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10 Struggles Only Insecure People Understand

10 Struggles Only Insecure People Understand

Have you ever felt insecure? By definition the word refers to a lack of self-confidence and an anxiety or uncertainty about oneself. Everyone has experienced days when they didn’t quite feel at their prime, and they looked at other people and wished they could be like them. Maybe they wished they could be that person with the longer legs, or bigger biceps, greater mathematical ability, or more money.

To some people these feelings are short-lived, self esteem returns and good days happen as often as the bad. Unfortunately, for other people, most days are insecure days. There are a few struggles only these kinds of insecure people will understand, and here are a few of them:

1.) You find embarrassing moments in front of random people unbearable

Tripping over in public isn’t a big deal to most people. No one knows you, and if anyone did see you, you’ll most likely never see them again anyway. However to an insecure person, this event could ruin the rest of their day, or even the rest of their week. Because of this it becomes very difficult for them to wake up optimistic, since from sunrise to sundown, they’re going to be thinking of everything that could possibly go wrong.

2.) You believe your mirror is the enemy

An insecure person feels uncomfortable in their own skin. Most wish they could be someone else; maybe someone more talented, prettier, skinnier, taller, more confident, or smarter. Their list of perceived imperfections is endless. To a person who is so unhappy within themselves, just looking in the mirror everyday is enough to upset them.

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3.) You never believe compliments

To an insecure person, everyone has an ulterior motive. This paranoia makes it difficult to accept compliments for what they are. The thoughts running through your mind are: “Why would they say that?” or “What do they want from me?”

It is difficult to accept compliments when a person is always suspicious as to why a person is being kind to them.

4.) You believe everything is a competition

It is very easy to become obsessive when you’re insecure, and suddenly every little thing in life becomes a competition. In addition to this, it is difficult for two insecure people to get along. One person will always try to position themselves above the other person in some way, and this can be very problematic.

It would not be surprising to see two insecure people arguing about who has a tougher job, simply because they want to be different and superior to the other person.

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5.) You find trying new things terrifying

Routine activities can be stressful enough, never mind trying new things. Insecure people have an immense fear of failure and embarrassment, and with trying new activities, there is a high chance of both these fears becoming a reality.

So when it comes to beginning new relationships, starting a new career or moving to a new town, things can get very uncomfortable for someone with insecurity.

6.) You annoy people with your negativity

It’s a sad reality but insecure people often annoy people with their negativity even without intending to. It’s hard to understand an insecure person’s logic and it becomes frustrating when no matter how much you try to uplift them, they still remain as pessimistic as ever.

But give them a break, it’s not easy for them to live with insecurity.

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7.) You’re paranoid about gossip

An insecure people will see a group of people talking and laughing and despite their best efforts, their first assumption is that they are the subject of gossip- even if they are assured otherwise. These people care a lot about what people think of them, but that’s not always a bad thing, right?

8.) You present a false exterior

Insecure people aren’t happy with the way they are, so it’s fair for them to assume that people won’t like who they really are either. This can drive them to put on a daily act, being someone who they think others want them to be. Imagine how exhausting it would be to act like a completely different person in front of everyone everyday.

9.) You find it hard to be honest

Insecure people will find it difficult to be honest for several reasons. For example, they will often say things that are untrue to impress other people, so others will have a higher opinion of them. Or they will tell a lie to hide something about themselves they find undesirable. Whatever the case, it is hard to be honest with others when you can’t even be honest with yourself.

10.) You find it hard to remember that insecurity can impact everyone

“You can have a perfectly horrible day where you doubt your talent… Or [think[ that you’re boring and they’re going to find out that you don’t know what you’re doing.” – Meryl Streep

“… [I] went to a shrink once. When I was about twenty-three I was very unhappy and, yes, self-obsessed and insecure.” – Helen Mirren

“I still doubt myself every single day. What people believe is my self-confidence is actually my reaction to fear.” – Will Smith

Even the big names are not immune to insecurity. It may surprise you that even celebrities are prone to feeling insecure. Living in stressful environments where every movement is monitored and criticized by the public can take a toll on anyone, and insecurity is a familiar feeling for most stars.

Featured photo credit: teenage confusion via flickr.com

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Elizabeth Andal

Elizabeth is a passionate writer who shares about lifestyle tips and lessons learned in life on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on January 16, 2020

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.

However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.

“Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous

Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.

1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.

When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.

Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success.[1] As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’

2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).

That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”

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Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.

3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.

If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.

For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.

People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.

This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.

4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.

Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.

Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!

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Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.

Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

5. Crack a smile.

If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.[2]

Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?

6. Break a sweat—with exercise.

Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.[3]

And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.

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7. Groom yourself.

This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.

A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

8. Dress nicely.

Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.

While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.

9. Do activities you enjoy.

Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.

You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.

10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.

Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.

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Why?

Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.

Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.

Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.

Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?

Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.

12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!

Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.[4]

The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.

Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com

Reference

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