How to stop being insecure—the million-dollar question, right? Everyone has moments when they don’t feel so great about themselves. We may look around and think that everyone else is prettier or funnier than we are. At work we wonder if all our colleagues are more qualified than we are, and sometimes we can be too nervous to even share an idea for fear that we might get laughed at. We can be insecure in our relationships and insecure about our bodies. If you struggle with insecurities, the struggle is very, very real, and it’s endless. It also happens to be very common. There are a lot of causes when it comes to feelings of low self-esteem and self-doubt; unfortunately there is no simple explanation and no one-size-fits-all solution. As Psychology Today reports, according to Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D., a clinical and health psychologist, “the kind of childhood you had, past traumas, recent experiences of failure or rejection, loneliness, social anxiety, negative beliefs about yourself, perfectionism, or having a critical parent or partner can all contribute to insecurity.”
Read Related: 5 Easy Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem
The question of how to stop being insecure is hard to answer because insecurity can strike anytime, anywhere. You can become insecure in specific environments whether they are business meetings or social settings, or you can feel more insecure with specific people or when you are thrust into new, unfamiliar surroundings. And these feelings of self-doubt can be really damaging to your career and your relationships. Lisa Firestone, psychology expert and author of Conquer Your Critical Voice, confirms “studies have found that people with low self-esteem have more relationship insecurities, which can prevent them from experiencing the benefits of a loving relationship,” writes Huff Post.
You might feel insecure only some of the time or it might be a persistent challenge. But however you experience insecurities in your life, it’s important you remember that you CAN overcome those feelings of not being good enough. Here are some tips to help you recognize that you feel insecure, and conquer those feelings once and for all.
Stand Up Taller
If you focus on improving your posture and standing taller, says Scientific American, you’ll actually feel bigger, more powerful and more confident. It’s as simple as engaging your core and sitting up a little taller at your desk or walking with your shoulders down and back and your chest lifted. Putting effort into looking and being physically bigger will make you feel bigger, and the world will notice when you walk with more confidence.
Identify Your Triggers
If certain people, places, activities or things make you feel insecure and bad about yourself, avoid them at all costs.
The stronger you are, the stronger you will feel. Testing yourself and pushing yourself to your physical limits will not only make you aware of how much you can handle and how strong you truly are, but it will make you feel better about yourself and what you are capable of. Plus, exercise releases endorphins, and those chemicals can make you feel happy, energized, inspired and positive.
Dress For Success
What you wear can have a strong effect on how you feel, which is why people tell you to dress for the job you want, not the job you have. You’ll feel stronger, more successful and more confident in an outfit that not only represents the life you strive for, but that also make you feel good about yourself. As the Washington Post reports, according to Adam Galinsky, a researcher at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, he hopes that his study “reminds people that clothes aren’t just a device of perception, but a tool that can really affect how you perceive yourself,” and while your clothes may not dictate who you are and who you will become, “they do hold a strange power over their wearers.”
A big part of insecurity is that people have a hard time focusing on the compliments and positives in their life and they instead focus on the negativity and insults. According to Ed and Deb Shapiro, authors of Be the Change, How Meditation Can Transform You and the World, in an article for Oprah.com, meditation can help you transform that low self-esteem and obsession with negativity into confidence in two ways. “First, it enables you to meet, greet and make friends with yourself. You get to know who you really are, and to accept and embrace every part…Second, it awakens you to the inter-connection between everyone, the sense that you are not alone here. Rather, you are a part of this wondrous planet, and the more you extend yourself with kindness, the less you will be focused on your own limitations.”
See It In Others
Sometimes the people who make you feel the most insecure are actually just insecure themselves, but they mask their feelings by displaying an “I’m better than you” attitude, flaunting their achievements and bragging about their strengths. It’s important you recognize those people and the way they are manipulating your emotions. According to Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D., “being able to detect insecurity in the people around you can help you shake off the self-doubts that some people seem to enjoy fostering in you. Taking the high road, and not giving in to these self-doubts, may also help you foster feelings of fulfillment both in yourself, and in the insecure people you know and care about.”