“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
As I go through my day-to-day life, I see a lot of insecurity in people… And when I say a lot, I meant it! I’ve noticed it comes from the females more than the males, but there are definitely some males with a lack of ego, too. How do I know? Well, all through school and for a few years after I had some major confidence issues. I was constantly worried about my weight, acne, oily hair, hairy arms and legs, sweaty pits (yeah, I said it), etc. and how it effected others perceptions of me. Being so focused on this nonsense stuff made the issues much worse because I was focused on them, but it also limited my willingness to open up and make friends, let alone have a normal conversation with anyone. After school my body changed and that helped boost my confidence. A few more years passed and I realized, I’ve always been a nervous person so I might as well embrace it and channel that energy to something more positive (GreenerMe). As the years go by I get stronger and stronger, but a lot the people I’ve come in contact with sadly, are not.
What is it that causes us to feel insecure? Well, it’s you. Feelings and real life are often interpreted as one, but they are actually quite opposite! As Mrs. Roosevelt said above, you’re the only one that can make you feel inferior. A feeling is something you experience as a result to a situation. If you recognize and focus on how you feel in a certain moment and how you can change that feeling, rather than being engulfed in the feeling and letting it take over, you’ll be a lot better off. Let me give you an example. Say we’re playing baseball and I accidentally hit you in the head with the ball. Your immediate reaction might be to get upset at the situation - and then at me – because the ball hit you in the head. I am very apologetic but you’re still upset with me because the ball hit you in the head. Of course being the good friend that I am, I don’t say a thing… But in reality I know the ball wouldn’t have hit you in the head if you would have put your glove in the right place to catch it. You’re putting the blame on someone else based on an emotion (embarrassment, pain, anger) you’re feeling, rather than looking at the big picture and realizing yes, you dropped the ball. It’s a-ok to make mistakes; it’s just all in how we react. You can either choose to learn and grow, or just get upset and blame everyone but you.
To get past the insecurity, I think we have take on the first step of resolving any kind of problem: recognize the problem. Once you recognize there’s an issue it’s much easier than trying to have an intervention! Then put it in perspective: we’re all getting older, the young generation is just getting younger and smarter, there will always be someone who does something better than you, no one will ever appreciate you/your work/your efforts as much as you think they should… Whatever your issue is, recognize it and put it in perspective (the bigger picture) – remove yourself from the situation and look at it from someone else’s viewpoint rather than your own. Once you do this you’ll realize the unnecessary stress this causes you and you’ll want to avoid it and spend your time doing better things (like creating!).
It’s easy in theory, but a long road to travel. It took me 25 years to get to this point so I can only imagine my viewpoint in 25 more years ;) Be confident, be you! You’re fabulous and there’s a lot of jerks out there, but letting them weigh you down with their idiosyncrasies does nothing but waste your precious moments here and now. We only live once, so freaking celebrate and let loose a little!! I promise you’ll feel better for it.