Like a mean coach, this voice tends to get louder as we get closer to our goals. Everyone will realize what a failure you are. We may grow shy at a party, pull back from a relationship, project these attacks onto the people around us or act out toward a friend, partner or our children.
Imagine what reality might actually look like if you could live free of this prescribed insecurity. Insecurity at Work Insecurity can affect us in countless areas of our lives. Every person will notice their inner critic being more vocal in one area or another. For example, you may feel pretty confident at work but completely lost in your love life or vice versa.
You may even notice that when one area improves, the other deteriorates. Most of us can relate, at one time or another, to having self-sabotaging thoughts toward ourselves about our career.
Old feelings that we are incompetent or that we will never be acknowledged or appreciated can send our insecurities through the roof. Why do they expect you to do everything yourself? Who do you think you are? You should just put this off until tomorrow. No one appreciates you. Nobody likes you here. Put your career first. When are you ever going to get a real job? No one would hire you. Insecurity in Relationships Whether we are single, dating or in a serious, long-term relationship, there are many ways our critical inner voice can creep in to our romantic lives.
Relationships, in particular, can stir up past hurts and experiences. Moreover, many of us harbor unconscious fears of intimacy.
Listening to this inner critic can do serious damage to our interpersonal relationships. It can cause us to feel desperate toward our partner or pull back when things start to get serious. It can exaggerate feelings of jealousy or possessiveness or leave us feeling rejected and unworthy. Common critical inner voices we have toward ourselves about relationships include: She is too good for you. As soon as she gets to know you, she will reject you. Once we have a better sense of where our insecurity comes from and the profound influence it is having on our lives, we can begin to challenge it.
We can start by interrupting the critical inner voice process. Robert Firestone to help people overcome their critical inner voice. There are five important steps to this process, which I will briefly outline. To learn about Voice Therapy in more depth click here. Step I The first step of Voice Therapy involves vocalizing your self-critical thoughts in the second person.
You can also write down these thoughts. What is the matter with me? You will never be successful. This process can also be an emotional one, as saying these statements can bring up underlying feelings from the past. Step II In the second step, you can start to think and talk about the insights and reactions you have to exposing these mean thoughts. Do they remind you of anyone or anything from your past? It can be helpful to uncover the relationship between these voice attacks and the early life experiences that helped shape them.
This too will allow you to feel some self-compassion and reject these attitudes as accurate reflections of who you are. Step III People often struggle with the third step of this process, because it involves standing up to long-held beliefs and insecurities about oneself. You will answer back to your voice attacks, expressing your real point of view. You can write down rational and realistic statements about how you really are. Respond to your attacks the way you would to a friend who was saying these things about him or herself, with compassion and kindness.
Step IV In step five of Voice Therapy, you start to make a connection between how the voice attacks are influencing your present-day behaviors. How do they affect you at work? In your personal ambitions? Do they undermine you? What events trigger the insecurity? In what areas is this insecurity most influential?
Step V The final step involves making a plan to change these behaviors. This process will not be easy. With change always comes anxiety. These defenses and critical inner voices have been with you your whole life, and they can feel uncomfortable to challenge.
When you do change, expect the voices to get louder. Lisa Firestone for a Webinar on Overcoming Insecurity As you sweat through this tough but very worthy transition, it is important to practice self-compassion. Kristin Neff found self-compassion to be far more psychologically beneficial than self-esteem. Self-esteem still focuses on evaluation and performance, where self-compassion encourages an attitude of kindness and patience.
Self-esteem can increase our levels of insecurity, where self-compassion asks us to slow down and assign ourselves value simply for being human. We can shed the insecurities of our past and become the people we want to be.