Tolerate Your Insecurities.

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Okay so, as a teenage girl (I am classing twenteen as a teenage year now), and a teenage girl suffering from depression, insecurity basically runs my life. And I know that I am not the only one. Insecurity is like a demon that sits on your soul and crushes your happiness. It’s more common than most people think, and also more destructive.

German psychoanalyst Eric Fromm said, “The task we must set for ourselves is not to feel secure, but to be able to tolerate insecurity.”

So, in line with that, here are five tips that will hopefully help you (and me) to tolerate, and function, and reduce out insecurity, put forward by Therese Borchard.

First of all, try to remember that insecurity can be beautiful.
This may not seem to make any sense to you right now – I had to re-read this bit a few times for it to sink in. But insecurity is basically humility. It’s a lot like constantly being modest about your own qualities. And humility is a divine quality. So this vulnerability we feel is actually a beautiful quality for us to have. And when I think about it, I would rather be insecure and vulnerable, than be vain and obnoxious. Wouldn’t you?

“It’s not all bad. Heightened self-consciousness, apartness, an inability to join in, physical shame and self-loathing—they are not all bad. Those devils have been my angels. Without them I would never have disappeared into language, literature, the mind, laughter and all the mad intensities that made and unmade me.”

Secondly, a great way to battle insecurities is to keep a “self esteem file”.
This is a file (or a jar) of all the nice things, compliments or passing comments, people have every said to you. If a friend tells you that you are important to them, put it in the file! If a creepy guy at a club tells you that you have nice legs, put it in the file! (And walk away from him!) Then, when you have a low moment, and can feel your insecurities creeping up on you, just read the things you have put in your file. No one will have an empty self esteem file – if you do then you’re doing it wrong!

You can also put positive things people say in there, such as being told you are a good listener. Anything that is a positive reflection on you personally can go into this file.

If you want a jump start to it, then ask your closest friends for three of your best qualities. And I assure you this one simple task will save you so much time being eaten up by the demons of insecurity. I am trying it right now…. Are you?

The third one should be an obvious one, but it isn’t. Try to avoid the people who make you feel insecure.
So for me this is a tough one, because there are very few people in the world who I don’t feel insecure around. So if I avoid these people, I may well be spending most of my days on my own. But it is important for you to be protected.

It takes some work, however, as you may need to reschedule your day – for example taking a new route to work or eating lunch at a different time. Don’t be afraid to make excuses for things in order to complete this step. If you manage to avoid the people who are making you feel this insecurity then you may even have the time to process what it is you feel insecure about, and overcome it. And I don’t think anyone will really notice, apart from the new and confident you that is strutting around the office!

Once you have completed step three, step four should be simple. Try to surround yourself with the people you find supportive.
These people, and there may not be many of them, are the people who will take the time to remind you of your positive qualities. They will reassure you that you have no reason to feel insecure. They are the voices of truth you need in your head in order to keep you brain functioning, and keep your insecurities at bay.

For me, there aren’t too many people that I would trust with this, and I’m sure that’s the same with all of you. But if you really want to battle this demon then you need to be prepared to squeeze time into your day to talk to them on the phone, or to travel great distances to see them. My best friend is in Wales, and I am in Hong Kong, so for me Whatsapp and Facebook messenger are extremely important to me for this, but it is better than sitting and being eaten up by my insecurities.

And finally, insecurities are invisible!
No body around you can see your insecurities, no body can sense them, no body at all knows! Everyone has some sort of insecurity. The people around you are so focused on their day and their lives that they may not even see you let alone notice that you are insecure. Insecurity is this thing that only exists in our minds, and that is the truth! Have you ever noticed someone else around you feeling insecure?(I’m guessing the answer is no, it is for me), so the same goes for you!!!

So, these are five tips to help you, hopefully, deal with your insecurity, and be able to continue alongside it. I feel like they’ve opened my eyes a little bit, so it would be great if they did the same for you.

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Written by: Philippa Berry.
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