HOW TO END INSECURITIES AT A YOUNGER AGE?
Updated: Jul 17, 2020
When I was in my 5th grade I could see that I loved cars and there was something about them which keeps me dreaming. The eager me always used to get an Autocar Magazine each month from a newspaper vendor and there wasn't a page that went unturned or a photo which I hadn't stared at for a minimum for 5 minutes. My parents, however, felt that I would casually glance through the magazine to see those glossy pictures and would waste money on them each time. I think those magazines were around Rs.70 - Rs.100 back then. I must say that for a young boy to spend so much on a magazine which only got one reading, was hurting.
But after all, it's something I like.
Now, there was this summer when my uncle had given me the wheels of his hatchback on an empty ground. That's the first time I remember driving and that is a memory which is going to stay.
Now for a kid who experienced that at such a young age, keeping that to himself would be impossible. That's exactly what I did. I shared that with my friends. A common response was that I was bluffing and I didn't know anything about cars.
My reaction was, me trying to prove.
Funny enough I remember that a kid asked me to draw how a gear layout looked to prove it.
Well, I did draw it and the conversation ended with him declaring that I wasn't bluffing after all but was just trying to share a simple memory.
This is one of the earliest memories I remember which I could relate to developing insecurity.
This might not look big for anyone one who has passed that age but imagine going through such stuff where people don't believe you, spread rumours, start to create a barrier in trust, and which all results in self-doubt and damage to your confidence. Why me, as the odd one out?
Was there a pattern I couldn't notice? Would it have been right to leave such a company behind?
Such experiences in my childhood did result in some serious changes and behaviours.
Let me share some of them with you.
What happens when you feel insecure?
1. You feel like someone is watching you.
It's that feeling when you feel, to be not yourself but adapt to someone else's way of life. Reason being would be that you feel that you aren't someone who can be accepted by your surroundings. It's self-doubt. It's you running away from humiliation and being scared. If I look back to the source of such actions, all I can see is an education system which focuses on kids striving in being the best. And how? Only by results and never your attempt or hard work.
Even now, I see students who are scared to participate in interactions and discussions that happen in classes. Where exactly are we going if all that we are focused, is on the right answer?
I feel no one and no answer is wrong.
If we join all that said, we see a process which creates a sense of insecurity in a person. We grow up to prove ourselves to someone and are more worried about them accepting us than our own.
2. You feel the urge to be the best.
I enjoyed working on creative stuff involved in project work, art or just an assignment. When I say I enjoyed, I mean that I wouldn't sleep until I fell in love with my work. As a result of the work I used to put in, I also did receive appreciation and great scores.
But why feel the urge to be the best, when you know you are putting in the work?
It happens when you feel, what you are doing is doable by anyone and that there is something which you aren't good at, at all. And maybe you are just wasting time on something that doesn't matter.
As a result, you try to be the best in anything that comes on your path to prove that you are perfect in everything that there is. Acceptance is vital but could be hazy when initially faced.
3. You always try to be on good terms with everyone.
Until recently I remember several instances where I felt the need to know many people and share similar relationships with everyone I met. Even though I could see that what I was doing was wrong, I couldn't refrain myself.
It was only when I started to see a pattern where I would give up on my side of thoughts and principles, and base my personal decisions in someone's hands just to be close to them. I wonder why I did that.
I could observe that I was missing out on a lot of experiences by just depending on others and their decisions. Until one day when I was helped realise.
I was trying to reach a friend by call and that continued for a while. A close friend of mine casually said, 'Bro, if they want to be here, they will. Don't try much." I realised something, replayed what he'd said and could observe that I hadn't decided for myself in a while.
Was it because I wanted to be close to some of them? Was it because I wanted to spend much time with them? Or had I started to please them?
But one thing I realised was that by constantly worrying about others and their presence in our lives is something that costs our time, experiences and memories. I didn't own the relationship and I carried no responsibility to keep it going.
There should be a time when you turn into a rebel. Because the last thing you'd want to realise is that, you weren't worth their time.
How did I overcome Insecurities?
Before that, was there a reason for me to think over such and waste my time? And why dig up old memories?
Maybe because I feel that, all of this wouldn't have bothered me if I didn't want to be a better person. I realised soon enough that, what I was going through was limiting my state of well-being. I could see distress, anxiousness, unhappiness, sense of being ungrateful, and a worthless tag circling my mind.
I am a person who believes that our souls become stronger by every experience and much greater when we learn from them.
Some ways I remember I took to overcome insecurities were,
1. If not, then what?
Most of us dream big and more so, some of us live most of our lives in wishful thinking. I too did and sometime continue to even now. But the realisation of a pattern is necessary to re-align yourself.
I started wondering what kind of a person, would I aim to become when I am not happy with being myself. What kind of changes would I be bringing in, with myself being in such a state?
My willingness to bring change in myself encouraged me to realise, what was stopping me from being different.
Your 'why' should be strong enough for you to face your weaknesses.
2. Patience is the only key.
Patience is one quality I would stand by, come what may. The overload of emotions, information, aspirations, expectations and whatnot, build a person's mind into a hazy state. Only when I started to see my self as a spectator, was I able to notice these behaviours which needed my interference in bringing in change. It's your choice.
For me, meditation worked; and maybe for you, it's something else. Find out and try to observe yourself.
Be engaged with yourself until you bring in change. The world won't stop if you take a break to help yourself. Trust me, it won't.
Hey also, very cliche to state this, but don't bother about social media as well. Don't let numbers fool you. You opt just to see the world in those lenses, and nothing to which makes you feel that you aren't making it.
Take time for your self.
3. The result isn't my responsibility
Happiness equals reality minus expectations - Tom Magliozzi
A simple thing that I started to learn, was that my efforts might not reap today and all that matters was that I put in the same amount of work each day to get to my goal.
Tell me what's going to be that wrong? — You might at the most spend an extra year, right?
Or what if you make it much earlier than you expected to.
The work is the only thing that keeps you away from your dream. See for yourself — are you friends wishing you the worst? Or parents? Now don't think of reasons and start complaining.
Your chance is now. Start realising and start working on your self. The only thing that you own right now is time. So make the best use of it and invest that for your gain.
The fast life we live in never gave me a hint of what was necessary. The reasons for regret and all the experiences and memories I could've built along the way would've sounded amazing if I was pre-equipped with the quality to bring in a change in my early life. But what's the fun in that?
Being built is better because we all are a work in progress.
Also, one real thinking I felt was suitable for this, would be to try and be the best for yourself. Not your parents, friends or any but just for yourself. It's your experience and you matter for your well being.
"Use what talents you possess. The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang the best" - Henry Van Dyke
I end by saying that I am no perfect person and might have not completely overcome my sense of insecurities . But definitely one trying to be better.
By - Nirup Kamagethi Chakravarti