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Get These Insecurities Out of My Head

"I'm insecure about my weight. A lot of my friends and people I know are skinner than me and I feel like they may not want to associate with me because I'm too big."
10th grade, 16

"I'm insecure about my height. I'm very short. I feel crowded in the hallways at school and I look like a midget." 9th grade, 14

"I'm insecure about my religion and the rules I have to follow."
9th grade, 14

"I'm insecure about my height and my looks because I am short and not very pretty."
10th grade, 16

"I'm insecure about my legs. I have massive thunder thighs."
10th grade, 15

As you read these statements above, did you think, "That's me!" Like the teens above, have you found yourself standing in the mirror questioning why you are so short, so tall, too slender, or too heavy? Ever question whether you are cute enough, smart enough, or popular enough to survive your teen years. If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone. Many of us have insecurities that we consider daily. Unfortunately, most people usually suffer through their insecurities in silence. We sit alone, believing that everyone else feels confident and are happy while we may sit dreading having to interact with others or look in the mirror because we are not feeling as confident as we would like. For many youth, the number of insecurities may become so overwhelming that it becomes difficult to focus on our strengths and positive qualities.

Our insecurities lead us to become anxious and avoid people and activities for fear that our insecurities will be on display for everyone to see. Many times the areas we feel most insecure about others would never imagine as a problem for us. Unfortunately, our insecurities find a way of convincing us that they are in fact true and real when in actuality they are maintained by our thoughts and fears. How we think affects how we feel and ultimately what we do. Sometimes to worst thing we can do is hide how we are feeling. Our family and friends want to be a support for us. They see the best in us and want to support us in overcoming our insecurity. Your family wants to encourage you, motivate you and inspire you toward your success. What can you do?
1) Recognize that we all have insecurities
2) Reassure yourself that your insecurities are no greater than anyone else's. Some insecurities you may see while others may be hidden. For example, height and weight are visible but an insecurity about speaking in front of others may not be easily seen.
3.) Ask someone you trust to help you figure out if your insecurity is realistic. For instance, you think you are not attractive and the person may help you to realize that you are.
4.) Write affirmations to yourself everyday that help encourage you.

"The Take Away": Love yourself as you are. Each of us is uniquely made. If you are tall, it is a blessing in that you can reach items that others have to seek assistance to gain. You are able to catch the shirt at the Grizzlies' game because of your height. If you are feeling too short, imagine how often you get to go first when we line up by height. Attractiveness radiates from within and is heightened when you feel good about yourself. If you feel overweight, check first to make sure that you are in fact overweight and not having unrealistic expectations about your weight. If you find that you are larger in size than you would like, then choose two items to cut back on and change your eating habits. Our religious believes may be seen by others as strict but it is those rules that oftentimes keep us out of trouble. We have to work to be our best while also accepting that we are our best when we love and accept ourselves, shortcomings and all.

Remember that is important to listen to all the great comments people make about you more than you listen to negative statements you make or fears you have about yourself. The more you love yourself as you are, the more your insecurities will play a minor role in the major parts of your life. You are awesome...never forget that.



Charlotte M. Freeman, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist who provides training, counseling and consulting through her firm, Nia Therapy Services. For more information, contact Dr. Freeman at (901) 726-5200 or askdrcharlotte@aol.com.