How to overcome insecurity?

33 ways to fight insecurity and anxiety like Madonna

Are you wondering how to combat insecurity? That’s a good thing, because the lessons learned are meant to help us turn flaws into strengths! So why not make insecurity and anxiety your strengths? And why not learn this from Madonna, who appears on Forbes magazine lists and her life story is studied by Harvard students? For inspiration, look at Madonna. Those audacious doubts in her words:

“I have moments of doubt and weakness, too. Moments when I do something before I think it through. Moments when I choose the easiest path. Moments when I gossip and get jealous. Moments of deep insecurity.”

We are not all endowed with her talents, but why not try to overcome the thoughts of “what if…” with self-expression?

Inspired by lines from Madonna’s song “Express Yourself,” this article compiles 33 vibrant ways to live life to the fullest, meeting approval, downfalls, searching for self and life values, spirituality, imperfection, honesty, creativity and purpose along the way.

1. Do what the inner voice says.

Before you do anything that gets on your nerves, write about what you like. Focus on what you love to do and put your heart and soul into it!

2. Make panic your friend.

The more you pretend not to panic, the more you can see that panic has overcome you after all. Jeff Goldblum in the movie “Jurassic Park” says:

“…life is not going to be measured. It easily gets out of hand, opens up new horizons and breaks down barriers for you, sometimes it’s painful and dangerous…life, um…finds a way out…”

Your panic is alive and giving you life, so don’t try to suppress it and use it as a trigger.

3. Reduce your alcohol intake and don’t be cold.

Don’t act cool. Feel the fullness of life and limit alcohol, sugar and caffeine, which fuel anxiety and mask feelings.

You should listen to your inner voice and be frank about your own feelings. Overcome fears by taking responsibility for your words and actions.

4. get rid of garbage and breathe.

Get rid of the junk that makes you fearful and apathetic and set priorities for yourself. Develop a life-affirming habit of breathing and living a measured life. Inhale on the count of 4, hold for 7-11 seconds and exhale again.

5. Stop being afraid to be misunderstood

Don’t count on people reading your mind. Pick the right words and go out of your way to tell people how you feel, what you think and what you want.

6. Rock the boat and don’t try to “fit in” with society

Don’t try to cater to other people’s whims or fit in with society. Strengthen your integrity and act intuitively. Your life is a constant choice. Make it and accept all the consequences of those choices.

Count on the best and don’t be afraid to try. It’s much safer in predictable circumstances, but what does it cost you? Don’t settle for less or not the best. Don’t be afraid when things fall apart. Always try new things and let them collapse, fail until you experience success.

7. Don’t be judgmental.

Stop labeling people. Aren’t you tired of judging yourself and others? When you stop doing that, you’ll notice that judgment used to take up a lot of space in your life.

8. Fail often, but pick yourself up quickly.

Pick yourself up quickly, because repeated failures provide invaluable lessons and opportunities.

9. Compare real and imaginary reasons for anxiety.

Analyze reality by comparing actual and perceived reasons for anxiety. Instead of making up unnecessary reasons for anxiety, use your imagination to your advantage and make something up.

Look for good qualities in people and start a cycle of help by offering and asking for help from others. Allow others to open up to you, in turn don’t be afraid to open up to them. Speak sincerely so that you always see only the good in yourself and others.

10. Absorb emotions like a sponge.

Have you tried to dampen your emotions after being told you’re too sensitive? Tune in and channel that trait. After all, the opposite of emotion is apathy, indifference and callousness. So experience emotions and share them with those around you!

11. Get off your island and ask for help

Carve out at least an hour a week to communicate with those around you. Call a friend, schedule a meeting or a volunteer event. Make new acquaintances.

12. Reach out.

Thinking “what if…” is very selfish, especially when you think “What will I say to them when they stop talking?”

Don’t burden your thoughts and help others by simply smiling and listening to them.

Forget superficiality; don’t overestimate or underestimate your virtues and problems. You don’t need riches, superficial illusions, or distractions. Feel centered, carefree, and sincere.

13. Find solid ground under your feet, start small and develop further

When you were in high school, many people got discouraged by unrealistic hopes and failures. With grandiose ideas come goals!

14. Think narrowly.

Your brain is too open to new possibilities! That’s beautiful and incredible. But focus on a certain thing to figure out all aspects of it.

15. Why are you so serious?

Stop taking yourself so seriously, learn to laugh and move on. Keep trying.

16. Let go of the reins and get wild!

Anxiety stands next to control, so step out of your comfort zone. Spend time in nature where you can find excellence beyond the monitor.

17. Learn to give thanks.

Attract success. Stay focused and use your intuition to attract luck at the right moment.

18. Think and be calm.

Keep your inner world in harmony and clear your thoughts by focusing on your breath. Do this for 10 minutes a day.

Find perfection in the imperfect and realize that you deserve a happy and interesting life. Real happiness is not about actions, but about a state of mind. Feel that state and live it to the fullest. You deserve it.

19 Be like our little brothers.

Animals know a lot about life, so try to be close to nature. Your pet will never judge or worry about little things.

20. Practice a lot for success

Imagine becoming successful by overcoming all thoughts of “what if… “. Success is a result of practice, muscle memory. Read Amy Cuddy’s book “Presence” and practice positive body language, and then you will have corresponding thoughts.

21. Right to the end!

Don’t let anything, especially perfectionism, get in the way of the finish line. Constant work and persistence builds your success and confidence.

Always walk with your head held high. Rationally consider what “what if” thoughts lead to. Watch for when thoughts become irrational and change their direction.

22. Break down walls.

Feel and express your emotions, even anger. Honesty will break down the wall that separates you from others and lead to your goal and happiness.

23. No more manipulation.

No more sighing, criticizing, complaining and whining. Don’t pretend that everything is okay. Be realistic and act with confidence.

24. Be yourself and do self-development

Live your life as you see fit and continue to do self-development. For example, yoga on Thursdays is a good way to get to know yourself.

Find your moral and social norms, harmony and discipline, starting with bringing positivity and structure to your day.

25. Build relationships on empathy and friendship

Instead of using the destructive “I can’t” in your speech, speak positively and from your heart. Learn the art of caring without becoming a characterless person.

26. Balance

Prioritize the balance of a calm, healthy, measured life. Don’t underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep, an organized home life, a healthy daily routine, breaks, and friends above “more important work.”

27. Kick some butt!

Don’t forget about regular exercise. Find yourself in one of the disciplines and connect with your breath, accomplishments, responsibilities and go all the way.

Channeling your anxious thoughts in the right direction turns them into expressiveness, allowing you to make decisions that will open new doors and improve your life.

28. Art and music.

Find your creative self through drawing, sculpture or music.

29. Do rearrange/decorate.

This can be a simple action such as rearranging a room or putting your closet in order. This is a positive action. Routine cleaning is also a good result.

30. Perform!

Enroll in a drama club or speaking class. Practice on your own, on camera, online or in front of a group.

Remember everything, don’t deny the past, but focus completely on the present. Do as much as you can in the present and don’t regret anything.

31. Find a reason.

It’s not the desire for rewards that will lead you to your goal, but finding a reason to love what you’re doing. Madonna also advises societies and schools:

“When you feel depressed or that you are trapped, stop thinking about yourself and do something good for someone else. It’s a great cure for sadness, anxiety and insecurity.” “

32. Focus on your goal.

Instead of worrying about what others think of you, think about what you want to get over it and learn something new. Ask yourself about your goals several times, and find the true reasons for your actions.

33. Make a positive, action-oriented to-do list!

Decide what you can do today without regretting what you have done. Take at least one step toward your goal each day.

At your next performance or event, let your anxiety run free. Develop, blossom, and shine with harmony and passion to turn insecurity into a way to express yourself.

P.S. We recommend another helpful article on the topic of working on yourself – 5 unusual habits of highly productive people.

Insecurity: where does it come from and can it be overcome

Public speaking as a subtle form of torture, a leaky career, anxiety about the present and timidity in front of the new – all these are the consequences of insecurity. We tell you about the causes and ways to overcome it.

What is insecurity

Self-unconfidence – a subjective sense of doubt about their abilities and potential for success in different areas of life. By and large, insecurity is a fear of being yourself that grows out of doubts about your competence.

Insecurity goes hand in hand with low self-esteem, but there is a difference between the two. Insecurity is spotty and refers to how convinced one is of one’s qualifications in various areas of life: work, personal relationships, and so on. Self-esteem, on the other hand, is a comprehensive concept, a global opinion of oneself as a person. Insecurity in private, if a person experiences it regularly, strikes blow after blow to self-esteem, and in the end it can severely shake it.

Another insecurity is often confused with introversion. An introvert is a personality type proposed by the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung to characterize people who direct their vital energy inward. They prefer to think in isolation from the outside world, with an immersion in the inner world. But introversion is not necessarily a marker, and especially not synonymous with insecurity. The German psychiatrist Carl Leonhard saw this individualism as a strength. According to his interpretation, the introvert has his own clear-cut values and is not afraid to confront his environment, unlike the extrovert, whom Leonhard calls a conformist, susceptible to influence from the outside.

Another phenomenon with which insecurity is sometimes confused is sociophobia. Social phobia is included in the International Classification of Diseases and is an anxiety disorder. Those afflicted with it fear attention from other people, public spaces and large companies, sometimes to the point of panic attacks, and therefore avoid social situations. Sociophobia is a medical diagnosis that can be treated.

People who experience insecurity tend to think that they have gotten the rare unlucky ticket to this condition. This is not true: everyone experiences this feeling in different life situations. It is quite natural to doubt oneself in new ventures or in a highly competitive environment. But sometimes insecurity becomes chronic and reduces the quality of life. According to Yulia Anpilogova, psychologist and psychotherapist, member of the All-Russian Professional Psychotherapeutic League, self-doubt as a basic or associated problem is present practically in all applications to the psychologist, “People capable of reflection or self-reflection are people of a certain order of mental organization who doubt themselves in principle. To doubt oneself for such a person is one of the steps, one of the forms of doubt.

Signs of self-doubt

Every person who has experienced insecurity has experienced accompanying emotions, thoughts, and bodily reactions.

External (bodily) signs

  • Rapid heartbeat, flushed or pale face, ragged breathing in conversation.
  • Confused speech, the person gibbering and losing the thread of the narrative, twitchy movements – conversational sprint, just to finish the speech faster.
  • Slouch, hunched figure, unconscious desire to take up less space and be less visible.
  • The phrases “I suppose” and “I think”, as if the person apologizes for being in his or her place.

Internal (thinking, behavioral)

  • Comparison of oneself with others – in an insecure person, it almost always turns out not to be in his or her favor.
  • The inability to say “no” – it is easier for a person to agree to work, which he is burdensome, than to refuse.
  • Understatement of one’s own merits, inability to accept compliments.
  • Shifting responsibility for one’s life to circumstances or other people.
  • Avoidance of initiative and responsibility.
  • Arrogance that serves as a defense mechanism – it helps to reject others before they could reject the person.
  • Perfectionism – sometimes insecurity is well masked, but still gives itself away in the eternal pursuit of unattainable perfection and hypercontrol.

How insecurity arises

The very first environment in a person’s life – family and school – is a major influence. Among the causes rooted in childhood are:

Parental strategies : emotional deprivation from parents, prohibitions and restrictions, excessive criticism or hyperopedic.

But insecurity can develop at any age. According to clinical psychologist and psychotherapist Yulia Khvorova, when people grow up, they are exposed to different microgroups, and sometimes they encounter criticism in a group that is relevant to the person. Also, there may be an authority that seems more successful to the person – this, too, can lay down insecurity. The danger zone here is excessive approval from parents in childhood: it plays a bad service when confronted with the real world.

Yulia Anpilogova adds that our “self” is most vulnerable in moments of crisis: “The earthquake has happened, the walls have fallen, and what was our support is disappearing, while the new one is not yet built. In this period of timelessness, it is difficult to be sure of anything. We are reborn many times in our lives, going through this cycle of destruction-resurrection in a new quality. And this restoration is always accompanied by uncertainty, because what is being erected is still very fragile.

How Insecurity Affects Life

A block to career ambition

Insecure people don’t ask for a raise or express their ideas, even innovative and breakthrough ones, for fear of being misunderstood or rejected. They do not take financial risks associated with investments, depriving themselves of the opportunity to earn more. And they’re also afraid to change jobs they don’t like and to be interviewed. All of this further fuels insecurity.

In terms of career, insecurity in some cases develops into impostor syndrome, when a person, after taking a step forward and succeeding, stumbles upon a new fear. Here he no longer thinks that he will not be able to reach any goal. Now, having achieved it, he begins to consider his success an accident and does not recognize his personal contribution to it. He is overcome by a fear of not being able to hold out and not meeting new expectations. Psychologists believe that the mechanisms of formation of these two phenomena are similar.

It is a mistake to think that insecurity and, even more so, impostor syndrome are inherent only in “mere mortals. Famous people also face them, and not just at the beginning of their journey. Natalie Portman, speaking to Harvard students as an honorary graduate in 2015, told them she was unaware of her accomplishments: “Twelve years after I graduated, I have to admit that I still don’t feel my own worth. I have to remind myself that I’m here for a reason. I feel exactly the same today as when I first started at Harvard in 1999. Back then I felt like there was some mistake-I wasn’t smart enough to be here, and every time I opened my mouth, I had to prove that I wasn’t just a dumb actress. Sometimes insecurity and inexperience can make you strive for standards and expectations imposed by others. But you can use your lack of experience to forge your own path–one that is not dictated by others, but defined by you.”

The American writer and Pulitzer Prize winner John Steinbeck left an entry in his diary: “I am not a writer. I deceive myself and those around me.” After finishing his novel The Grapes of Wrath, which won him the prize, he said: “Sometimes I think I’ve done something worthwhile, but when the work is finished, it turns into mediocrity.”

Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci doubted their abilities. The latter is credited with the phrase “Tell me, have I managed to do anything?” Vincent Van Gogh, according to remarks by his contemporaries, suffered permanently from insecurity, but once said: “If you hear a voice inside you telling you that you can’t paint, do it any way you can, and the voice will shut up.”

Problems in personal relationships

Insecurity in one’s personal life manifests itself by questioning one’s ability to please someone. At the start of a new relationship he may experience fear that the person next to him will “notice” his shortcomings and be disappointed. In an established relationship, it is infringement of their needs, because someone will be more comfortable, jealousy, and sometimes endless shifting of their worries and doubts to their partner.

How to overcome insecurity

According to Yulia Hvorova, insecurity – a reversible process, if you start working with it. Intrusive thoughts of insecurity should be offset by new positive attitudes and techniques of thinking. At the same time, getting rid of insecurity does not happen in a couple of weeks – it is a long work. Khvorova suggests the following steps:

  • Formulate and write down one’s positive qualities and strengths without touching accomplishments . This is necessary to form an understanding that there is something to love regardless of achievements.
  • Change self-criticism to self-validation. When a person is unsure of himself, he is more sensitive to mistakes and failures, sometimes imaginary ones. Validation is normalization: one must remind oneself that all people make mistakes, it is normal and appropriate. Self-criticism, in this case, is a useless thing, which does not help at all, but only throws up a bunch of thoughts about “why I am bad” and not one on how to become better.
  • Replace the concept of “error” with the phrase “zone of growth”: lack of experience or skill is not a reason to be self-defeating, because I have discovered my zone of growth and, therefore, I can work on it.
  • Don’t be self-centered. Insecure people are often very self-centered in finding reasons for failure. In fact, there is no such thing as an entire situation gone wrong because of just one person. It is necessary to force the mindset not to follow the well-trodden path of finding fault with oneself, but to look more broadly.
  • Experiment. People with insecurities often avoid trying things for fear they won’t succeed. But when a person refuses to do an action, they are one hundred percent reinforced in their insecurity because they stay there. Trying is always 50/50. If it is successful, it can be the first sprout of confidence.
  • Write out accomplishments and praise yourself. This is an advanced level. Insecure people tend to devalue their accomplishments. You should focus on the moments when something works out and praise yourself, instilling in yourself the idea that this success is not an accident, but the result of your efforts.
  • Give yourself time. Insecurity did not appear in a day, a week or a month, it was formed and consolidated over the years. To fix a new way of thinking, you also need to painstakingly create a habit. It is important to be persistent in applying the techniques described regularly, and not to expect quick results.
  • Do not focus on the bad. Do not think that if something does not work, nothing will work at all.
  • Pay attention to the body. The human brain directly correlates with the body: it sends it signals and gathers information from it. The more a person reflexes and maintains an insecure posture, the deeper one can get stuck in that state. It makes sense to go backwards and work on posture, self-presentation, and voice. The sooner you can get out of the pose of insecurity, the easier it will be to let go of this feeling. Acting, singing, or dancing classes can help.

When it is better to ask for help from a specialist

According to Khvorova, it is always worth seeking professional help when insecurity begins to affect a person’s life and blocks his personal and professional development. Yulia Anpilogova also includes loss of healthy criticism as one of the reasons for treatment – when a person’s view of themselves totally differs from the opinion of their environment: “In this case, it is worth to assume that perhaps it is not you who is right, but everyone around. You are not the only one who sees a bunch of cars driving on the wrong side of the road, but you are the one driving on the wrong side of the road.

Work done on your own or with a specialist does not guarantee that a person will never again experience insecurity. But to cope with this condition and get out of it will be easier and faster.

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