Still feeling insecure in a relationship after the last post?
That’s because the last post was about insecurity in your relationships and we haven’t yet tackled feeling insecure in the one relationship you will never be able to incur the cost of abandoning – the one you have with yourself.
Clearly, if you’re feeling insecure in your relationships it’s because deep down, you feel insecure with who you are. Feeling insecure at times in life is inevitable. You could have the healthiest levels of self-esteem, self-love, confidence, boundaries, and it doesn’t matter. Sometimes insecurity creeps in and hits you like a ton of bricks.
As I said in the last post, if you have healthy levels of self-esteem and boundaries, you’ll be able to talk yourself down from your triggers and move on. If not, and you’re like I used to be (a shaking, sweating, self-sabotaging, toxic-relationship-magnet-wrecking-ball), keep reading.
Before I get into it all, I want to share one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books, The Velveteen Rabbit. It’s important because when it comes to feeling insecure in a relationship (especially the one you have with yourself), each step to recovery is connected to this quote:
“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’
‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.
‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’
‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’
‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
― Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit
Here’s how to stop feeling insecure in the relationship you have with yourself, once and for all:
Keep it real.
That quote is one of my favorites because it’s so true. I remember when I was little, my Mom, Dad, Grandparents, everyone would try to buy me a new toy. Why? Because I refused to part with Lemon, my favorite stuffed animal who was residing in his own area code of disease and filth. Lemon looked like something a wild animal had chewed up and regurgitated ten times over. He was missing an eye and his head bobbed back and forth because when I held him, it was always by the neck so he had no more stuffing in his neck. Everyone in the family could smell Lemon from a room away. I couldn’t even part with him long enough for my Mom to wash him. There was nothing in this world that compared to Lemon and nothing anyone could give me that would divert my attention and love away from him – no matter how shiny and new.
This is why I love kids, animals, and older people. They gravitate towards what’s real and they recognize the eternal beauty in the real because that’s what they themselves emanate. “Once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” The story about Lemon and me is probably not unfamiliar. This is how kids are and honestly, as insecure and stubborn as adults can become, they will always appreciate realness because it is such a rarity in this world – especially today.
Being real gives you that indefinable quality that attracts people to you and makes them want to get to know more. Being real is something that can’t be bought, sold or given. How do you become real? You become real the day you decide to prioritize substance over the fleeting high of superficiality (a high that you will only experience if you’re insecure).
If we are lucky, everyone we know will be ashes or 6 feet under in a matter of decades and believe me, those decades will fly by faster than you can ever imagine. There’s no need to panic, just be. Be you, be kindly unapologetic about it, and understand that the world will adjust.
After I graduated from college, a family member told me that it was a good thing I now had a college degree because I was never going to be the prettiest girl in the room. I can’t even begin to tell you how much that statement devastated and haunted me for years to come. I got deep into the jealousy, validation seeking, comparing, and self-sabotage.
Now, I can see that the only reason that statement affected me on the level that it did was because a part of me believed it was true.
All it takes is .000001% of you to believe that maybe, just maybe, the hurtful behavior or words directed toward you are true (which are generally activated by old childhood insecurities/pains/beliefs), and ta-da! You’ve been knocked down, once again.
If someone came up to me and said that I had ugly blue hair, I wouldn’t be running to the first available mirror to make sure that my hair was brown, I’d just think the person was crazy. But if a part of me believed that I could have even one strand of blue hair? They would activate the insecurity, I would inflate it, and my actions, beliefs, and perception would be permeated just.like.that.
Remember: No one can activate insecurity that doesn’t exist. If it isn’t there, it can never be activated. Period. Work on deactivating your personal insecurity alarm system today and change the passcode for good instead of giving it out at every turn.
Listen to your gut feelings (instead of ignoring them) so that you can ACT on your intuition.
Listening to your gut is the only direct way to build your self-esteem and boundaries. It proves that you have your own back and that you can trust your instinct. It’s how you become real.
Stop trying to never feel insecure. Feeling insecure is a normal part of life. Instead, make the committed decision to always have your own back and never ignore your gut feelings again.
Treat yourself well.
When you let yourself off the hook and begin to treat yourself with trust, respect, compassion, and kindness, you’ll be able to better recognize when others don’t.
Not only will you stop personalizing the hurtful behavior of others, but you’ll forgive yourself for past mistakes and finally begin to move on.
The reason that my insecurities are so fleeting now is that I allow myself to be vulnerable and honest. I was at a party a few weeks ago and for whatever reason, I suddenly felt very insecure. The second that I acknowledged how I was feeling, instead of trying to embarrassingly avoid, deny, and compensate… it freed me. Total freedom.
Lastly, remember that you can always go back to insecurity. If trying to work on being/feeling more secure just doesn’t work for you, you can always ditch it. Your fears, doubts, and insecurities will take you back in a hot minute, I promise.
So why not give it a shot? You have everything to gain from here.
+ If you need further and more personalized help with your relationship, please look into working with me here.