Some insecurity is natural, but for some, it can be too frequent, too intense. The natural varieties of insecurity arise in life situations which we are unprepared to deal with. We all face these sometimes. Maybe it’s public speaking, or some other occasional stressor. These can be dealt with by study, preparation, rehearsal, venting (on 7 cups!), etc; however, unhealthy insecurity is more persistent. It floods relationships and projects, thwarting need-fulfillment, and is sometimes called low self-esteem. I’ve lived with this for decades, and with help from a friend, I’m managing it. Here’s what works for me:
Close your eyes.
Find that child-self from the past, of whom you're most ashamed. Go over and embrace him, saying "You’re okay. You were just a little boy, doing the best you knew how.” Insecurity can be a signal of reticent self-hatred, it takes energy to maintain that! Acceptance of the reality that you qualify for as much love as the next person, can free up all that energy, which you can use for extending attention outside of the wounded self-concept; for kindness or simply attention to close family, academic cohorts, professional connections or others. My watchword: "Charity starts at home."
Insecurity of course has its fertilizing effect of pushing people to achieve to “prove themselves”. So, in overcoming it, we then have to find new strategies for motivation in getting things done. That is a discussion largely outside the scope of this entry, but a few questions are included to foster critical thinking:
How does self-acceptance affect your job, hobby or artistic performance? Can you still achieve progressive goals without relying on social recognition as a barometer to measure your self-worth? What drives naturally secure people to achieve?