It is completely normal to feel insecure every now and then. Especially with the world we live in today, where we are constantly surrounded by the media telling us what we should be and who we should be like. It can be hard to not be influenced sometimes. While a certain amount of insecurity is normal, it can become overwhelming and start to interfere with our lives in tremendously detrimental ways.
Too much insecurity can lead to feelings of worthlessness, bad decisions and even a host of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression or body dysmorphia. So how can you stop being insecure? What things can you do to help you overcome this internal struggle? Here are 9 effective ways to put things into perspective.
1. Understand that social media is not real
Social media is everywhere. With us being surrounded by all these people constantly posting the best versions of themselves, it can be very hard to not fall into a self-pitying hole of comparison. When in reality, the truth is, nothing on social media is real. You’re not doing yourself any favours by comparing the best of the best version of someone else with the worst version of yourself.
Here is an incredible video by Ibrahim Kamit further analysing today’s beauty standards and how they’re far from being real. It is an absolute must-watch if you’re someone who can’t stop comparing yourself to people on social media.
2. Ask yourself what you want to change
All insecurities stem from a place of things that we want to change – which can manifest as negative feelings when we internalize the lack of what we want. However, not all change has to be bad.
Ask yourself what exactly you want to change about yourself. Make a list of it. And then go through the list and ask yourself what things you can realistically change about yourself in the foreseeable future.
For example, if you’re insecure about the way your body looks, you can start working out or eating healthy. If you’re insecure about your hair, you can go get it done at the salon. If you’re insecure about your skin, you can adopt a new skincare routine. Maybe you’re insecure about your social skills – which in that case you can do things to help you become more comfortable socially.
There will be things you can change and things you can’t change. However, if there is a change that is realistic and in your best interests, you can work on bringing that change into your life. For the rest of the things that can’t be changed, you can focus on loving and accepting.
3. Make a list of your good qualities
When it comes to ourselves, we often focus on the bad before we focus on the good. So it is time to take a step back and appreciate our positive qualities. Make a list on a piece of paper or your phone of all your good qualities. Things that you like about yourself. It can be anything from your appearance to your personality to your abilities.
Anything that you’re proud of yourself for accomplishing or being, write it down. And every time you’re struggling to cope with your insecurity, go back to that list and remind yourself of all the wonderful things about you.
4. Talk kindly to yourself
It is disappointing, but many of us have adopted such a horrible way of talking to ourselves. We wouldn’t say to our worst enemy the things we say to ourselves. How can you expect to be confident and stop being insecure when you yourself are constantly bashing and talking down to yourself.
Being verbally abusive to yourself isn’t going to take away your insecurities, in fact, it only makes them worse. Not only are the things you’re insecure about still going to be there, but you’re not going to be anywhere near accepting them and learning to love them for what they are.
Assign a rule. Before you say anything at all to yourself, ask yourself: “Would I say this to my friend?”. If the answer is no, then don’t say it and instead ask yourself “What would I say to a friend if they were experiencing what I am experiencing.”
The truth is, you are your own friend. And the same way your relationship with your friends would be toxic and poisonous if you spoke to them badly – your relationship with yourself is being poisoned.
5. You are you and that is your power
When we’re stuck in the endless loop of self-comparison it is easy to forget one simple fact. You are you and that is your power. No one else in this world is you. It doesn’t matter if you think some people in the world have better things than you do – because they are not you.
All the people that you love and who love you, all the emotional connections you make in your lifetime are connected to you. And these connections aren’t defined by your insecurities and all the things that you think you “lack”.
There will always be someone for everyone who they think is prettier, smarter, funnier, more successful and better. The people you compare yourself to probably compare themselves to someone else.
But the best part is, you don’t need to change anything about yourself because whether you do or don’t, you will always be yourself. And that is your power.
6. Set yourself up for success
Try to pinpoint the triggers that make you feel the most insecure to your best ability. Is it when you’re scrolling through Instagram? Maybe it’s when you’re on tiktok. Perhaps you have a group of people you hang out with that seem to make you dread parts of yourself more.
Whatever it is, eliminate it. Delete your Instagram app, unfollow all the people that make you feel like you’re lesser than, stop surrounding yourself with people that make you feel negative about yourself.
By doing this and working on the things that are realistic and healthy to achieve, you’re setting yourself up for success. Don’t purposely indulge in activities that you know will make you feel awful about yourself. Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in, do things outside of your comfort zone so you can surprise yourself and give yourself more things to be proud of.
7. Understand the beauty of individuality
Picture the world and all the people in it. Now imagine everyone looked exactly the same. All the beauty standards that you hold superior, imagine that every single person in the world looked exactly like that. Pretty quickly your standard of “beautiful” would become “mediocre” wouldn’t it?
The world and the beauty of being human is so much more than a 2d photo. Every single person on Earth has thousands and thousands of strands of history and culture woven into our DNA. The features that you hate on your face carry the mark of your ancestors before you. All the different lines and creases and marks on your skin tell stories.
We are more than a 2-dimensional photo or plastic playthings. We are the most complex and complicated creatures that exist on this planet. It’s about time we start acting like it and put our energy into enjoying all the opportunities we’ve been blessed with instead of being fixated on what the surface of our skin looks like.
8. Indulge in self-care
Self-care is an amazing way to help you instantly feel better about yourself. Take a long bath, give yourself a facial, partake in yoga or other workouts. Do something to take care of yourself. By doing this not only are you reinforcing to yourself that you are worthy of care and deserve to be loved by yourself but also just helps instantly boost your spirits.
9. Be grateful
Here it is, best for last. One of the ultimate ways to teach yourself to be less insecure is to instead teach yourself to be more grateful. You can do this in a number of ways.
- If you’re insecure about something on your body, a great way to drastically tone it down is by instead being grateful for what you’re insecure about. Maybe you’re insecure about the way your eyes look. Instead of focusing on how you don’t like how they look, be grateful for the fact you have functioning eyes. Be grateful that you have eyes that still let you see the world and not everyone is fortunate enough to have that privilege.
- If you’re insecure about the way your body looks, remind yourself of how it works. How your body works tirelessly every second to keep you alive and how every single cell in your body is doing it’s absolute best to make sure that you are healthy – and again, not everyone has the privilege.
- Try to incorporate gratefulness in all aspects of your life. Be grateful for the meals you have. Be grateful for the clean water you can drink. Show gratitude for the roof over your head and the clothes on your body. Do it consciously if you have to and soon showing gratitude will become instinct.
And there you have it! Those are 9 ways to help you rewire the way you view yourself and the world around you so that you can work on being less insecure. Ultimately this will help you live a much more fulfilling and happy life while simultaneously being comfortable in your own skin. Remember, the world is far bigger than it seems when you’re stuck inside the small space of your own body. And at the end of the day, there is more to be grateful for than there is to resent.
Have a read of our article on 3 steps to completely transform yourself into the person you want to be.