Being a teenager can be tough. I remember my teen years vividly. I was confused about a lot. I questioned myself constantly. I was insecure, like many of you are, about so many things in life.
I was caught up in the game of people pleasing. I was just trying to fit in. I was struggling to find my own voice. I placed more emphasis on the quantity of friendships/relationships as opposed to the quality.
From the outside, it looked like I had it all, had the perfect life. But, outward appearances can be deceiving. I was hurting. This led me down a path of silent struggle- identity issues, depression, addiction issues, food and body image struggles, etc.
Positive psychology tools are helping me work through these issues and my insecurities still today. Yes, I’m still working on them because building confidence is continuous process and requires consistent practice. Insecurity never 100% goes away, it occasionally rears its ugly head. But now I know what to do.
Writing has become a creative outlet and has opened up my soul, and has helped me to become more connected to self. As I was preparing for this article, I was inspired to write the below poem about insecurity. Does it resonate with you?
INSECURITIES by TB
I had so many
Am I good enough
Am I smart enough
Do you like me
The need for acceptance
Is something so natural
But you don’t have to do anything
Or try to be anyone
That goes against your soul
Pretending is so draining
You become an expert in lying
And the “friendships” that you make
Are inauthentic and fake
There is another way
You have a natural disposition
And a natural intuition
About who you are
About what you want
And what you are willing to stand up for
You have a unique personality
You exude your own special beauty
You have unique talents all your own
You have opinions that matter
And a heart of both steel and gold
Be you and be free
The right people will come to “me”
You don’t need to “act” to connect
Authenticity and vulnerability bring respect
You can be confident in that
What is insecurity?
Insecurity it not being confident about yourself. There are ways you can combat insecurity, and I’ve chosen 3 to discuss with you today. I’ve also included writing exercises help you explore these pieces of wisdom.
Here are three ways you can combat insecurity.
- Follow your intuition. Intuition is your gut feeling. You know when something or someone feels right to you…and you know when you “have a bad feeling about this”. You feel it in the pit of your stomach. Go with your gut feeling. It’s usually the first feeling you have, until you try to convince yourself otherwise. When you make decisions based on your intuition, you feel good about them and you feel confident. You learn to trust yourself more. Good things usually happen. Writing Exercise: Write about a time when you used your intuition to make a decision. What was the situation? What happened? How did you feel when you made the decision? How did you feel about the results? Do you generally feel better and get better results when you make decisions that align with your gut feeling?
- Cultivate gratitude and appreciation for self. It’s easy to criticize and beat yourself up. It takes practice to focus on the good, but it is worth it. The more you practice seeing the good, the more good you will see. The more you see the good in yourself, the more confident and secure in yourself you will be. Writing Exercise: Make a list of all of the things you like about yourself and all of the things you are grateful for. After you make this initial list, add something to it every day. It may feel hard some days, but you can always find at least 1 good thing. Looking for more of a challenge? “Hunt the good stuff” and find 3 things to be grateful for each day. You will be amazed how much more confident about yourself you will feel, and when you are feeling down you can look at your list and be reminded of all of the awesomeness that is you!
- Make quality connections. We feel most connected to people we share things in common with and who we can feel comfortable being ourselves around. These are people who we can trust. These are people who we can be vulnerable with. When you find someone like this, invest your time in developing the friendship. When you can’t see the good and you and are feeling insecure, they can help remind you of your greatness and are happy to do it. They help you build more confidence in yourself. Everyone needs a cheerleader! Writing Exercise: Write about your relationship with your best friend. Who is he/she? How did you meet? Why do you consider him/her your best friend? How does he/she make you feel when you’re together? After you’re finished call him/her up and do something fun! And if you’re brave enough, share with him/her what you wrote about your friendship. It will make both of you feel good and feel more connected and confident in your friendship.
I hope you enjoyed this month’s article about insecurity and ways to build more confidence in yourself.
Always remember: You are good, you are beautiful, you matter.
About the Author: Lieutenant Colonel Theresa BODNAR is a full time Soldier in the Army, a certified Army Master Resilience Trainer (MRT), a Positive Psychology Practitioner, Eating Psychology Educator, Author of Get UPP!: Understanding Positive Psychology, and an aspiring Motivational Speaker. She is excited to get to know you and share all sorts of positive psychology tools, inspirational blogs, and poetry with you. Read More…