Do you ever feel like you're fishing for praise? Why are you asking where your partner is going even when you know all the answers? Perhaps you frequently inquire with your partner about spending a lot of time with a colleague who is merely a pal. All of these behaviors are indicators of insecurity.
As humans, it’s normal to feel insecure in certain situations. As long as it doesn’t interfere with your day-to-day functioning, it is okay to feel uncertain. The problem arises when it impacts your life significantly. A constant feeling of uncertainty and self-doubt has the power to ruin your personal and professional life. Excessive uncertainty, lack of trust and confidence, and feeling jealous without an apparent reason are a few signs of feeling insecure.
Reports suggest that almost 96% of U.S. teenagers are unhappy with their smiles and are self-conscious about their appearance. Insecure kids are most self-conscious about their body form or weight (38%) and complexion (21%), with almost 2.4 million teenagers being most self-conscious of their teeth.
Luckily, in 2022 seeking help is flexible and easy via online counseling. If you find yourself trapped in a vicious cycle and want to know how to stop being insecure in a relationship, or otherwise, continue reading further.
What Causes Insecurity?
Sometimes we dwell so much on feeling insecure that we end up creating and believing in lies that did not exist in the first place. Insecure feelings and emotions can stem from unknown places as well. The following are a few of them:
Recent failure or rejection
Recent events in our life can have a significant impact on both our mood and self-esteem. Rejection inevitably causes you to perceive yourself and others in a bad light, at least for a while. If you have low self-esteem to begin with, you are more prone to feeling insecure. It's as if a painful incident, such as losing your job, overpowers you and activates previous negative attitudes towards your self-worth.
The fear of being judged by everyone and being considered weak can make you feel uncomfortable and self-conscious. As a result, you may dodge social interactions, feel anxious or insecure about them, or feel self-conscious and awkward during them. Past experiences might contribute to a sense of not belonging, being significant or fascinating, or simply not being competent enough.
Some of us have very high expectations for everything we accomplish. You may desire the best grades, the best career, the ideal body, the most beautifully-adorned house, or the ideal romantic partner. Unfortunately, even if we work hard, life doesn't always turn out precisely the way we want. There is a component of the outcome that is, to some extent, beyond your control.
You will begin to feel uneasy, insecure, and worthless if you are continuously dissatisfied and blaming yourself for being anything less than flawless. Beating yourself up and continually stressing over not being good enough can result in depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.
Effects of Insecurity on Mental Health
Though feeling insecure is not a mental health issue in itself, it can have implications for your mental health. Insecurities put you at a higher risk of developing mental health issues like depression, anxiety, substance abuse, eating disorders, low self-esteem, paranoia, and narcissism.
Studies suggest that individuals with a strong tendency to experience negative emotions report potentially adverse insecurity traits, such as anxiety, sadness, regret, and uncertainty.
Lack of trust and acceptance, as well as body image issues, trap you in a cycle of negative thoughts. It leads you into thinking you’re too fat or too slim, increasing the chances of indulging in unhelpful eating behaviors. This can adversely affect your ability to think and function in crucial areas of life.
Erroneous beliefs and thoughts can make you feel sad, insecure, and anxious and fuel negative perceptions about yourself. They create unrealistic expectations of how you ‘should’ be. Consequently, when you fail to measure up to those idealistic standards, you tend to feel extremely sad and insecure.
Effects of Insecurity on Relationships
Feeling insecure can have a significant influence on a relationship. It is likely that when someone is insecure, they are unable to attend to their partner's sentiments and needs. Insecurities are unpleasant beliefs that have been internalized. Being insecure in friendships or relationships can result in negative behaviors such as jealousy, mistrust, or hostility. In such situations, individuals need to learn how to stop being jealous and insecure.
Furthermore, you may tolerate abusive treatment from others, reinforcing your belief that you are undeserving based on your relationship. You become more concerned with what your partner doesn’t provide and instead seek comfort or confirmation for your anxieties and insecure thoughts. Instead of your partner being equal to you, you think of them as an item to control your insecure emotions.
How to Stop Being Insecure in 6 Ways
Your insecure thoughts are only as bad as you make them. They can only overpower you if you allow them to. However, there are a few other things that can fuel your insecure thoughts and emotions. They can be friends who always point out unnecessary things, criticizing parents, low-self esteem due to bullying or other reasons, and so on. The following are a few ways you can stop being insecure:
Stop comparing yourself to others
Look at your hands. Are all your fingers the same? No, they aren’t. Similarly, not everyone is the same. Yes, they can be similar, but not the same. We all have different strengths and weaknesses.
Your strength is someone's weakness and vice versa. Comparison only fuels your insecure emotions. This is why comparing yourself to others at every step of your life is not a healthy practice.
Let’s discuss the pictures you see on social media. Everyone looks happy, well-dressed, and doing well. But is it the reality? Each one of us has our struggles. Individuals don’t share everything about their life on social media. We are so focused on only sharing the happy part that we often indulge in toxic positivity and feel jealous of others.
Remember – comparison only does harm when you dwell too much on it. It will only hinder your growth if it pushes you to emphasize what you lack.
Maintain connections with positive people
The people around you have a lasting impact. Everyone, in some way, absorbs the thoughts and feelings of those around them. Optimistic people are more driven rather than pessimists. They look on the brighter side, understand their areas of improvement, and work towards getting better. Surround yourself with such individuals.
If you don’t accept yourself, who will? When you accept your strengths and weaknesses as a whole, you steal the power from others to negatively affect you. Self-acceptance curbs the desire to be approved by others and fosters a sense of autonomy. It improves your self-esteem, confidence and develops a feeling of freedom.
Self-care teaches you many things about yourself. It allows you to introspect and discover what you need to become the best version of yourself. Self-care can be exercising regularly, maintaining a diet, practicing meditation, focusing on your hobby, and so on. It improves your mood, physical health, mental health and boosts positivity. Learnings about yourself can help you improve your interpersonal relationships as well. It makes you more confident and reduces the negative views you have about yourself.
Your body follows your mind. If you constantly criticize yourself for being too thin, too fat, too fair, too dark, too timid, or too loud, your body will follow it. Positive self-talk works as an effective stress management tool. It improves your overall outlook towards yourself and life, improves your heart health, and enhances satisfaction. You can start practicing positive self-talk with the following sentences:
- I am proud of myself for trying. That took courage.
- I am grateful for my body. Without it, I would not be able to do what I do.
- I will give it all to make it work.
- I love myself for who I am.
- I forgive myself for the mistakes I’ve made.
Even after trying to tackle your insecurities, if you still cannot get a hold of your insecurity and tackle its impact, it is time to seek help via online counseling or in-person sessions.
Sometimes it becomes hard to understand the root of your insecurities. In such situations, trained professionals can help you fully grasp the roots of your insecurity and its relation to other complex dynamics. During online therapy, a therapist will also help you learn coping mechanisms to overcome your insecurities.
Can Online Counseling Help?
There is no doubt about the effectiveness of online counseling. Online counseling is as impactful as in-person counseling. However, some additional benefits have made online counseling a go-to option today.
Online counseling is much more flexible when it comes to scheduling. Furthermore, online counseling offers more comfort since you can attend your sessions from the place of your choice. It is convenient since it does not require you to travel.
Because it offers anonymity, online counseling is an ideal choice if you don’t want to reveal yourself. Online therapy also allows you to easily change your therapist if you wish to and connect with any therapist from any part of the world.
Putting an End to Insecurity
Feeling insecure can become a hindrance to your personal and professional growth. It can cloud your judgment about yourself and others and lead to mental issues. Prevention is always better than cure, and so starting online counseling is the easiest way to cope.
Our therapists at DoMental do not follow any one-size-fits-all approach. They design your sessions to keep you at the center. They create a safe, non-judgmental space for you to express yourself freely. At DoMental, therapy is easy, affordable, and flexible.