Thursday, June 14, 2012

Handling Insecurity By Jake Lawson

Insecurity is defined as:

* Feeling of not being "good enough" to meet the challenge of a situation you

face in life
.* Sense of helplessness in the face of problems, conflict or concerns.
* Belief that one is inadequate or incompetent to handle life's challenges.
* Fear of being discovered as inadequate, ill-fitted or unsuited to meet 
responsibilities at home, school or on the job.
* Sense of not fitting in, being "out of sync" with those in your peer group.
* Perception that life is unpredictable with most of the expectations you have 
to meet not clearly understood.

* Sense of always climbing up a mountain, never being able to reach the top.

* Sense of lacking support or reinforcement where you live, work or play.

* Results from a sense of being unaccepted, disapproved or rejected.
* Inner turmoil coming from a lack of direction or bewilderment as to where 
you are going, what your goals are and what responses are appropriate for 
events in life. 

Insecure people may have:

* Been raised in a chaotic, unpredictable or volatile environment in which they 

were kept off balance, on guard or on edge.* Experienced a major tragedy or loss in their lives and are having a difficult 
time in accepting this loss and adjusting to the change.

* Experienced a major catastrophe in life (e.g., divorce, losing a job, 
bankruptcy, failure in school, losing a friend, lack of acceptance into social or 
civic groups, etc.) that led them to question their personal competency.

* A poorly developed self-concept with low self-esteem, lacking belief in their 
personal goodness, skills or abilities.

* Never felt accepted by the others' in their life, so much so that they became 
chronically shy, retiring and withdrawn in their interactions.

* Had an unrealistic list of rules and expectations prescribed by significant 
others in their life, rules they are striving to meet even in their current life.

* A poor body image, making them believe that others see them in a negative 
light. This makes them self-conscious, tense and anxious in dealing with 

* Never received enough positive reinforcement or feedback from others about 
their talents and abilities, leaving them unclear as to their skills.
* Been given very little direction, guidance or discipline in their earlier lives 
leaving them unable to cope with the current pressures of life.

* Always felt overshadowed or overlooked due to the people in their lives who 
seemed to be more successful, smarter, prettier, more handsome, more 
athletic or higher achievers, getting much attention. 
This can foster doubt in an insecure person's ability to gain recognition for 

their successes, and can make them doubt their ability to achieve success. 

What do chronically insecure people believe?

* I can never accomplish the task facing me.

* Everybody is looking at me, just waiting for me to make a fool of myself.

* I am a failure.

* I am ugly and awful to look at.

* I can never win. I am a loser.

* What is the sense of trying, I'll never get it right.

* No matter how hard I work to achieve, I never get any recognition.

* I am incompetent in everything.

* How could anybody ever say anything good about me?

* I failed them in the past; therefore, I am a failure today.

* Once a failure, always a failure.

* There is only one direction for me to go in this organization and that is 
down and out.

* No one could ever like, respect or accept me.

* I don't deserve to be treated nicely.
* I don't fit in here or anywhere else for that matter.

* Everyone else looks so good, so together; I feel so out of it compared to 

* I am an incomplete person and will always be that way.

* I am so afraid that no one will like me.

* Why would anyone care to hear what I say, how I feel or what I think?

* People are just nice to you in order to use you and get something they want 
from you.

What are some negative effects of insecurity?

People who are insecure can:
* Have difficulties in establishing healthy, long-lasting relationships.

* Be perceived incorrectly by others as being snobbish or uppity.

* Become victims of fears that impair their freedom of action or choice.

* Be candidates for paranoia feeling others are out to get them.

* Scare others away from them by their defensive attitude.

* Be over-controlled emotionally, having problems letting others in on their 
emotions. This can lead others to guess what is going on until the passivity of 
the insecure person leads to an over-reaction by the others, resulting in 
conflict or rejection.

* Have problems on the job or in school when they have the knowledge, skills 
and abilities to do a task efficiently but are told to do it in a different, less 
effective manner. They get so uptight about the job and are fearful of 
standing up for what they believe that they get angry, hostile and resentful 
until they either quit or succeed in submerging their emotions.

* Get passed over for promotions, advances or honors because they are so 
quiet about what it is they do. This leads the insecure persons to feel more 
unaccepted, unappreciated and under-valued.

* Have problems meeting people and often can become debilitated socially by 
chronic shyness. 

* Become so inward that they seek to escape into their fantasy life rather 
than deal with the reality of their lives. 

In order to overcome insecurity, people need to:

* Be willing to be put in vulnerable positions in life where they might get hurt.

* Take risks to change their current behavior.

* Trust others enough to expose themselves to them, risking vulnerability and 
the possibility of being hurt.

* Have a healthy and humorous belief in themselves in order to overlook their 
exaggerated need for acceptance and approval.

* Take a rational approach to each problem they face so that they are no 
longer inhibited by debilitating fears or beliefs.

* Practice assertive behavior in their lives, earning respect and the 
acknowledgment of their rights.

* Arouse the courage to take small steps in learning to experience success 
and overcoming their lack of belief in self. Once the success is experienced, 
they can build on it to gain the courage to act out of a strong conviction in 
their self-goodness and worth.

* Break the barrier or outer shell of the self-doubt they have hidden behind 
and reach out to others. Breaking out of their "shells" requires letting go of 
past hurts (real or imagined) and moving on with life.

* Open themselves to the possibility of success and accomplishment. 
Visualize or make a prophecy of winning at life so their energies are focused 
in a growth direction.

* Reward themselves for who they are and capitalize on their strengths, 
attributes, skills and competencies. 

What steps can people take to handle insecurity?

Step 1: Answer the following questions in your journal:
a. What behavior traits signal my insecurity?

b. What happened in my past to make me insecure?

c. What are some of my beliefs that account for my insecurity?

d. What are some negative consequences I've experienced due to my 

e. What behavior traits do I need to develop in order to overcome my 

Step 2: After identifying your insecurity, how can you handle it? Answer the 

following questions in your journal:
a. What substitute behavior traits could I develop that would indicate security 

in myself?

b. What are some positive consequences of exhibiting such secure behavior 
traits in my life?

c. What are some rational beliefs I must develop in order to exhibit secure 
behavior in my life?

d. How will my life change if I exhibit secure behavior?

e. What is my action plan to develop security in my life?

f. What obstacles stand in the way of my executing this action plan?

g. How can I overcome the obstacles to my development of self-confidence 
and security?

Step 3: Implement the plan of action in Step 2. Keep a log in your journal as 

you go through each stage of handling your insecurity.

Step 4: The following project is designed to help you develop secure behavior 

by learning about yourself through the eyes of the other people in your life.
"Overcoming Insecurity" Collage
Ask at least 6 close friends and/or relatives to assist you in making a collage. 

Tell them you have been assigned to make a collage about yourself for school, 
work or a club project. All collages must be 2 by 3 feet. The collage must be 
completed within 2 weeks of the time you ask your friends and/or relatives to 
help you. Ask them to send you magazine pictures, sayings, articles, photos, 
prizes, trinkets, cards, drawings, objects, ribbons, etc., indicative of the 
various strengths, attributes, talents, skills, knowledge, virtues, competencies 
or abilities you possess. Ask them to send a short explanation with each item 
they send you. Ask each person to send at least ten items.
Once you gather the items, paste them on poster board in collage fashion. On 

the back of the collage paste the explanations for the items.
Share your collage with your friends, family and helpers. Explain each item on 

the collage, and explain that they have helped you overcome some of your 
personal insecurity by giving accurate and honest feedback on reasons why 
you should feel secure and good about yourself.

Step 5: If you are still feeling insecure after completing Steps 1 through 4, 

review the material, return to Step 1 and begin again.

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