation just makes it worse, so putting your own feet to the flame will help you practice the strategy of building and uplifting yourself. Stigma against addiction can also make it easier to see the bad instead of the good. The more you do to exercise your ability to believe in yourself, the closer you come to overcoming the insecurities that fool your mind into thinking you are separate from the world and undeserving of others.
Then one of the ultimate tools for defeating your insecurities, especially in recovery, is to stop focusing on yourself so much! The intense self-focus makes it easier to highlight those insecurities. Try being conscious of what other people could be feeling, it shows you you’re not alone in your insecurities and that sticking together and having confidence in each other takes the power away from those social anxieties.
All insecurities are just another part of life. Some often hold us back, but in a way these fears and anxieties also have the potential to serve a greater purpose by inspiring self-improvement and developing new behaviors. In the face of insecurities try to see how these thoughts are imagined fears based on assumptions and not facts. Be willing to accept and love yourself, and know there is worth in who you are despite whatever inside or outside of you tells you otherwise.
Insecurities in recovery can lead to a difficult time with developing healthy relationships, both with ourselves and with others, but there is more to life than hiding from the things we are afraid of. Sobriety teaches us so much about the lives we have the potential to live, and getting off to the right start in recovery can make all the difference. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135