We often cherish insecurity without being fully aware of it. Insecurity about what people think of us is quite common and it can lead to unnecessary problems. When we are insecure, it tends to make us more suspicious, it makes us try harder to impress. Because we are insecure about ourselves, we lose the self-confidence to be true to our real nature.
– Sri Chinmoy 
These are some steps to overcoming insecurity.
Recognise the problem and make an effort to overcome
The first thing is that people may not realise a lot of their anxieties, worries and fears stem from a sense of insecurity about ourselves. We worry because we are insecure about our standing in society and amongst friends. When we are aware of a misplaced insecurity, it becomes much easier to try and overcome it. This requires an awareness and honesty about our motivations and actions.
Don’t be overly critical of other people.
If you spend time criticising and judging other people, you will subconsciously fear the same treatment yourself. Invariably highly critical people have a deep seated insecurity themselves. The motivation to criticise comes from a need to make themselves feel superior to other people. However, the attempt to make yourself feel better by putting other people down will never work. At best, we get a temporary false sense of security, but it never lasts. If we want to create a genuine sense of self-belief and self-confidence, never base it on being superior to others. In fact it is the opposite, if we can have a sympathetic and empathetic attitude, we will feel better ourselves.
People think about you much less than you imagine.
We often feel that people are constantly thinking about us. We worry what they might be saying. But, often people think about us much less than we imagine. Even if people do gossip, it doesn’t mean much and it will soon pass. If you are the subject of gossip, look upon it as a tiny insect crawling over an elephant. The elephant remains unmoved and the insect soon gives up trying to bother the elephant.
Don’t dwell on mistakes
We all make mistakes and errors of judgement. But, if we focus on this too much, it can magnify the problem and we will just develop more insecurity. Guilt is especially a damaging emotion because we feel bad. Guilt makes us seek redemption and people’s approval. But, it is better just to let go misplaced feelings of guilt. The best way to move on from past mistakes, is simply to be active and dynamic. If we brood over the past, our insecurity will never end. But, if we can take even a small positive step, our self-confidence will improve.
Concentrate on the opposite
If we are prone to insecurity, take the time to concentrate on the opposite. Remember our good qualities. If we can cherish a few positive thoughts, it is the best and most effective way to wash away some of our insecurities. Rather than fight, just embrace the alternative.
The heart unites, the mind divides
The mind divides us from other people. It is the mind and our ego which constantly play the game of superiority and inferiority. However, if we bring the qualities of the heart forward, we can develop a sense of oneness with other people. We won’t feel insecure when we feel a kinship with other people.
Learn to be detached about judgement
Everyone gets judged by all and sundry. Sometimes it may have a degree of truth, sometimes not. It is important to be detached and let this judgement go. It doesn’t affect who we are, but if we keeping thinking about adverse judgements, it can bind us and make us feel inadequate. When we learn to be detached, we will feel more secure about ourselves.
Don’t feel the need to explain or defend yourself.
A good practise to overcome insecurity, is making a point of not feeling the need to explain or defend yourself. Insecurity is really a form of pride in disguise. If we let got of our pride, we don’t have any reason to be insecure. Also, if you have done something good, avoid the temptation to tell everybody about it. Invariably people will find out anyway. But, it is much better to have the confidence to concentrate on doing the good things without the need for approval. This will lessen our insecurity because we are basing our satisfaction on the intrinsic act rather than waiting for flattery.
 Sri Chinmoy, #21610 Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, Part 22, Agni Press, 2001
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