There are several causes of insecurity:
- A lack of self-esteem. If you view yourself negatively and believe that you’re incapable, you’re going to feel insecure. The amount of self-esteem you have is ultimately up to you. No one else can decide it for you. However, they can influence your self-esteem if you let them.
- Relying on others to make you feel good. Approval from others is nice, but when you need it to feel confident and secure, your feelings of self-worth are out of your control. This creates a strong need for approval and gives too much power to everyone around you.
- Unreasonable expectations. The people that are held up in our society are especially beautiful, wealthy, or both. These are the people that we see in the movies. These are the people in the magazines. It’s easy to forget that they’re a very tiny portion of the population. Avoid comparing yourself to others.
- Insults and criticisms from the past. These negative comments may have come from parents, teachers, peers, or anyone else from your past. Children are especially sensitive to criticism and may have a hard time moving past negative comments.
Use these strategies to feel more secure in yourself and meet the world on your own terms:
- Approve of yourself. You can give yourself as much approval as you choose! Notice every time you’re hoping for approval from someone else and stop yourself. Give yourself a compliment and practice self-acceptance. With time, your interest in receiving approval from others will dissipate.
- Only compare yourself to yourself. Are you in better shape than you were last month? Is your financial situation improving? Are you experiencing gains in your social life or your ability to play the piano? Seek improvement over your past. Avoid worrying about what everyone else is doing.
- Let go of the past. Think of the times you’ve been unkind or critical toward others. Does it seem reasonable for someone from your childhood to still feel wounded by the comments you made so many years ago? Your comments weren’t relevant, and neither were the comments anyone made to you. Forgive everyone from your past and enjoy today.