Why Our Insecurities Don’t Matter as Much as We Think

03 October 2020 | 4 min read


I don´t know how it is for you but in my life the “I am not good enough” or “I did something wrong” chain of thoughts used to play a very important role. And as it is not unusual for old deep-rooted thinking habits, every now and again, this kind of thoughts would still pop up in my head sometimes and ruin my precious time and energy for a few hours or more until I notice what is really going on in my mind and let them go.

I´d like to tell you here more about that.. about what is going on in our minds with our insecurities so that you hopefully can see something for yourself.

But let´s start first with the beginning.. let me start with a story.

For reasons that certainly have their roots in my early childhood but are definitely not relevant anymore I had developed at an early age a very bad habit of blaming myself for all sorts of things. For who I was, for what I did or didn’t do, for how I showed up or not, for what I wrote, for my clothes or hair, and even for my marks at school that were never good enough in my mind, even if I was the second-best in my class for so many years! It makes me smile when I think of that today.

But back then my head had actually made up that there was something wrong with me and was looking for proof everywhere. And that included the idea that being second-best was bad because it was not as good as being first and therefore it would never be good enough for me. As a result, I innocently spent a big part of my childhood working harder than necessary -instead of having more fun with my schoolmates-, judging myself harshly and stressing out for something that may sound really absurd to you today -it certainly looks absurd to me now. But at that time, this chain of thoughts not only felt real and important but took a big part of my energy and my attention during most of my school years. Continued during my studies and even during my corporate career. Isn´t it crazy? But maybe you are a bit like me and it doesn’t sound so unfamiliar to you?

This story of insecurities had the flavor of my life, but we all have our versions of that… A version that started earlier in our life and continues unconsciously until today in different ways and seems to hold us in its grip sometimes: “They will see that I am not as good as they think”, “I can’t do that”, “I should do more”, “I should be further in my career by now”, “I shouldn’t have said that”, “They won’t like it”, “Why did they choose me?”, “I don’t belong”, “She´s more successful”, “They prefer him” etc..

Our insecurities often don’t only stay in our heads. They can lead to all sorts of unwanted behaviors: comparing ourselves too often, doing our best to fit in out of fear of people’s opinion, working more and harder than necessary, not being able to say no where we should, not speaking up where our voice would be needed, longing to belong, taking feedback way too seriously, being aggressive and defending where there is really no need to, making decisions or no decision to protect ourselves, not going for the next steps, playing smaller than our abilities, not living up to our full potential, not daring to realize our dreams, feeling uncomfortable with a compliment, etc.. The catalog of the consequences of taking our insecurities to heart is endless. Are you familiar with some of those? I certainly am.

Our insecurities can take all shapes and colors. We all have them but they look different and feel different for each of us as we all have different life stories attached to them.. they feel very compelling, very real, and very true when they pop up in our minds… and when we are not aware of what they actually are we start, identifying with them, acting upon them and/or shaping our lives around them. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Because actually, regardless of what they look and feel like to each of us today, they all obey the same rules:

  1. They originate somewhere in our personal history, are carried in us through conscious or unconscious memories and every now and again pop up in our head when circumstances look to our brain similar to something it has seen before. Our brain then starts running a situation check with the information it has memorized, gives predictions and interpretations based on old stories, and makes our insecurities feel painfully real.
  2. They all have one extremely important thing in common, one thing that is the key to our peace of mind and our freedom. They are not real even if they feel that way and are all made of one stuff and one stuff only: THOUGHTS. Uncomfortable, annoying, tiring, useless thoughts. Just thoughts. Nothing else. Really. Nothing else!

Some years ago I started to really see and understand at a deeper level what it means and what we, human beings, actually go through with our insecurities. That we don´t have to go through each and every insecurity, observe it in detail, describe it, analyze it, remember again and again where it comes from, chew it, be sad about it, etc.. This is what our mind wants to do, loves to do! Our mind wants to hold on to our old stories, with the best intention.. and it is ok when this is how it feels in the moment. We all experience that sometimes.

But it is not where our freedom lies.

It´s not what we feel insecure about that matters. It´s the fact that we have insecure thoughts that is relevant! The fact that we think what we think. It’s about our wonderful ability to think that our mind sometimes innocently misuses. Can you see that?

The only thing we need to do with our insecurities when they pop up in our heads is to recognize or remember their nature. That they are not real, only made of thoughts and as such we can let them go any time. They will go at some point anyway if we don´t hold to them to tightly.. because it is in their nature to come and go. Really?

We don’t have to feed them with more thoughts or act upon them. We don’t have to think of them or even think them. We just need to gently notice that we are caught up in them, remember what they are actually made of, and say goodbye. Really. And the good thing about it is that our brain starts to learn that and catches up at some point. It does not feed us anymore with useless thoughts that we don’t need. It gets that this is not what you want and let them go.. like an old path that you don’t want to walk anymore.

Try it. It´s the magnificent power of our free will.

With Love, Drissia

www.dsh-internationalhr.com / https://soundcloud.com/leadershipbackstage

www.dsh-transformative.com / https://soundcloud.com/transformativecoaching



Written by Drissia Schroeder-Hohenwarth

Transformative Coach for Leaders, Teams and Organisations with a fascination for the endless potential of the mind.

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