In order to learn how to reduce insecurity, you must first begin to understand your self esteem. Self belief, begins early in life. Low self esteem is the product of your upbringing and life experiences and manifests in loss of trust, self worth and self confidence.
Feelings of insecurity are learnt along our journey when you (incorrectly) learn through negative experiences to connect negative events to being rejected.
For instance, as a child, you learn to feel insecure if you are brought up with caregivers engaging in inconsistent parenting. This happens when your parents’ or guardians’ disciplines in an inconsistent manner. This inconsistency results from parenting being mood dependent, rather than consistently being based on particular rules, norms or expectations.
At school this inconsistency is highlighted on a regular basis amongst friendships. Children are going through so many hormonal and emotional changes at school, that emotional reactions and hurt feelings occur daily, if not weekly. If you were taught to perceive these changes as simply emotional and not personal, your self esteem would stay in tact. However, often children internalise these daily rejections to mean they are not liked or unwanted. Even after children make-up (which also happens daily), they can be left with the scars of potential rejection. Children then learn early how to ‘walk on eggshells’ to avoid being rejected again.
Examples of how self doubt can manifest are as follows:
– A close friend gets angry any time you have to say “no” to doing something with her, regardless of your reason
– Your partner yells at you every time he is overtired or stressed out
– A mother in your mothers group argues against every opinion you have about parenting
– Someone close to you ignores you when you are in a group
– Your x-partner cheats on you, so you become paranoid every partner will cheat on you in the future
Reducing self doubt and worry with significant people in your life
The above points highlight negative behaviours that can lead to the development of fear of rejection. Each of these examples highlights other people’s behaviours, which were internalised incorrectly as self-blame. However, this internalisation was incorrect. The examples above would best have been internalised as external responses resulting from the other person’s personal issues. Let’s quickly dissect each example:
A close friend gets angry
This is a reflection of your friend’s issues and has nothing to do with your behaviour. You have a right to say “no” when you are busy too
Your partner yells at you
His/her moods are dictating his reactions towards you. His moods are the issue, not your behaviours
A mother in your mothers group argues against you
This is a reflection of the mother either feeling intimidated by your opinions, or insecure about your role within the group. You have a right to have a different opinion to hers
Your close friend ignores you in a group
This is either an oversight, or the other person is overcompensating for their own insecurities, or jealousy, by focussing on those who may need more work to become close friends or family
Your x-partner cheats on you
This is a reflection of your x-partner and has no bearing on you. Regardless of anything occurring within the relationship, cheating is only the fault of the person engaging in the behaviour
The Top 5 Answers To Reduce Anxiety With Your Partner
1. Rebuilding your self esteem to ensure you have the strength to cope when things go wrong and to be resilient to negative experiences
2. Questioning honestly whether someone’s behaviour is a reflection of their issues (not yours)
3. Trusting in yourself and in your instincts
4. Being open and honest with those you care about to express how you’re feeling and question inappropriate behaviour
5. Living in the world of facts, not perception. So you only act on your concerns when you are 100% confident your judgement is accurate (e.g. ask if necessary before you act).
The most important thing is to believe that insecurity is not a healthy emotion and leads to negative and destructive behaviours. It’s not your fault that you feel this way, but as an adult you have the choice of either continuing to feed this, or challenging it and overcoming in. In doing the latter you will enrich your relationships, enhance your career and live a much more healthy, happy and successful life.