I’ve been thinking a lot about what interferes with our growth, happiness, connection to self, success and mindfulness – Insecurity.
And what seems to enhance our growth, happiness, connection to self – others, success, and mindfulness – Self-Confidence.
Insecurity is like an unwanted weed in our garden of life. It blows into our consciousness and then it starts to take over – it sucks up the nutrients and sustenance of our self. We spend all this effort trying to rid ourselves of it and yet it seems so deeply rooted.
It’s different from a volunteer plant which blows in and enhances our garden – insecurity will destroy the habitat for the bright and nurturing thoughts that we have chosen or embraced.
The insidious nature of insecurity and the importance of self-confidence are juxtaposed to each other.
When I am working with someone who is developing her sense of self the most difficult element to deal with is insecurity. This is not a matter of age so much as it is a matter of mindfulness and centeredness.
Confidence and insecurity cannot dwell together.
In order to be self-confident it requires an understanding of yourself – not just a sense of what works and is positive but also your limitations. Knowing one’s limitations helps to define you in space and time so that you can Know yourself fully and deeply.
If you do not know your limitations you can agree to something for which you are not skilled or able to deal and this will put you onto unstable ground and lead to insecurity.
Confidence is a function of knowing oneself and standing in the center of that knowing.
Insecurity is a function of not knowing where one’s center is, so that any comment, stray look, or experience can be de-stabilizing.
Anxiety is a term that is roughly equivalent to insecurity.
Anxiety is related to not standing in the present moment but rather bemoaning the past or worrying about the future – neither of which can be changed. Our only power is in the present moment – NOW.
Moving into one’s center, with neutrality and non-attachment, and focused in the present moment, can help to dislodge the roots of insecurity.
Meditation, figure/ground evaluation and shifting are helpful in allowing this.
To battle insecurity and build self-confidence I like to use an equation of reasonable-ness.
Using this equation helps to identify what things need to be addressed, attended to, or ignored. This equation is a combination of observation, focus, and awareness of physical and emotional senses.
Strangely, anxiety and insecurity may be your first signs that something is askew.
This is similar to how anger can let you know that a boundary has been crossed – what I call your emotional alarm system. You don’t want to let the anger just keep blaring – you’ll get caught in it and be immobilized to act in an efficient and effective way. You want to acknowledge that there is a breach and then apply a mindful eye to the situation to investigate what/where the problem is and what action is required.
Similarly with the feeling of anxiety or insecurity, it may be your first cue that you need to move into your center and view and evaluate your physical and emotional sense responses from a neutral and unattached way.
Then apply the equation of reasonable-ness.
This equation is similar to that used in liability cases to find fault. What would a reasonable person do in a similar situation. For example, there is a level where one can do too little and a level where one can do too much – similar to a bell curve the middle area is the area that is reasonable – within reason – well-founded, healthy, just, levelheaded, sensible, common sensible.
I find that even those individuals who are most unreasonable with their expectations toward themselves – can apply the reasonable-ness equation and find an answer that is centered, reasonable, and mindful.
If you are in your center and you feel insecure or anxious then your self-knowing will guide you to make a good decision that is mindful and has integrity.
If you are not in your center and you feel insecure the anxious feelings and insecurities will spiral off and down into a negative space from which you have difficulty knowing or even recognizing yourself.
Focus on knowing yourself, your assets, skills, styles of being in the world and your limitations – this leads to self-confidence.
Practice paying attention to your feelings of self-confidence. Allowing your self-knowing to be your guide, it is a mindful self-knowing.
Remember to treat your emotional and physical senses as cues to tell you that something is ON or not on – askew, so that you can stay in-touch with your center.
View insecurity, anxiety as you do anger, as a message from your emotional guidance system – your built-in awareness system – that you have to review or evaluate a situation to get yourself on track.
Just as removing the weeds from your garden early before they take hold allows for your garden to flourish – remember that attending to these negative cues of insecurity and anxiety early on will help to not let them take root in your inner landscape.
See you tomorrow.