Insecure woman

Is Personal Insecurity Robbing You of Peace and Joy? 

Have you ever thought about whether you are insecure? And if so, how has that impacted your life? In this blog I am inviting you to explore the subject of insecurity and how it might impact you and those you love. In my next blog I will share some approaches that people have found helpful when they struggle with insecurity.

There are several important ways to consider insecurity:

  • There are degrees of insecurity from very high to very low.
  • It matters when insecurity began: were there messages from early childhood that promoted insecurity or did those messages come later in life, often from outside sources?
  • Ask yourself: is the insecurity generalized to your whole life or is it insecurity about specific things.
  • Ask yourself: How is your insecurity expressed? Is it certain forms of body language such as not making eye contact, looking overall downcast, shoulders down, sad eyes? Or have you found ways to cover it well?
  • Insecure people may not be confident about when and how to engage in conversation and may hesitate to share their thoughts and opinions. They may defer to anyone who seems more confident than they are.
  • Insecure people often tell themselves things like “I‘ll never be able to…”  “Others are better than me” Why should I even try to.. I know it will never be good enough.”
  • Some insecure people give up immediately when faced with any kind of challenge or refuse to engage in activities that have any possibility of failure.
  • Some people disguise their insecurity with behaviors that appear arrogant.
  • Insecure people can be perfectionists, measuring what they think, do or say against impossible standards that cause them to fall short and feel inadequate.
  • Insecure people often procrastinate out of fear that whatever they do will not be good enough.
  • Some insecure people abandon projects as soon as they become difficult and are well-versed in making excuses for backing out of something.

Let’s look at the definition and some types of insecurity from the website webmd.com:

What is insecurity?

Insecurity is a feeling of inadequacy (not being good enough) and uncertainty. It produces anxiety about your goals, relationships, and ability to handle certain situations.

Types of Insecurity:

Relationship Insecurity

The website describes relational insecurity as connected to a person’s attachment patterns in early childhood. It also can be the result of something that happens later in life based on patterns and expectations within relationships.   

Job Insecurity

Are you are anxious about your employment or the continuation of certain benefits attached to your employment? High rates of unemployment and temporary work increase job insecurity on a national scale and contribute to widespread mental health problems.

Body Image Insecurity

Do you question whether you measure up to an imposed ideal?  

Social Insecurity/Anxiety

How do you think you are perceived by your peers and what is the ease with which you interact with them? We can broaden this to feeling unsure if we are keeping up with the latest news, TV shows, movies, Facebook and other forms of social media.

Some Additional Insecurities

Some additional securities include food insecurity, housing insecurity, health insecurities, insecurities around sexual identity, being unsure of your abilities to be an adequate parent/grandparent, unsure if my parents and other family members are proud of me, fear I won’t understand a joke or feeling unsure about telling a joke or teasing someone, feeling unsure about creating something new, spiritual insecurities  — feeling unsure about my faith – am I saved, living up to the expectations connected to my faith?

The website Live Bold and Bloom suggests a few others including those created by the various isms out there like racism and ageism that can be underlying cause of insecurity.

Signs of Insecurity

Webmd suggests the following signs that someone may be experiencing insecurity: 

  • Low or Superficial Self-Esteem
  • Perfectionism 
  • Self-Isolation
  • Anxious or Avoidant Attachment Styles
  • Poor Job Performance
  • Depression or Anxiety

There may be others however, all involve feelings and behaviors that express how someone experiences their insecurities.

Here are three short video clips on YouTube that offer insights on the nature and behaviors of experiencing deep insecurity. Notice the attitudes, beliefs and behaviors of each character in these clips.

  • Just Eeyore being Eeyore: Eeyore is the always sad, always negative, insecure donkey from the book and cartoons about Winnie the Pooh. Notice that despite the efforts of friends, Eeyore is not able to change his negative, insecure attitude. Consider how true that is for some people.
  • Dobby is a Free Elf: Dobby is a fictional character from the Harry Potter series who is the slave of the character Malfoy, an abusive owner. Notice Dobby’s body language when Harry Potter finds a way to free Dobby from the clutches of Malfoy showing him vacillating from being fearful and insecure to gaining a sense of confidence and then reverting back to body language showing his insecure nature. 
  • Charlie Brown’s Insecurities: Charlie Brown and Linus discuss the benefits of having a security blanket and some of the struggles that can result from relying on it. Charlie Brown then has flashbacks of the many times other people treated him disrespectfully and how that led to his sense of worthlessness.

Invitation for Reflection

  1. To what extent are you insecure?  How has this impacted your life?
  2. What in this blog do you relate to?  Are there specific images that pop up for you as personal examples?
  3. Are there people in your family, at work, friends, acquaintances who you believe are significantly insecure? How do they show that they are insecure?  How does their insecurity impact them?  Their relationship with you?

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