One of the most difficult things to do in our lifetime is to recognize our insecurities. After all, our insecurities are defined by a lack of confidence or uncertainty, something that makes our being so vulnerable… so why on earth would we want to acknowledge them? However, there are many benefits and reasons as to why we should try to explore our insecurities. Some of them include personal growth, better relationships and improved skills which will overall enrich our lives and contribute to our happiness.
Luckily, there are so many ways we can recognize our insecurities. These are the eight strategies that I has helped me grow in life.
8 Ways to Recognize Our Insecurities
1. Self-Reflection and Observation
The key to finding our insecurities is to have self-awareness. Being aware of our thoughts, actions and feelings and also the meaning behind them is important. We can achieve self-awareness through self-reflection and observation. The ability to be able to look back on our past actions and past events with a critical (but kind and compassionate) mind can help us grow. This is particularly true when other people and relationships are involved. We can try to observe people’s responses to our actions with a more thoughtful and considerate mind which can lead us to identifying things we would like to improve on. Our growth and development is based on an understanding of ourselves.
Remember when diaries were a huge thing when we were young? Journalling and diaries are now coming back as popular productivity and self-care tools. Writing down our thoughts make us happier, less stressed and anxious. Plus, journalling is actually a great way to identify our insecurities. When we write down our honest thoughts and feelings, we can take a step back and look at it objectively. We might also notice that we have consistent thoughts across multiple entries suggesting a common insecurity or theme. This way, we can identify certain aspects of ourselves that we might not have been able to see. It’s also nice to be able to have a physical representation of our thoughts written down, rather than trying to solve it all in our heads.
3. Talking to Close Friends and Family
Talking to a trusted family or friend is one way to face our insecurities. They can help us identify any uncertainties we have about ourselves, help us to face them and overcome it in a safe and encouraging environment. We can ask them to give us a more honest and objective perspective on our thoughts, actions and feelings. For example, when I talk to my partner about an unpleasant experience, he firstly validates my feelings but then he gives an honest opinion about the reality of the situation. This can pave the way for me to think outside the box and perhaps identify an insecurity or something that may have caused me to respond in such a way. Of course, I do recommend only consulting people whom you have a close and meaningful relationship with because you’re showing a highly vulnerable part of yourself which needs to be respected.
Mindfulness is a great way to explore our insecurities. Instead of getting lost in our thoughts without a clear direction, mindfulness can guide us with our exploration. It can help us identify any insecurities that we may be thinking about. But perhaps the most important thing is how mindfulness can help us to be more compassionate, less judgemental and to be kinder to ourselves. This is important because when we face our insecurities, it’s very easy to become harsh and critical. We can start to disapprove of ourselves which can lead to a whole set of other problems. Our purpose is to grow with loving kindness and gentle compassion.
5. Learning to be Vulnerable
Perhaps this may be the hardest one of all to do. Learning to be vulnerable is going to make the process of facing our insecurities a bit easier. While it’s an uncomfortable place to be, vulnerability will be allow us to explore ourselves on a deeper and more meaningful level. Generally, we often put up barriers to prevent feeling any vulnerability. We might respond in certain ways, become defensive when others call us out or prevent loved ones from getting close to us. While this may benefit our emotional and mental state in the short term, it can prevent us from long-term growth and happiness. One way to be okay with vulnerability is to have self-compassion.
Unfortunately, when we engage in self-exploration and development, we can feel exposed, raw and vulnerable. We’re opening up a flawed part of ourselves for self-judgement and criticism. Even though our intentions were honest in the first place, we can start to think negatively towards ourselves and eventually a cycle of self-deprecation. However, this doesn’t need to be the case. As mentioned above in the mindfulness section, we can do this self-exploration with love, kindness and self-compassion. We can view it as an opportunity to forgive, love ourselves and grow. As much as we are willing to accept, forgive and encourage other people’s insecurities and actions, we should also treat ourselves the same.
7. Changing Our Mindset
Our view of the world and ourselves play an incredibly important role in facing our insecurities. Some people are able to identify and overcome their insecurities easier than others because of their open mindset. They are open to change and they welcome self-development and growth. This is not to say that those with a narrower mindset are unable to do this. They may have had an unfortunate experience that closed off their perception of the world and themselves. In order to successfully recognize our insecurities, we should be accepting to who we are, who others are and understand that everything can grow.
8. Being Comfortable with Discomfort
I’ve written about this concept in greater detail but in this case, it’s never been truer. As I alluded to above, the journey in identifying and recognizing our insecurities, whatever it may be, big or small will be challenging. We will feel vulnerable, uncomfortable and our emotions will be all over the place. As we find things about ourselves, things that we don’t necessarily want to hear… it’s inevitable that we’ll be immersed in discomfort. Being comfortable with discomfort is key for everything we do in life but especially important for us to continue on the journey of growth and self-development.