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Comments on
5 Things to Do When You Feel Insecure

By Therese J. Borchard
Associate Editor

5 Things to Do When You Feel InsecureGerman psychoanalyst Eric Fromm said, “The task we must set for ourselves is not to feel secure, but to be able to tolerate insecurity.”

Everyone I have ever known — I take that back — every likable person I have ever known in this world has admitted to periods of sheer insecurity. They looked at themselves from the perspective of someone else — perhaps a person with no appreciation of their talents, personality traits, abilities—and judged themselves unfairly according to the perverted view.

I am terribly insecure much of the time. I grew up with bad acne, braces, and a twin sister who was in the popular group. The adolescent self-doubt had sticking power. At times I can pull off the image of a self-confident author and writer, but it usually lasts as long as the speaking event or lunch with my editor.

Lately the junior high inferiority complex has made a surprise visit, and I’m more insecure than usual. So here’s one of those lists that people are always writing — suggestions on what to do if you are feeling insecure, too.

15 Comments to
5 Things to Do When You Feel Insecure

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  1. A great article! really helped!

  2. Therese, this is really well done. I clicked on the article not really expecting to learn anything new, but by the time I read that well-chosen and rather amazing quote from Stephen Fry, I knew I was in the hands of someone who could treat this important subject with more panache than it usually receives! Thanks for this.

  3. These steps are very helpful and I greatly appreciate the time spent. I’ve been wondering about my teenage daughter, and now I was able to define her needs
    better. I truly had a ” a ha moment” Awesome!!

  4. Are you kidding? This is absurd. Insecurity is not humility, it’s not invisible (hint: attention seeking behavior that goes along with insecurity is INCREDIBLY obvious, and usually obnoxious), and advising someone insecure to become a shut-in is pretty much 100% counterproductive.

    • I agree – avoiding what make you insecure is giving into weakness. It’s self-limiting behavior that keeps you from flourishing. Ladies and gentlemen, I respect that Therese has the guts to open up about how she deals with insecurity, but please know that there are better ways then “hiding.”
      Like . . oh I don’t know. . . giving yourself an internal “talk” to boost your self esteem . It is called, after all SELF esteem. Not OTHERS esteem.
      Look your insecurities squarely in the face and then bravely plow right through them until they are no more. This can take a bit of practice, but I promise you: You will eventually conquer those feelings – - you WILL flourish — Know it!

  5. Thanks. Made me feel better.

  6. Thank you, this was a lovely article. I’m still trying to figure out where my insecurity stems from, but this will help when it hits. The biggest struggle for me is being in a relationship. When I am single, I have all the confidence in the world. When I am with another, not matter how loving this person may be, I struggle with feelings that I am not good enough. I don’t understand.

    • I too am noticing this about myself. Thanks for shedding a little light

  7. Being insecure is NOT something invisible. In fact, women, children, human bullies and even animals can detect it easily and lunch an attack on the vulnerable person. Our body language give us out, so does out tone of voice, etc, etc. When one is insecure, people can read it, smell it, sense it. I was looking for the solutions that would help me with NOT coming across as such, so I’m dissapointed with this post.

  8. I really needed this. I appreciate your experiences and ability to make them into something positive. I started out searching for an article that would have had a lot of medical mombo-jumbo in it and probably theories and scientific studies about people with insecurities but this was so much more helpful for me. The take you have on insecurity makes me like myself a little more. Thank you.

  9. Thanks Therese. Really good advise on a tough day. I will keep your article close.

  10. 0h.,, thanks f0r this article, i learn much,. .

  11. the last one really helps me feel better. Thanks!

  12. While this may make people riddled with insecurity *feel* better – it will not actually help them.

    I find that often insecurity is very much wrapped up in pride – albeit in the blanket of bruised ego. Humility is about understanding one’s limitations and being ok with that. Insecurity is about feeling crippled by the fear and loathing that you don’t measure up to other people. We may feel sorry for insecure people because they appear weak – but underlying that insecurity is often a mean streak when they lash out in passive-aggressive ways against people they feel they fall short around. Why feel insecure about average looks or intelligence unless you crave to be one of the most attractive/smart people in the room?

    Humility says you don’t care when you are not at the top and don’t obsess over it. The insecure people I know very well are the most self-absorbed, obsessed over their perceived shortcomings and annoying everyone around them.

  13. This was really very helpful, thank you. told me that i am not the only person who is that way. I understand what you mean by insecurity being equivalent to humility. insecure people in a way can understand their weaknesses.

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