Today, I wish to speak with you about insecurities, an issue I discovered to be quite common. Insecurities transcend class, socio-economic status, marital status, education level, and even beauty. The standards set by society make it so much easier to develop insecurities.
Let’s be honest, we all experience insecurities at some point in our lives. However, when it becomes a chronic issue, then you need to find ways to address them in order to prevent further damage to your self-esteem. You will notice that whether you meet an overweight or a skinny person, there still tends to be a weight concern.
As one who was always skinny up until my mid-20s, it is popular belief that skinny people should not have weight issues. Body image is dictated by culture, our childhood experiences, socially accepted norms, and even our parents. What people fail to realize is that body image issues may not have anything to do with the weight per se, but rather how the person perceives themselves. It is the mental image that the person has of themselves that shapes their feelings and emotions associated with their physical body. This can then create a positive or negative self-esteem.
Insecurities impact your confidence level, which ultimately can impact your overall self-esteem. Insecurities can make someone shy, self-conscious, easily offended, a bully, controlling, overly-competitive, or depressed. We tend to mask our feelings of insecurity into aggression, defensiveness, hatred, jealousy, over-competitiveness, and shyness.
The key is acknowledging that you have them, and then work on turning those insecurities into strengths. Most of us have difficulty facing our “demons”. Accepting that we have a problem does not make us less worthy. It is, in fact, the first step on the change journey.
In this social media age, we see so much cyberbullying amongst school-aged children and even adults! People resort to social media as a way to threaten others or destroy others’ reputation. We also see an increase in domestic violence amongst teens and adults in relationships. These are all clear indications of insecurities pertaining to power and control.
When people feel bad about themselves or feel down, the natural reaction is to want to feel better. Some resort to drug and alcohol use to numb the feeling, others turn to bully or hurt others; but there are those who can use those insecurities to motivate themselves to do better.
In relationships, insecurities may require some partners to work on overdrive, trying to please the other, and still not feel enough. It is OK to want the love and attention of your partner or spouse, but when you need that person to validate you, then it becomes a dependency issue. This is overbearing for the partner who always has to encourage you, work for your trust, or simply work to prove he or she is enough.
I quite remember in the 10th grade, a friend made a comment about my acne-prone face. I was so devastated and still remember it to this day. I suffered from acne over a decade, and nothing seemed to help until my late 20’s when I changed to a healthier lifestyle. I could have fooled everyone around me due to the confidence I exuded, but I was always self-conscious of my skin. Insecurities are little plagues that the eye can’t see.
Your self-worth is completely independent of your shortcomings or flaws. Learn to embrace all of you. Acknowledge your insecurities, work on them, they can be improved. Also, recognize that others’ behavior towards you may be due to their own insecurities. Most importantly, no one is perfect. Remember that.