All of us have insecurities. However, what distinguishes the secure person from the insecure one, is awareness. Awareness of a problem is half its cure. The secure person acknowledges and recognizes his or her self-doubts and doesn’t allow them to debilitate forward progress. The insecure person becomes overcome by concerns, consumed by fears, impeding his or her ability to truly excel.
So the first step in dealing with insecurity is to identify the enemy, and defang it at its roots. Ask yourself: Why are you insecure and how does it impact your life? Here are some common causes and effects of insecurity:
1. You protect your intellectual/emotional turf.
When we are invalidated during childhood, and we don’t have the security and comfort of having been accepted for who we are, we feel we have to protect our turf, whether it is emotional, material, or intellectual turf. We find it personally invalidating when we are called out on being wrong. So, we are very defensive, combative even — or, we avoid conflict and taking risks to avoid being wrong.
2. You can’t be wrong.
Some people simply think they can’t be wrong. What they’re really doing is trying to protect themselves, and often it comes from a deep insecurity. If someone says, “You have a blind spot,” — that becomes very threatening because essentially it is challenging our perception. An insecure person is threatened as if you are taking away their right to choose or their right to be able to be correct.
3. You feel that you always have to be secure.
An outgrowth of insecurity is the need to always feel secure — to always be looking out for one’s own security. That involves an exaggerated sense of self-righteousness, and an exaggerated sense of seeing things only one’s own way, and an inflexibility and inability to recognize that there could be something that we are not seeing. Whereas a secure person can say, “You know what? I’m secure. If you point out that I made a mistake, or you point out that I have a blind spot, I won’t become annihilated. I won’t disappear as a result. I won’t be judged by it and I won’t see myself as less because I have a blind spot.” An insecure person would never say that.
Once you have this awareness of the roots of your insecurity, you have weakened its power over you, and can begin the process of compensating for your fears and building up the self-esteem, which is your birthright.
This is an excerpt from: The Anatomy of Self-Sabotage.