What Causes Insecurity?
When do you know that you are suffering from insecurity? When you feel intense self-doubt or lack of confidence in spite of all your achievements, when you feel as if you will be blamed for all that is going wrong around you, despite all your efforts, when you feel that all those who love you will abandon you. Insecurity is a common feeling that most of us feel at some point in our lives, with more or less intensity, and for shorter or longer periods of time. There can be several reasons for insecurity. Past traumas, disturbed childhood, experiences of failure or rejection, loneliness and social anxiety can all contribute towards insecurity.
People suffering from high levels of insecurity feel apathy to socialize, feel a lack of confidence regarding most aspects of life. It becomes difficult for that person to form long-lasting relationships.
Root Causes of Insecurity
Failure or rejection
Recent events can impact our mood and feelings greatly. In fact, research on happiness suggests that 40% of happiness quotient is dependent on recent life events. One's happiness can be hampered due to several reasons—one major reason being an unhappy relationship or end of a relationship. Even the death of dear ones can be a cause of insecurity, especially if that person happens to be very close to you.
Job loss and negative health conditions can also lead to great insecurity. Since happiness is directly connected to your confidence and self-esteem, any form of failure or rejection can be detrimental to your insecurity levels. Unfortunately, deeply rooted insecurities lead you to see yourself and others in a more negative light, and the more negative you feel the more negativity you will attract. This is a terrible vicious circle that you need to use all your strength to break.
One of the best ways to deal with this is to give yourself time to heal. Going out and socializing, following your interests and pursuing your hobbies can also be helpful in getting over your insecurity. Reaching out to friends and family can also be of help when dealing with insecurity.
Many of you must have come across people who feel a lack of confidence in social gatherings such as parties, family get-togethers, romantic dates, and job interviews. The fear of being judged and evaluated by others can lead to anxiety and a feeling of self-consciousness.
As a result, people tend to avoid social gatherings, experience anxiety when they anticipate social events and feel extreme discomfort when they are forced to participate in one. The root cause of such a feeling of insecurity can be some exclusion from a peer group in school or being bullied during childhood. Even being constantly criticized by parents or relatives while growing up can lead to being over-sensitized to how others perceive you. The past trauma may not be remembered consciously but it is lodge in our subconscious, and the fear rear its head every time we are faced with a similar situation.
You can deal with this sense of insecurity by preparing yourself beforehand. Your sense of nervousness decreases if you go prepared. Do not avoid social events like family gatherings and parties as this only will contribute to making things worse. Set yourself small realistic goals like talking to new people or initiating conversations and getting to know people better. Focus on others so that you get less time to concentrate on yourself. If you practice diligently, this will make you less self-conscious over time.
Many people set high standards and high expectations for themselves, and when they don't measure up to the perfect picture in their heads, they feel very insecure. Trying to get the best job, get the highest scores in school, look your best, and do other things on your perfection list are exhausting, and they are often impossible to live up to.
Life constantly throws us curveballs, and it makes sense we don't get a perfect score each and every time. So, while setting goals is important, being a perfectionist can be very damaging to your self-confidence, and can be one of the root causes of insecurity.
To stop being a perfectionist and build your confidence, you need to evaluate yourself not merely on what you achieve, but also on how much effort you put in along the way. Switch your goal from becoming Mr or Mrs. Perfect, to doing your best instead. Realizing you are doing your best will stop you from being disappointed in yourself and help you gain back a sense of control. It will also help you clear your mind from external factors that are clouding your judgment. Some days your best will be very high, some days your best might not let you achieve as much. But realize that your best also depends on external circumstances such as tiredness, lack of energy, or just a dip in motivation. This is all okay and there is no need to judge yourself so harshly.
It is also important that you work on loving yourself not just when you are at the top of your game; perfectionists often feel confident when they succeed with the goals they set for themselves, and they dislike themselves when they fall short of their goals.
So, you need to stop doing that, and start focusing on liking who you are, and not just what you achieve. Think about your good personality traits, like kindness, sense of humor, good values, and other things that are far more valuable than reaching goals.
Conclusion: How to Beat Insecurity
These are some of the most common causes of insecurity that people tend to suffer from. One way to overcome these insecurities is to try identifying their causes. For example, if you dread going to work because you are doubting your levels of performance, you need to ask yourself what led to that belief and attempt to identify ways in which you might become more positive and realistic about your own abilities. In doing so, you might realize that there is absolutely no rational reason why you should feel insecure. Addressing the root cause of insecurities might help you feel more confident in who you are and the choices you make.
For many, feelings of insecurity can be resolved before they have a lasting, harmful impact, but depending on the level of self-doubt that you are experiencing, you may want to reach out to a professional to help you reclaim your confidence. If it is difficult for you to form lasting, balanced relationships or attend to daily tasks due to a self-perception of inadequacy, it might be time to explore some forms of therapy.
Insecurity might seem benign at first but if it becomes too deeply rooted in your way of thinking, it can lead to severe conditions that can impact your mental and physical health in the long-run. Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, as well as depression, paranoia or even schizophrenia, are all closely linked to insecurity.
A therapist can help you identify your strengths and focus on those rather than on perceived failings and weaknesses. Therapy for insecurity might involve cognitive-behavioral techniques, such as talking through one’s insecurities or journaling about them. Insecurity is generally based on distorted beliefs about your self-
If you are suffering from acute insecurity, you may want to read this other article:
What Causes Panic Attacks and How to Cope