5 Simple Steps on How to Overcome Insecurity
Feeling insecure? You're not alone, I promise.
I used to believe I was the most insecure person in the world. I don't look bad - as a matter of fact, people say I look good and then add "You don't look your age!" And I would say thank you. But in my mind, it meant I didn't really look good, but my age made me look good. Am I making sense? Maybe not.
You see, I grew up in the shadow of my older sister. She was born beautiful, with a beautiful straight nose, beautiful thick curly hair, and beautiful cupid lips. And then came the second baby.. me. I had a flat nose and no hair at all and forget about cupid lips because nobody could really see my lips as I was, to my mother's dismay, a colic baby, always crying and screaming at all hours of the day. An aunt even said I was an ugly baby. How did I know this? This aunt told me herself years later saying, "When you were born you were such an ugly baby.. but look at you now!" Well thanks, I guess.
My older sister grew up not only beautiful but also a perfect student and very religious to a point that everyone thought she was going to be a nun. For a Catholic family, to have a priest or a nun in the family, is such a great honour and blessing. Every year she never failed to bring home the award for "First in Religion." She went to mass everyday, came back home to have breakfast and gather her books, and was never late for school. And there I was, a below average student, never went to mass during school days, and yet always late for school. As anyone late for school had to get a permission slip from the office, the nun in charge of signing this precious pink slip couldn't help telling me "Why can't you be like your sister?"
So I grew up believing I was ugly and doubting my self worth. I wallow in my insecurities, which was disastrous when it came to relationships. When things were going well, I would be thinking that something would go wrong. I became paranoid. When I couldn't get my boyfriend on the phone, I would insist on a detailed explanation and no explanation was good enough. I became very jealous and clingy. I was not content and happy unless I was with him. And when a relationship ended, I was sure it was my fault.
Well, thank goodness one day I woke up and told myself "Enough already!" I look in the mirror, really look, and this time I saw I didn't really look bad. Not bad at all. I actually saw a pretty girl looking back at me. I smiled, and she smiled back at me. Well, that was the encouragement I needed. And, it came from ME.
This new-found self-confidence turned my life around. My dating experience became much better. And when I found the love of my life, I didn't screw it up. We got married, had two beautiful children, had a wonderful married life... and we lived happily ever after, as the saying goes. Well we did, until my husband of 26 years passed away.
5 Simple Steps to Overcome Insecurity
Step 1 - Look at Yourself in the Mirror
Go ahead. Look at yourself in the mirror. Really look. What do you see? Do you like the person looking back at you? If you do, well then, you are ready to change. If you don't like what you see, keep on looking until you say to yourself "Well, I don't look that bad after all." Now, you're ready to change. You see, the first step is liking yourself.
Step 2 - List the Things that are Making you Insecure
Get a pen and a piece of paper. Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee. Sit down and ask yourself why you feel insecure. Is it because you have been hurt in the past? A dysfunctional childhood? A previous unhealthy relationship? A distorted, low self-image? Write them down. Writing things down is very therapeutic. Believe me. I did it and it was very liberating.
Step 3 - You must have the Desire to Change
Liking yourself and knowing why you are in insecure, are all good. But now, you must have the desire to change. You must tell yourself "Enough already!" Nobody else can do this for you. You must want to change. You must want it to be able to change.
Step 4 - You must Believe in Yourself
The next step in overcoming one's insecurity is believing in yourself. Remember the Saturday Night Live's Daily Affirmations by Stuart Smalley? "I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!" I know, I know. It sounds corny. But you know what? It works. Positive affirmations work. You repeat to yourself, over and over again, "Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better". Positive affirmation might not work for everybody, but it worked for me. Try it. You have to believe that you are a beautiful, smart, funny, talented, exciting, fun person with so much to offer that special someone who is lucky enough to have you in his or her life. Believe it.
Step 5 - You Must Do Things For YOU
The next step is to learn to separate yourself from your relationship and begin to enjoy doing things for you. This means having a life outside your relationship. Don't make your relationship, specially a brand new one, the centre of your universe. Don't ever rely on your partner to make you feel whole, that is like asking for the moon. Complete yourself by keeping your life busy and full with the things that you love. Have lots of time with your friends. Your friends are your support system. By allowing yourself to spend time with friends, enjoy hobbies and interests, and focus on your career, you will begin to realize that you have a life of your own and that your every happiness does not depend on one person.
As I focused on my own happiness, I was amazed at the person I had become. You will too! You will feel comfortable in your own skin and feel better about yourself. This will put less pressure in your relationship. You may have started to change to have a better relationship as your goal, but you will be pleasantly surprised that in the end, you will be a much better you. A happy you. A more content you. And, you will not only like the new you. You will love the new you.
Final words of advice:
Forget the word "perfect." Nobody's perfect. A perfect woman is a robot (The Perfect Woman (1949) ). A perfect wife only existed in "The Stepford Wives". And a perfect man doesn't exist.
"Soul-mates are people who bring out the best in you. They are not perfect but are always perfect for you." - Author Unknown
Now, go forth and multiply.
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