There is no such thing as insecurity, there is only insecure thought. You aren’t insecure, you just think you are. You aren’t an anxious person, an overthinker, introverted, or a perfectionist. You just think you are.
If you take a closer look, even your most prominent characteristics are nowhere to be found at periods of time throughout the day. The most indecisive person you know makes clear and decisive decisions at times. The perfectionist lets things loose at times. The shortest person in the room forgets about their height at times.
If our insecurities were actually who we were, we would experience them at all times. But we don't. There’s a reason for this. Minds generalize. Our brain’s job is to seek clarity, and it does this by creating narratives in your mind to make the world make sense.
We tell ourselves stories to make our life experiences make sense to us. Once your mind decides you’re anxious, for example, confirmation bias kicks in.
(Confirmation bias = the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one's existing beliefs or theories.)
Then you start to see proof of it everywhere. You feel your heart flutter when walking in a room full of people you don’t know..
“Yup, that’s my anxiety kicking in.”
You have all kinds of intrusive thoughts when talking to someone you like.
“There’s that anxiety again.”
You can specifically recall times when you felt anxious. But for some reason, you forget about the times when you aren’t. You have plenty of nonanxious experiences too, but your mind will dismiss these to prove itself right. Then anxious experience repeats itself.
And your mind does such a good job at this that you might even disagree with me. But what if even that was only your minds attempt to prove itself right? Not because of who you are, but because of who you think you are.
You feel like an anxious person, your mind finds reasons to confirm this, it dismisses the times when you aren’t anxious, then you attach yourself to this identity because it feels so true. You fell under your mind’s spell. Your mind sees this as a good thing.
To your mind, it’s good to have an anchor of reasoning for your life experiences because then you have clarity. Your heart beats fast in a group of people then your mind jumps to conclude its just because you are an anxious person. It’s just the way you are.
This is what the mind thinks. It’s like when you get a new car and start seeing that same car everywhere. It was always like this, but now your mind has a way of finding it since it has a basis in your reality. Your mind tries so hard to validate its experiences to support the identity it creates for you.
Comfort and clarity. Our minds seek clarity which makes sense of all the things we experience, then this clarity leads to comfort. It’s comfortable to have a valid reason to stay in your bubble of insecurities. It’s comfortable to say you don’t want to go to that event because you’re introverted. It’s comfortable to nudge off giving a presentation because you suffer from anxiety.
But the truth is our insecurities are only inflated by ourselves. Have you ever asked someone what they were insecure about and realized you never noticed it before? Well, this is probably the same for you.
“No, mine is different.”
It only feels this way because you notice your insecurities in other people too. This is another thing our mind does. We self-sabotage ourselves by looking for the issues we have and seeing them in other people.
It’s our mind's attempts at validating the narrative it made for us. This proves itself right, which makes things make sense. Then this turns into a belief, and now you feel so certain about your insecurity. Then our minds go even deeper. We look for validation in our insecurity from other people too. Someone is looking at you.
“They’re looking at my big nose.”
Someone says you have a big nose.
“See, it’s true, my nose is too big!”
Then this insecurity feels so true to you because you have clear confirmation of it. But even this isn’t the reality it seems. It’s like wearing yellow-tinted glasses and claiming reality is yellow. It’s only a lens. Just like glasses, you can take the lens off.
By realizing that your mind isn’t you. Your thoughts aren’t you. The fact that you can notice your thoughts proves they are not you. If they were, you wouldn’t be able to notice them. That voice in your head isn’t you. Those negative thoughts aren’t you. They are your mind’s attempts at validating its habits.
These habits are the processes and thinking patterns your mind made in order to validate the reality it made for you. They’re habits of comfort. But how does this help us break free from our insecurities? By realizing that if my thoughts aren’t me, I don’t have to take them as law. They are just thoughts.
When I walk into a room and feel that anxiety creeps in, I don’t have to associate myself as an anxious person. This is just an experience I am living through. When I see someone looking at me I can just watch my mind say “they’re looking at how short I am,” but I don’t have to attach myself to this idea my mind has created.
It’s not about having freedom from the mind’s habitual strategies, it’s about having freedom with our minds doing these things. This means letting these insecure thoughts run through your mind, but detaching from them because you realize it’s only your mind's attempt to prove itself right. Minds lie. Remember. You aren’t insecure, you just think you are.
- Stain (co-founder)