With social media taking over our everyday lives, it’s hard to avoid self-scrutiny and insecurity through judgement and comparison.
“My post isn’t getting enough likes.” “Do I look fat in this?” “Did I laugh too loudly?” “Ok, I totally messed that up.” “How is their life so perfect?!”
So how do we get past feeling insecure?
What are insecurities?
For starters, insecurities are byproducts of self-doubt. This manifests through constant comparison with other people, fear of rejection, or the anxious battle with your inner voice that says “you’re not good enough.”
Insecurities roll in when your self-image doesn’t seem to match the opportunities you’re granted with. Whether it’s through social anxiety, relationship insecurity, or through self-deprecating means.
You get accepted to your dream school – “This must be a prank.”
Your crush asks you out – “They’ll change their mind when they know me.”
You present in front of the class –”They’re totally laughing at me.”
What causes them?
There’s a critical inner voice at the back of our heads that try to meddle with our personal progress. This voice was built on how the people we were exposed to as kids – older siblings, classmates, our parents, or even our teachers – interacted with themselves, others, and us.
Did they constantly call themselves out for being “too fat” or “underqualified?” Did they treat other people poorly? Did they often scold us for “asking too many questions” or “not knowing what to do?”
All these are premature factors for why your self-image is the way it is today.
What are the signs of insecurity?
There are 3 signs of insecurity: constant comparison, imposter syndrome, and self-doubt.
Comparison is using other people’s lives as your own metric of success. It’s when you’re constantly watching someone else’s life just to see if you’re doing okay. You make yourself feel better by comparing yourself to others. If you see them going through what you’re going through, it must mean you’re normal. Otherwise, you’re probably lagging behind. (Not true!) That’s because when comparing ourselves to others, we tend to compare the best part of their lives to the worst part of ours. #sadtruth
Imposter Syndrome is the nagging thought at the back of your head making you feel as if you don’t really measure up to people’s expectations of you. This is when you constantly feel the need to prove yourself worthy of your credentials and accomplishments. Because of this, you tend to feel like a fraud in your own life.
Lastly, self-doubt is that shadow of failure constantly chasing you around threatening to evade your every attempt to success. Whether it’s in your personal growth, career, or relationships, this shadow haunts you wherever you go!
When these three signs are fueled, they manifest in everyday behavior. We act on them without even knowing that it’s the motivation behind our motion. So what can we do about it?
How do we overcome them – F.A.S.T?
While there is never an easy way out, there always is a way forward!
Forgive the past
The past can be an excruciating place to look – especially when it comes with memories that have tainted your self-image. The best way to move past this is to forgive those who have hurt you and leave the past in the past. Whether it was a parent, an old friend, or even yourself – forgive what has happened in the past. Don’t let those previous experiences rob you of an amazing life ahead.
As often as it’s said, we still can’t seem to engrave it in our minds – we are all flawed. Every one of us. And while we come with shortcomings, we are quite grand as it is. The sooner we come to terms with this, the happier we get to be. The moment you learn to accept yourself in all your entirety, the less you’ll need to feel validated by other people’s opinions of you.
Silence the voices in your head
We are our worst critics, and the voices in our heads are the biggest bullies of our lives. As much as the world is rallying against bullying in schools, we should also learn to campaign for kindness within ourselves. Our minds can be such a dangerous place when all you hear are criticisms and reasons why you’re not good enough. Remind yourself that you are in charge of your thoughts and make sure you only cultivate what pushes you to progress and be better.
Trust in life
Life has a funny way of making things work out and make sense in the end. If you’re in a turmoil phase, trust that it will blow over soon. If you’re going through a rough patch, get enough going for yourself to get through the day. We tend to forget that sometimes “happiness” and “contentment” are such tall orders for life. Some days being productive on its own deserves a pat on the back. Trust in the process. Trust in life.
Whatever it is you’re going through, know that it all ends and begins with you. Learn more about how you can address situations like these by visiting our all about senior high blog section over at Edukasyon.ph!