Insecurity is a beast that feeds on appreciation and reassurance. It makes you fight yesterday’s battles today. Be careful about what makes you feel good and what makes you feel bad because the hunger to compensate for when you were wronged a decade ago is an insecurity. This insecurity is born when we are young and we experience hurt and rejection.
We carry that insecurity throughout our lives. We develop particular beliefs about ourselves: that we are unattractive, not worth loving, stupid, or smart (which can also be an insecurity). We end up doing everything we can to reassure ourselves that insecurity is false.
For example, if you think you are smart and are insecure about your intetlligence, then you won’t ever really apply yourself, because you you’d rather scrape through and get a C than do your best and only get a B.
We look for reassurance around our insecurity. If you’re in a relationship, you need to hear your partner tell you that they really love you. You need other people to tell you that you’re worth being with, that you’re awesome, that you’re beautiful. Or you talk about theoretical physics to prove to other people as well as yourself, how smart you are. You need other people to appreciate your intelligence.
The tricky thing about insecurity is that there is a hunger inside you that needs to be fed from the outside. So you find multiple sources of that reassurance and appreciation in the external world. In fact, the things that you need to show everyone are the things that you don’t believe about yourself.
You look to solve that insecurity through external means. You look for other people's responses to show you that your insecurity is false. Moreover, you feel the need to do so because you believe the insecurity, and you’re afraid that its true.
The problem is that while that hunger can be satisfied for a time by reassurance, it is like a band-aid. The insecurity comes from within, and anything you do from the outside is not going to fix it.
For example, a person who needs to be reassured in a relationship is going to need reassurance the next day.
The person who thinks they are really smart and flexes on others today will need to flex on someone else tomorrow. Because egotistical people on the internet aren’t egotistical one day and then disappear. They are not egotistical one day, and then they disappear. They live on the internet and flex on other people as much as they can. They believe something about themselves that they don’t want to be true.
The solution for insecurity is to stop feeding it from the outside. Because what happens to things that you feed? They grow.
Each time you seek that reassurance, you are going to need more of it the next time. The more you rely on outside things, the more you become dependant on those outside things. You need those signals, because thats what makes you feel better about yourself.
As a result, you wind up in the situations when you feel wonderful on one day and then really bad on another day. What’s the difference between those two days? Its how you’re treated by the outside world. Your happiness is not dependent on yourself, its dependant on the outside world.
You end up signing away the rights to control your life to the outside world. And then you are not in control. Life is taking you wherever it wants to take you. You feel powerless, other people make you feel a particular way. You are a victim to their feelings and their whims.
To solve this, you start by going to the source of your insecurity. Recognize that if your confidence in yourself is lacking, the only place that it is going to come from is within. If you are insecure about your appearance, no amount of reassurance from the outside world is going to make that go away. If you are insecure about your capability, about your worth, your value, then no amount of the outside world is going to be able to give those things to you.
Sit with the feeling of insecurity. Look at yourself in the mirror, and then try to find that insecurity. Try to find the ugliness.
You may see it immediately, and you may think to yourself, “oh my god, I am hideous.” Notice how you feel, and sit with that feeling. Tolerate that feeling. Tolerate the hunger. Sit with it.
It will be a waiting game. The insecurity is going to feed thoughts into your head. Be careful, don’t give into those thoughts. Put your focus on something else.
With each of those moments, the hunger will start to subside and melt away, because you have stopped feeding it. If you do this practice enough, the insecurity will dissolve with it. All you have to do is stop feeding it.
Eventually, you need to learn and practice how to tolerate the bad feelings on the inside. As you learn to sit with them and accept them, they will start to dissolve. The insecurity will dissolve with it.
Stop fighting yesterday’s battles today. Everyone might have made fun of you, but you do not have to show the rest of the world how awesome you are — that’s yesterday’s battle, not today’s.
This behavior creates all these problems in your life. You treat people in a way that is dependant on how you felt some time ago.
Additionally, stop fighting internal battles on the outside. If you have an insecurity, nothing on the outside will take that away. That is a battle that has to be fought inside.
You’re not a bad person. But when you refuse to sit with yourself and distract yourself with alcohol, video games, etc, then you start to slip away. Be with yourself and see who you are, because it’s not really as bad as you think.