Everyone struggles with insecurity at some point - it's natural. Insecurity can be described as low self-esteem related to feeling less than in certain areas. Insecurity can come from many areas but usually derives from messaging and treatment that we received in childhood. Comments by family, friends and loved ones stick around to create insecurities later on in life if not checked. Even if no explicit comments were made, people can develop insecurities based on how they are treated as well.
Does your biggest insecurity resemble something your mom would pick on? Do you feel insecure in relationships because of past cheating? Were you compared to your sibling growing up and are now insecure about your success? These are all examples of reinforcements of insecurities through messaging and treatment. There are many types of insecurities. A person can feel unworthy of just anything. A few examples of insecurities are poor body image, intelligence, success, financial, and social insecurities.
How can you become more confident?
Stop the comparison game: You never know the true battle of everyone. Comparing yourself to others ignores the fact that they are probably struggling in some way, too. This is setting yourself up for failure - comparing yourself to what isn't real.
Limit media: Media plays a huge part in the development of insecurities. Social media is seen in particular as a competition of who is liked the most. Either limit your social media consumption or follow accounts that boost your confidence - not take it away.
Inner child healing: Be compassionate and curious towards your 'inner child.' Create a loving relationship with them as an adult offering them the love and care they always needed.
Create your own opinions: It's hard to rely on society's standards when they are ever-changing. Make your own opinions of who you want to be that is authentic to you. Question your definition of success, beauty, popularity, et cetera.
Challenge your thoughts: Thoughts are just messages from the environment. This means that every negative thought you have doesn't have to be accepted as true. When a negative thought about yourself pops up, challenge it. Remember, you're probably wearing a filter, which makes those negative statements not 100% true anyways.
Fake it till you make it: This works for some people! Faking it means pretending to love or accept a certain trait that you usually feel insecure about. Sometimes, this might even lead to actually feeling confident in the end.
Strategies for becoming less insecure
Create healthy habits
Start with a routine that influences good health for your mind, body, and soul.
Process insecurities in therapy or by journaling
Ask yourself questions about whose voice may actually be criticizing you. Do you believe these judgments? Would you say these things to a best friend? What does being good enough mean to me?
Unfollow toxic social media presence
Cleanse your TikTok of influencers that push unrealistic expectations in any sense. Find voices that sound like yours and people that look like you.
Set boundaries with those that create insecurities for you
If the messaging is consistently reinforced, it will be hard to create an adaptive belief. Create physical or emotional space from the people in your life that make you feel bad about yourself.
Kelly Skovron, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker and therapist in NJ and NY. She offers holistic trauma therapy including EMDR, Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy, and prolonged exposure therapy to survivors. In addition to being a therapist, she loves running, reading, Netflixing, and being with friends and family.