How to Overcome Feelings of Insecurity in Relationships
If you’ve ever felt like your own worst enemy lives inside your own head, give a silent nod.
It can feel like the most contradictory thing ever when it happens — on one hand, something great seems to be developing on the horizon; but on the other hand, we may feel it’s too good to be true and begin to self-destruct. Why do we do this?
Often times, we prevent ourselves from having what we really want because deep down, we just don’t believe we are good enough to deserve it. It doesn’t match up with the story we’ve created about how life is supposed to go for us, and so we unconsciously (or consciously) sabotage it to restore the reality that is most common and comfortable to us.
Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. It happens to practically everyone at some point.
Throughout life, each of us is perpetually crafting a personal identity and story for our own lives as a means of coping with the world around us. For the most part, we are initially taught to define our reality based upon the reactions we get from those around us.
As we get older, the ways we’ve been taught to view reality can begin to feel more rigid and set in stone. We may cut off entire realms of possibility for ourselves without any further questioning. But the strange thing is, over time the doubt might no longer even be coming from outside, but actually from within our own minds.
Physiologically, our brains send information from neuron to neuron as electrical signals. To optimize our survival capabilities, the brain will strengthen the pathways we use most frequently, and atrophy the ones we don’t. So if we’ve been told that we are not good enough in some way, and have internalized and thought about this belief thousands of times, that area of our brain essentially becomes like a network of sad emojis.
Just thinking about this topic may bring us suffering, because it reminds us of the paradigm we’ve chosen to believe in — which is that we’re not good enough. The good news is: just because it’s been that way in the past doesn’t mean it has to continue into the future.
Feelings of insecurity, fear, anxiety, doubt, and self-pity can pile on top of one another and seem overwhelming at times, but there is a way to break out of the negative spiral through using affirmations.
When we are viewing life through a negative paradigm of reality, it can feel disheartening and hopeless because we don’t realize that no matter the situation, there are always positive and uplifting truths present as well if we’re willing to make the choice to look for them. A single affirmation can have a very powerful impact on our psyche, because knowing that it is indeed true helps to silence the negative voices in order to move forward in an inspired way.
Here are some examples:
Fear: I am afraid that I’ll never feel like I am good enough.
Affirmation: I have everything I need right now to thrive and enjoy life to the fullest.
Fear: I am scared of being rejected or abandoned.
Affirmation: I accept myself for who I am. I know my own self-worth. I am completely comfortable with others’ opinions of me.
Fear: I feel stupid because every time I have something good in my life, I always screw it up.
Affirmation: I forgive myself for every mistake I’ve ever made. The past is gone, and it cannot have any bearing on my future without my permission. Today is a new opportunity to become the version of me that I’m most proud of.
Fear: I worry about what the future will hold, and whether or not I’ll have all of my needs met.
Affirmation: I give the best gifts I have to offer to the world, and because of this I will always have everything I need.
Here’s the thing: We are creatures of habit. If you have done anything for a long period of time, it will take some effort and diligence to shift course in a new direction. Just reading an affirmation once can help temporarily, but before long the insecurities will likely come roaring back again. So to really make the most of this, think of affirmations not as something to do a few times, but more as a way of life going forward.
To proceed, think deeply about every insecurity you possibly can when it comes to self-worth, confidence, love, relationships, and anything else that has been holding you back. Take out a piece of paper and write them all down. Write until you’ve exhausted them all, and can’t think of any more. The further you go with this, the better.
Now, take out another piece of paper to be your affirmations list. From each insecurity on the first page, find an alternate truth or nugget of positivity that can be derived from this, and write that down on your new list. Go through the entire list one by one, and find the good things that have been hiding in plain sight within the fears and insecurities you’ve been fixated on for so long. Search deep to discover affirmations that resonate personally with you.
What’s interesting is that both of these lists likely have truth in them. At first, it may feel like the affirmations list is not realistic, or that it’s overlooking the bad — because you’ve become so used to seeing reality in the way you’ve been trained to. But the past is now gone. It’s up to you to choose the perspective you want to align yourself with from now on.
The glass can be half empty or half full, both might very well be true; but what we focus on is what matters, and what shapes our reality. It’s important to recognize which way of thinking ultimately brings you more fulfillment on the path of life. We do have the ability to choose to be pessimistic, and to find the bad within everything, but by doing so we are cheating ourselves out of moments of happiness that we can never have back. Being optimistic is a choice that may seem difficult to acclimate to in certain ways, but can be so worth it to practice consciously.
When your affirmations list is complete, make lots of copies for yourself. Bombard yourself with them — in your email box, on your phone, on your computer, next to your bed, next to your workspace — make it so that you can’t avoid being reminded of it multiple times every day. Fully immerse yourself into it. Surround yourself with it in so many places that it has no choice but to become your new reality.
Read it to yourself for a few minutes every morning, every night, and every time the doubts creep back in and get you feeling low. Through this process, the balance will shift, and you’ll find yourself naturally thinking this way more and more frequently without effort. Until one day, you’ll look back and realize you don’t even remember what it felt like before you had the confidence level you now possess.
As for the insecurities list? Take it and throw it away. Make sure it knows that it’s no longer welcome in your mind, or in your vicinity. By making the conscious choice to change your mindset and change your life, it creates a powerful shift in the way you carry yourself — and the types of people who will be drawn toward you.