Insecurity is no joke. I’ve been talking to a lot of young women whose thoughts are literally drowned out by fears- fears in new relationships, the way people view them, the future, struggles with family and friends, and so on. This can trigger extreme reactions to events that aren’t as threatening as we interpret them. Many times the things we think about others and ourselves are unrealistic. Most people aren’t thinking what we’re thinking. Most of the fears we predict don’t happen. Don’t get me wrong, they make complete sense in your mind. However, these thoughts are created by fears, anxieties and insecurities that give you a vision of dangers that don’t exist. Self awareness is so important to analyze those thoughts and align them with reality even when your insecurities FEEL real.
A few examples of this mindset look like:
He hasn’t called/texted me back. He must not like me. He must be talking to someone else. It’s probably that girl. (Goes and stalks social media feed).
When in reality, he may have missed your text or got caught up in another activity and his feeling haven’t changed an ounce since you’ve been apart. The real issue is a personal issue. You may have thoughts rooted in a lack of worth, that you’re easy to leave and can’t truly be loved. You’re projecting what’s inside of you, not as reality is.
My photo didn’t get that many likes. I must not be beautiful enough. Ugh, now that I look at it this picture it’s hideous. I can never take a good photo. I wish my face looked more like…
The moment you begin to weigh your beauty based on the “like” count of others, is the moment you let the world define you. Not only is this dangerous but it’s a false measurement. There’s a likelier chance that many people didn’t even see the photo and that you have a skewed ideal of what beauty is because you base it off of comparison.
My car just broke down (or other unexpected event). This always happens to me. Right when I’m trying to go forward in life I’m always brought back down. I can’t get anywhere. I’m always stuck.
Many times we don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are. The destruction is when we begin to accept these thoughts as truth! We have to learn how to protect ourselves from the thoughts that attack our identity. Yes, look out for yourself in your own thoughts. Take your thoughts captive. You do not have to submit to every thought that pops into your head. We have to learn how to choose faith.
It begins with identifying the habitual system that is our train of thought. Here’s a really great 4 step cognitive exercise anyone can use to untwist their ways of thinking:
- Identifying the “Threat” (What’s causing you to react).
Start by pinpointing the event or person that is triggering your emotions. Chances are, you’ll find this is a regular trigger for you. Knowing what your buttons are will help you become proactive in how to deal with these types of situations instead of being reactive and unthinkingly responding to them or letting them get the best of you.
Ask yourself: Why does this have so much power over me? Is my anxiety about the situation appropriate or created by my own fears and insecurities? What boundaries can I draw for myself?
- Writing down the thoughts that follow (self-awareness).
Anyone who knows me knows I am an advocate of journaling. Sometimes having a tangible layout of your thoughts can help you better resolve them, rather than letting them build and stir up in your mind. Write down everything that you’re thinking (now matter how crazy it may be). Analyze it and be your own judge.
Ask yourself: Is my thought process rational or led by fear?
- Noting the Reaction (How you react or the extreme actions you take).
What is your first reaction in response to the trigger event? Do you go stalk their social media? Do you rant your emotions online or to the person? Do you relapse into self-destruction or revenge? Do you turn into a place of hopelessness for your life? When we react without thinking it can really make a bad situation worse. When you can begin taking note of how you typically react in the face of hurt, insecurity, anxiety, you become self-aware of destructive choices you’re making. Hopefully this awareness will prompt you to think twice about your reactions for future reference.
Ask yourself: How does this make me react? What do I usually end up doing?
- Bringing yourself around to the Reality (choosing faith and weighing your insecurities against a more likely truth).
Unless you have enough reason and evidence to prove that he’s cheating or people actually in their mind think the thoughts about you that you’re holding against them or know the exact future of the unexpected event you’re facing, chances are your thoughts aren’t the final truth. Unfortunately, just because we think things and they feel real, we assume they are. At this point you need to separate yourself from your feelings, whether that be by journaling or talking through them with someone else, and begin weighing the more likely reality. Remember FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real.
Here’s a tip that would help me in the face of anxiety:
Create a table or chart in your journal like this that will help you follow these steps and break down your anxious and insecure mental processing:
|My boss was rude to me||She doesn’t like me and I’m going to be fired soon||Gets discouraged and anxious about position at work||She’s been stressed, she had a bad day, she still values you as an employee|
I hope this was helpful be sure to comment below! Below is your practical journaling guide to untwisting personal anxiety no matter how big or how small. Whether it means collecting these printable, daily journal entries in a folder or notebook, the purpose of these guides are to help you track your personal progress with anxiety and become more aware of any recurring fear cycles that need to be broken within your thought processing. You are essentially becoming the student of your own mental wellness. You are accessing your own emotional state so you know how to maintain a healthy response