The most common causes of insecurity

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Joe Dispenza

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The most common causes of insecurity

We can feel insecure for several reasons: fear of failure, of being negatively judged, or of having little self-confidence. We propose some strategies to feel safer.

Last update: December 01, 2021

All of us, at some point in our lives, may have experienced feelings of insecurity and a lack of self-confidence. In this article we will review the most common causes of insecurity and we present some useful strategies to overcome them.

Insecurity can have several causes; for example, we may feel confident in our cognitive abilities, but not as confident in our social skills.

Insecurity often manifests itself in behaviors such as excessive concern for physical appearance or showing or hiding a particular personality trait.

The most common causes of insecurity

Of course, each person is a universe unto himself in which different experiences, social conditions and personality traits converge. However, the most common causes of insecurity can be identified.

1. Insecurity due to the fear of failure

Experiences of failure, especially in recent situations, they tend to negatively affect our self-esteem.

Although we have all failed at times and rejection or loss is a part of life, we are not always able to handle them in the most constructive way.

In general, situations such as job loss, a love breakup, or an unexpected health breakdown often awaken feelings of failure and frustration in us.

How our self-esteem is affected by similar circumstances causes us to see ourselves negatively. Likewise, it makes us imagine that other people also judge us with the same harshness and even celebrate our defeats.

2. Fear of negative feedback

On the other hand, it is possible to identify the cause of insecurity in the fear of being valued negatively. For example, being exposed or feeling like you can be criticized or commented on can make us feel anxious, thus generating insecurity.

Much of this fear comes from negative experiences in childhood or adolescence. Situations such as being promoted in contexts where skills and qualifications were highly valued may have predisposed us to build standards that are too rigid and unattainable to measure our performance.

In the same way, fear of judgment causes us to cultivate negative beliefs about ourselves and our mental performance to focus on how we think others perceive us.

We therefore tend to have a vision of the world without nuances, that is, things are good or bad with no room for reflection on what is beyond our control.

Finally, the insecurity associated with the fear of negative judgments it can generate feelings of guilt and shame for not meeting our standards demanding and perhaps unattainable. This will make us feel insecure and lacking in self-confidence, because we will believe that we can always give more, that we can do better.

3. Self-confidence and perception of support

On many occasions, the sense of insecurity arises from the perception of having little support. In other words, the feeling of having effective support, both emotional and material, is very important to our feelings of security and self-confidence.

If we have the feeling that no one is supporting us, that we are hanging by a thread and that nothing or no one will be able to cushion your fall, self-esteem could suffer a marked decline.

The feeling of being able to take risks, make courageous decisions on important issues or of being able to repent and start over after a mistake are signs of a secure personality, as well as closely linked to the type of support (social, family, financial) one enjoys.

How to tackle the most common causes of insecurity?

Taking into account that insecurity does not, in most cases, have a single cause or variable that feeds it, we present a list of strategies that will help gain confidence.

  • First of all, you have to work on self-esteem, be kind and patient. Try to take control of our inner speech.
  • Learn to exploit criticisms, transform them into information to grow.
  • Avoid making social reinforcement your main motivation.
  • Celebrate and share the goals achieved.
  • Reconcile with the self of the past, accept mistakes and leave them behind: they do not define us.
  • Accept and acknowledge that you are not perfect. You don't have to be, nobody in the world is. Instead, let's allow ourselves to explore our interests and reconnect with our curiosity.
  • Identify and evaluate what is under our control and what is not. We keep in mind that our results also depend on external factors and not only on our commitment or effort.
  • Seek the support of loved ones and the most trusted people. Perhaps, asking for help we will notice that there are many people willing to support us in everything we need.


It's possible take steps to act safer. A trust that will allow us to face more challenges, grow in more directions, enriching our lives in the way we really want.

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