Episode 116: Four Subtle Things That Make You Insecure
Welcome back to the podcast my friends! I hope you are having a ridiculously amazing week. I’m having way too much fun planting my spring garden, soaking up this glorious spring weather, and thinking of all the new things coming to the podcast, the membership, the business this year. Good things are coming:
New podcasts, new classes, new webinars, more hours even which means that will be able to connect with more of you which I love. So all good things.
I so hope you’ll come along for the journey. Schedule that consult while you still can, join the membership while doors are open, 1-1 coaching is pretty full but if there’s a space I would love to have you so come be a part of this amazing journey and learn how to embody genuine, inner confidence. It’s just an incredible way to live.
Okay, so let’s jump into our topic today. I talk a lot about what creates true confidence but today I wanted to flip that around and talk about what creates our insecurities. There’s way more than 4 but for the sake of time we’re going to narrow in on these 4.
Every human on the planet has some insecurities and it’s important to know what those are and what to do with them and of course most importantly how to overcome those thoughts and feelings that aren’t helping you but rather are working against you.
So the first isn’t super subtle as far as the topic goes and this is criticizing yourself. We all know that criticizing yourself isn’t a helpful practice. We all know that it feels terrible. We all know that the things we say to ourselves we would never dream of saying to another human being. And yet, so many fall prey to this sneaky line of thinking.
It’s so sneaky because it can feel a lot like you just talking to you but it’s not really you talking to you or stating the facts. It’s your primitive brain talking AT you and regurgitating a STORY that it’s pieced together. This story can feel true to you but when we get right down to it – it’s 9-10 flat out wrong.
It’s that story you tell yourself when you look at someone and you are certain they’re giving you a bad look or negative glare.
It’s reading a text and adding your own narrative to emphasize certain phrases to fit the story. Have you all seen the Willoughbys. We kind of love that movie. It’s on Netflix – it was a book first and surprisingly it’s one of the rare occasions that my family and I actually like the movie better than the book. So there’s this part when one of the kids is certain their nanny is out to get them and he finds her phone and reads a text to his siblings and he says it all sinister and like scary and mean, “As for the other thing, I will take care of the children”
And later when they confront the nanny she’s like, “Why would you read it like that?!” And then she reads it in her intended tone, “As for the other thing, I will take care of the children”.
And it’s funny not funny because it’s what we all do. Texts and emails are hard to read because depending on what your current story is about yourself or that person you’re going to read it through that lens and 9-10 if not 10-10 we’re just wrong about it.
And we don’t just stop there we’re critical about lots of things, most things:
Why did I say that, that was so stupid?
Why can’t I just do what I say I’ll do?
Why can’t I get anything done?
I’m not enough, I’m not good enough
I can’t do anything right
This will never work
I’m a failure
No one likes me
I’ve never had a good circle of friends, must be me
I’m the common denominator
If only I could…
That’s a terrible thing to think, I can’t believe I thought that – I’m a horrible person!
I’m such an idiot. I do this all the time, what’s wrong with me?
I’m not strong enough
I’m not kind enough
I’m not as good as so in so
I’ll never be as pretty or as fit or as organized or whatever as such in such
And I could go on and on and on…because oftentimes that what happens in our mind, in our daily swirl of thoughts we pile them on pretty thick when it comes to our own personal story about ourselves. And that’s pretty bleak. That’s painful. And it not only makes or creates insecurities, it perpetuates them and becomes beliefs, limiting beliefs. And we think it’s harmless because we’re not “acting” on these thoughts. We’re not saying them out loud but I guarantee you are most definitely feeling the full weight and effects of those thoughts.
See, what you think creates how you feel and how you feel motivates you into what you do and it’s always your actions that creates you overall results in life.
So what happens then, follow along on this path with me – when you think,
“I’m not enough”
And really, that simple statement is only half of what you’re really thinking. I call those simple statements: Fragments – because what you’re saying is only 3 words but what you’re really meaning is:
I’m not enough AND I should be.
And how does that feel?
Lacking, inadequate, less than, shame
What happens then when you feel inadequate or less than?
You’re not going to go and do all the things you want to do. Most of the time our action is to retreat inside and not do anything but rather listen to our inner voice then listing off all the reasons why you’re not enough, why you’re lacking, how this has been your life for the past forever and how this will always be your life. It’s like the worst thing we can do for ourselves when we’re already feeling low and yet it’s a go-to for most people.
We’ve been taught from a young age that we need to be hard or critical on ourselves in order to create change but that’s just not true and it doesn’t need to be perpetuated any longer. We might cower and change our next few actions. If you ate the whole tube of Oreos and your inner voice starts lacing into you about all the negative things it might motivate you to not grab the Oreos the next time you see them but it’s not lasting. In fact, you’re more likely to go for the Oreo’s the time after that – because when you feel bad your primitive brain looks for and seeks relief in the form of easy dopamine – and that for a lot of us comes in the form of food – quick, easy, practiced feel good foods. And thus the cycle starts all over again. It’s just not a good practice.
So if you want to break that cycle then we need to stick to love. Love is the only feeling that can bring about lasting change. We would bend over backwards to do things for those that love us and that we love as well. That’s what we need to start practicing and adopting in our own inner narrative and you know what? Love sometimes can seem so far off especially if you have a habit of self-criticism. So maybe don’t try and go there yet, just go for curiosity.
Instead of diving right into that story and taking a mental beating – pause and just start asking open questions. Questions like:
What am I making that thought mean about me?
How does it feel when I think that thought?
Why would my brain think that?
I wonder where that thought came from?
What part of me feels threatened by that thought?
These are open questions. These will help you move into curiosity instead of criticizing yourself. Stay away from close-ended questions. These are questions like: What’s wrong with you?
Why can’t you ever do anything right?
You can already see that these aren’t going to be helpful or kind for you.
Many people think that the inner narrative doesn’t matter and I’m telling you it does. It matters the most in fact. The thoughts you think create and continue your entire perception of the world, of those you interact with.
Byron Katie says, “The world is nothing but my perception of it. I see only through myself. I hear only through the filter of my own story.”
You’re insecure not because of what you can or can’t do. What you’ve done or haven’t done. You’re insecure because of that inner narrative and you have the power and ability and opportunity to change that for you, for the better, forever.
Okay #2: on the same track or a similar track is our habit of criticizing others.
This goes hand in hand with your story, how you think and view yourself because it often bleeds into other areas and your interactions with others.
Criticizing others can sometimes feel good in the moment because it deflects from you. It’s a way that you validate and “boost” your self image and ego. If you’re putting them down then in your mind you’re above them. You’re elevated over them.
You would have done that better
They aren’t as smart.
They’re not as put together
They don’t know what they’re talking about
They are mean
They are crazy
They look ridiculous. How could they think that was good?
Look, they don’t know how to spell or use correct grammar
They can’t do anything right
They should have come to you and asked your expertise
They are doing it wrong
They aren’t as talented, funny, smart, educated, refined, successful, etc
And listing them like that it sounds kinda of awful but in your mind in the moment it can feel like temporary relief or even a boost of ego. But it’s not lasting. It’s not true. And it actually leaves you full of insecurities.
You’re creating a hostile world where even though in that moment you might feel justified in criticizing them you are painting a picture where others can think ugly things about you as well and it leaves you in an uncertain space and hostile space. Your brain starts worrying about what others are thinking of you. You start fearing inside that someone else could be better than you – it becomes a competition and if you’re competing your not connecting. You’re not connecting to them nor are you able to connect with you.
Nothing good or lasting or productive comes from being critical of others. Side note: There is such a thing, a productive thing as offering and receiving feedback which is different than criticism. While criticism is all about the critic – it’s for the critic. It’s to elevate the critic feedback is all about the other party. It’s wanting to help or better the other person. It isn’t thinking about themselves they’re thinking about you and your well-being. Don’t be afraid of feedback. It can heal, connect and serve a confident purpose. Criticism however, doesn’t.
#3: Seeking outside validation
This is a tell-tale sign that someone isn’t secure in themselves. If you’re seeking validation (and not feedback) you’re not certain or secure in yourself. You’re looking for others to give you validadtion, to tell you what a good job you’re doing to reassure you that you are enough, that you are pretty enough, smart enough, capable enough.
It’s a subtle way of “fishing for compliments” because you’re not giving what you need to yourself. It’s like things that can sound like:
I did the right thing, right?
I made sense right?
I look okay, right?
Did I sound okay?
Do you think they liked me?
How many likes did I get? If I get a lot of likes that means people like me
You agree right?
It’s a form of asking for permission to feel how you want to feel. It’s a habit where we need others to think we’re good, smart, able, knowledgable, acceptable. The problem here is that when you rely on others you’re putting yourself in a compromising position. You can’t feel confident when your source of confidence isn’t you – we don’t know what they’re going to say or do. And what if they don’t say what we want them to say? Eek!
This morphs into people pleasing, agreeing with others when maybe that’s not what you want or think, it’s changing or adapting to blend in with what others want to think or do. It’s believing that others are smarter than you and if you want to be acceptable you have to go with their expertise even if it’s something simple like, where should we eat? And all of this adds up to effect our self-worth and self-esteem. We need others to tell us we’re good. We need others to validate our existence. We need others to clap for us or give us gold stars and we’re at the mercy of where their at in that moment. That’s not fair to them and it’s certainly not helpful to you.
The best and only solution is for you to learn to validate you. Instead of checking in with others to offer you validation, ask yourself first. Did I like how I showed up? Did I like what I said? Did I like what I posted? How I dressed? The decision I made, what I created, who I am in this moment?
It’s not about them. It’s about what you think that matters because you are the only one who can really validate you. Everyone else just offers you thoughts to think and then you give yourself permission to believe it to be trure. That’s all that happens. So skip the middle man and go straight in to self-discovery. That’s where your power lies!
4.) Second-guessing yourself.
Did I do that right?
Did I sound okay?
I thought it sounded good but now I just don’t know
Did I make the right choice?
What if it’s the wrong choice?
What if I miss out on something that I need?
This habit of second guessing yourself is another form and creator of insecurity. It’s not being able or making the decision to trust yourself. And questioning and getting clear on what you want and why isn’t a bad thing. It becomes unproductive when it’s a habit and it’s frequent.
Because when we second guess ourselves we hesitate, we ask others to help because we just don’t believe that we can make the right choice, or right decision. We need someone else to make that decision for us. This chisels away at your ability to trust yourself which is a key component in the confidence model – if you’re unfamiliar with the confidence model go sign up for my confidence challenge and then listen to the coordinating podcasts because it’s amazing and you’ll see that trust, learning to trust yourself and to make confident decisions for yourself.
Learning to trust in yourself is what helps you to grow. It’s being able to listen, like really listen to yourself, to weigh options and to test and try them out and even if things don’t turn out as hoped it’s another opportunity for you to trust that you’ll be kind and compassionate with yourself and to cultivate a safe space for you to be human and to try again.
So much of our confidence is being able to be human and to be okay with that. We’re so resistant to anything other than perceived perfection that it stirs up fears, doubts, and insecurities in us. Confidence is synonymous with certainty. It’s being certain you’re a safe space for you, for your growth, for you progression, for learning, for interacting, and just navigating life.
The things you think and say to yourself matter. It’s the same thing with what we say to our about others as well. It either contributes to connection and quiet secure confidence or divides, shames, and creates more insecurities.
These things seem subtle because their in your head, they’re not outwardly shaming but it’s doing quite a bit of damage nonetheless. Confidence is silent. It doesn’t need to look for or point out perceived flaws because it knows we’re all human, we’re all growing. It’s more concerned about connection and understanding than it is about perceived perfection and who is right or who is better.
You can learn to be a safe person in your life – safe for your own thoughts and invite that safe space for others to grow and navigate life as well.
If this is hard for you. If you don’t know how to break this cycle, come and talk to me. Schedule a mini session, join the membership, if there’s space sign up for my 1-1 program and I’ll help you to move forward. Okay, catalysts talk to you all next week!