How to Deal With and Overcome Your Insecurities

inner child healing self-empowerment self-love self-worth Sep 06, 2021
insecure, unsure, worried woman



When we think about a solution to a specific problem, rather than taking a bandage approach and simply covering up the problem, my preference is to understand how the problem occurred in the first place- that’s when we can willfully and successfully devise a solution. In the case of insecurities (i.e., the feeling of being unable to trust ourselves and unable to get something done well), we’ve got to ask the question, “where does insecurity come from?”


Where does insecurity come from?


Most of our insecurities can be traced back to our past experiences-- the specific events that took place throughout the course of our childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood that taught us to believe certain things about ourselves and that impacted how we relate to ourselves, to other people, and to the world around us.

Think about your mom, dad, or whoever your early caregivers were. These are the people around whom your self-esteem and confidence in yourself and your abilities developed (or didn’t…).

Growing up, were you taught that you were enough just as you were? Or were you taught that you were only enough when you got good grades or looked or acted a certain way? Did you get more attention from your parents, for example, when you had the good grades and the socially acceptable and preferred looks?

Growing up, were you taught to believe-- directly or indirectly-- that you are loveable? Or did you instead see that your parents had many other priorities that, sometimes, came before you?

(I use the term “directly or indirectly”, by the way, because oftentimes, we adopt the attitudes of our early caregivers, whether or not they express those attitudes verbally. We viscerally feel things as children and we are apt to internalize them).

Growing up, were you brought up with lots of high expectations of who you should be? Were you taught that you needed to be perfect and perform better in comparison to others? Or were you taught that your version of good is good enough?

It isn’t difficult to doubt ourselves in a world that is always suggesting, through television, marketing, and products, that we could be better, smarter, thinner, more muscular, more successful, and so on. And many of us fall prey to this message that the world shares at large. I know I did. Those of us that don't are the ones who were lucky enough to grow up with a foundational knowledge that we were good enough exactly as we are.

This feeling of insecurity that you have is tied to the thoughts you had about yourself in past situations that you experienced. Now, your brain often repeats the phrases “you’re not good enough for [this]” or “this won’t work out like you want it to” or whatever version of that you internalized in those earlier years. You weren’t born insecure; your experiences made you that way.


You weren’t born insecure; your experiences made you that way.


The Solution


Repeated thoughts of “I’m not good enough” and “this won’t work out for me” lead to an internal dialogue and unconscious belief that supports those thoughts, meaning that we start to tell ourselves, time and time again, that we’re not good enough and we start to be our own harshest and most critical judge. And, guess what? You’re left feeling insecure. Not just once, not just twice, but repeatedly. If you want to lessen that insecurity, the reliable and effective way to do it is to undo the psychological damage that was done to you and that made you believe the lie that you’re unworthy, not good enough, or unlovable in the first place. You learned to be insecure. Now it’s time to learn to be secure.





Insecurities comes from feeling unseen, unacknowledged, unappreciated, and incompetent. Security and a good sense of self-worth come from being seen for who you really are, and from feeling safe, soothed, and loved. Here’s how you build it.


You learned to be insecure. Now it’s time to learn to be secure.


A brief note: As we get into this, I want to briefly note that insecurity doesn’t just look like low-self esteem and uncertainty. Really check yourself and invite yourself to be honest. Do you have insecurities that are preventing you from living the kind of life you want to live?

The reason I bring this up is that oftentimes, parts of us fear that our insecurity will be noticeable to others and they cover up our feeling of being flawed, insecure, and not good enough. What this often looks like is that we act conceited, we criticize others, maybe we’re arrogant, or we become defensive or combative when someone disagrees with us. If that’s you and you find yourself wanting to hide and compensate for your insecurities in this way, know that that is a totally normal response that your brain is having in trying to protect you from the feeling of not being seen as worthy, lovable, or good enough.


It’s a bold choice to acknowledge the ways you compensate for your insecurities and to consider removing the veil that’s been protecting you all this time.

And doing so is exactly what will set you free. Come with me and you’ll see.


The Solution Explained

To build a secure sense of self, we’ve got to treat ourselves in the ways we may not have been treated in the past. We’ve got to be the types of parents we didn’t have-- to ourselves.


1. Value yourself.

 Acknowledge the inherent value that you have as a human being and really try to see the good of who you inherently are. The voice of insecurity inside you has been calling out the not-so-good for a long time. Now, it’s time to intentionally evoke evidence of the good. Focus on who you are, rather than on who you aren’t.


2. Respond to your own needs.

When you value yourself, you don’t put others’ needs ahead of your own. You recognize and value that you too, as a human being, have valid needs, wants, and concerns and that these need to be attended to regularly. When we don’t acknowledge that we have valid needs and we therefore don’t take actions to meet those needs, we inadvertently reinforce the false belief that we’re not good enough, not worthy, or not lovable. Someone who knows they are good enough, worthy enough, and lovable wouldn’t ignore their own needs, right?

This is a big topic! And I am building a course on it as we speak. Stay tuned to my blog and social media, and sign up for my newsletter, to be among the first to hear about it!





3. Meet and embrace your voice of insecurity.


Your voice of insecurity, believe it or not, is actually trying to help you. This part of you that has this voice assumes that if it criticizes you and reminds you of your flaws, it will prevent you from all of the ramifications that come with not being good enough. It doesn’t realize that its voice itself is doing a lot of the hurting. The key, then, becomes to work with, rather than run or hide from, your voice of insecurity. When you meet the part of you that feels insecure and let yourself spend some time with the feeling of insecurity that’s there is when you’ll be paving a way for your insecurity to become a tool of transformation and information. I describe how to understand and work with our voice of insecurity in this article about our inner critic. Read it all by clicking here.


4. Learn to truly accept yourself.

Easier said than done, right? I promise you, however, that when you do #3 enough, accepting yourself becomes easier. Time and time again, you give yourself the gift of security by acknowledging yourself, seeing yourself, and appreciating yourself. It’s truly a game-changer. Take my personal word and my clients’ word for it :) It’s one of the most transformative tools I rely on in my therapeutic coaching sessions because rather than focusing on thinking different thoughts or remembering your successes each and every single time you feel insecure (a common cognitive approach that coaches teach), what will start to happen is that you’ll start to feel more secure and more confident all on your own.

And it will happen. If insecurity can happen through experience, so can security! That’s how we know change is real and will stay. It comes on its own, not from forcing ourselves or trying incredibly hard to think, act, or be different.

I talked about how we sometimes protect ourselves from feeling insecure by showing up as arrogant, defensive, and/or extremely self-assured, and the same thing happens when we practice #3 enough, whether we are starting from this protective place or from the underlying feeling of insecurity. As we meet the feeling, embrace it, and give ourselves the gift of security time and time again, our protective mechanisms will have less of a reason to exist and will subside all on their own. (If you’re ready to drop your protective mechanisms in a one-on-one session, simply reach out. I am happy to guide you on your way).


If insecurity can happen through experience, so can security!



I often say to start where you are. So if you’re feeling insecure right now, start there, with acknowledging that for a host of many possible reasons, you don’t feel good or worthy enough. 

Get honest with yourself. Get real with how you feel. And the rest will follow. Join me for the full conversation on this and many other topics in happiness and healing in my private online community, The Happiness Hub, where we are building security one day at a time!





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