Everyone experiences insecurity in some way - everyone. And this insecurity leaks out at home, at work and in our relationships.
Think, for a moment, about the times and circumstance in which you feel, or have felt, that tinge of insecurity. Perhaps it was holding a newborn baby, wondering about committing to a relationship, making a speech, speaking up, thinking about growing old, buying a first house, re-marrying, divorcing, reflecting on your managing ability, playing a sport or musical instrument, considering your educational background, or your family or social standing .
Insecurity is fear-based
As a coach, my experience tells me most people are able to deal with their insecurities without becoming paralyzed. During their life's journey, they've taken steps to either overcome their insecurities or not allow them to be incapacitating.
But there are those who have succumbed to their fears and insecurities. They allow themselves to be taken over by negative, self-limiting, and self-defeating internal scripts. These people make a habit of feeling like a victim and blaming everyone and everything for their insecurities - their bosses, co-workers, the weather, politicians, their partners, friends and neighbors.
A major issue with these negative individuals, is how they impact and infect others. Consider the following:
Insecure people want and need control:Feeling insecure and thus "small" and "invisible", they search for and seek out opportunities that will show them to be brilliant or important – to be a "somebody". They refuse to collaborate, delegate or support others to grow and develop. They cannot bring themselves to coach or mentor others. Their ego is driving.
Insecure people are afraid of change: These individuals prefer the status quo to trying something new. They live in a "not invented here" landscape. Taking risks, stretching or exploring new ways of being, or doing things is threatening and fear-making. Risk or change is not a part of the equation.
Insecure people avoid embarrassment:They just "cannot fail". How would they be perceived if they did fail? Insecure folks avoid failing or the appearance of failing in any way. They abhor being seen as stupid or "incompetent" in front of anyone.
Insecure people are silent:They play it close to the vest, or blouse. They fear disclosing anything personal about themselves. They prefer small talk, gossip, and conversation that is desultory, superficial and not very deep.
- Reflecting honestly, do you sense you insecurities that affect your relationship with your spouse/partner, parents, children, co-workers, bosses, friends…?
- What might be a good first (baby) step to explore and deal with your insecurity?
- Do you have a trusted friend with whom you can open up and talk about your deepest insecurities?
- Would you colleagues, friends, or partner say you have a need for control or recognition that results in your usually being in some state of insecurity?
- Have others tugged on your sleeve about your insecurity? How did that make you feel?
Insecure people often associate with others who are not a threat: Insecure people need to feel wanted and needed, to feel important and superior. They prefer to hang around the less-talented so they don't have to compete or be threatened or embarrassed by someone smarter or better.
Insecure people perpetuate insecurity:Insecure people view others in their world according to the mantra, "I need you to be like me". They thrive on insecurity and so create an environment of fear, over-thinking and over-analyzing, being constantly suspicious and vigilant, creating an environment that is characterized by a low-grade-fever-type of agitation that permeates their home, work and social environments.
While insecure individuals can often be successful in the short term, they usually wind up derailing or stalling, but not before they have damaged and seriously affected their relationships with those around them.