Do We Choose Insecurity?

I’m of the (slightly controversial) opinion that people choose to be insecure. Obviously there will be exceptions like if you’re bullied you have insecurity projected onto you or if you have severe body dysmorphia you can’t help but see your body as fundamentally different to what it really looks like, but as a rule of thumb, insecurity is a choice.

In some senses, it isn’t a conscious choice. After all no one would choose to feel shit about themselves, but it other ways, it is a conscious decision as people choose to do nothing about it. They stay insecure and they stay complaining about being insecure and yet they do nothing to make themselves more confident. For a long time, I fell into this category too.

 

When I was younger I hated how I looked and the people I went to school with seemed to agree (why are kids so mean? Anyone?) so I would skip meals to get thinner- spoiler alert this technique doesn’t have the desired effect and only makes your stomach rumble reallllly loudly so it sounds like a miniature thunderstorm mid-maths test- and research different plastic surgeries to save for. I was miserable.

 

And then one day, after watching the Katy Perry movie (I’m convinced all the best mental breakdowns happen during the credits of this film) I cried to my mum about how sad it was making me, and after much emotional support she said: there’s nothing wrong with you, and even if there was, why would it matter?

Why DOES it matter? I realised that it doesn’t. So gradually I become ACP (A Confident Person) and now I look in the mirror and I’m not like ‘wow hot damn you sexy thing hit me with YOUR rhythm stick’ but I’m happy, I’m comfortable and at the end of the day it’s just me.

 

However when I tell insecure friends about this transition in order to inspire their own, it never seems to motivate them and sometimes I think that’s because they just don’t know how. So, here are my little tips on how to like how you look:

 

Tell yourself
I know, I know, talking to yourself in the mirror is cringe af BUT it’s really effective. Tell yourself you’re beautiful a couple of times a day even if you don’t agree and the best thing about it is no one else will know so no one can judge you for it.

 

Fake it til you make it
This probably (I’m just guessing because I picked philosophy instead) uses the same psychology as talking in the mirror, but pretending you like how you look and acting as if you’re confident (if you don’t know what this looks like then start walking like Margot Robbie in suicide squad and the rest will follow) eventually result in- mind blowing information ahead- you liking how you look and being confident.

 

Posture
Standing up straight not only creates the illusion of confidence but it means you can reach the books on the top shelf in Waterstones yaaaay.

 

Remember there will always be people more and less good looking as you
This really helped me because society is super competitive so sometimes it’s good to put it in perspective. If you’re making yourself miserable comparing yourself Kendall Jenner then stop- she might just be prettier than you and that’s okay!! They’ll be other people that are less attractive than you too. Just roll with it.
And note that if you are going to compare yourself, at least do it to the people around you, not the super-filtered (even though it says #nofilter) super made up (even though it’s a #nomakeup selfie) models on Instagram who have taken 372 photos and picked the best one. They aren’t your average plum, the people around you will be- unless you socialise with the Kardashians in which case, good luck.

 

Sometimes looking back at photos you realise how pretty/skinny/insert-admirable-quality-here you were And so use that to your advantage now. When I look at some photos of my younger self (obviously this doesn’t include 2012 because we all looked like absolute trolls with our gala bags and Bieber hair) I wonder why I was so insecure. Therefore whenever I dislike something now I think ‘in a years time I’ll wonder why I worried’ and it’s quite a good way to remember how critical you are of yourself.

 

It doesn’t matter Most of my teachers at school were married. Realistically most of my teachers at school weren’t particularly attractive (except from Mr Ball who was a slice of yum). So it’s clear that love isn’t exclusive to beautiful people.

 

Looks are not everything Instead of channeling your sadness into your appearance go and find some hobbies or friends or something to be good at that isn’t just having a nice face! (Beauty is subjective anyway so there’s no point spending all your tears n time n dollar trying to become some beauty standard which in 6 months time will have changed.)

 

Get ugly friends so you look the best in all the photo(I’m joking!!)

 

Makeup If you’re insecure about everything on your face then makeup is probably a bad idea as you might want to focus on a more stable, internal solution to your insecurity instead of Bobbi Brown. However, if you have a more specific insecurity like a birthmark that you hate or the fact you don’t have any cheekbones, then makeup could be a could way to increase your confidence quickly.
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9 thoughts on “Do We Choose Insecurity?

  1. iwannabealady says:

    I do agree that many people make a choice to dwell in insecurity, just like some dwell in sadness, anger or drama. I read The Power of Now by Ekhart Tolle recently and it really opened my eyes to the ways that we unwittingly embrace pain. I am not 100% in love with my body right now, but I’ve also been super busy and not investing the time in it that I normally do. So I’m trying to be patient. I’ve had people straight up discount my body as a natural gift when, yes some is natural, but it’s also based on much hard work.

    I also see some photos of when I used to complain and see how idiotic I was. I also see times that I was content and probably should not have been. I think that if we are honest with ourselves and really doing our best, we need to be more gentle with ourselves. I get stressed and my skin breaks out which equals feeling shittier. It takes mental work to not sulk in sadness (outside of real depression) and I hope that everyone can come to see that. I wasted so many good years, moments and opportunities being sad and insecure when I should’ve happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jess says:

      Thank you for such an insightful comment- I took a little break from blogging for the exam season but this was such a lovely piece of personal engagement to come back to. I agree so much, we need to be more gentle on ourselves but self reflection can be critical without being completely negative and making us feel awful. Instead of dwelling on our insecurities I much prefer rather learning to embrace them or if it’s something like having spots I’ll do some research and find some products that work for others and try them out. Patience and a positive mind are key xo Thank you for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ema Brewer says:

    I am absolutely howling at this post, this is amazing and by far the best thing I’ve read all week. I feel like I can really relate and I love all the added humour 😂 (I definitely looked like a troll in 2012 with that weird fringe we all seemed to have) x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jess says:

      Omg you little babe! Thanks so much. I think it’s so important to talk about things and then laugh about them too otherwise everything’s really morbid. PS I’m so glad I wasn’t alone in my troll-ness, you’re an absolute beaut now though so❤️ xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. oawoodward says:

    I think this is such a tricky one. I agree that many people (myself included) feel terrible about themselves but don’t try to do anything constructive to change their mindset. I’m not sure I’d call it a conscious decision though. When something is SO internalised into you from such a young age, unpicking it all and re-learning how to think can seem impossible.

    One thing I will say has helped me with my ~body confidence~ journey is to just accept that sometimes I’m going to hate my body and sometimes I will cry over how much I hate it. And that’s okay. It doesn’t make me a failure as a feminist or a woman because I can’t buy into the ~love yourself~ mantra. Instead, whenever I’m having bad body image days, I think about all the things I’m amazing at that aren’t related to my body or how I look. So I think about how much I’ve achieved with my career in writing in such a short amount of time, or the fact that I make the best pasta sauce outside of Italy, or the fact that I’m passionate about changing the world.

    I think too much emphasis is placed on learning to love your body, rather than learning that it doesn’t matter if you love your body. It’s unrealistic to expect yourself to unlearn a lifetime of internalised hatred in a few months. It’s much more realistic to retrain your brain to focus on the stuff you DO love about yourself – all of which are far more important than whether or not you like your tummy.

    Liv // petticoatsandpatriarchy.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jess says:

      Yes yes yes. I agree it’s often not a conscious choice, which is why I guess people struggle to identify and change their relationship with their body. But also YAS because people dwell over their bodies way too much and it means they forget having actual timeless talents and hobbies (a pasta sauce recipe isn’t going to get wrinkles yknow) (I really want to try your pasta sauce now ngl). All these body positivity campaigns seem so focused on telling everyone they’re beautiful instead of questioning why we value beauty at all. Realistically, apart from people buying you drinks at bars, beauty is pretty useless. It would be cool to see people focus more on their whole self, instead of just the exterior. Thank you for your comment darling x

      Like

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