Jay Rifenbary

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Insecurity - A Menace to Success and Happiness

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What are you insecure about? How secure are you with who you are, what you look like, your attributes, your shortcomings, the content of your character, and your virtues? Do you have a moral compass in life that you follow? Does that compass only guide you, or do you actually act on the directions that compass provides you? Do you use your insecurities as an excuse for a lack of achievement, or do you recognize that your insecurities are actually a stimulus to improve and become a better you? Insecurity is the flashing warning sign in your life telling you to research the roots of that insecurity and take the necessary actions to minimize its impact. Insecure is defined as, “(of a person) not confident or assured; uncertain and anxious.” Anxious is a key word for it is the physical and emotional catalyst to recognizing insecurity exists. Anxious is defined as, “experiencing worry, unease, or nervousness, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.” Yikes! I just realized I might need to practice a little bit better what I preach.

Where do our insecurities originate? Certainly our upbringing, relationships, failures, social expectations and environment all contribute to the development of them. For example, if you are insecure about how you look, where does that insecurity stem from. If it is from the expectations of a superficial society then maybe there is nothing to be insecure about. Take the makeup artists and the hair stylists away from the so-called beauty queens and kings of famous celebrities and you will realize that perception is not always reality. However, there is a responsibility that comes with insecurity. The responsibility is taking ownership for insecurity created by your own actions. If you are insecure about your body, yet do not manage your weight and health effectively you are not taking responsibility for the issue at hand. It then becomes much easier to use that insecurity as an excuse rather than a motivation to improve.

There is a direct correlation between guilt, insecurity and regret. Guilt drives us to be unsure about the life path we have taken and the decisions we have made. As a result, the more insecure we are about who we are. This culminates into regret that is emotionally draining and sustains a focus on a gloomy past, rather than a bright future. It is not who you are that holds you back, it is who you think you are not.

The more one is irresponsible for their insecurities the more destructive one becomes. It transcends to the blaming of everything and everyone around them for their own lack of accomplishment and success. Envy, jealousy, bigotry and prejudice are the ultimate behaviors that demonstrate how deep one’s insecurities can become. As Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. stated, “The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye. The more light you shine on it, the more it will contract.”

How do you right the ship? First, what is the foundation for what you stand for and believe in? Second, what are the characteristics and principles that you believe create a good and decent person? These answered collectively form the very core values that provide a greater deal of security moving forward with your life, and the decisions you will make. Insecurity tends to be more of a subjective opinion of ones own sense of self worth rather than being based on actual fact. Without a foundation of values to build your self-worth around the more vulnerable you are to your perceived insecurities. Other steps to overcome include, * be proactive, not reactive when you recognize insecurity exists. * learn to trust yourself and the abilities you have. There are more wonderful things about you than you may realize. * forgive yourself, we all make mistakes.               * surround yourself with people who lift you up, not pull you down, emulate positive not negative behaviors * realize everyone has insecurities, however, it is choice whether you allow them to control you and how you feel, or not. * do not host an internal pity party, life is too short. As the classic quote from Eleanor Roosevelt states, “No one can make you inferior without your consent.”



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