Security and Insecurity

Do you sometimes find yourself feeling overwhelmed with self-doubt and lack of confidence? Despite your accomplishments, do you feel like you haven’t gotten ahead? Do you feel that you don’t deserve lasting love and that partners will eventually leave you? Do you stay at home, afraid to venture out and meet new people because you don’t feel you have enough to offer? Do you feel overweight, boring, stupid, guilty, or ugly? These are all examples of insecurity and can be transformed once you understand what may be causing it and what you can do to overcome it.

Insecurity is a feeling of uncertainty, lack of confidence or anxiety about yourself and may produce:

  • Fear, worry, and anxiety
  • Restlessness, fatigue, and insomnia
  • Indecisiveness
  • Avoidance of others
  • Depression

Security is the state of being free from any danger or threat and may produce:

  • Boldness and a sound mind
  • Rest, peace, and joy
  • Decisiveness
  • Love, confidence, and fellowship
  • Thanksgiving and praise

If you have insecurities in your life, it may be because you are clinging to something that can easily be taken away from you whether material or a relationship.  If you are anxious, worried or fearful, then you are most likely trusting in or holding on to something that can be taken away from you.

What causes us to become insecure?

The kind of childhood you had, past traumas, recent experiences of failure or rejection, loneliness, social anxiety, negative beliefs about yourself, perfectionism, or having a critical parent or partner can all contribute to insecurity. The following are the three most common forms of insecurity and how to cope with them.

1. Insecurity Based on Recent Failure or Rejection

Recent events in our lives can greatly affect both our mood and the way we feel about ourselves. The biggest negative contributor to happiness is the ending of a relationship, followed by the death of a spouse, losing a job, and poor health. Since unhappiness also influences your self-esteem, failure and rejection can have a major effect on your confidence.

Below are some tools you can use to overcome failure or rejection:

  1. Give yourself time to heal and adapt to the new.
  2. Get out and engage with life, following your interests and curiosity.
  3. Reach out to friends and family for distraction and comfort.
  4. Get feedback from people you trust.
  5. Persevere and keep moving towards your goals.
  6. Be willing to try a different strategy if necessary.

2. Lack of Confidence and Social Anxiety

Many of us experience a lack of confidence in social situations like parties, family gatherings, interviews, and dates. The fear of being evaluated by others can lead you to feel anxious, judged and self-conscious. As a result, you may avoid social situations, experience anxiety when you anticipate social events or feel self-conscious and uncomfortable during them. Past experiences can feed your sense of not belonging, not feeling important or interesting, or just not being good enough.

Being bullied or excluded from a group of friends in middle school or high school can continue to negatively affect your confidence as an adult. If you grew up with critical parents, or parents who pressured you to be popular and successful, you may also be overly sensitive to how others perceive you. The truth is, that most of the time, people are more focused on how they are coming across than on judging others. Those who judge and exclude are often covering up insecurities of their own and so their opinions may be less than accurate and they may value superficial attributes instead of character and integrity.

Below are some tools to transform insecurity from lack of confidence and social anxiety into security:

  1. Talk back to your inner critic. Remind yourself of all the reasons that you can be interesting and fun or would be a good friend or partner.
  2. Prepare in advance. Think of some things you can talk about like current events, movies you’ve seen, hobbies, your job, or your family.
  3. Avoiding social situations just makes things worse. So go to a party or on a date even if you’re nervous or have to go alone. Your anxiety should decrease once you get engaged with others.
  4. Set yourself a smaller goal, like talking to one new person.
  5. Deliberately try to focus on others to take the focus off of you. Become the observer and notice what other people seem to be feeling and doing. Do you notice any similarities or skills you can learn from them?

3. Insecurity Caused by Perfectionism

Some of us have very high standards for everything we do. You may want the highest grades, the best job, the perfect figure, the most beautifully decorated apartment or house, perfect kids, or the ideal partner. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always turn out exactly the way we want, even if we work extra hard. There is a piece of the outcome that is at least to some degree out of our control. Bosses may be critical, jobs may be scarce, partners may resist commitment, or you may have genes that make it difficult to be skinny. If you are constantly disappointed and blaming yourself for being anything less than perfect, you will start to feel insecure and unworthy. Beating yourself up and constantly worrying about not being good enough can lead to depression and anxiety, eating disorders, or chronic fatigue.

Below are some ways to transform perfectionism into security:

  1. Try to evaluate yourself based on how much effort you put in, rather than on the outcome, which is dependent on external factors.
  2. Think about how much of a difference it would actually make if you were to work ten times harder. Would the time and energy spent be worth it?
  3. Perfectionism is often based on all or nothing thinking, so try to find the grey areas. Is there a more compassionate or understanding way to view a situation? Are you taking your circumstances into account when you evaluate yourself? Is there something you learned or achieved even if the end result wasn’t perfect?
  4. Perfectionists often have conditional self-esteem: They like themselves when they are on top and dislike themselves when things don’t go their way. Can you learn to like yourself even when you are not doing well? Focus on inner qualities like your character, sincerity, or good values, rather than just on what grades you get, how much you get paid, or how many people like you.

Relationship Coaching for Developing Communication and Listening Skills

This exercise looks at the basic laws of relationships, communication, and listening.

Relationships play a huge part in our lives and may often be brought up in a coaching session.

Relationships are what make our world go around. Whether it’s our relationship with ourselves, others, or the planet, we are always communicating in some way.

All relationships are mirrors of our relationship with ourselves. People come into our lives for three reasons…

  1. To reflect something back to us that we admire or dislike about ourselves. When we come in contact with these people, we may feel a sense of familiarity. Pay close attention to these moments, as there is usually something of great value to learn here.
  2. To give us information that will support us on our path. This may be a stranger that you are standing next to in the bookstore as they suggest that you read a certain book.
  3. To support us on our life’s journey. People that come into our lives to support us also come in three different ways: a moment, a season, or a lifetime. People that come into our lives for a moment are usually the ones who will reflect something back to us about ourselves, or they have a bit of information or insight that they can share with us. People that come into our lives for a season may be supporting us by teaching us a lesson that will add to our growth. People that are in our lives for a lifetime, such as our spouses, your children, or our parents could be there to teach us the biggest lessons that we will learn in our lives. They are all perfectly supporting us somehow.

No matter who comes and goes in your life, all people are all there to support you in some way or another. Make sure to show your gratitude and appreciation for everyone, as this will reflect back more gratitude, appreciation, and support to you in your own life.

Good communication is important

Listening is a very important part of communication. Developing good listening skills is one of life’s most important gifts. Have you ever stopped to hear the birds chirping, the wind blowing, and the earth creating? This is just a small part of our communication with the planet. Then there are our pets; do we listen to them? There are many levels of communication, most of which don’t involve using our voice to speak. With people, most communication is based on body language. Body language speaks louder than words, just as the phrase says: actions speak louder than words.

Listening to someone does not mean to do what he or she says. It just means that you heard what they said and acknowledged them, even if you didn’t agree. There is a difference between listening with our ears and listening with our hearts. If we listen with our hearts, from our place of knowing, then we will hear what they are really trying to tell us.

Sometimes, in a tough conversation, people may not know what to say, have a hard time saying it, or just don’t say anything at all. This is where we become the listener and ask questions.

There are three places that we can come from when we are communicating with others, or making decisions.

  1. Head– From this place, we may be trying to rationalize situations, use intellect, process, analyze, and react. This is great for use in business.
  2. Heart– When we are in our hearts, we are connecting, expressing love, feeling compassion, sensitivity, and sympathy. Sometimes it can be difficult to make decisions from the heart when we are too sensitive or emotional. These emotions could get in the way so it is important to think from the heart when we are completely grounded. This is great for use with loved ones.
  3. Knowing– This feeling comes from the place just below or behind our navel, our center, our gut feeling, also called our place of “chi” or our life source. This is where we go when we are seeking answers from within. Here we can only experience the truth of all things, a knowledge of who we really are, why we are here, and how we can best serve all of humanity. From here we are able to respond to situations rather than react. It’s similar to the sense of being in the present.

Our knowing is also the place where goosebumps come from during certain situations or experiences. These are actually “Truth Bumps.” We can know, that when this happens, Spirit is present.

Exercise: Pause for a moment, count to five, take a couple of deep breaths and get centered. Then ask yourself, which one of these three places are your current thoughts and decisions coming from? By doing this exercise several times throughout your day, you may find that your thoughts and decisions will start to shift more into alignment with your wants and desires.

Clear Signs

Life is continuously providing us with messages and information. When we do not listen, then the messages become lessons. When we do not learn, the lessons become problems. When we do not address the problems, they become crises. When crises are left unresolved, they create chaos in our lives. Just imagine how life would be if we learn to live on the levels of messages and lessons.

Preparation: Have a pen and paper or your journal ready for this exercise.

One Minute Meditation: Take a moment to relax, take a few deep breaths and center yourself.

Begin the Session: Throughout your day, and as you encounter different people, even your family that you see every day, look for what each person may have to offer you, or what you may have to offer to them. If someone is asking you for some guidance, look at how it may be serving you to help them. Recognize what category they fall into.

Answer the questions below. Take a few minutes on each one and explain your insight and answers. There is an example question provided for each category…

Relationship with yourself, others, and the planet

What does having a positive relationship mean to you?

Are you happy with your relationship with yourself?

How do you see your relationship with the world?

What is your relationship like with people in general?

What is your relationship like with animals?

How is your relationship with the planet?

Communication

What does good communication look like to you?

Do you practice good communication?

Do you freeze up when something triggers you and you don’t say anything at all?

Do you speak clearly?

Are you very clear about your intentions when speaking?

Listening

Are you a good listener?

Do you acknowledge others when speaking to you?

Do you catch yourself thinking of something to say while someone else is speaking to you?

Do you interrupt or talk over people?

Create an action plan: If you had to choose one thing to work on first, would it be your relationship with yourself, others, and the planet? Would it be developing better communication or would it be to become a better listener?

Relationship Coaching for Couples and Families

This exercise is for those who are interested in developing better relationships with their partners, children or family.

Everyone we see in the world reflects different parts of ourselves. The traits we see most clearly in others are the ones that are strongest in ourselves. This is called the mirror of relationship and is a powerful tool for emotional freedom.

When we have a strong negative reaction to someone, we see that this person reflects traits that we also possess but have been unwilling to acknowledge or embrace. We might spend so much time denying that we have a dark side that we end up projecting these denied qualities onto other people. For the same reason, we are attracted to certain people because they have the same traits that we have, positive or negative. This exercise will help you embrace the coexistence of opposites within yourself.

To build a better relationship with others, we must first build a better relationship with ourselves. When we are happy and at peace with ourselves, it will reflect in our relationships. If we are not happy with ourselves or any part of our life, that also will be reflected in our relationships.

If we want to understand more about our relationships, we then have to look at our emotions. How often do we tell our partner or others how we really feel about something? Do we hold it in and hope it just goes away in fear of creating a confrontation? Do we look at the truth and address what’s really going on or do we just burst into an emotional ball of confusion and stay stuck in the past?

The following relationship skills and main causes of troubled relationships are examples of topics you can use when coaching your client…

Relationship Skills:

  1. Heartfelt understanding – when you really listen to what your partner needs and understanding why they need it.
  2. Giving your partner what they really need – once we know what our partner needs, we can begin to offer it to them to the best of our abilities.
  3. Creating and building trust and respect.
  4. Reigniting playfulness, presence, and passion.
  5. Harnessing courage and embracing honesty.
  6. Uncovering and creating alignment.
  7. Live consciously- lead by example by being present in everyday life.

The main causes of troubled relationships:

  1. Lack of communication
  2. Money issues
  3. Disagreements regarding children
  4. Distrust/Jealousy

Do you spend quality time with your partner? Do you spend quality time with your children? What does quality time mean to you?

Love is the most effective way to build a better relationship with your children. How often do you express love, appreciation, and gratitude for them?

Parents are role models for their children. Be who you want your children to be. You can tell them how you want them to be, but they will learn the most from your actions.

Coaching Exercises for Couples:

Blind Date – This exercise helps build trust in a relationship. Each person takes turns being blindfolded and their partner walks them around in a park. After each person has had a turn, sit down as a group and discuss what each person felt.

Date Night – Choose one night per week to spend quality time together. Stick to it!

Put yourself in their shoes – Ask your partner to share with you all of their concerns, feelings, struggles, weaknesses, strengths, needs, expectations, responsibilities, fears and dreams. Your part is to be completely silent and take notes as they speak. Then it’s your turn.

More or Less  – Discover what you would like more of and what you would like less of in the relationship. The More or Less tool is also great to use with your children.

Look for the Good – Each of you will sit down and write down everything that you love about each other.

Preparation: Have a pen and paper or your journal ready for this exercise.

One Minute Meditation: Take a moment to relax, take a few deep breaths and center yourself.

Begin the Session: Answer each question. Take your time and be as honest with yourself as possible.

Step One: Think about someone you find attractive. On the left side of a piece of paper, list ten or more qualities that you love about that person. Write quickly. The secret is to not give your conscious mind time to edit your thoughts. You can put down as many qualities as you wish, but don’t stop until you have at least ten.

Step Two: Now focus on somebody who totally irritates you, annoys you or makes you uncomfortable in some way. Why does this person infuriate you so much? On the right side of the paper, list ten or more of their undesirable qualities.

Step Three: Look at your list for the person you find attractive and circle the three qualities that you find most appealing about him or her. Then look at the list on the right side of the paper and circle the three qualities you find most repulsive. Now read the six words you circled out loud. You are all of these qualities. Once you see yourself in others, you will find it much easier to connect with them and maintain emotional well being.

Focus the session:

If you had to choose to work on one relationship right now, who would it be with?

What kind of relationship would you like to have with this person?

Why do you want this type of relationship?

What would it look like if you already had that relationship?

What might be stopping you from having it now?

What could you do differently?

Are you willing to commit to that?

When will you begin?

Continue asking yourself these kinds of questions, continuing to answer from a totally honest and centered place.

Create an action plan: What action are you willing to take? Write it down.