Overcoming insecurity and low-self esteem is a process. It takes conscious, focused, and consistent attention, especially if we have an extra-low esteem or very high insecurity. I believe the answer lies in learning to accept ourselves, just as we are. Hence, the title of the photo on the right, which is Acceptance of Self.
First, we need to be aware of how we currently see ourselves. We can ask ourselves questions about our esteem, our confidence. If we think of ourselves as “less than” others, then we are dealing with a low self-esteem and insecurity. We accept that and give compassion and soothing to ourselves. We treat ourselves with gentleness as we explore these feelings.
We understand that we are human and we embrace that. Not as an excuse for poor behavior, actions, or thoughts, but, instead, to allow ourselves to make mistakes, to be human, to have failings.
When we have erred, we can examine the situation and our part in it. Then we can apologize to the other, or ourselves, and we change our behavior. This action is our responsibility and, when performed, helps us feel better about ourselves, merely because we are being responsible for things we did that we didn’t like.
Another way to boost our esteem and lessen our insecurities is to do things for others. Sometimes, that’s as simple as smiling at someone as we pass, saying hello. It could be offering help to one in need, whether a stranger or someone we know. We take responsibility for being useful to others. This works well to increase esteem. It is said that if you want esteem, do esteem-able acts.
These are the things I have done that have allowed me to better my self-image and esteem, both of which were shattered when I came to sobriety. It has taken years, and I committed to the process which I have outlined. The result was tested last week in Allen, Texas, while at a signing event for my book Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing.
I was well-received and people were giving me compliments right and left. In days before I felt comfortable with myself and who I am, I would have pushed away those words, discounted them, with sarcastic or humorous responses to another’s compliment. Now that I feel positive regard for myself, I was able to humbly accept what was coming my way, taking it in with gratitude and joy, knowiing that my message of hope had been heard. That made me feel good about myself, which, in turn, lowered my insecurity.
If you are dealing with overcoming insecurity and low self-esteem, try what I have described. You may find it helpful. Just remember that it is a process, one which takes time and persistence. I wish you well.