Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Turn Insecurity Around

Insecurity is defined as feeling unsure, doubtful, unsafe, afraid, anxious, etc. Every person is insecure to a degree, although its unique to each person. With some, insecurity doesn't interfere with daily life, and it's hardly noticeable. With others it can be immobilizing. And we all fit in there somewhere. Some symptoms of insecurity are arrogance, jealousy, low self-esteem and self-image, bigotry, controlling personality, etc. It shows up in different ways. And the insecure person can be quite unhappy.

The root of insecurity begins in childhood, sometimes very young. My oldest son was born during an August heat wave before A/C. I put him in his crib in just a diaper to keep him cool, but he cried a lot. Finally a nurse told me he didn't feel secure, and I should cover him with a small cotton sheet. That solved the problem, and he slept well from then on. I can imagine how he felt being pushed out of the womb into wide open spaces. Of course he felt insecure. If a child grows up in a nurturing, supportive environment, they'll feel more secure as an adult. If the opposite is true, they can suffer from all kinds of insecurities.

Perhaps insecurity is part of being in the human condition. I don't know. But if you feel a sense of insecurity that holds you back sometimes, the first step toward healing is to figure out the root of those feelings. And you can do that with questions and searching for insight. Why do I feel insecure when _____? What do I feel insecure about? I feel insecure because _____.

Maybe nothing you did as a child was good enough. So now you feel insecure about whatever you attempt. Maybe you moved around so much when you were growing up that friendships didn't last, so now you feel insecure about meeting new people. I may feel insecure about one thing, while you feel insecure about something else. Once you understand your own feelings and reasons behind them, you can work on confronting the issues. You can take a deep breath and say, "That was a long time ago. Things are different now." And make them different.

You may or may not be able to totally heal your insecure feelings, but you can reduce their hold on you. And you can help others. When I first began working with a mental health team in a county jail, there was one officer who always gave us a hard time. I recognized his insecurity, and I had a kind and tactful talk with him. I told him I suspected he might resent our presence, and feel threatened by us. Then I reassured him that we honored his position and were there to help him when he needed us. After that, he was more at ease, and we developed a good rapport.

We carry baggage all our lives. It feels good to lighten it.

I wish you a peaceful heart.



  1. Good insights on topic that strangles so many of us. Thanks!
    Sally Marks

  2. Thank you for your comment, Sally. We don't seem to give enough thought to insecurity, but it can be tamed down when we do. Then life gets easier.Thanks again for your thoughts.
    Blessings to you,