Today’s Solutions: January 18, 2022

All of us feel insecure sometimes. It’s unavoidable. But if you feel insecure most of the time, or in many different situations, you’re suffering more than might be necessary.

Insecurity has many root causes, but chronic insecurity is different, as it almost always rests on a weak sense of identity and a lack of self-compassion. It takes time and courage to overcome chronic insecurity. But here’s a simple and practical idea you can start practicing right now to gradually alleviate insecurity and the damaged sense of self that it rests on.

Whenever you feel insecure, silently say to yourself, without judgment: “I’m feeling insecure right now.” That’s it. It’s that simple.

Labeling your emotional experience is called “affect labeling”. The acceptance inherent in your non-judgmental observation of how you feel is great for your mental health and helps you accomplish the following three objectives.

First, you separate yourself from the insecurity. Instead of being a quivering ball of insecurity, you’re just a person who’s feeling insecure. There’s an “I” who’s having that feeling. You are not the insecurity, but a human being. Who is the person who’s feeling this way? You need to know, and to develop compassion toward him or her.

Second, by admitting insecurity, you befriend yourself by providing a compassionate witness to your experience. Whenever you acknowledge what’s going on inside you, in a sense, you’re no longer alone. It’s as though you have someone there with you, noticing and caring how you feel.

Last, you accept and embrace reality. Only a brave person can gaze at painful reality and not shy away from it. Only someone with integrity can admit the reality of their own suffering. Now, instead of just standing there suffering from insecurity, you’re being brave and having the integrity to embrace reality.

The next time you’re feeling truly insecure, we hope you remember this subtle technique and take the steps you need to slowly change your life for the better.

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