I grew up constantly distracted by the men in magazines I was supposed to idolize. I'd compile my small allowance in a desperate attempt to buy designer clothes so I could fit in with society's perception of perfection.
I thought that if I could have what others had, I just might be enough.
Back then, I thought I was broken. And more often than I like to admit, I still fail to remember that I'm complete and whole today.
Beneath the pit in my stomach that forms in the wake of these moments of insecurity is an inner knowing that I am not broken and I do not need to be fixed. It's a knowledge that I come from love even if I don’t always remember it.
You and I were born into this world as all-knowing, infinite balls of joy. Just because you may not see the incredible whole and complete human that you are at times, it doesn't mean that part of you has disappeared. It’s just been slowly covered up over years of accumulated insecurities.
Here are three ways to overcome these insecurities and get back to that knowledge that you are not broken but are amazingly whole:
1. Share what keeps you separated.
Sharing insecurities can strengthen our relationship with others and ourselves. When we reveal those imperfect parts of ourselves to those that we care about, we generally wind up feeling more connected to them.
Why does sharing your insecurities breed a deeper sense of connection? Because while vulnerability is the core of shame and fear, it’s also the birthplace for love and belonging. So when we’re willing to be vulnerable and share what’s actually going on, others start to relate to us more deeply. It’s like you’re giving them a permission slip to be vulnerable too.
One of my favorite ways to share my insecurities is to first explain my fears. I'll start by saying something like, “Hey, I’d really like to share something about myself that I haven’t told many others. It feels edgy and vulnerable; how do you feel about that?” Once you lay this out on the table, you'll get a general sense of whether or not this person is in a space to receive. Once you have a “green light,” you'll be able to share yourself with more compassion.
2. Engage in some appreciation.
Spend five minutes right when you wake up appreciating all that has shown up in your life as a result of you showing up. Our energy follows our focus, so start noticing what you are doing right every day. Once you nail this morning ritual, keep it going through your entire day. Make it a game to see how often you can actively appreciate you, as you are.
3. Try a "comparison detox."
Experiment with removing everything that has you comparing yourself to others—be it a social media site or a magazine—since comparison is often the thief of our joy.
4. Remember childhood innocence.
Isn’t it interesting that most little ones don’t feel insecure? Think about how you felt as a child and observe how children move through the world seemingly unencumbered with self-doubt. Doing so may help you get back to this childlike state of confidence.
Consider what activities brought you joy and allowed you to express more of yourself as a child. Then, if you’re inspired to, consider bringing one of those activities back into your schedule. You can also make it a point to spend time with children through volunteering or babysitting.