I have felt unworthy of love for a lot of my life. A common question that replayed in my head during my high school years was: “Why would anyone be interested in me?” My insecurity made me see problems where they didn’t exist, turning what could have been a successful relationship into a short-lived, dismal failure. Know the feeling? If so, here are 7 ways to let go of insecurity.
1. Stop thinking it is all about you.
A self-centered worldview will have you chasing boogeymen where they don’t exist. If your partner doesn’t feel like going out, don’t assume it is because of you when they just as easily could have had a really bad day at work that drained their energy. Stop psycho-analyzing every word choice your partner makes and be more present in the moment so you can notice the message behind their tone, physical presence, and posture. Obsessing with hidden meanings is a sure-fire way to miss the point. Don’t berate your partner for being too quiet, or continuously ask, “What are you thinking?” during every lapse of conversation. An overwhelming urge to fill every second of silence with needless words is a habit of an insecure person. Take your partner’s hand, breathe in, breathe out, and enjoy the silence together. Who says you can’t enjoy simply being with each other without words?
2. Stop psyching yourself out.
Your thoughts could be your relationship’s best friend or worst enemy. The quality of your thoughts has a direct effect on the quality of your relationship. Have you ever found thinking negative thoughts like, “I know they’ll get sick of me someday,” or, “How could they love me?” These thoughts have little to do with reality but a lot to do with fear. In other words, the problem you are concerned with doesn’t exist—you invented it! Any time you find yourself feeling insecure about your relationship, tell yourself, “The thing I’m worried about only exists in my head. I have full control.”
3. Stop lugging around all that baggage.
Ever been in a relationship so terrible that you would love to just wish it all away so you never have to think about it again? Join the club. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a person who doesn’t have a bit of baggage because this love thing is an unpredictable (and sometimes rocky) ride. A little baggage is totally okay, but you need to lighten your load before jumping into any new relationship. Let go of any left-over hurtful feelings that might be lingering and realize that your new relationship is a new opportunity to put all of that behind you. The lovely thing about life: you can re-start as many times as you need to!
4. Stop seeing things in black and white.
How do you react when someone blames you for something that you don’t think is your fault? Survey says: you get defensive. Likewise, confronting your partner over a problem—no matter how obvious it may be to you—will most likely cause them to become defensive. This usually leads to a knock-down, drag-out fight that is the opposite of productive because you’re both too busy trying to prove you’re right to resolve your conflict. If you have a problem, don’t immediately point the finger, but instead approach your partner with compassion and understanding. Be comfortable in the fact that neither of you is fully “right” or “wrong.” The true answer lies somewhere in the middle.
5. Stop feeling paranoid over nothing.
Let’s face it: we all talk to people of the opposite sex. Just because a boy and girl (or boy and boy, or girl and girl) are friends doesn’t mean there is more to the story. Avoid the temptation to snoop your partner’s phone, Facebook messages, or email account. While this could temporarily calm your nerves when you see nothing afoul, it is also a behavior that could quickly become addictive, not to mention damaging for relationship trust when they find out Big Brother is watching.
6. Stop putting off uncomfortable conversations.
While conflict is stressful for your relationship in the short-term, it will build the strength of your relationship in the long-term. Facing your problems without fear will help you grow closer to your partner. Never mince words with each other and you will develop trust so strong that you can tell your partner anything that is on your mind.
7. Stop being dependent on anyone but yourself.
Having someone to hug, kiss, cuddle, make love to, and share your life with is nothing short of wonderful. But before you march off into the sunset in search of love, you need to learn to love yourself. Just like you shouldn’t invite a friend to your home while it’s a disorganized wreck, you shouldn’t invite a partner into your life while it is in disarray. Take care if your inner-house before you invite anyone else to it.
If you let go of insecurity, you can expect the side-effects of reduced stress and increased relationship satisfaction. Have you ever struggled with insecurity? If so, how did you deal with it?