Last weekend, I had a conversation about insecurities. I was talking to a teen about how they often feel insecure about their body, their looks, and other things in general. My heart was breaking; hearing them talk about the things they did not like about themselves, not just because they were simply beautiful but because I could relate to their pain.
I remember being a chubby teenager and not liking so many things about my life. I wanted a thinner body, I wanted to have more money, and I wanted popularity in school. When I think back, I had no reason for these insecurities. I may not have had everything I wanted, but I always had everything I needed, I had friends and family who loved me, and although I was chubby, I was healthy and that is what is important.
Hindsight is always 20/20. Obviously as a teenager, I was not thinking of any of this.
We live in a social media society, where people post only the highlights of their lives. We only post the perfect picture – not the millions of others in our phone without the perfect angle, filter and/or FaceTune. We only post the raises and promotions – not the work fails or job loss. We see these amazing moments in other people’s lives and often compare them to our own.
An article on Psychology Today states the three common causes of insecurity are personal rejection/failure, lack of confidence and a need for perfectionism. 60% of people using social media reported that it has affected their self-esteem in a negative way¹.
We must remember, we are all human and we all face rejections and failures. You should not feel embarrassed if you hit a bump in the road – job loss, financial setback, breakup, etc. You can take lessons from it and apply it to the future. You should allow yourself time to heal from it, get honest feedback from someone you trust, make new realistic goals (if necessary) , and move forward. Do not be afraid if you need to talk with someone about how this rejection or failure made you feel or if you need help on how to process it.
No one is confidence all the time. There are days I am insecure about my weight but on those days, I focus on what I do love about myself. I started this practice in high school. I would look at myself in the mirror every day, and even on the days I did not like what I saw, I would name one thing that I did like about myself. Some days this was not easy and some days I was only naming things that were internal, but I would name something. This practice allows me to have a laundry list of things I love about me, so on the days where I am not a fan of one; I have a long list of others. There are days you have to “Fake it ‘Til You Make It.” Listen to some Beyoncé, Cardi B, or Nicki Minaj, channel you inner Bad Bitch, and strut with your head held high because you are a QUEEN.
Perfection is a relative term. Your perfect life is most likely not my perfect life. Your path to success is not my path. We are all different and while we may wish for the “perfect” life of someone else, we must remember that life is not for us. Instead of focusing on what we don’t have, be grateful for what you have and enjoy the journey of getting to where you want to be. It’s not all or nothing; enjoy your gray area of life while you have them.
Insecurities are a part of life; we all have them at some point even if we try to hide them. Remember that most of social media is only the highlight reel of someone’s life; not the whole thing. We all have really good days and really bad days. Be grateful for what you do have, enjoy the journey that you are on and find happiness in all the little things.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.