The term “Insecurity”, regardless of its psychological existence can cause the same amount of pain like that from a physical injury. I have reasons to believe that the seed of insecurity is sown in our minds when we are kids, preferably between the age of 3-8 and then we start watering it with our conscious thinking and understanding about the world while growing up. This might sound too complicated at the moment but hang in there, I’ll make it easier for you to wrap your head around this concept.
When you think about insecurity, what are some of the common thoughts that come to your mind? Fear of losing something or someone? being replaced? taken for granted? losing control over a situation? losing an opportunity? If I tell you that these emotions are partially associated with the ways you were treated as a child, many of you would raise your eyebrows and think I am some shrink trying to put everything to your childhood. Try to picture some of the scenarios that I am about to list:
As a child, when you refused to eat your food, do you recollect being told by your parents that they will give the food to somebody else if you don’t eat it?
Do you live in a family where siblings were treated differently?
Did you see your parents hide their incomes from each other?
Were you compared with other kids in your school or neighborhood?
Did you see a lot of fights between your parents?
As a child, when you had guests coming to your place, would your house undergo deep cleaning, and old utensils/appliances were replaced with sparkly new ones?
When you went to someone’s house, were you asked to behave differently than you normally would in your house?
Were you called “slow”, “weak”, “troublemaker”, etc by your parents or relatives?
If your parents expected promotion or any monetary benefit from somewhere, were you told to keep that a secret until it comes through?
These are just a few examples from our childhood that we observe and start assigning meaning to everything around us. They form the foundation on which our identity is then sculpted. Subconsciously, we start to conclude that “we” are not good enough, that it’s okay to portray a different image of yourself just to impress others, that people out there are not trustworthy, that by being secretive, we’re protecting our progress from getting jinxed, that if we don’t claim what’s “ours”, it may be taken away from us. As we grow into adults, more factors confirm our thought processes such as breakups, rejection in job interviews, corruption, and peer pressure. We keep on spiraling, blaming our circumstances for our current state of mind but we can pause there, I know it’s difficult but not impossible. We can pause and change these patterns by being more observant about our reactions to situations.
Ask yourself questions such as, ‘why is there a need for me to have my partners’ phone password?’ and start a dialogue with yourself; something like,
‘Has my partner cheated on me before?’
if yes then, ‘what the hell am I doing in this relationship where I cannot totally forgive my partner and I am constantly making both our lives miserable?’.
If no then, ‘I need to deal with this feeling. Where is it coming from? Have I seen this before in some movie, tv-show, my family, friend circle, etc?’.
Sit with that discomfort for a while and I am sure with enough effort, you will be able to find the root cause and then weed it out for good.
Whatever story your mind tells you has either happened with you already or you may have seen or heard it somewhere. It’s very uncommon to make unique betrayal stories in your mind unless you’re a filmmaker. We usually just change the characters and recreate those scenes in our minds. There’s a lot of life out there for you, take deep breaths every time you feel those little bursts of anger, palpitation, fear, sweaty palms, or whatever your symptoms may be when insecurity strikes you. You will be amazed to realize the connection your emotions have with your breathing pattern. Once you can focus on this life force of inhalation and exhalation, you will be able to create some space in your mind for a healthy debate based on facts rather than fictional theories.
With this, I shall conclude this chapter on dealing with insecurity.
Live | Laugh | Learn | Forgive | Love | Observe | Fall | Rise | Accept | Let Go - Just keep swimming Dory ;-)
~ Anila Andezhath