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Insecurity: Types and how to manage it

Do you often struggle with self-doubt and a lack of self-assurance? Do you ever feel that you’re a phony about to be revealed, despite your achievements? Do you believe you are unworthy of long-term love and that your lovers would surely abandon you? Do you avoid going out and meeting new people because you don’t believe you have enough to offer? Do you consider yourself to be overweight, dull, dumb, guilty, or unattractive?

Most of us have feelings of insecurity at times, but some of us have feelings of insecurity all of the time. Childhood experiences, prior traumas, recent failures or rejections, loneliness, social anxiety, poor self-perceptions, perfectionism, or having a tough partner or parent are all factors that might lead to uncertainty. The three most prevalent types—and how to start dealing with them—are listed below.

1. Failure or Rejection Insecurity 

Recent occurrences in our life might have a significant impact on our mood and self-esteem. According to happiness research, recent life experiences account for up to 40% of our “happy quotient.” The termination of a relationship is the most significant negative contributor to happiness, followed by the death of a spouse, job loss, and poor health occurrences. 

Because your self-esteem is influenced by your happiness, failure and rejection may be a double blow for your confidence. According to Psychology Today writer Guy Winch In his book Emotional First Aid: Healing Rejection, Guilt, Failure and Other Everyday Hurts; he writes that rejection always leads us to perceive both ourselves and other people more unfavorable

Those of us with poor self-esteem are more likely to respond negatively to failure. It’s as though a traumatic event, such as losing your job, reactivates previous negative self-worth ideas. It may be beneficial to recognize that failure is a common occurrence. 

Abraham Lincoln lost his job, was rejected for a congressional nomination, and failed at least twice in Senate campaigns before becoming president. Perseverance in the face of adversity can lead to eventual achievement, which boosts your self-esteem.

2. Insecurity Due to Lack of Confidence 

In social events such as parties, family gatherings, interviews, and dates, many of us lack confidence. Fear of being judged by others and being found wanting might make you uncomfortable and self-conscious. As a result, you may avoid social settings, feel anxious while anticipating social activities, or feel self-conscious and uncomfortable when participating in them. 

Past experiences might make you feel like you don’t belong, that you’re not significant or fascinating enough, or that you’re just not good enough. Many of my clients tell me that being bullied or ostracized from a group of friends while they were in middle or high school has harmed their confidence as adults. You may be too sensitive to how others see you if you grew up with critical parents or parents who pushed you to be popular and successful. 

This sort of insecurity is usually caused by erroneous perceptions of your own value and the extent to which others judge you. The majority of the time, individuals are more concerned with how they appear than with assessing others. Those who criticize and exclude are frequently concealing their own anxieties, so their judgments may be inaccurate; they may place a higher emphasis on superficial characteristics than on character and integrity.

Remind yourself of all the reasons you’re interesting and pleasant to be around, as well as why you’d be a wonderful friend or partner. Consider current events, movies you’ve seen, hobbies, your profession, or your family as topics to discuss. Avoiding social interactions exacerbates the problem. So, even if you’re frightened, go to a party or on a date. Once you become involved with others—if not the first or second time, but once you become accustomed to turning up—your nervousness should lessen.

3. Insecurity Due To Perfectionism

Some of us hold ourselves to extremely high standards in all we do. You may desire the best grades, the best career, the perfect body, the most exquisitely furnished apartment or house, tidy and respectful children, or the ideal relationship. Even when we try extra hard, life doesn’t always turn out the way we want it to. 

There is a portion of the outcome that is out of our control to some extent. Bosses might be demanding, employment can be scarce, partners can be resistant to commitment, and you may have genes that make being thin tough. You will begin to feel uncomfortable and inadequate if you are continually dissatisfied and blaming yourself for being anything less than flawless.

While doing your best and working hard might help you succeed, there are other parts of perfectionism that are harmful. Constantly berating yourself and thinking that you’re not good enough can lead to despair, anxiety, eating disorders, and chronic tiredness. 

Try to judge yourself primarily on the amount of work you put in, which you can control, rather than the outcome, which is influenced by other variables. Consider how much of a difference it would make if your work was just 10% better. Is it truly worth the time and effort spent reviewing and re-checking or responding to every email?

Try to discover the grey zones since perfectionism is typically based on all-or-nothing thinking. Is there a way to look at a situation that is more sympathetic or understanding? When you evaluate yourself, do you consider your circumstances? Is there anything you learnt or accomplished despite the fact that the end result wasn’t perfect? 

Perfectionists frequently exhibit conditional self-esteem, meaning they like themselves when things are going well and detest themselves when things aren’t. Is it possible to learn to appreciate yourself even when you aren’t performing well? Instead of focusing on your grades, pay, or the number of people who like you, consider inner traits such as your character, honesty, or excellent ideals.