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Aug. 10, 2022

Episode 20 - Overcoming Insecurities

Episode 20 - Overcoming Insecurities

2022-Aug-10

The Intentionally Emotive Podcast with Shaun Karim

E20 - Overcoming Insecurities


Body image issues.  Job insecurities.  Social awkwardness.  Relationship detachment.  Not being vulnerable.


All of these insecurities stem from somewhere, and it’s unfortunate that this is the state you’re in, but you have the ability to change all of that.


In this episode, Shaun goes into details about the negative effects of being insecure, and emphasizes the power your voice has over your life to turn things around.


Pulling yourself out of this state brings you to a place where you know your worth, you surround yourself with people who embrace you, and you live the life you were always meant to live.


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Intro and Outro music by Anton_Vlasov from Pixabay


Transcript

INTRO

How's it going, everybody?  Welcome to the Intentionally Emotive Podcast with Shaun Karim, part of the Mental Health News Radio Network.  New episodes are available every Wednesday on your favorite podcast platform.


If you want to leave a voice message about any topic or have a question to be featured in a future episode, go to www.shaunkarim.com and click the microphone icon on the bottom right of your screen.

PREFACE

So far we’ve talked a lot about the relationships we have or had with people and the impact they’ve had on us.  Whether that was through how our parents brought us up in a particular environment, a husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend projecting their thoughts on us, or the general narcissism and toxicity that can leave an imprint on us, there is a lot we’ve uncovered and will continue to, but today per a listener’s request, we’re going to talk about our relationship with ourselves.

RELATIONSHIP WITH SELF

Obviously, it’s healthy to have good relationships with the people in our lives who play a significant role.  You want a good husband or wife.  You want your best friend to be a true friend to you.  You want your parents to be your provider, your advocate, and be supportive.  But where does all of that start?  How do you ensure that you put yourself in a position that allows you to see who you can and should allow in your life so that they contribute to it positively?


To put this differently, how do you make sure that people see you and treat you in a respectful way?  How do you let people know that you are a person of a certain standard and that you won’t tolerate anything less?  How do people know who you are?


The way that you think about yourself internally, the way you speak to yourself, the way that you look at people and at the world, is directly reflected externally.  So it can be really easy to say something like, “Just think positively”, “shut the negativity out”, and so on, but that can be difficult–even impossible–to do if you don’t see yourself radiantly.


So with all of that in mind, today’s topic is “Overcoming Insecurities.”

ORIGINS OF INSECURITIES

Before we talk about overcoming insecurities, there are some things that we need to explain first.


It’s normal for all of us to feel insecure every now and then.  Things pop up, like certain life events or someone gets under our skin when they press a certain button of ours.  That’s just part of life, and eventually we remember who we are and we move on.


But what happens when the person you remember is someone who doesn’t allow you to move on?  What if the person you remember is that very same person who seems to be defined by those life events, and defined by those buttons–those triggers–over and over again?


I was there, and honestly sometimes I still am, so I totally get it.


Maybe things happened when you were really young, whether it was bullies at school or the criticisms your parents shot in your direction.  Worse yet, they could have been overly critical of you while bullying you at the same time.


In other cases, whether those were factors or not, you could be in a state of depression, anxiety, suffer from certain disorders, and put yourself in a state where you have to be perfect at everything to make up for what you consider to be less optimal.

WHAT IS IT?

So what’s with all of this shit that you’re going through?  We kind of know how you got there, but what’s actually going on?


In my experience, and in no particular order, it’s a combination of a lack of confidence, uncertainty, low self worth, anxiety, not knowing my skills and abilities, my value as a person being shot down by people who I thought cared about me, feeling inadequate mentally, physically, and emotionally, not feeling like I had the tools to deal with stress, and feeling super anxious about any kind of relationship I was in.


How much of that resonates with you?


If you don’t keep yourself in check, or if this has gone on for years and years, and if you’re like me, you may be in a state of depression.  I was medically depressed for so long starting at such a young age that I thought it was normal.


Watch yourself and your imagination because when it starts to take over, the line blurs between what is actually happening versus what you think could happen.  The thing is when you’re in this state, it can be difficult to properly open up to anyone about what you’re thinking, what you’re feeling; and so you could develop an overreliance on yourself before you’re truly capable of relying on yourself, and this “less mature” version of yourself is the one that sets this foundation for your life.


That foundation is super weak, and that part of it is so unnecessary, so against building you up; and so when you build on this foundation, what happens?  You have something difficult to deal with–or something with a hefty weight–that foundation cracks and crumbles.  What does that do to you?

WHAT HAPPENS IN DIFFERENT SITUATIONS

Your insecurity isn’t your fault.  You must understand that, but having said that, if you don’t do something about it, it’ll inevitably have drastic effects on other parts of your life.


What about your relationships?  I mean friendships and romance.  If you’ve listened to this show for a while, you’ll recall that I talked about vulnerability.  Despite what anyone thinks, vulnerability is one of the biggest signs of emotional strength that anyone can possess.  It separates the men from the boys, the women from the girls.  I dare you to have a thought-provoking, emotional conversation with someone you know who isn’t vulnerable, and see how far that conversation goes before they blow up on you or completely shut down because they don’t know how to connect with that side that has this wall built up to “protect” them.


Now ask yourself, and be honest with yourself–is that you?  Are you the one who doesn’t want to be vulnerable because you’re afraid of being hurt?  It’s understandable because of all of the shit you’ve gone through.  You didn’t deserve to be hurt, especially that way.  So your lack of trust in people–whether it’s what they say or what they do–is how you’re looking at the entire world.  I’m not saying everyone should be trusted; a lot of people can’t be trusted, but if you’re not willing to allow people to even earn your trust in the first place, you’re doing a disservice to yourself.


I was talking to my girlfriend about this a couple of weeks ago.  She said that everyone deserves a companion; everyone deserves to be cared for; and everyone deserves love.  But for ALL of that to happen, you have to be vulnerable, and you have to be willing to give your trust to the people who have shown they can hold a piece of you and not betray you.


You may or may not want to be in a relationship right now–or worse yet, and I hate saying it that way, maybe you’re in a relationship now with this behavior that you’ve developed.  How far do you think this can go?  How deep of a connection can you have with someone with this roadblock in your mind?  If you can’t be the right partner for someone, how can you expect them to be the right partner for you?


So this relational insecurity will bleed into other parts of your life.  I can guarantee you that–because I’ve experienced it myself.


Your social life will take a big hit, assuming it hasn’t already; and when I say big hit, I don’t just mean the quality of your relationships, but the quality and integrity of the people you attract.  The things you talk about will be lacking substance.  The things those people can bring to your life will not even be minimal, but could potentially take away from you.


The lack of confidence in your ability to present yourself will be obvious, and people will respond.  Not only that, but that’ll be the reputation you build for yourself; so you’ll go around being that person where people will almost always look at you and think about you in that way.  It’s not fair, and honestly it kind of sucks, but this is what all of that brings you.


Allow me to tell you something about this lack of success in these social settings: you created these scenarios with your thoughts and your words before anything could happen, and what you saw is what you manifested in your life.


So that social awkwardness that you have?  Everyone saw it, and a lot of them responded to you with that at the forefront.  Are you watching your words too closely?  Afraid of upsetting someone?  Worried about saying the wrong thing, or being hurtful?


Are you worried about your intellect and whether or not you can “fool” someone?  Whatever conversations are happening, are you overthinking your contribution to it?


It’s not like you’re not aware that people can see some of this from you, but believe me you’re making it worse in your mind than it actually is.


Body image insecurities.  We’ve all been there.  Everyone can relate to this on some level.  Having said that, are you spending a shitload of time thinking about your body, how it looks, and what people think about it?  Have you considered that maybe you’re not perceiving your body accurately?  It doesn’t matter if it’s your whole body or just certain body parts; it’s all the same when it comes to body insecurities.  I know this can be hard to hear sometimes, but outside of when you’re dealing with a narcissist, it’s true that we are our own worst critic.


What about insecurity about your career?  If you’re feeling inadequate, anxious, uncertain, confused, or have doubts about yourself and the job you’re doing, that’s not normal.  By the way, I’m assuming you’re not a shit worker or someone who is messing around at work.

HOW DO I OVERCOME MY INSECURITIES?

So finally, hopefully you’re asking yourself, “How do I overcome my insecurities?”  If you’re not asking yourself that, then you’re not ready.  I don’t mean to come across like an asshole when I say that, but it’s true.  You have to be ready to look at all of this stuff and want to do something about it.  No one else is going to do it for you.  It doesn’t matter how much someone builds you up; if you can’t do that yourself, then none of that matters.


Take care of yourself first.  It’s perfectly fine, and even honorable, to take care of others, but you must look out for yourself first.  This is the one and only way that you can be the best version of yourself to the people in your life who care about you the most.  You have value.  Stop thinking negatively about yourself, and consider doing something nice for yourself for a change.


That awkwardness I mentioned earlier?  Let me tell you, ALL of us are weird.  If you only knew about the interactions my girlfriend and I have with each other.  Embrace that shit.  Seriously.  If someone doesn’t like it, then they don’t belong in your circle.  Let them go so you make room for the people in your life who want to be there.


I’m going to tell you a secret about those negative thoughts you’re having.  If you challenge them, and I mean REALLY challenge them, eventually they’ll disappear either because they’re not true or because you’ll eventually create an action plan for yourself to flip that negative thought on its head.


If you’re in a negative situation, do your best to get out of it and spend time with people you enjoy or spend time with yourself and do some self care.  Go out to your favorite restaurant.  Get back to the gym or nature and work your body and mind.  Watch your favorite TV show.  Go to the movies.  Do something for yourself that’ll make you feel good.


Work with a therapist to facilitate your healing.  I’ve mentioned this before because I’m a huge advocate for it.  It works.  You just need to find the right person and make the commitment to have uncomfortable conversations with that person and yourself.  It’ll be one of the best things you’ll ever do for yourself.


And when it’s all said and done, affirm your value.  You’ve done a lot of good, and so you’re doing yourself a disservice by ignoring that.


There are some takeaways here that I want to stress:

  • Insecurity gives you the opportunity to adjust your focus
  • When you’re secure, you don’t have to prove anything to anyone
  • Your insecurity is a gift because it is an indication where there is a deeper problem in your life (like pain)
  • When your insecurity surfaces because of the opinions of other people, this shows you have a deeper problem about how you think people think of you as opposed to what you think of yourself
  • Insecurity gives you the opportunity to identify areas of growth
  • Don’t underestimate the power of your voice over your own life


This is some of the most important work you’ll ever do in your life.  It’s also some of the toughest you’ll ever do, but once you have the internal fortitude to start, and take those baby steps, acknowledge the progress you’re making, you’re going to build momentum that eventually can’t be stopped.


Then you’ll take that momentum with you in all aspects of your life; and one day you’ll look back and the old you who was insecure, and the new you is going to be so proud of you.

OUTRO

All right, everyone.  Thanks for listening to the Intentionally Emotive Podcast with Shaun Karim.  If you enjoyed this episode, don’t forget to spread the word on social media and check out www.shaunkarim.com.