How I'm Acknowledging And Overcoming My Insecurities

We all have insecurities. Something we would like to change about ourselves, or something we see in others that we wish we had. It is human nature to compare ourselves to each other, but doing that too much can get incredibly unhealthy and only serves to make ourselves upset. It has taken me a long time to get to the place I am in terms of confidence and self-love, but there is definitely a lot more work I need to do. For now, though, here are a few things I am insecure about and how I have learned to begin overcoming them.

I do not know a single girl who isn’t insecure about some aspect of her body. I am sure guys have body insecurities too, but they are not as vocal about them as girls are. I know exactly what each of my girl friends are insecure about and I never even had to ask. Our insecurities are casually mentioned in daily conversation. “I’ve gained so much weight since high school. Look how big my waist has gotten!” or “I wish my shoulders weren’t so broad, I look like a man.” or “My boobs haven’t grown since I was 12.” I could go on and on. My main body insecurity is how skinny I am, but I also get insecure whenever I gain any weight. Since childhood, I have always gotten comments on how skinny I am. Sometimes it is my friends saying “I wish I had your body. You’re so skinny!” but other times it is a middle school boy taunting “Why are you so flat?” As a result of getting both complimented and insulted on the exact same fact about my body, I am unlucky enough to be insecure no matter what I happen to weigh a certain day. My pants feel a little tight? Is my butt getting bigger? Am I losing the tiny waistline I’ve had my whole life? 

To a lesser degree, I’m also insecure about my face. I think my face is too square and too wide. My eyelashes are too short. I have really bad RBF. Social media has definitely made me feel worse about the way I look. There are so many pretty girls on social media, and I look nothing like any of them. Thankfully, I am rarely insecure about this anymore. I do feel pretty most of the time, even without makeup. 

It was a lot harder to come up with a list of my mental insecurities than my physical ones. I am glad that I do not hate the way I look anymore, but I also find it much harder to get over mental insecurities, because they feel more valid. My insecurities about my personality are that I am too closed off, too boring and incapable of success. I have always been told that I am shy and quiet. I never really thought this was a bad thing before, mostly because I get annoyed by people who are overly peppy or energetic. In recent years, though, I have gotten more and more insecure about it. It is hard for me to get the courage to approach new people, to know how to continue conversations and to muster the energy to maintain the relationships I do have. It feels like I am hard to like and not worth the effort to talk to. Because I am so quiet, I am also not very assertive and I worry that it will hurt me in my professional life. If I am not confident in my own abilities, surely no employer will be either. 

One thing I have realized that has helped me overcome my physical insecurities is that nobody ever notices as many things about you as you notice about yourself. Whenever I make a comment about myself, everyone around me says that they would never have noticed if I did not point it out. Only one person has ever made a negative comment on my body, and he was an eighth grade boy. Eighth grade boys say a lot of mean things. Besides, you should not rely on other people to tell you that you are pretty. That being said, having friends say nice things about me does not hurt. Another thing that has helped is putting more effort into my outfits. Fashion makes me feel better because if I like what I put on my body, it is hard to dislike my body. Taking selfies has also made me more confident, once I figured out how to take good ones. I might not always look the way I do in my selfies, but at least I look good in some of them. Learning to love the way I look is definitely still a work in progress, but I’m getting there. 

Overcoming my mental insecurities requires a lot more effort on my part. I have to constantly remind myself that just because I don’t make friends as easily as other people does not necessarily mean that I am boring or not worthy of having friends. All it means is that I am not the most outgoing person in the room and that is not a bad thing. Being bubbly and happy all the time is not a prerequisite for being likable. 

Learning to love all the parts of yourself is a difficult process. It requires a lot of constant effort before it starts getting any easier, but gaining more confidence is definitely worth the work.