Insecurities and the Emergence of Self-Love
November 27, 2020
The self in self-confidence
Insecurity (noun): Uncertainty or anxiety about oneself based on standards set by the people we interact with, such as our family, friends, and peers, and societal expectations that may be legitimate or perceived
The world is full of judgment but the cruelest of them all is the judgment we place on ourselves that cause our insecurities. Whether its social anxiety, self-doubt or even imposter syndrome, in a nutshell it’s our insecurities trying to make their existence be known. Everyone has insecurities of varying forms which potentially allow self-growth and understanding of oneself. However, if insecurities go unnoticed they have the capacity to translate into to our worst behaviors. Our most deep-rooted insecurities are curated during the fragile stage of childhood where judgments from others can imprint a mark that becomes a crucial part of that child’s personality. If I could list down the instances wherein care-givers/adults have evidently damaged a child’s self-confidence in order to ‘discipline’ them, that list would never end. At that stage, they are just correcting them, but the following years will showcase that lost potential in various ways. In the pursuit of raising children who can fit ‘society’, humans unknowingly steal away their potential to become something better than ‘society’ has ever contained.
The beauty in children is that they are willing to learn, grow and become more likable. So unlike adults, they aren’t able to comprehend the concept of fact versus opinion. For instance, if you tell a child that their weight or appearance would impact their likability or that their academic qualifications impact the complete direction of their future, this won’t be registered as just an opinion, it would become the foundation of their belief system. Insecurities are so difficult to rid of as adults because they are not simply what we want from ourselves, but actually limiting beliefs that act as barriers against achieving what we truly want. The way we react to different opportunities is based on our minds programming which has consistently fed off our deepest insecurities. So when life gives you lemons, don’t always rush to make lemonade; sometimes it’s wiser to find out what’s stopping you from taking a step further and making some lemon tarts instead.
What if I’m not ‘good enough?’
According to mental health professionals, insecurity is often an underlying issue under a wide variety of mental health conditions and personality disorders. During therapy, many individuals may realize the cause of their behavior is a masked insecurity that is trying to break through the thick skin one is coerced to wear on. Individuals that acknowledge the existence of their insecurities are more likely to find an easier road to recovery, whereas individuals who wear a cloak of pride and over-confidence don’t realize that behind the pompousness lies an insecure soul trying hard to feed its ego, relentlessly neglecting the self of acceptance.
There’s a concept named as the ‘Good Enough Dilemma’ which explains precisely how insecurities work. It is not fact, it is just a fragment of ourselves which we feel tie onto in the hopes of being ‘good enough’. Everyone has their own versions of this dilemma, if not good enough, it could be ‘not-settled enough’, ‘earning enough’, ‘pretty enough’ or even ‘strong enough’. The unfortunate fact of this matter is that this ‘enough’ is a measurement that we create for ourselves through a baseless parameter, that actually doesn’t exist.
As social beings, a higher sense of self is needed to sustain a fulfilling life and there is no doubt that humans will do whatever they can to feel good about themselves. People go to varying lengths to prove their capabilities and potential but all that we receive is external validation which unfortunately doesn’t contain the ability to elevate our self-worth. Internal validation and self-acceptance is the only way to allow ourselves to become ‘good enough’. Insecurities have the ability to affect our entire life and especially the decisions we take. So the next time you turn down an invitation to a social event, or find illusive flaws as you gaze at your reflection; take a moment to reflect what your inner critic wants you to see and what is being masked beneath that despicable layer of self-doubt.
Self-love is new term millennial’s have coined to accentuate on the importance of self-acceptance, which we ironically only recognize after we have neglected it for far too long. Throughout our childhood and adolescence, we focus on becoming righteous, kinder and well-presented beings to others. Unknowingly we often miss out on being all those things to ourselves first. Self-love is now a reminder for us to take care of ourselves in a way that nurtures and allows for the human in us to acknowledge our battles and wounds. It is to finally set boundaries for oneself and accept those boundaries to be a statement of mental strength, not weakness. It’s not just taking time off work to rest at home with a face-mask but to actually become comfortable with the thoughts that we escape through the hustle-bustle of life and appreciate our ability to strive despite our withheld insecurities. It’s to reflect on how we speak to our self and how much our mind and body actually does for us without us having demanded it. The idea of journaling and daily affirmations have become a great way to actually choose a path of self-love in one’s life. Journaling allows us to elicit the insecurities we may keep from ourselves and let it flow out of us without judgement or reason. To acknowledge its existence whole heartedly, forgive our self for any wrongdoings that may have been caused by them and to gently let go of them. Daily affirmations remind us how powerful positive self-talk is. Once you have the ability to unapologetically state what you want to achieve, you’re already one step closer in having the confidence to live it.
Jaspan (2019), How Insecurities Impact Mental Health | The Light Program
Insecurity – GoodTherapy.org Therapy Blog (2019)
Martin (2019), What is Self-Love and Why Is It So Important? Psych Central.com
An expat in Dubai who loves engaging with diverse people and having honest conversations about life, through her blog- Egoiste Life. As a passionate artist, Manahil spends most of her weekends writing about the world, reading poetry and creating adventurous memories with the people she loves.