The 7 essential practices for overcoming insecurity
Insecurity is a tricky subject to tackle head on. Most people are either insecure about being insecure, or unaware they are insecure. However, the fear of not being good enough is a universal fear shared by every human being.
Studies show that 85% of working adults sometimes feel inadequate and that about 70% of people from all walks of life feel like impostors for at least some part of their careers. Rather than simply masking, medicating or managing our fears, the insecurity problem can be solved. There are 7 essential practices for doing this work in your life so that you can be unhindered by all self-limiting beliefs and show up at your best where it matters most instead.
- Step into the light
In the words of Yoda “Named must your fear be before banish it you can”. Practice 1 is to come out of hiding and name your deepest fear. It is to own that you are not actually afraid of failure or rejection, but the personal implications of these things. The real fear is that if you were to fail or be rejected, you would be found out at somehow lacking, inadequate or not enough. The key here is to see that the deepest fear is always your own opinion of yourself. That is exactly why this process is so exciting. Opinions can be changed. Especially when they’re your own.
- 100% responsibility
Once you define the problem accurately as your own opinion of yourself, practice two is about owning your part in forming these opinions in the first place. We are sense making creatures who go into the world and tell stories about why things happen and what they mean about us. It is these stories that form our opinions of ourselves. That means we created the insecurity problem and we are the only one who can fix it. We already are 100% responsible. We are not the actor in the story of our lives, we are the storyteller.
- Stack the pain
Pain is designed to move us away from danger toward safety. It is an essential part of the motivation for all change work. Most suppress pain in their life because they don’t want to feel it, yet in doing so they miss a massive opportunity to access deep internal motivation for lasting improvement. Stacking the pain involves an running an accurate cost assessment of all the ways unresolved insecurity is ruining your life. This creates a threshold moment where the pain of change becomes less than the pain of staying the same.
- Develop a compelling life vision
Pain avoidance is only half the required motivation to sustain lasting change.
It is essential not just be moving away from something, but to also be certain about what you are moving towards instead. The ultimate driver to sustain to do the deep personal development work in the face of challenge and difficulties is a clear picture of the dream you have for your life. The moment someone loses sight of this, overcoming insecurity becomes way too hard.
- Get help from someone who doesn’t care about you
In the quest to solve your insecurity problem, really are the hero in the story. Yet in every hero’s journey there comes a point where the hero needs a guide. The key is to find one who is not going to get in the way. If you seek help from someone who cares about you, they can’t help but try to fix you, or give you advice out of their desire to see you do well in life. However, this is a form of judgment and positions them as the hero of the story.
You need to find someone who has no vested interest or agenda other than to serve you to get more of what you want.
- Be the hero
Because insecurity is a problem that exists within your own opinion of yourself, only you can solve this problem. Sooner or later you have to face the thing you fear most about yourself and discover if it is true. Eventually the guide is no longer there, and the hero must go on alone. You either die or come out the other side reborn having dismantled the fear for good. That is when you are able to truly bring their gift to the world unhindered by doubt, fear and insecurity.
- Rewrite the story
Finally, once the fear has been faced and old stories fully deconstructed, the slate is now clean for you to write a new script to live out of. The temptation is always to rush to practice 7 and simply try to override the old opinions with positive affirmations, yet until the old stories have been dismantled all the way back to the start, the prevailing negative narratives will continue to take over the moment you get tired, stressed or anxious.
Commentary by Jaemin Frazer.
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