Overcoming Insecurity and Low Self-Esteem

Good morning, all. May you have a day of growth and awareness as you journey today. There were four searches for overcoming insecurity and low self-esteem, so I will address this topic.

In the pursuit of getting past insecurity and low self-esteem, I wonder if we ever get totally over insecurity. I mean, I wonder if there are situations that arise for us all that sometimes lead us to feel insecure, even when we have a strong sense of self-esteem? It may be quite normal to feel pangs of insecurity, for example, when faced with a new situation, but we move through it and it disappears as we become more comfortable in the situation.

Having raised that point, let’s look at situations where we are acutely insecure… insecure all the time, with a low self-esteem. I believe that our esteem is formed as we grow up, and is further affected as an adult. Lots of berating, criticism, and being put down will lead to insecurity and low self-esteem, either as a child, or while in a bad marriage, for example. So, what do we do about it?

I suggest that we determine what is the root of our insecurity and low self-esteem. Can we recall the times when we were berated, criticized… told we were worthless, for example. That was my demise… being told I was worthless almost every day as a child. It took its toll and I have had difficulty with getting past a low self-esteem all my life. How did I do it, get beyond the messages I received?

First, I identified the cause of my insecurity and low esteem.  It was not only childhood that led to this, but my verbally abusive marriage, as well. After identifying the causes, I wrote about my feelings… I journaled. And not just writing, but printing with my non-dominant hand, my left hand. When I did this, all sorts of deep feelings welled forth onto the page, and I began to feel some relief. My suggestion is for you to try to print with your non-dominant hand every morning for at least 5 minutes. You’ll be amazed what will surface.

Next, I began a rigorous self-talk campaign. I told myself that what was said to me were lies, that what was said was highly critical and I could never meet the expectations of the one who criticized me. Knowing there was nothing I could ever do to meet their expectations led me to feel freer, more secure in myself. Coupled with a self-appraisal of my traits, I saw my positive traits, and I began to remind myself of them every time insecurity or low self-esteem occurred.

I recognized that what was told to me was actually what the person who said them was feeling about themselves. Ahhh, what was said had nothing to do with me, only the other person. I recognized that they were emotionally and spiritually sick, not that I was bad.

So, with repeated soothing and positive self-talk, I began to grow my low self-esteem. I wrote about my positive traits, again with my non-dominant hand, to reinforce them  in my heart and mind. Over the years, that has worked to raise my low self-esteem and has led to feeling more secure.

What about you? Can you identify where the feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem originated? Can you write, print, with your non-dominant hand and let the deep hurt surface? Can you follow up those revelations with positive self-talk, and recognize that what was said was really about the person who said those things to you? Give these things a try and let us know how it turns out for you.

 

Share

Inspirational Sayings About Overcoming Insecurity and Low Self-Esteem

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.

 

 

Share

Shadows of Doubt

doubt72

“I am mired again in the shadows of my doubt, my fear. I circle and circle and circle around the stones of my heart, caged, unable to pass through to the place where my heart is bathed in light.”

Such is the prose that accompanies this image, Shadows of Doubt,  in the book. Interestingly, I wrote this prose in my journal several months before I selected and titled this image for my series, Gates of the Heart. The prose was not written specifically for this image. Yet, they fit together beautifully. That happened for most of the prose in the book… my journal writings coupled naturally with the images.

When I wrote this in my journal, I was riddled with doubt. I knew that “light” existed “out there;” I had heard others speak of it. But I could not get to it. I was running in circles in my mind, specifically, doubting the existence of a higher power… God, or whatever you choose to call that force. And, I was doubting myself… my abilities, who I was and especially my worthiness.

I could not seem to trust God, I kept having my doubts that He existed, because I didn’t feel as though He was helping me. This doubt led to mistrust. I would go only so far in trusting God, and then I felt I had to take over, had  to watch my back. This became a problem for me, Because to maintain my sobriety,I needed His assistance.

Then I met a woman who suggested to me that I start noticing every time something happened that was for my own good, whether an event/experience or in my inner world. “Watch how it is better than anything you had planned,” she further said. So I started watching and acutely paying attention to the things happening in my life.

Sure enough, I soon began to see that things were happening in my life. Things like, feeling better about who I was, developing better relations with others,  events occurring and people appearing to further the publishing of my book, for example. I concluded that God is and was working on my behalf, always providing me with opportunities to learn lessons, or to learn about myself and others.

My doubts about a higher power have waned, but as far as doubt about myself? That is an area that needs continual watchfulness and awareness. This is a topic all its own and  I will deal with it in the next post.

Thank you for visiting and joining our journey through the book. Until the next time, what do you doubt?  What has that been like for you? How do you overcome doubt?

Share