Where Insecurities Come From and 3 Ways to Break Free

Ever wondered where your insecurities come from? I’m sure you’ve pretended to smile and play along at some point in your life, when you were the centre of a joke. Yet deep down you were fuming, humiliated and started questioning your self worth or whether they like you or not? Harmless fun? most definitely. Yet most of us take things too personally and hold on to negative emotions, and harmless fun can have long lasting consequences. Having said that, it’s not our faults. When we are younger we lack the awareness to question most things that come our way and unfortunately we end up assuming many things. We live in a society where we constantly seek other peoples’ approval. Where we compare ourselves to other people. More so now with the rise of social media. It’s no wonder we secretly rejoice at others’ misfortunes, get jealous, try to bring others down and throw harm, judgements and insults to one another. Everyone’s trying to come out on top of the ‘How am I coming across?’, competition. If you were bullied in school I’m sorry to say you may not have been on the side of the ‘cool’ kids. But don’t fret. You were probably better and more talented than the bullies that picked on you. You were simply seen as a threat. Unfortunately, you probably spent years trying to fit in, wondering why all the mistreatment and asking yourself what is wrong with you. All these things could have done enough to impair your self-confidence and form your insecurities. Worse it could have possibly done enough to contribute towards anxiety or depression. Having said that, you don’t necessarily need a bully to build up your insecurities. Any relative, friend or influential person in your life also has the power to shape your beliefs and values about yourself, especially throughout your childhood.

Where your insecurities come from

What we come to realise as adults, in time is how wrong our beliefs are about who we think we are. Have you ever asked yourself the question: Who am I? I’m sure your insecurities were the first list to make the answer. Truth is, however all of the insecurities you have about yourself belong to someone else. If you spent years thinking you are not good enough, ask yourself why? If you trace it back to people bringing you down in life every time you achieved something, know that it was actually they who felt threatened by your achievements. Even if you are yet to achieve anything, there’s always something you have that someone else doesn’t and well sometimes its enough to get that other person insecure and pass it on to you. By lack of awareness, we make those insecurities our own and in turn project those on to other people by too bringing others down, being mean,  or hurtful. As your awareness as an adult grows, however, with enough self work, you will come to see that the insecurities you assumed were yours all along belonged to someone else. By self-work I’m talking about questioning where your insecurities come from. Questioning all your beliefs and values, and taking nothing at face value. Hence, we are at at all times in a looping cycle of taking on and passing on others’ insecurities.

Breaking the Cycle

Once we have become aware we are holding onto insecurities which aren’t our own, we can begin to break free and rediscover ourselves in 3 steps:
1. Work through your anger
You are likely to feel a great deal of anger once you realise your insecurities weren’t your own to begin with, and that’s fine. Work through it, journal, or mentally tell the one’s that hurt you all the mean things you wish to tell them, whether they meant the hurt to you or not. Releasing your anger is a must before you move onto the next step.
2. Build up love and compassion
Once your anger is somewhat vented out, that’s when you can start to offer love and compassion to the one’s that hurt you. By realising it’s their pain and their suffering, offering them love and compassion makes it easier to pass back the insecurities they latched onto you back onto them. Again you are doing all this mentally or by means of a journal. There is no need to go up to them physically and say ‘Excuse me? Here are your insecurities back!’
3. Forgive and approve of yourself
Finally, find it within you to forgive them and let go of the past. Although, it may take you a couple of times to do so. Once you do, however, focus on building your self-approval. Forgive yourself for falling for those false beliefs and acting upon them. You have had something to learn from it all. The more love and approval you can offer yourself, the more confident you will walk. Although the loop of insecurities will keep circulating in society, as you approve of yourself you will find it easier to let whatever comes your way to brush off you.

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