written by
Jaemin Frazer

The 7 biggest mistakes people make trying to deal with insecurity.

Personal development Personal development How to Overcoming insecurity Dealing with fear 11 min read

"Insecurity left unaddressed in your life ultimately leads to madness. This problem therefore, demands a clear, intelligent and complete solution."

Overcoming insecurity
Unhindered - How to be free from insecurity before you are 40

If you'd like some objective feedback about how you well you are dealing with your insecurity, TAKE THE FREE ONLINE ASSESSMENT to see how you measure against these 7 essential practices

We all have insecurity on some level. Here are the seven biggest mistakes people make in trying to solve the insecurity problem in their life.

1. Run away from the fear

The first of the big mistakes people make is to run away from the things they fear. They imagine that insecurity is something that everybody has and that it's just a natural part of life. Everyone's insecure - You can't change it, so you need to run away from that fact so that it doesn't catch up with you.

Face up instead

Now, it's not that hard to guess that this strategy is not very effective. Wherever you go, there you are. You can't escape yourself. When you lay your head down asleep at night, there you are with your fear, and your fears taunt you. The first of the 7 essential practices to overcome insecurity is actually step into the light not run away in the dark. It is all about acceptance, awareness and the willingness to face your insecurity and own your fears. Until you face the truth that on some level you are deeply afraid that you are not enough, then you have no chance of dealing with that fear and finding a way to overcome it.

As Yoda says. “Named must your fear be before banish it you can”

2. Hope to be rescued

The second biggest mistake people make is that they hope to be rescued. As part of their journey with insecurity, they are looking to others to make them feel good. They feel that the reason that they are insecure is because of the terrible, mean and hurtful things that have been said and done to them over the years. They hope that they can find nice, kind, generous people to undo that bad work and make them feel like they're a good human being. They seek people to rescue and validate them as their strategy for feeling good about themselves and building self-esteem.

Now, the problem with that is, when you have a story that says you're no good, that's the filter you bring to every interaction in life. So every time you receive a compliment or someone validates you, you end up distorting or deleting it because you don't believe it its true.

Take responsibility instead

The successful strategy to overcome insecurity therefore is to come to terms with the fact that it all comes back to your own opinion of yourself. It starts by taking 100% responsibility for your own life and to realise that realise that you are not insecure because of what was said or done to you but because of the story you told yourself about what that meant about you. You created the insecurity and therefore you are the only one who has the power to change it. It's all you. It is your responsibility to solve this problem in your own life. Nobody is coming to save you. If you wait for somebody else to fix this for you, you'll be waiting for the rest of your life.

3. Mask, medicate, ignore and suppress pain

The third mistake people make in trying to solve insecurity is associated with the pain that insecurity brings. The ineffective strategy here is to mask, medicate, ignore, and suppress pain. Pain doesn't feel good. We don't like pain and we don't know what to do with pain, so the strategy to deal with the pain of insecurity is often do whatever you can to get rid of it. This leads to short-term wins and band-aid solutions. While it is possible to escape pain in the short-term, again, wherever you go, there you are. When you lay your head to sleep at night, or when you wake up from your hangover in the morning, your demons are still there. The pain only escalates and compounds.

Stack the pain instead

The third practice around overcoming insecurity effectively therefore is the complete opposite. It is actually all about facing the pain and feeling it deeply. It is to deliberately count the cost and stack the pain and by doing so let pain do its work in your life. Pain is your most honest voice, designed to protect you from further pain. Insecurity is supposed to hurt. Feeling shit about yourself is supposed to feel like shit. That's the point. It's not the way we were designed to feel. That pain is actually a loving message from yourself to say, - Hey listen, please will you deal with this? Will you face this fear? Will you sort this out? Will you do the work around getting to the bottom of this fear so it can be banished? That's the purpose of pain - to drive us toward change. Every time you listen to its voice, you will move closer to overcoming insecurity.

4. Dream in the dark

The fourth common mistake is to dream in the dark. The foundation of effective coaching is built around one question: What do you really want? When I ask this question, it often happens that people respond with vague, unexciting and poorly formed ideas that actually give them no motivation. Because they have not found a way out of insecurity, their dreams are coloured by that fear, and therefore have been dampened and dialled down. It is as though they are dreaming in a dark room. They've been in a dark room for so long they forgot what the sun looks like. Their dreams are so watered down, shallow and insipid that they don't have the power to motivate them out of the place they are in.

Allow yourself to have a compelling life vision instead

If you are going to overcome insecurity, it is actually essential to have a compelling vision for your life. A dream so vivid and exciting that you are not willing to settle for anything less. In order to tap into this dream while still battling the fear of not being good enough, it is necessary to disassociate and disconnect from your own story. To step outside of that, if even for a moment and to see yourself as you really desire to be. - If I wasn't insecure and this wasn't my story, how would I like things to be? If I could wake up tomorrow and life was the way it should be for me, what would I dream? What would excite me? What adventurous dream would I be living? How should my life be? The key therefore is to give yourself permission to dream in the light. To dream without judgment and in doing so to tap into the deep desires of your heart.

Tap into desire

As you tap into these deep desire it starts to stir your heart around something compelling that draws you out of the darkness. The more you focus on these desires the more compelling they become. Eventually this desire becomes strong enough to demand that you must find a way to be free from this insecurity, otherwise you know you'll never see life lived the way that you desire. Stephen Covey tells us that successful people always begin with the end in mind. This becomes the true north on the compass that guides them through the storms of life.

Moving away from and moving towards

In order to effectively overcome insecurity, you will need a compelling reason why you must do this deep change work. Being crystal clear about what you really want for your life is the only thing powerful enough to give you the reason to change. Pain pushes you away from what you don't want, desire draws you towards what you do want.

5. Try to get help from the wrong people

When it comes to trying to overcome insecurity, mistake number five is seeking help from the wrong people. Reaching out to others from a point of need is important and healthy, yet if you want that person to help you change, make sure they are not your friends or family.

Typically, conversation about change with friends and family never bring about change simply because of the level of ‘wanting’ imbedded within those relationships. If you share a point of pain with someone who cares about you, they cannot help but speak to you out of this sense of care and concern. They naturally want you to be happy and healthy and to not be in pain, so the conversation quickly becomes about what THEY think you should do. Advice and telling ensue. As well intentioned as this may be, it is in fact a form of judgement. They have positioned themselves as the expert in your life and as such have set about to fix you. This is never helpful. At best it produces a short term effort in the right direction, but internally in can only ever produce resentment and actually hinders you moving forward.

Get help from someone who doesn't care about you instead

Coaching on the other hand positions the client as the expert and the coach as the skilful guide. To change effectively, you have to be positioned as the adult. Enlist someone in your life who does not care about you, who has no vested interest in your results. This person must be there just to serve you to get more of what you want. From this position they are able to treat you like a responsible adult and position you as the one who created this mess and the only one with the power to get out of that mess. Having a coach bring true objectivity means you'll get the awareness and choice you need to set yourself free.

6. Self discipline to forge a way through

Mistake number six is to use self discipline is the main strategy for getting trying to make change. The faulty thinking here is that all you need to do is try harder and just get it done. This leads to fighting against yourself and forcing yourself to do the things you least want to do. Discipline has it's value, but for most people it's often the only tool in the shed. It is massively overrated as a lasting change strategy. Willpower is a limited resource. You will get tired eventually and run out of steam. That's how will power works. Self-discipline works on a presupposition you must fight against yourself to win. That is a mistake every day of the week not to mention being incredibly cruel and unkind.

Self permission instead

The only true way to be free from insecurity requires you to understand yourself. It is come to see that the part of you who is afraid of stepping into the light is just trying to love you and is just trying to keep you safe from what you're most afraid of. When you stop fighting and actually acknowledge that all resistance is driven from love it allows you to be grateful, cooperate and to move forward as one unit together. In essence, this is giving yourself permission to flourish and taking the handbrake off. That is the real hero's journey. That is the hero who actually gets this job done. The one who's working with themselves not fighting against themselves. 

7. Be positive and try to override all insecurity

And finally, the seventh mistake people make in terms of trying to solve their insecurity is just to be positive. Is to try and rewrite their story over the top of the old one. If I just tell myself I'm a good person so many times, eventually, that will override the negativity or the fear I have. Even though that sounds like it makes sense, it will not bring about lasting change. If you don't undo the old story it will keep overriding the new ones you try to create for yourself.

Re-write the old story instead

The seventh effective practice, the essential practice for overcoming insecurity is to rewrite the story, but it's to rewrite the story from the very beginning. It's to go all the way back to when you first told yourself that you were no good. It's to revisit that moment, as a child when you decided those events proved that there was inadequacy. It's to go back as the hero, as the responsible adult and to reimagine the origin. To go back to the faulty foundation and rebuild a new foundation. Stephen Covey says, "Every single thing is created twice." The 7th essential practice is all about going back and doing the first creation work properly, effectively, efficiently so that you can rewrite a creative, compelling, enlarging, and expansive story to live in.

If you'd like some objective feedback about how you well you are dealing with your insecurity, TAKE THE FREE ONLINE ASSESSMENT to see how you measure against these 7 essential practices

The 7 essential practices for overcoming insecurity
The 7 essential practices for overcoming insecurity

For more information about how to overcome insecurity and be truly unhindered in life check out The Insecurity Project at www.jaeminfrazer.com

Self help Personal Development How to Overcoming insecurity Dealing with fear Change your life Transformation Coaching Mistakes