young woman, looking unsure of herself

Do You Have a Strategy for Addressing Your Insecurities?

In my last blog I invited readers to consider the degrees to which they experience insecurity in their lives. We considered a number of principles about insecurity in order to become clearer about our own personal experience with it. I invited you to learn more about insecurity in terms of its definition and types. There certainly are many ways we can feel insecure!

In this blog I want to begin exploring some of the strategies people can adopt in order to address their insecurities. Having an action plan that gives you specific approaches and techniques can be extremely important to promote becoming a more secure person.

Of importance is how you speak to yourself. We are constantly having thoughts. We have about 50 thoughts every minute. Many researchers say it adds up to 70,000 thoughts per day. That is how many words are in a book that is two hundred eighty pages long! Google suggests there are variations in the number of thoughts we have. At any rate, it is a lot of thoughts!

While we have all thoughts, we say about 1600 words a day. Over 60,000 thoughts a day and only 1600 words being expressed! So we clearly have more thoughts than we put into words.

Think about how we all are talking to ourselves in our heads all the time. To be able to hone in on those specific thoughts, we need to be quiet and listen to them. Next, we need to categorize some of those thoughts into ones that are affirming and nurturing and ones that are blaming, shaming or critical of us. If we bombard ourselves with these kinds of thoughts, they become beliefs about who we are and how competent we are, and they can lead to a great deal of insecurity.

One of the antidotes for insecurity is to learn the language of assertiveness. There are many books and articles about assertiveness training, some of which go back to a very popular book from 1973 entitled When I Say No, I Feel Guilty by Manuel J. Smith, PhD. As you read these, consider the degrees to which you own or can see the benefit from owning these rights.

  • You have the right to judge your own behavior, thoughts, and emotions, and to take responsibility for their initiation and consequences upon yourself.
  • You have the right to offer no reasons or excuses for justifying your behavior.
  • You have the right to judge if you are responsible for finding solutions to other people’s problems.
  • You have the right to change your mind.
  • You have the right to make mistakes — and be responsible for them.
  • You have the right to say, “I don’t know.”
  • You have the right to be independent of the goodwill of others before coping with them.
  • You have the right to be illogical in making decisions.
  • You have the right to say, “I don’t understand.”
  • You have the right to say, “I don’t care.”
  • You have the right to say no without feeling guilty.

There may be people in your life who say one or more of these to you. Hearing these especially from someone who is important or has some kind of power over you, like a boss or a parent, can sabotage your sense of confidence. This produces the opposite of feeling secure, deserving of respect, being held in high esteem. This fosters insecurity.

Becoming more aware of the forces that diminish your confidence is a first step to becoming more secure.

In my next blog we will learn some specific techniques for being assertive.

Invitation for Reflection

  1. What thoughts, feelings, sensations, beliefs or memories did this information bring up for you?
  2. What are you learning about your insecurities and/or the insecurities of others who are important to you?
  3. What do you wish you could do to deal with these insecurities?
  4. What do you want to communicate to those who are important to you about insecurity and specifically about their rights?