How often do you stand in front of the mirror and ask yourself ‘Am I too fat’? ‘Am I too thin’ ‘Am I too short’? ‘Am I too tall’ ‘Is my nose too broad’? “Is my nose too narrow’? and all other self-doubt questions including several other adjectives. It is said that ‘Mirror is your best and the worst enemy’. Poets have written poems about women asking the mirror if they look pretty or wrinkled. Why? Why is it that people are tending towards seeking someone else’s validation? Has it been dug deep in our souls to question ourselves? Or do we not have enough self-love to see our beauty? Do you ever look at a person you love and doubt their competence? No. You look at them like they are the most perfect human alive. Why? Because you love them. So, your self-doubt and self-depreciation is a result of the lack of self-love?
The voices inside your mind can either destruct you or make you. Insecurities are screamed into our head by these voices. This voice is your inner voice. And this voice depends on three major factors. First, recent events. Second, upbringing or childhood. Third, your idea of perfectionism.
You might have been burying these voices but some events might give more power to them over you. A recent break-up, death of a loved one, loss of job or money can poke the voices. These events have a major impact, one might start finding the reasons for these occurrences and blame themselves. The first question that pops after a breakup is, ‘Was I not enough’?. You start blaming yourself for the failure of the relationship. You start thinking that maybe something is/was wrong with you that is why this pain has been inflicted upon you. Often, such events lead to the encouragement of destructive thoughts. The over-analysis drives you to the conclusion that you are to be blamed. However, this is not true always. Some circumstances are out of human control, especially if it involves another person. You cannot make anyone love you, but that does not mean something is wrong with you. Everyone has their preferences, which does not indicate your imperfectness.
Insecurities are often reflected by one in the way of bullying or being judgmental. People with insecurities often degrade or criticize others to hide their lack of self-esteem.
How to remove the insecurities arising from bad events?
- Give yourself some time to heal. Remove yourself completely from such people/situations.
- Remind yourself that the situation was not in your hands and you could not have done anything to reverse the results.
- Talk to the people who appreciate you, they would be able to clear the clouds of self-doubt in a better manner, because we tend to listen more to others.
- Try not to think of the memories, as the reminders will haunt you more.
- Engage yourself in something new that you would enjoy and would not have done before. This will build more trust for yourself and entail appreciation for yourself within you.
A majority of children grow up in an environment where passing criticising comments was normalised. Often, without realising the impact of their words, parents tend to say hurtful words which can scare the child forever. This is a major reason for the insecurities we still hold. Phrases like
- No one is ever going to love.
- You are fat/skinny.
- Do not eat so much.
- You are dumb, no matter how much you try you are never going to get better grades
- Xyz is better than you
- You never do anything right
- Why are you like this?
These comments might just be an outcome of aggression or frustration but the child holds the negativity forever. The criticism soon turns into self-criticism due to the mindset that parents are always right. And if in the early stage of development, one is constantly said something then they are prone to believe that. Moreover, sometimes parents might impose their insecurities without knowing that their child might absorb it. When they see a parent practice self-doubt, there is a high possibility that the child will repeat the same with themselves. Questions like ‘Am I looking fat in this dress’ may make your child question his/her figure too.
The childhood is like a foundation of the building, and if it consists of some cracks then the building is bound to fall sooner or later. The words absorbed during the development age may destruct their self-esteem forever. This will affect all prospects of ones’ life. Education, career and relationship.
People often get nervous about, Am I looking fat? Am I too short? Are they looking at my broad nose? Will they judge me because of my face color? These are some of the outcomes of such childhood.
How to remove such insecurities?
- Unlearn the bad preaching of childhood. Get a new perspective or thought process.
- Be with appreciative people
- Instead of criticizing, start complimenting yourself and others.
- Try talking positively with your parents. Compliment them as they might have been a victim of this vicious circle too.
- Note down good points about yourself in a notebook or hang posters on the wall to constantly remind you that you are not what your parents said.
Social media has portrayed an illusion of perfection to this generation. Perfect body, perfect skin and perfect hair. And the definition of this perfect is horrendous. This makes the person re-evaluate themselves forcing them to think that they are not perfect according to the standards set by the society. The amount of perfect garbage social media is stuffing us with is one of the reasons why we are so insecure about our self. We believe if we do not meet the standards of perfection then we become obsolete. The word perfection is the biggest deceitful word. This word tricks you into thinking that you are good enough, that you need to reach a certain level to accept yourself. We set unattainable goals for ourselves, and the incompetency to fulfill them makes us insecure. We become insecure about what we do and what we are due to the inefficiency to be ‘the perfect one’. Setting unrealisable standards or visions not makes us insecure but also escalate the level of expectations from other people, both, hazardous.
What can you do to get over the obsession of perfect?
- Stop comparing yourselves to the social media influenzas. You never know the reality
- Set achievable standards
- Remove the word perfect from your dictionary
- Celebrate your little victories as they are the stepping stone to the big parties!
- Do not expect the same level of obsession with others.
However, from my personal experience, there is are a few steps to follow to overcome insecurities.
- Locate your insecurities.
- Accept them. Usually, we remain in denial. But, for the aid of self-love, one has to accept the existence of insecurities. This step is vital for the change to happen as loving yourself or accepting yourself as you are making the process self-driven.
- If possible, try to change them or remove them. If you are insecure about your weight then hit the gym. Or if you think you lack in studies then study smarter and harder.
- Acceptance of the new you. Now, celebrate the hard work you have done. Makes everything, worth it.