Advertising

3 Insecurities We All Have And How To Deal With Them

Advertising
3 Insecurities We All Have And How To Deal With Them

As a human, you will have times when you feel insecure. It’s part of life. But there are ways to turn those insecurities into strengths without changing who you are as a person. What you need to decide is whether or not you want to change certain things about yourself. If everyone worked to become the same person, there would be no individuality, no uniqueness and the world would lose its beauty. It is your weaknesses and your strengths that make you who you are.

But what if you do want to change? What if you want to take the person you are to the next level? For many people that step is difficult because we feel insecure.

Advertising

Let’s look at a common insecurity many people have: shyness. People who are shy might worry they won’t make friends or they’ll fail in a job interview. There’s nothing wrong with being shy; it’s a part of who you are. But, you can still be shy and learn how to carry on an engaging conversation with someone. That might sound like an oxymoron, but it’s quite possible. What it comes down to is which is more important to you: keeping quiet or trying to make a friend; being afraid to speak up or getting your dream job.

Here are three common insecurities people struggle with and ways to overcome them without changing who you are. You might feel insecure about:

Advertising

1. How Others Will Perceive You

This is an insecurity everyone struggles with. We are afraid of being judged because of our appearance, children, attitude, homes, spouses, everything. Worrying every minute of every day about what someone else thinks is no way to live. The best advice I can give is what I have found to help me in my life:

  • Stop comparing yourself to others. Judgment from others can be harsh and debilitating, but only if you let it. You can choose to be offended or you can choose to accept who you are. This can be hard if you’re spending most of your time comparing yourself to people around you. Especially because we make habits of comparing our weaknesses with other people’s strengths.
  • Focus on your positive features, characteristics, strengths, etc. You have talents and skills; admit that to yourself. It’s alright to have a little pride in yourself (just don’t get carried away!).
  • When you do find a flaw in yourself you want to change, make a plan to work on it. But don’t be discouraged when change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and patience.
  • Don’t judge others. If you want to worry less about what other people think about you, then do the same for them. Don’t judge people because of their clothes, their job or even the way they talk. Give them a chance; give them the benefit of the doubt.

2. If You Will Ever Find The “Right” One

This topic once sat true with me. I dated a lot in college and from those experiences I thought I figured out what I wanted. All the guys I dated were the same kind of guy, similar look, similar interests, similar education; you get the picture. None of these relationships ever worked out. I started getting discouraged, wondering if it was my fault.

Advertising

It wasn’t until I took time to find out who I was and I focused on myself and what I wanted out of life that I decided to move out of my normal dating pool and date someone different. It was then I found my husband.

He was not what I expected at all. And to my surprise he was better than the rest. We’ve been married five years now; we have two kids (hoping for more) and a dog. Our life isn’t the “dream” I imagined but he loves me for who I am and for the wife and mother I’ve become. I couldn’t ask for anything better than that. If you worry about finding “the one,” remember these five pointers:

Advertising

  • You need to know who you are. I finally reached a point in my life in which I knew who I was and I wasn’t going to change for a man, no matter how good other people said he was. Spend time on yourself instead of trying to fit into a mold for another person’s life.
  • Give someone a chance you normally wouldn’t. That’s not changing who you are as person, it’s broadening your views. You never know how well you’ll get along with someone until you actually try.
  • Put yourself out there. If you don’t try to date or meet new people, it won’t happen. This can be hard for a lot of people but it’s doable. Go to social events; get to know people at work or at school.
  • Don’t be afraid of getting hurt. Break ups are hard. You were with that person because you had a connection and when you broke up, all of a sudden the connection was severed. It’s hard to go through but each relationship you’re in has lessons to be learned and value in it. Take what you can from each relationship and keep trying to find that special someone.
  • Know that relationships take work. Being in a relationship is hard. It takes compromise, communication and effort on both parts. Don’t hold double standards. Don’t hold grudges. Support one another. Remember “love” is a verb; it requires action. If you don’t work on it, it will fail. It’s like a flame, if you neglect it, it will burn out.

3. If You Will Become Successful

Success in life can be determined by money, fame, family, living arrangements, etc. In order to be successful in life decide what is most important. Do you want money? Do you want a happy family? Do you want a huge house? There’s nothing wrong with wanting these things. But decide what your priorities are.

  • If your priority is to make money, that is where most of your time and effort should go. You’re going to have to work long hours and educate yourself in your desired industry.
  • If your priority is family, you should fulfill your responsibilities to them. This could include working to support them but also spending time with them. Be involved. Have open communication. Make sure your relationships always come first.
  • Can you have more than one priority? Sure. But one will always be at the top of your list. You need to choose which one will take precedence over everything else.
  • Once you know your priority, sit down, set goals and make plans on what you’ll do to stay on course. You should have a daily reminder of what’s important to you.

In my family, our top priority is family and happiness; our careers come second. Let’s say an opportunity for a career were to present itself for my husband or I, but it required 60 or 70 hours a week; we would turn it down, no matter how good the money was. We made that decision when we got married. Family first. Our jobs are sufficient for our lifestyle. If we ever decide we want more, we can revisit the topic and figure out what we’re willing to sacrifice to make changes.

Advertising

Decide how you will determine what success means to you and then do everything you can to achieve it. When you spend all your time in life worrying about the big things, you miss out on the beautiful little things that happen all around you. Take time to appreciate what you have, what you’re working towards and how much you have accomplished and learned along the way.

More by this author

6 Reasons Losing Your Job Can be a Good Thing 24 Life-Changing Questions You Need to Ask Yourself 15 Things Happy People Do On a Daily Basis 13 Crucial Survival Lessons the Teachers Wouldn’t Teach Your Child 3 Insecurities We All Have And How To Deal With Them

Trending in Communication

1 10 Signs You Are in a Codependent Relationship (And What To Do About It) 2 I Want To Be Happy: 7 Science-Backed Ways to Find Happiness 3 13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently 4 10 Morning Habits Of Happy People 5 What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

Advertising
How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

Advertising

  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

Advertising

Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

Advertising

However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

Advertising

Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

Advertising

  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

Read Next