Sometimes we just need to be vulnerable.
I usually write about goals, sales, and positive things, but today I want to put a bit of a different slant on it. Today is a few days after my birthday and I am feeling quite reflective. I want to look at what many people are struggling with – insecurity. In fact, pretty much everyone goes through feelings of insecurity, myself included.
If you are reading this, take a second to just reflect on when you feel insecure and open your mind to acceptance. And this definitely applies to your business, career, and life.
(click here or on the play button below to hear this post)
In this post, I want to do two things. First, I want to let you know that it is totally normal to feel uncertain about yourself and your life. And second, I want to discuss how to break out of the funk when you feel like you are vulnerable “less than.” Sound good? Let’s do this!
Insecurity is your friend
One of my passions is to help people unlock themselves a bit more and create freedom in their busy lives. I love helping people find more joy, while still getting things done. Often, the biggest roadblock for my clients and friends is that they don’t fully see the potential of what they are doing and, in turn, the potential in themselves. This has been an observation I have made in salespeople, executives, small business owners, and especially in entrepreneurs. One thing I have learned is that many high achievers struggle with excellence. I constantly search for ways to help people just have more fun and take things a bit less seriously.
I think it goes back to when we were kids and in school. We were always on stage, competing against others, being graded on our abilities, and taught to find the “right” answer. As we move into adulthood, it becomes harder to find the right answer, because there usually is no ONE answer. So what happens? We start to doubt ourselves. We look around at other people and constantly compare “us to them.”
Worse yet, social media has created an unlimited number of false personas where it seems everyone is living a marvelous life! No wonder we often feel like we are not doing enough, right?
But let’s just all agree that this happens so we can look at what to do about it. Remember that it is not about how many times we get knocked down, but how many times we get up. The true test of your personal strength is how long you let your emotions control you. You are human and are supposed to feel insecure. But does it take over or do YOU take action?
Turn your vulnerability into a strength (Steps)
One thing that has helped me over the past few years is how I relate to my own insecurity. It is not about pushing aside the emotions or just being “strong.” We have to accept our human self and learn to deal with how we feel. And through the process, we grow.
I follow these steps each time I feel like I am just not good enough or doing enough. I hope this helps you.
- Acknowledge the feeling of insecurity: Think about how many times we get told by others or even by ourselves, “Oh don’t think like that, you know it’s not true.” And we try and push he feeling aside. But it doesn’t go away. It weighs on us. So the first step is to go, “Hey me. I feel insecure. I have these thoughts. Let’s take a look at them and see what’s going on.” Treat these feelings as a signal of something you should turn you attention to. So the first step is just “observation.”
- Reflect on the thoughts you are having: I personally make time each day for reflection on my thoughts and feelings. I look for the true source of these thoughts and ask myself if they are true. Many times we have limiting beliefs and we just accept them as truth. By reflecting, you usually uncover the truth. And from an honest evaluation of your current reality, you can see the true path ahead. I wrote about this more in my post on personal mastery. It applies to individuals as well as organizations. The second step, therefore, is “truth.”
- Make a plan: This sounds like a big leap, but if you have done the first two steps, you should see a much simpler view of things. Often we feel insecure because of one root cause at a time. So when you uncover the root cause, take some steps to move yourself further ahead. Perhaps you feel like your business isn’t where it should be? Well DO something about it. I did that at the beginning of the year when I decided to blog daily for 90 days. I just went at it. That makes the third step all about “action.”
- Set aside the feelings once you take action: If you are with me so far, then you may start to see where I am going. Now that you have identified the root causes and picked just one thing to start working on, release yourself (temporarily) from the feeling of insecurity so that you can just get some things done. I had a wonderful chat a few months ago with a friend of mine, Dr. Isaac Jones about the difference between activity and motivation. Go check out the video of some of our conversation. How many times do you try and motivate yourself to do something and it just doesn’t work? I believe that ACTION creates motivation, not the other way around. So at this stage, forget about being motivated, and forget about ANY emotions, including your insecurity. Give your emotions a break while you get to work on your plan. If you let them creep in, just remind yourself, “not yet.” Half way through my 90 day challenge, I started to feel insecure, and I wrote this post about it. I talk about the emotions you feel during the middle of your plans and how to push through them. Step four is “focus.”
- Only evaluate after you have put in the right work: I said “right work” because it doesn’t have to be task related like my 90 day blog challenge. It doesn’t have to be about jobs, careers, money, or health either. When you look at the root cause, it could be something in your relationship you want to address. It could be that you feel unappreciated. Pretty much anything. But when you make a plan and do some things to move you even slightly in a new direction, you will start to feel better. Perhaps some gratitude journaling. Perhaps reading more, or shifting some of your day slightly. Whatever you choose, just take some action. The reason I like 90 days as a number is that it is long enough to create some major change in your life, while at the same time it is short enough to see the finish line. Watch my video on my last day of the blogging challenge and imagine how YOU would feel if you took 90 days of action on whatever has you down right now. The key was to just do the work and see how it went after I was done. I a excited to share the story with you in case it helps you break through whatever you are struggling with. The cool thing is that I achieved some amazing unexpected results. Some pretty crazy cool opportunities have come my way. So lastly the fifth step is “finish”
This new 90 days I am currently working on has been all about creating more balance with my health and relationships.
The big thing is that THIS IS YOUR LIFE. Live it how you want. People will always have opinions on what you should do, but at the end of the day it’s al your call, bud. And with that freedom of choice, you decide how much responsibility to take for your actions and results. Basically, by adopting this mindset, you can realize that insecurity is a choice. And now is the time to take steps to simplify your life.
So next time you are feeling insecure, follow the steps:
If you try this out and get it done, you will be unstoppable. You will always feel insecure about things, but at least you will know how to face your vulnerability head on.