How to Stop Being Insecure, and Just Love You

Three Parts:Changing Your MindsetImproving Your Self-ImageTaking Action

The more and more we get addicted to social media and the more and more life seems to be about expensive handbags and shiny cars and pretty faces, sometimes it seems downright impossible to love ourselves. We become insecure in who we are and what we have to offer and unable to see that we're no different than anyone else. However, insecurity can be just the motivation you need to become a better person. Grab a hold of it and don't let it go – face it, accept it, and you'll be on your way to self-acceptance and love.

Part 1
Changing Your Mindset

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    Distinguish between what is real and what is imaginary. There are always two realities running parallel to each other at any given time: the one outside your mind and the one within. Sometimes taking a step back is all you need to see that whatever you're concocting in your mind has very little to do with reality. Instead, it's just your fears and anxieties taking hold of you. When you're feeling anxious, remember: is this reality or is this just my made-up reality?[1]
    • Let's say that your boyfriend texted you back "OK" when you went on this huge, gushing, sentimental streak about how great tomorrow night is going to be on your anniversary. In your head, you start thinking, "Ohmigod. He doesn't care. He doesn't care about me. What am I doing? Is this it? Are we going to break up?" Woah. Back up. Does "OK" mean any of those things? No. That's your imagination running away with you. It may mean he's busy or not in the mood, but it does not mean things are over.
    • People have a tendency of focusing on the negative and seeing the worst in otherwise harmless situations. Trying to focus on what is just in your head will help you start chipping away at your insecurity, which needs your wild imagination to thrive.
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    Know that your insecurity is invisible. Let's say you walk into a party where you know practically no one and you're totally nervous. You're feeling super insecure, you start wondering why you even came, and you're confident everyone is looking at you and can see how insecure you are. False. Sure, they can see you're nervous, but that's it. No one can see your insides. Don't let something totally invisible box you in, keeping you from who you want to be.[2]
    • Most of us get so caught up in the fact that we assume everyone knows how we feel and can tell we're insecure, making the situation even worse. Luckily, this just isn't true. No one is judging you for being insecure because no one can tell.
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    Believe that nothing is what it seems. Did you hear about that woman who faked a trip all around the world to even her closest friends and family? Via Facebook, she posted all these photos of how awesome her vacation was, when really she was sitting at home faking it all.[3] In other words, people only let you see what they want you to see – behind those drawn curtains is something much less enviable. Nothing is what it seems, no one is as they seem, and there's no reason to measure your lot up to anyone else's.
    • As Steve Furtick said, "The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel."[4] We'll talk about making comparisons in a bit, but just realize that you're looking at everyone's highlight reel, not the actual body of their work.
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    Listen and accept your feelings. One method of fighting insecurity is just to not acknowledge it. Apart from the fact that this just squashes it until you blow up, it also sends the message to yourself that the way you feel isn't valid or isn't okay. When you're not okay with how you feel, you can't accept yourself. And when you can't accept yourself, you'll be insecure. So take those little feelings and feel 'em. Once you do, they might go away.
    • However, this does not mean to accept your feelings as true. "I'm fat and ugly" is something you should allow yourself to feel, not to believe. Acknowledge that you feel this way and then you can ask yourself why and do something about it.

Part 2
Improving Your Self-Image

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    If you do compare yourself to someone, compare yourself to you. Again – when you're looking at other people, you're looking at their highlight reel. So don't do it. When you catch yourself doing it, stop. Just stop. Remind yourself that it's the highlight reel you're watching, and that reel is pretty darn short.
    • And if you have some comparison void that needs filling, just compare you to you. How are you improving? What skills do you have now that you didn't before? How are you a better person? What have you learned? After all, in the race that's life, you're your fiercest competition.
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    List out all your good qualities. Seriously. Take out a piece of paper and a pen (or your phone) and write them down. What do you like about yourself? Don't stop until you have at least five. Is it a talent? A physical attribute? A personality trait?
    • If you can't think of any (you're not alone), ask a few close friends or family members what they think your best qualities are. Besides, there's tons of research that says others know us better than we know ourselves.[5]
    • When you're feeling down for the count, bust out this list or remember back to its contents. Take on an attitude of gratitude and those insecurities may just start slipping away. Look online for lists of self affirmations that could also be used if one cannot come up with positive qualities.
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    Take care of your body, your space, and your time. In order to love ourselves, our minds have to see some proof that we do. If someone treated you terribly you wouldn't believe they loved you, and the same goes for you. Here's what to keep in mind:
    • Take care of your body. Exercise, eat healthy, get enough sleep, and keep it at 100% as often as possible. This is the bare minimum.
    • Take care of your space. If you live in a pile of potato chip bags, you probably aren't going to feel ready to take on the world. What's more, you need to take care of your mental space, too. Practice meditation, do yoga, or find some other way to keep your mind stress-free.
    • Take care of your time. In other words, make time to A) relax, and B) do what you love. With these two things, happiness falls in line – a large obstacle to self-acceptance.
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    Define your boundaries. Hopefully you treat you right and you know how you should treat you, but what about others? Define your boundaries – in other words, what will you and will you not put up with? What violates your definition of "okay?" Why is this important? Because you have rights and you deserve to be treated the way you want to be treated. You just have to know how you want to be treated to begin.[6]
    • A good example is how long you'll wait for a late friend. You could make a rule that you won't wait longer than 30 minutes. If they snooze, you're outta there. After all, your time is valuable – you are valuable. If they don't respect that, they're disrespecting you. And if they do respect you, they'll be on time.
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    When in doubt, fake it. "Fake it till you make it" isn't just some conveniently rhyming, trite piece of advice. In fact, science says it works. Even faking confidence convinces others you're more confident, competent, and can lead to more opportunities and better results.[7] So if you need that extra dose of confidence, lean on your acting skills. Everyone will be none the wiser.
    • Don't know where to start? Go through your body and consciously release your muscles that are holding tension. When we get nervous, we physically tense up. Letting your muscles go is a cue to your mind and those around you that you're cool as a cucumber.

Part 3
Taking Action

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    Start a self-esteem file. With either or phone or a small notebook always in tow, write down every compliment you get. Every single one. When you need a pick-me-up (or just when you have a few free minutes), go through them. By the end, you'll feel amazing.[8]
    • It's so easy to focus on the negative, especially with a naturally insecure way of thinking. When we're insecure, the entire world takes on a negative hue and thus compliments get kicked out of our mainstream thinking. Writing them down helps you remember them and relive them, all at once. Loving yourself may come as a result.
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    Surround yourself with those who make you feel good. Unfortunately, a lot of how we feel about ourselves and about anything, really, is determined by those around us. If we're around negative people, we're going to be negative. If we're around happy people, we're likely to be happier.[9] So surround yourself with people who make you happy and feel good about yourself. Why would you do anything else.
    • And to go along with that, get rid of everyone else. Seriously. If there are people in your circle that don't help you love yourself, cut 'em off. You're better than that. Ending a toxic friendship is hard, but it's totally, completely worth it when you realize how much better you feel.
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    Find work you love. Work takes up so much of our lives. If you're stuck in a job you hate and being miserable, the unconscious message you're sending yourself is that you're not capable of better and you don't deserve it. If this describes your situation, make an effort to get out. This is your happiness we're talking about here.
    • What's more, your work may be keeping you from your actual passion. Imagine if you had more time to do what made you happy – how might that feel? Probably pretty incredible. When you have purpose, it's a lot easier to feel secure and love yourself.
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    Face your obstacles and wounds. Remember a while back when we said to "feel your feelings?" Once you feel them, you can face them and figure out where they're coming from. What is it about you or your situation that is keeping you from being truly happy and loving yourself? Is it your weight? Your looks? Something about your personality? Your status in life? How someone treated you in the past?
    • Once you pinpoint the issue, you can start to take action. If your weight bothers you, use it as motivation to start losing weight and to make yourself feel beautiful. If it's your status in life, you can make a change to accomplish more. Whatever it is, use it to your advantage. It can be the urge you need to improve. Who knew insecurity could come in handy?!
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    Change what you cannot accept. They always say accept what you cannot change, but the latter half of that statement is to change what you can't accept. Can't accept what you look like? Do something about it. Can't accept your career path? Switch. Can't accept how you're treated? End the relationship. You have a surprising amount of power – you just have to use it.
    • Yeah, it'll be hard work. It will. Losing weight isn't easy. Switching jobs is equally hard. Dumping a leech of a partner sucks. But these kinds of things are doable. It'll be rough initially, but in the long run you'll be in much better a place. A place of security and self-love.


  • Be you no matter what. Remember to smile and say "I love you" to yourself.
  • Just because your friends are something you aren't, doesn't mean you have to change to be like them.
  • Always keep your head up high.
  • To get around the worst of times, you must think of the best and picture how you were feeling at that moment.
  • Smile! It will make you seem more approachable and it will also boost your self-esteem.
  • If you have something not everyone else has, like a gap in your front teeth, don 't hide it by not smiling, embrace it! Learn to love that you're unique.
  • Do something that makes you feel embarrassed. The more you start to feel comfortable doing so, the more secure you will feel.
  • Take time to get to know yourself. This is an important, often uncomfortable, step. It can be done by becoming okay with quiet time alone with just yourself.
  • Stay closer to your family and friends.
  • Exercise and get healthy, it can make you feel good. Not only on the outside but inside as well.
  • Always believe in yourself. You can do it if you believe you can do it! You can do anything you want as long as you believe so. It doesn't matter if you achieve your goal. What matters is giving your best trying to achieve it. Even if you end up losing a few battles, you will be glad you've given your best.

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Categories: Overcoming Shyness & Insecurities