Despite the current global state of affairs, we hope you are well. What a time to be alive…
A lot of us are stuck indoors with not much to do during this time. We want to encourage you to try and find the silver lining in every day, stay as active as possible and stay connected with your loved ones.
With all the time we now have, it’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole of doing everything for others, picking up the never-ending to-do list you had made whilst you had a commute to work, or even just find yourself binge-watching Netflix (but that ain’t no problem).
But we would love to add that we think it’s important to use the more time you have to yourself wisely. Now it’s not our thing to say – learn about investments, stock, trading getting an online degree, although if these are things you want to do, by all means, do so.
Howeveverrrrr, what we will say is with all this time to yourselves, it’s the perfect time to do the inside work. To really take a look at your inner thoughts and feelings and see how you are really doing, not just what you are selling to everyone else.
We really believe each and every one of us should have a healthy amount of self-compassion.
Self-compassion is the extension of kindness, care, warmth, and understanding (instead of beratement and criticism) towards oneself when faced with shortcomings, inadequacies, or failures.
Many people can extend compassion toward others but find it difficult to extend the same compassion toward themselves, so we thought we’d start a mini-series helping you find a way to love and admire yourself first, in the same way, you love and admire others. The first way to do that is to analyse where you are. Knowing your weaknesses can only ever be a good thing, as it shows you your blind spots and knowing these show you where to begin first in your journey of growth.
Below we have touched on some tell-tale signs that show you may be dealing with insecurities…
- Trouble looking at yourself / Not wanting to take pictures
You may find looking in the mirror is difficult, especially in your natural state. Looking at your pictures or attempting to take pictures brings about discomfort and you may result in avoidance in an attempt to not have to experience those feelings.
It’s crucial to remember that you are formed of so much more than your physical, in the words of Emma Watson “feeling beautiful is nothing to do with what you look like”. The problem is not with your body, the problem is what you think of it and how you think of yourself.
- Social Anxiety / Not wanting to be seen
Some of you have been on lockdown and social distancing way before the pandemic. This one is not just for the introverts, extroverts too… liking your own company is not a bad thing in fact it is the very thing we want to encourage with this series. However, avoiding being around people for a fear of the unknown relates to a deeper problem. If you are struggling with social anxiety you may find it difficult to socialize, make eye contact and form new relationships. You may be overly self-conscious about the way people perceive you or what they think of your looks/ personality. So you would rather not be seen. In this current day and age, it may not always be physical socialising, it may manifest in ways like having a low social media presence / or just avoiding posting any pictures of yourself because you fear being seen and therefore judged.
What many of us fail to remember is that the people we converse with, the people at the party, the people on the train, and the people you on Instagram that just posted 10 pictures today are probably thinking about themselves just as much as we are and often don’t even care to notice the things we so desperately want to hide.
- Comparing yourself negatively
Comparison can be detrimental in many ways, especially because we usually compare ourselves negatively and perceive the other person as better in one way or another. In other words, in a room filled with others, you are keeping score.
The saying “Comparison is the thief of joy” isn’t just a renowned saying by chance, think deeply about this and consider what you may be stealing from yourself.
“Comparison is an act of violence against the self.” – Iyanla Vanzant
- Your internal voice is negative
Your internal voice is essentially your thoughts. They are often negative. You are often critical of yourself and never really give yourself any praise or when you do acknowledge your achievements you discount them by offering an additional external reason as to why it came about. Your internal voice always feeds you with a narrative that you are “not good enough”; “not worthy” or “undeserving” – this shows up in various areas of your life.
Censoring and invalidating yourself is common here when your internal voice is critical, you limit yourself and your capabilities. A tree never grew large by having a tiny planter, give yourself room to spread out and grow, this starts by not limiting yourself and feeding yourself with positive thoughts.
- You self-sabotage
This could relate to any area of your life especially those that require you to build and maintain relationships. Because of your insecurities, you tend to push people away, overthink things, lack trust and find a flaw in everything, you undo your good because you are fearful of experiencing the disappointment you expect.
“Don’t let insecure thoughts ruin something amazing.” – Unknown
- You lack trust / You need a lot of reassurance
As mentioned because of your lack of belief in yourself you tend not to trust others. Especially those kindest to you and showing you the most love (it’s to do with feeling undeserving, consequently making you skeptical). Because your first love should always be yourself, it can feel unfamiliar and dishonest when someone claims to love the things about yourself you are accustomed to taking for granted. Often this disbelief means a person needs to reassure they still hold these feelings more often than not, as you equate silence to the feelings no longer existing EVEN IF they are expressing love in other non-verbal ways. Whew.
Verbal reassurance holds a lot of weight in these situations, but essentially this is unsustainable. Complacency and comfort occur in all areas of life and as much as it would be lovely to have a cheerleader on our shoulders at all times, it’s not possible. So if you are dealing with insecurity in this way, before your confidence wanes, switch your method and make your voice of reassurance the loudest – stay with us, more to come on how to do this throughout the series!
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” – Wayne Dyer
- You have unhealthy forms of “escape”/ You always need an escape
From drugs to alcohol, to excessive sleep and bad relationships. You may find that being alone with yourself is too much and so you constantly distract yourself with the examples we mentioned, or you keep yourself occupied by constantly being on the phone or out and about with others.
The sheer idea of being left to just you has you believing you wouldn’t cope or you don’t want to deal with what you may think about.
- You are sensitive/defensive which can lead to projection
You often take a lot personally and to heart. Even when the perceived negativity is not directed at you you often feel that it is. Psychological projection can occur as a result of this, this is a defense mechanism that makes you attribute undesirable feelings unto other people, as opposed to admitting or handling the unwanted emotions by yourself.
First-step, face the issue head-on. Approach with understanding and compassion towards yourself and the other. Think of the facts and do not become defensive.
- You often feel anxious
You often feel a fear of the unknown. You often have this overwhelming feeling that something bad is going to happen or is happening. You often feel like your goals and aspirations for the future are farfetched and unobtainable.
- You often feel jealous
Jealousy “Feeling or showing an envious resentment of someone or their achievements, possessions, or perceived advantages.”
Whew. I know no one likes to talk about this because frankly, jealousy is UGLY. But jealously does NOT make you evil or a witch and it’s not an incurable disease. When you feel a lot of the feelings above – being that you do not look at yourself or your achievements positively and you often compare yourselves to others. It is actually a very fast and slippery slope to feelings like jealousy.
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not”. – Ann Brashares
- Overcompensation becomes second nature
Because of your internal voice telling you, “you’re not good enough” or you don’t deserve to be here when you find yourself in situations where you feel underserving you take extra measures to prove your worthiness. This can also occur in relationships/ interactions, where you find yourself doing more to satisfy the other.
- You have difficulties enforcing non-negotiables
You may find that your boundaries are not fixed and so you are easily swayed and/or often overstep your own boundaries. Or worse, other people overstep your boundaries. Some things in this life shouldn’t be negotiated, especially those that are put in place to protect you, by you. Respect the importance of your boundaries and do not trade these for nothing.
Now have a real one on one talk with yourself. Which applies to me? If only one applies to you, you are still facing some sort of insecurity. The next couple of posts will focus on how we can move away from these negative thoughts about ourselves and really move into a state of self-love, confidence and self-compassion.
“Sometimes the hardest battle is against yourself. But believe in yourself, you can win.” – Unknown
“One of the greatest journeys in life is overcoming insecurity and learning to truly not give a shit.”
– J. A. Konrath
Till next week Friday & Lots of Love,
Eni & Tami x
Check out Eni’s page on Instagram @HerWordsTheirMinds.