Where your insecurities are coming from?

Following from my write-up on insecurity, I had an interesting conversation with someone that has prompted me to explore this topic a little more philosophically.

What are insecurities?

As children, we sponge from the immediate surroundings faster and more openly than we can possibly imagine. Those who take care of us instantly become our role-models, even though we may not plan for it, or want this to happen.

You may disagree with your caregiver’s values or ethics, you may even despise them, yet on a very subconscious level, they become a part of your psychological make-up. Often you could hear yourself saying “I will never be like my mum/dad”, and what happens next?

One day you just hear yourself sounding like your own mother/father, or notice yourself acting like them. Children model their environment very quickly; they learn fast, less or more deliberately.

Then you grow older and you realise that you really don’t like these traits. These traits that you may have been exposed to and learnt are now preventing you from being the real you. They are no longer beneficial, nor positive, nor yours.

These traits are insecurities...

... And insecurities are learnt behaviours. They stem from your own or your role-models' negative experience that you have internalised. The perception of a five-year-old child is already contaminated with the experiences of its caregivers, which draws the conclusion that everything has its beginning during childhood.

The moment you notice yourself trying to convince your loved one to adopt your viewpoint on any matter is the pivotal stage to stop and indulge in self-reflection. If you are now aware that you are repeatedly attempting to make one change their mind, or re-shape the way they see or do things, without their clear and willing wish/consent, stop for a second and think. Your insecurities are getting the better of you.

Experiencing troubled feelings in reaction to the actions of others doesn’t mean that they are doing something wrong. It means that they are doing something different to what you wish them to do, and this is entirely your problem, not theirs. This indicates where your own insecurities are poking you.

Don’t be fooled that you are the one who is right. You may really believe that due to your strong convictions, however, each human being, regardless of how closely related to you, is qualified to live their life as they choose to. You may not agree to it, yet respecting alternative ways will help your relationship to thrive rather than decline.

If you believe that relaying your perspective may be useful, do it in a kind way, without implying emotional or other pressures, that effectively amounts to abuse. Stay away from blackmail or a guilt trip, and don't become a victim or a persecutor (Karpman Drama Triangle).

Accept that people are different - your children, parents and loved ones are not you. They have all learnt their own insecurities and they are dealing with them as they can.

Embrace the difference within your family, friends, and colleagues.

Have a little time for yourself and think:

  • How is this difference I am confronted with causing harm to me or others?
  • Is this rational thinking or am I biased by my own beliefs?
  • How did I adopt this belief?
  • Where did I learn it?
  • Is it really mine?
  • What makes me want to control others, their actions and choices?
  • What am I getting from that?
  • What don’t I accept about myself that I continue doing so?
  • What emotions am I faced with?
  • How could I let go?

Once you allow yourself the awareness that the majority of your anxious beliefs were learnt from the environment you happened to grow up in, you will see how very distorted and twisted they are.

We naturally resist change and that which we don’t understand. This can be shifted by permitting openness and acceptance.

Allow yourself to explore your mind, challenge yourself to grow, and make a difference to the quality of the lives of yours and others around you.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Exeter, Devon, EX4
Written by Agatha Penney, MBACP (Accred), COSRT, Psychosexual Therapy, Supervision
Exeter, Devon, EX4

Agatha works as a psychotherapist in her private practice. Her interest lies in helping people affected by challenging family relations. Following research on this subject, she is involved in creating a platform for people struggling with loneliness and family conflict. Agatha is also completing her diploma in psychosexual & relationship therapy.

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