Moira decided to quit her job after 15 years of working at the same organization. She was at the peak of her career—next in line to make Partner. But the pressure of filling her senior’s shoes was starting to get the better of her.
She believed she wasn’t good enough. To save herself from potential failure, she chose to forego the opportunity altogether.
Our insecurities often interfere with our dreams and aspirations. We tend to worry about the what-ifs and potential failures. This is partly because we’re trying to protect ourselves from disappointment. Insecurities are kind of like our armor against whatever the world has in store.
But it’s important to remember that nobody’s born with insecurities. They develop a result of our past experiences, ambitions and societal or cultural norms. If you’ve ever heard an unkind word from a close friend or family, it’s likely played on your mind ever since.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t overcome your insecurities. With determination and motivation, you can become the best version of yourself without letting your insecurities get in the way.
Let’s discuss some examples of insecurities and how to overcome insecurities to advance in your career and become a strong individual.
Examples Of Insecurities
Insecurities can occur because of failure, cultural biases and unhealthy standards. For instance, if you’re spending hours working on the same document, it could be because you have high standards for yourself. You want everything to be perfect—from text alignment to the font. Here are some causes or examples of insecurities that affect us:
Society shapes our thinking in more ways than one. We want to present our best selves in public. The anxiety that’s associated with this pressure can add to our insecurities. You may fret about how you look or how you talk. This is why many people practice speaking in front of a mirror; to check their appearance. We forget that everyone has faults and we don’t have to do everything that’s expected of us. If this were true, we would all just stay at home and never step outside to work or play.
Social media is another major factor that drives our insecurities. When we’re consuming glamorous Instagram lives on a regular basis, we build a distorted image of what success should be or look like. We start to compare ourselves with others to the point where we no longer appreciate what we have.
For personal development, it’s important to consider your own success as the only thing that matters. You should focus on what you need to do to achieve your goals. There’s no benchmark for success; it’s when you feel satisfied with your achievements.
Your greatest accomplishment is when you decide to keep going even when you’re burdened with insecurities. There will always be something you’re not confident about. But powering through despite your insecurity is an honest way to succeed.
How To Get Rid Of Your Insecurities
According to Svenja Weber, professor of organizational behavior at INSEAD, insecurity is the enemy of creativity, authenticity and innovation. In other words, it’s a roadblock to success.
Insecurities often keep us from taking initiative at work, trusting other people and may cause us to care less about what people think.
Here’s an example:
Imagine that you work in an international organization and there’s an opportunity to work out of your London office. One of your team members who has also expressed interest is known for their sociable and outgoing personality.
Now, as someone who keeps to themselves, you might feel that they have a better chance of getting picked. But maybe what the role needs is someone like you—someone who’s good at working alone.
Think about times when you gave up on rewarding opportunities because of self-doubt or a lack of confidence.
In most cases, insecurities come from external sources—criticism, unhealthy competition and a hostile work environment. You may have been passed over for a promotion, received bad reviews for your work or left out of important meetings.
Such instances can prevent you from raising your voice or standing up for yourself. If you’re struggling with how to deal with insecurities, here are some ways to get you started:
Learn to Recognize Biases
Our own bias and prejudice often feed into our insecurity. We tend to seek information that confirms what we already think. In the previous example, if your sociable coworker gets picked over you, you’ll be more inclined to attribute it to their outgoing nature as opposed to their competency.
You may be wrongly judging situations because of preconceived ideas. Say for instance that an artist believes their craft is mediocre. Now, whenever they get a bad review it’s just going to justify the insecurity. So, it’s important for you to try to think objectively rather than taking things personally.
Talk To Friends, Family And Coworkers
When we attach meaning and emotions to everything that happens to us, it’s easier to become insecure. As children, many of us would get jealous if our parents favored a sibling over us. Many are still struggling with similar feelings. Talking about your insecurities can help you address and even overcome them. Those closest to you know the kind of person you are. Tell them how you feel and ask for their opinion.
Practice Positive Self-Talk
Build yourself up every day because you are your biggest cheerleader. Tell yourself that you’re more than just good enough, you’ve worked hard to get where you are and that you’re doing well. Positive words can be more uplifting than you’d think. Many people put up inspiring quotes and relatable words where they can see them every day as a pick-me-up. Find words that resonate with you so you can start your day on a healthy note.
Don’t Be Afraid To Stand Up For Yourself
This isn’t an easy thing to do but standing up for yourself is important to overcome your insecurities. Ask for a raise when you think you deserve one. If you’ve worked hard and you believe that you’re an asset to your organization, it’s well within your rights to ask for incentives. Approach your manager and talk to them if something’s bothering you. In many cases, your manager might not consider you for opportunities because you’re not vocal about what you want.
Keep Challenging Yourself
Try to find new opportunities that’ll help you grow as a professional. You can learn a new skill or refine your existing knowledge. This will open doors for you and even help you in overcoming insecurity. When you challenge yourself and see positive results, it can change your perception. Many of us are guilty of crediting our success to luck instead of our skills and hard work. Engaging in different activities will help you break away from this mindset.
Get To The Root Of Your Insecurity
If you’ve never asked yourself why you’re insecure in the first place, it’s time that you do—whether it’s something you developed as a child or if it was a product of your experiences. Getting to the bottom of it is like solving a complex problem. It’s going to take introspection and reflection on your part but it’ll be worth it. If you need to talk to someone about it, you can reach out to people you trust. You may find answers to your problems in unexpected places.
Set Yourself Up For Success
Believing that you’ll succeed in your endeavors is half the battle won. Sometimes we doubt the outcome even before taking a step. But try to tell yourself that your efforts will get you the desired results. It’s easy to expect failure because then you don’t feel so bad if you do. But what if you believe you’re going to succeed instead? Not only will this empower you and give you a sense of accomplishment but also drive you to achieve your goals.
Understanding yourself means giving yourself room to grow. It’s too far-fetched to think that you’ll grow into a confident, secure and motivated professional overnight. Overcoming insecurity also has a learning curve that needs your constant attention.
Try and make a list of everything you feel insecure about— it could be your communication skills or a fear of crowds. This will prompt you to take the necessary steps to change your situation. You can attend networking events to interact with new people, enroll in a class to refine your writing or speaking skills and read more to learn about new things.
Ask yourself what you want to improve so you can make the right decisions. Harappa Education’s Interpreting Self course will teach you to understand who you are. With modules like ‘Who Are You?’ and ‘What Do You Stand For?’, you’ll learn to define your goals, values and work style to move forward in life. This course is designed to help you develop the self-awareness you need to overcome your insecurities.
Explore our Harappa Diaries section to know more about topics related to the Lead habit such as Resilience, Humility, Patience vs Self-Control, Self-Motivation & What is the Purpose of Life and overcome your insecurities.
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