Healing your insecurities| 3.16.2022
In this episode, Kristen talks about insecurity, where it really comes from, and helpful strategies to help you move through it.
- The root cause of insecurity
- Impact of insecurities in relationships
- Common critical inner voices and how to conquer them
- Helpful strategies to overcome your insecurities
For counseling services near Indianapolis, IN, visit www.pathwaystohealingcounseling.com.
Subscribe and Get a free 5-day journal at www.kristendboice.com/freeresources to begin closing the chapter on what doesn’t serve you and open the door to the real you.
Subscribe to the Close the Chapter YouTube Channel
This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is being provided to you to educate you about ideas on stress management and as a self-help tool for your own use. It is not psychotherapy/counseling in any form.
Welcome to the Close the Chapter Podcast I am so glad you are joining me today. I just want to start off by saying thank you so much for listening for sharing and your reviews. That is how other people find the podcast and give it a shot. So I just cannot thank you enough for all of your support and encouragement and for doing this work together this expansive growth work and really diving into understanding yourself better. So you can feel better about who you are and have healthier relationships. And today's episode was an inspiration from me driving in the car saying a prayer. And this topic is one that impacts all of us, we're going to be diving into insecurity. We all have insecure parts. And I think now more than ever, so many people feel insecure about themselves in different areas, whether it's how they look, their personality, their job, their relationships, their parenting, their friendships, the list goes on. And I thought it was an important topic to dive into. And really take a look at your own insecurities. Because as I was preparing for the episode, you know, I'm going to define what insecurity is we're going to jump into how to move through it and work on you feeling more secure. That is the goal for therapy. When people come in, they come in not feeling good enough, they famend Feeling anxious about themselves and their role in life and their purpose and their past and their future. We work on them feeling more secure with their authentic self and becoming more of their authentic self. And as they're on that journey. We're working on them knowing that they're enough and knowing how to deal with that shame when it arises. So I would love for you to be a part of the community. And I want to help you get started on this journey. If you go to kristenBo ice.com forward slash free resources, you will get a free healing guide that you can use over and over to help you begin the steps towards loving yourself basically, and feeling more secure with who you are. You can also follow along on social on Instagram at Kristen D Boice. Facebook is @kristendboice. And then Twitter's just Kristen Boice. So I tried to post helpful information. And if you're on the newsletter, you're going to get that every week. And you will get the latest episode in your inbox and any other programmes that we are preparing for this year. So be sure to jump on that.
And without further ado, let's jump into insecurity. So let's define insecurity. So insecurity is uncertainty or anxiety about oneself lack of confidence. I call it the critical inner voice. And it develops oftentimes in childhood out of comparison or lack of attachment from your primary caregiver, your parent again, not to blame them. But to create insight. Here's what sparked this topic for me. As I was peeling the layers back, I was talking to my mom, and she was saying she was sorry about how she parented after my parents were divorced, she did a lot of triangulation, pulling my sister and I into the middle of the dynamic where she was really hadn't processed her own emotions towards my dad, and wanted us to make her feel secure and loved and enough, but the divorce wasn't the root of her insecurity. The divorce was just a manifestation, if you will, or a symptom, if you will, it really started in her childhood. And what I told my mom, as I said, Thanks mom for the apology. And I appreciate that. And what really is in it for me is the sense of insecurity that has run your life and even currently runs your life. And my hope, wish and prayer for you is that you will feel loved and you will feel enough and I can't make you feel loved and enough and secure with yourself no matter what I say. No matter what I do and what the grandkids do cannot fill that for you cannot make you feel secure. And she started to get defensive, which it's hard to hear Hear, I understand, it's painful, it's hard, and I wouldn't be who I am without her. So I want to make that clear. And my life experiences, I wouldn't change it. I needed her to hear that if she would work on her fears and feeling more secure with who she is helping her to know she is lovable.
We all have parts of us where we don't feel good enough, we don't feel lovable. And we can inadvertently put that on our children, on our partner, on friendships, on co workers, on neighbours, on grandchildren, and the list goes on. And that is what results in generational trauma, when we put our pain and suffering on to somebody else, especially in a family system. We are passing along that wound, if you will, you're passing it down. So if you feel insecure, you don't feel enough, and you're looking to your children, to make you feel loved. And enough. Am I a good mom? Do you love me? Are you going to leave me when they're meant to leave the nest, they're meant to individuate and separate, they are meant to be who they are and go on and have their own lives. If that is a threat to you, there is an underlying wound that needs to be healed an unmet need, that needs to be nurtured that needs to be acknowledged and your children aren't the ones to do that for you. Your partner cannot heal that wound that can be a mutual companionship, it can be a mutual evolution and growth journey. But I can't feel that for my partner. And he can't feel that for me, it's not their jobs, it's not their responsibility, it's icing on the cake, it's my responsibility to work on feeling secure, I see this a lot in couple relationships, they look to their partner to help them feel enough to feel loved and to feel secure. While we can do that, in couples therapy, we can work on acknowledging each other's emotions, listening effectively to understand getting less defensive, owning our part, that is all true. It cannot create somebody feeling enough, because the partner will say I love you, I think you're wonderful, I think you're beautiful, I think you're handsome, I find you attractive, and the other person doesn't believe they don't believe them because of their own insecurity. And then the other partner gets worn out by it, because they're like I tell you, I try to make you feel secure in lovable and beautiful and handsome and successful and thin enough. And the list goes on. And you don't really believe me because you don't believe it to be true. They can't convince you because you don't believe it to be true.
So insecurity is really important for you to peel back the layers and ask yourself, when was the first time you felt insecure, this is a good time to get pen and paper if you can, if not just take a few deep breaths, I want you to float back. And I want you to think about when was the first memory or experience or time when you felt insecure. And I can't be a therapist. This isn't to replace therapy. This is to help you do some work. You can either take this to a therapist, you can journal about this. So you're going to float back and go oh, the first time I remember feeling secure, or insecure was and what came to my mind as I did this exercise is separation anxiety. So I remember being left at the nursery in church, and my mom was in a Bible study. And I was screaming, screaming crying than they had to get her out of this Bible study to come get me. And that was more like a fear that that's what came up when I first did the exercise. And then I floated back to first grade and the memory I talked about last week on the episode was being on the bus and nobody would sit with me. And I remember looking around and that comparison really stood out to me. I'm thinking well, other kids have people to sit with. And that's where it began. I'm sure it was earlier, because we can look at attachment wounds. But I invite you to look back in the first time you remember feeling insecure. And then I love timelines. I like looking at like the history of my life. And when did I feel secure? And then writing on the opposite side of the page or on the timeline? When did I feel secure with myself? When did I feel secure? So let's break down some research in this area on insecurity. A recent survey found that 60% of women experience hurtful critical thoughts on a weekly basis. I feel like that number is low. I feel like it's really high in their research father daughter. I love that psychologist doctors Robert and Lisa Firestone used an assessment tool known as the Firestone assessment for self destructive thoughts to evaluate people Self attacks are critical inner voices along a continuum. What they found is that most common self critical thought people have towards themselves is that they are different, not in a positive sense, but in some negative alienating way, whether our self esteem is high or low. One thing is clear, we are a generation that compares, evaluates and judges ourselves with great scrutiny. And I think social media really heightens insecurity, I mean, takes it to another level, we post something and we're not getting the likes, we're not getting the comments, we're comparing ourselves to other people on the internet. We're not thin enough, muscular enough, pretty enough, handsome enough, successful enough, our kids aren't perfect enough the grandkids, it takes us into insecurity. If you notice this, if you notice what social media has done, on some level, especially for teens has created so much insecurity. By understanding where this insecurity comes from, why we are driven to put ourselves down and how this viewpoint affects us. We can start to challenge and overcome the destructive inner critic that limits our lives it I want to tell you this is work I do in my own life and with clients. It's such powerful work when you start understanding yourself and you start diving into figuring out why am I so self critical. And what I noticed now in teens, especially, is they're in front of their phones. And that comparison is constantly bombarding them in that takes them into feeling so much shame. And that's why we have such a high level of anxiety, the highest level of anxiety in history. COVID obviously contributed that because of isolation among other things, and just the state of the world. So I want to dive into why we so insecure, and what causes it so a parent's absence can leave children feeling insecure, and believing there is something fundamentally wrong with them. An intrusive parent can cause children to become introverted or self reliant in ways that make them feel insecure, or untrusting of others. And that's really important to note, did you have kind of an absent emotionally absent parent? Did you have a very intrusive parent? Did you have an emotionally abusive parent, it's important to know how this impacted your psyche how this impacted the belief about yourself. studies have even shown that exaggerated praise can be damaging to a child's self esteem. The reason for this is that children must feel seen for who they are, not who they think you want them to be, but for who they are, in order to feel secure. A lot of issues with insecurity come from our early attachment style. One of my favourite authors is Dr. Dan Siegel, author of parenting from the inside out that this book is such a critical book, I recommend everybody get it, I actually went through the book and did all the exercises in grad school world talking 20 years ago, and it has transformed how I parent in created the insight for me to continue to this is before I was even a parent look at my own patterns and how they impact me as a person and how I feel about myself.
So what Dr. Siegel says is the key to healthy attachment is in the four S's This is about child development in looking at your own life. So feeling seen safe, soothed and secure. Whether children are being shamed or praised, they are most likely not feeling seen by the parent for who they really are, they might start to feel insecure, and lose a sense of their actual abilities. This is so important to know that our parenting has so much impact on our children. And how we were parented does, here's what is true though, we can heal that we can work through that we can change and repair what we might have said done, how we might have behaved by taking ownership and accountability. So if you're starting to go and shame, I want you to take a deep breath and take a step back and know that repair work is powerful. So it's important to do the reflection of your own childhood. If you notice shame coming up about your current parenting stay with your own childhood. Okay, as the child pursues whatever interests them and makes them come alive. The parent should offer support and acknowledgement for the effort involved as opposed to focusing too much on the outcome or the result. As the difference between saying what a stunning picture you are the best artist I've seen and saying I love the way you used so many colours. It's awesome that you work so hard on this one Have you that idea, this practice helps a child establish a sense of self worth. Okay? So we know that insecurity can play guess. And here's what I know from doing this work myself and working with clients, what I see people do is instead of doing this deeper work, they think I'll get the relationship, then, if they want me, they picked me, they pursue me, they desire me, they sexually want me, they give me these words of affirmation. They physically are attracted to me, then I'll feel enough, then I won't feel insecure. Well, I have had several friends who never thought they get married, never thought they get picked, and they got picked by wonderful men, and still struggle with the exact same insecurities. They think they're too fat, they don't think they're attractive. They don't think they're good enough, it didn't matter, then they switch it to Okay, I'll lose the weight, I will get plastic surgery, I will get achieve, I'll get a nice car, I'll buy a nice house, I'll renovate the house, I will become more successful in my job. And men want to be wanted. And so do women. This is the key I've learned. It's because we want to feel secure, we want to feel loved, we want to feel nurtured, we want to feel like someone wants to be with us. Of course, that feels good. What it doesn't do is it's not going to create security for you. So if you are the most successful in your job, and you achieve, you're not going to feel secure necessarily with who you are, it will never be enough, you'll keep moving it from one thing to the next. The weight I've seen people lose weight. And they think that I'll feel good enough when No, now they feel seen and exposed where the weight almost was kind of a barrier or guard a buffer. And there's more to explore. It wasn't about the weight. Yes, the weight is nice, but it wasn't going to create a sense of security. And we think I will have the children and then the children leaves the nest and have their own lives, children of their own. And they go on. And the parent wants them to spend all this time together, which is nice, but they also have their own life. And their expectations aren't realistic. And it's really rooted in their inner child. It's really rooted in their insecure soul inside insecure part that wants to be loved, seen, soothe, and to feel secure. And that can't come outside of you. I know this is one of those things you've heard about has to be an inside job. And that's why I love the book titled Parenting from the inside out. It cannot come from your children, it cannot come from your partner, it cannot come from your friend, it has to come from you. And that's why faith can have such a huge role, regardless of what you believe faith can help you know that there's something beyond you supporting, loving you, accepting you, not condemning you, not telling you you're terrible, loving you as you are. And I think the invitation for us and our spiritual walk is to take radical ownership for our part in our life, not for what happened when we were children. And I want to break this down further because this is such an important episode on healing insecurities because we all have them. So I don't want you to think well, so and so does it have insecurities. It's a shame. It's a false, it's not true. We all have insecurity. So the effect of insecurity is clear. As we get older we internalise points of view as our own from our critical parents, coach, grandparents teacher, whoever that was for you, you internalise it's called an interject. But a lot of times that was their projection onto you. It was really their own insecurities. This is what's so enlightening. It was really their own insecurities. They wanted you to feel they didn't want you to but it ended up you feeling guilty and not enough, or there's something wrong with you. So here's the most common critical voices Dr. Robert and Lisa Firestone found people to experience throughout their day.
So let's see if any of these apply to you. You're stupid. You're unattractive. You never get anything, right. You're not like other people. You're a failure. You're fat. You're such a loser. You'll never make friends. No one will ever love you. You'll never be able to quit drinking, smoking eating too much. You'll never accomplish anything. What's the point of even trying? Like a main coach, this voice tends to get louder as we get closer to our goals. You're going to screw up any time everyone will realise what a failure you are. You think in your mind just quit before it's too Late. Oftentimes we react to these thoughts before we even realise we are having them. We may grow shy at a party, pull back from a relationship, project these attacks onto the people around us or act out towards a friend partner or our children. Just imagine what life would be like if you didn't hear any of these main thoughts echo in your head. Imagine what reality might look like, if you could live free of this prescribed insecurity that was put on you. And let's go through insecurity at work. Because sometimes you may feel pretty confident at work but completely lost in your love life or vice versa. You may even notice that when one area improves, the other deteriorates. Most of us can relate at one time or another to having self sabotaging thoughts towards ourselves about our career, or relationships, old feelings that we are incompetent, or we will never be acknowledged or appreciated, can send our insecurities through the roof. Here are some common critical inner voices about your career. You don't know what you're doing, why do they expect you to do everything yourself? Who do you think you are, you'll never be successful, you're under too much pressure, you can't take it, you'll never get anything done. You're so lazy, you should just put this off until tomorrow. No one appreciates you. You better be perfect or you'll get fired. Nobody likes you put your career First, don't take time for yourself. They have to see you achieve, what are you ever going to get a real job, no one would hire you. So those are some of those inner critic voices and see if any of these resonate with you, you can write them down. I don't want you flipping on these because we're going to work on having the opposite thought and experiences where you did feel secure. Okay, so here's what it might look like in a relationship, it can cause us to feel desperate towards our partner, or pull back when things start to get serious. It can exaggerate feelings of jealousy, or possessiveness, or leave us feeling rejected and unworthy. Common critical inner voices we had towards ourselves about relationships include, you're never going to find another person who understands you don't get too hooked on her, and you can train to the pronouns, he doesn't really care about you, she is too good for you. If you've got to keep him interested, you're better off on your own. As soon as she gets you, she will reject you, you've got to be in control. It's your fault. If he gets upset, don't be too vulnerable, or you'll just wind up getting hurt and abandoned. Those are pretty powerful. If you think about it, these inner critic voices this dialogue. One of the things that I love that I've talked almost on every episode is E M, D, our eye movement, desensitisation reprocessing, and that helps you reprocess the thoughts, the negative thoughts you have about yourself. And we work towards you believing the positive thoughts. So it might be I am stupid, and your belief might be like, I am smart, or might be, I can't forgive myself. And the positive thought might be, I can forgive myself because I'm willing to grow. So those are some of the examples of what you can work through with EMDR, you can create less intensity around a memory of the past. I also love brain spotting, which is an offshoot of EMDR. So those are types of therapy that can help you get unstuck. And what I thought would be helpful would be to give you some strategies on becoming more secure with who you are. And really it has to do with inner child work, and I love Dr. John Bradshaw's work on inner child work. So if you get his book, Homecoming, and or healing, the shame that binds you, those are two great books, Homecoming, and healing, the shame that binds you by Dr. John Bradshaw. I've mentioned those books many times. And that really is working on this inner child because that insecure part is a smaller part of us. And I invite you to ask, how old is that part? I know my insecure part, oftentimes it can be different ages is my eight year old self. And that's when my parents got divorced, I switched schools, there was a lot of transition a lot of unprocessed grief. And I really felt lost in terms of the sense of self and my identity. And so my eight year old self is often the insecure self that comes online. And what I recommend doing is identifying that age and through some of my own therapy and EMDR and brainspotting and hypnosis, in somatic experiencing all the wonderful modalities you can use and there's many more, you can learn to nurture that little soul inside the little part of you that needed soothed that needed to feel safe and seen and secure by the parents. I become my nurturing, loving, accepting parent that sees my little girl and says, It's okay sweetie, it's okay to have your feelings, we're gonna work through it, you're safe. And so I wrote down 10 ways to work through insecurity. And the first way is, first, we have to do our deep breathing. So lots of deep breaths, to come back to centre, to regulate your nervous system by feeling your feet on the floor. Second thing is becoming aware, when your little girl little boy, little soul comes online that needs to feel safe and secure and soothe, you have to sue the that part of you, not somebody else, not your children, not your husband, not your friends, you have to soothe that. And that's what therapy is great for. Because you can learn this in therapy, we work on embracing all of our parts, excepting our awkwardness and silly parts, I have a really silly part to me, almost kind of like a Saturday Night Live, silly part. And sometimes I would use that to mask how I was really feeling. So I would try to gain laughs to feel secure. And now I just comes naturally. And I do it. Because I'm embracing that silly part of me, that is a defence mechanism. And it's important that we're working towards embracing all those parts. And we can't do that without connecting and processing to our core emotions. I've done many episodes on this. The core emotions are fear, sadness, anger, which can also be a secondary emotion, kind of a cover up disgust, excitement, joy, and sexual excitement. And when you can start working with those core emotions, connecting to them noticing where they are in your body and processing them, we begin to feel more secure in our bodies, we begin to feel more safe in our bodies. The other thing is what we start naming what we feel, we start writing it out, we start telling somebody how we feel in an honest way, we start feeling more secure with who we are, and we got to unattach to the out. And when we can start embracing uncertainty, and staying in our bodies and staying regulated. We're not depending on everybody else to regulate us because they can't we have to regulate ourselves. Building a support system, who can you talk to, and that might be a therapist, it might be a support group, a 12 step support group, maybe an Al Anon, maybe you're in a Codependents Anonymous group, maybe a group, maybe a Grief Recovery group, whatever that is, his support system helps you when you are feeling grief loss, you want to do acting out behaviours, defensive, you want to get defensive, you have someone to talk to you have another group that's also telling the truth about how they feel we weren't allowed to tell the truth will have times as children or there was a price to pay. And now truth telling with love. And Grace is essential for connection. So we are learning how to say how we really feel and still stay secure with who we are, forgive yourself for the past. This is a big one, probably a whole nother episode. But we tend to hold on to our mistakes, and I don't see them as mistakes, they helped you become who you are. Now, if your children and you had abuse, you suffered anything like that, that is never your fault. Ever. It's never, ever, ever your fault. And so, I want you to know, that's not what I'm referring to here, I'm referring to, let's say, in college, or in high school, or whenever you made some decisions do or learning and it's time to forgive yourself for those embrace non comparison, stop looking around, because you feel less than and going well, they have a better life and writing a narrative that you're projecting. You're writing a story that you're convinced is true. That is absolutely probably not. I worked with so many people that look like they have all together. And what the truth is, is no buddy does. Everybody has insecurities. And when you can start looking at that dialogue, and you start going where did this come from? Where did this belief originate from? That's part of the work we do in therapy. When did that belief start?
How did that belief start? Did you hear someone else say it was it said to you? What triggered it in you? When was the comparison you started to get into, then we can work through that and get to the other side. And that's what journaling can do. It is so powerful. When you can write out how you feel on the on the opposite side of the paper. I want you to write about experiences that weren't those things. So for example, if you say I'm going to look at one of the examples I had said, well let me back up here because I think that can take us down a different path. What I wanted to say If you believe I will never be pretty enough, okay, let's say that's one of your negative beliefs. On the opposite side of the paper, I want you to say I love and accept myself just as I am. And Louise Hay first got exposed to her book like 25 years ago, you can heal your life. And her biggest piece was kind of reprogramming your thoughts. And that can take us so far, essentially. And you've got to get underneath the emotions, which is shame. attached to a lot of these might be fear, it might be sadness, it might be a combination of those things it might be grief might be something someone said to you. And we can work through those things when we start unpacking them. The last thing that's so important is, again, prayer can be so helpful when you pray about it, and you tell the truth about how you're feeling. And then you're going to nurture yourself. Like, I think I mentioned this, but I've got to mention, again, a best friend, a nurturing parent, maybe he didn't, most of us didn't have that. Or maybe there are parts of them that you could internalise. Or maybe you have kind of somebody in your mind that you picture as the most nurturing person, I want you to picture that person talking to those parts of you around those beliefs. I'm going to tell you, you are enough, you're lovable, you're worthy, you're important. And I am so grateful you're here, there is so much power in us doing work together on this growth journey. There's so much power in your willingness to take a look at where your insecurities came from. And owning those. Instead of putting those on everything else to make you feel better. It's exhausting for people to try to make you feel better. It's wears them out and it creates disconnection. It creates what you don't want, it's exhausting. You got to start owning that. You got to start doing something about it. You got to start taking action, whether that's therapy, whether that and that's usually what I recommend getting on a nutritional programme. Maybe you need to take care of your health. Maybe you need to start breaking some unhealthy patterns. We all have them. Everybody has insecurities. And what I'm here to tell you is it's the greatest investment you can make in yourself is working through your insecurities. It blocks you from picking healthy friendships and healthy partners being a healthy parent and being a healthy, I would say all together person because we all have insecurities. You're not just going to one day be like oh have any insecurities. It you learn how to nurture them, you learn how to cry and grieve, and get through it to the other side and face them not get stuck in them. The reason you're stuck in them, it's because you're not processing the emotions that's underneath that he got to processing the emotions underneath that help move us to get to the other side.
We can do this. I'm going to encourage you to learn how to nurture that insecurity to love all your parts to work on your triggers. And you got this visit easy. No. Is it worth it? Yes, because you're worth it. Thanks for listening. I would love to hear any feedback you have on this episode tag me on social media. I just wanted you to know I'm cheering you on. Thanks so much for listening and I cannot wait to be with you again next week. Thank you so much for listening to the close the chapter podcast. My hope is that you took home some actionable steps, along with motivation, inspiration and hope for making sustainable change in your life. If you enjoy this episode, click the subscribe button to be sure to get the updated episodes every week and share with a friend or family member. For more information about how to get connected visit www.kristendboice.com. Thanks and have a great day.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.