What Causes Insecurity? (& 5 Ways to Overcome Insecurity)

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Published Date|
April 18, 2024

What Causes Insecurity? (& 5 Ways to Overcome Insecurity)

Do you often second-guess yourself and wish things could just be as easy for you as they are for everyone else?

Dealing with insecurity can feel difficult and overwhelming - but it’s not impossible to overcome.

Here at KMA Therapy, we’re passionate about helping you thrive in your life and relationships. As experts in self-esteem counselling, we’ve been educating our clients and community on how to feel more secure for over 15 years.

After reading this article, you’ll know what causes insecurity, the long term effects of feeling insecure, and five ways to overcome insecurity once and for all.

What is Insecurity?

Insecurity is a feeling of not being good enough. It can make you feel uncertain, doubting every decision you have to make and questioning your ability to take action.

Insecurity can impact many different areas of your life, impacting your confidence about your job, your physical appearance, and even your relationships with other people.

Signs of insecurity include:

  • Perfectionism
  • Low self-esteem
  • Being your own worst critic
  • Feeling a lot of envy or jealousy
  • An intense fear of rejection or abandonment

What Causes Insecurity?

Insecurity can be caused by a variety of different factors that vary from person to person. Typically, these factors have to do with a situation or event that has a lasting negative impact on how you view yourself.

Insecurity can be caused by:

  • Bullying
  • Childhood trauma
  • Experiencing failure
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Comparing yourself to others
  • Experiencing toxic or unhealthy relationships

Impacts of Insecurity

Depending on what causes your feelings of insecurity, they may be passing or they may persist.

One negative event, like failing a test, might make you feel insecure about your ability to do well on future projects - but after succeeding on your next assignment, the feelings of insecurity may quickly go away.

But persistent negative events, like a toxic relationship, can cause you to feel more insecurity for a longer period of time.

Over time, insecurity can:

  • Worsen self-esteem
  • Hurt personal relationships
  • Negatively impact your mental health
  • Harm your ability to make plans for the future

Feelings of insecurity can understandably take a toll on you over time, and you deserve to start feeling better.

5 Ways to Overcome Insecurity

how to stop being insecure

Follow these five tips to lessen feelings of insecurity and feel more confident.

1. Understand your feelings

When you’re feeling insecure, it can be tempting to push down your feelings and pretend they aren’t there. While this can work for a little while, eventually you’ll have to confront your feelings of insecurity.

Exercises like journaling can help you explore and understand feelings of insecurity.

Try these journal prompts to get started:

  • What situations make you feel insecure?
  • What is one strength you have, and how does it help you?
  • How do you compare yourself to others? Is this helpful or harmful?
  • What beliefs about yourself do you need to release in order to feel more confident?
  • Think about one event in the past that made you feel insecure. What would you say to a friend if they were in that situation?

2. Challenge negative thought patterns

When you’re dealing with insecurity, it’s easy for negative thought patterns to spiral out of control.

Making a small mistake can quickly lead to thoughts like, “I’m so stupid” or “I don’t know why I even tried.”

Learning to recognize and change these thought patterns can help.

Begin to make a list (whether it’s a mental list or a list in your Notes app) of the negative things you think when something goes wrong. Once you identify these thoughts, it can be easier to replace them with something else.

When you feel negative thoughts beginning to creep in, try these affirmations instead:

  • I am safe in the present moment.
  • I can find a solution to the problem I’m facing.
  • I am not my fears and I am not my insecurities.
  • It’s okay to make mistakes - I can always try again.
  • I don’t have to be perfect. Doing my best is enough.

3. Surround yourself with people who support you

Insecurity can make you feel like your own toughest critic, so it can be nice to hear from voices that uplift and support you instead.

Spending time with friends and loved ones can help remind you of the secure relationships in your life and help you feel more confident about yourself.

Alternatively, if there’s someone in your life who constantly makes negative remarks about you or criticizes you, it’s okay to put some distance between you and them.

Setting boundaries can help protect your self esteem - and help you to create more time to spend with the people you enjoy being around.

4. Try something new

If you’re feeling insecure, it may feel like trying something new is the last thing you want to do - but it can help you to break out of your comfort zone.

Your “something new” can be anything from trying a new sport, to starting a new self-care routine, to joining a club for people with similar interests to you.

New experiences provide an opportunity for you to create new beliefs about yourself and your abilities, and they can often be a fun way to get to know new people or simply take better care of yourself.

5. Seek professional support

Insecurity can be difficult to overcome, and it’s not something you have to face alone.

Seeing a therapist for insecurity can help you:

  • Reprogram negative thought patterns
  • Develop tools and resources to improve your current environment
  • Explore which life events may contribute to your feelings of insecurity

Learn more by exploring our Self-Esteem Therapy page.

Next Steps for Feeling Secure

After reading this article, you know what insecurity is, what causes insecurity, and five ways you can overcome insecurity.

Here at KMA Therapy, our dedicated team of therapists is here to support you. For over 15 years, we’ve helped our clients and community learn the tools and skills they need to feel more secure in their workplace, life, and relationships.

Register online to connect with our team or download our free Therapy 101 Guide to learn more about how therapy could help you.

If you’d prefer to keep reading, explore these related articles:

Author |
Emily Weatherhead (Guest Author)
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