If you’re anything like me, you hoped your days of feeling insecure were left in middle school. Unfortunately for us, that’s not how it works at all.
When you look at all you’ve accomplished, it feels good. You feel proud. But when you look at what your colleagues and peers are accomplishing, that pride takes a backseat. We start to compare ourselves to others, we feel less confident in our abilities, and begin to doubt the merit of our own achievements.
We ask ourselves, am I doing enough? Is this my best work? Why are they doing better than me? Why am I not like them? Why didn’t I get that job? The list of self-deprecating questions goes on and on.
There is good news here, though.
Try to think of that insecurity you’re feeling as your subconscious helping to point you in the right direction. In my opinion, feeling insecure about something — whether it’s your writing, your job, your salary, etc. — is only a sign that you want to improve yourself.
Self-improvement is never a bad thing. While experiencing insecurity isn’t the most comfortable feeling in the world, I’ve found it’s simply the catalyst in pushing you forward to be your best self.
Even twenty-somethings experience self-doubt and feel insecure from time to time. While I can safely say that these feelings get weaker over time, it seems as though they will never truly go away (not entirely, at least).
Luckily for us, there are certainly ways of coping with those feelings of self-doubt and to set yourself back on the path to success:
1. Keep a portfolio of your accomplishments to come back to when you’re feeling down on yourself.
It’s a good idea to keep a portfolio of your work should you ever need an archive for potential career opportunities, but it has another purpose as well. Remember that cool project you nailed last year? Or that awesome piece you wrote? Or that stellar recommendation from your boss?
Go take a look at those when you’re feeling a bit insecure after seeing someone else’s major accomplishment. Remember that just because they did something extremely well, doesn’t mean you haven’t before or won’t again. Revisiting your own accomplishments might just be the confidence-booster you need.
2. Take a mini social media break.
While the internet is a great place for networking, showcasing, and connecting, spending hours each day on your favorite social media sites can leave you feeling anxious and insecure. I don’t know about you, but that’s not a feeling I relish.
If you catch your mind comparing yourself to others, it’s a surefire sign you should spend some time away from your favorite social sites. Take a day off or even a week, if you need to. Everything will be there when you get back, trust us.
3. Ask yourself, “What about their accomplishment is making me feel insecure?”
Insecurity and jealously go hand-in-hand and are a sign you crave what someone else has. This is the best time to re-evaluate yourself and get in touch with your true goals, both personal and professional.
Are you feeling this way because you want to be a published writer? Or because you wanted to lose 10 pounds last year but just never found the motivation? Did you want that raise or promotion? Or do you just want the glory and attention of it all? Do some soul-searching. What is it that you really want?
Many millennials struggle with the feeling of being left behind. But the truth is, we are all on our own path. No two journeys look alike and they don’t have to. If you need some reassurance, here it is: your talents and experiences are completely unique. No one else is quite like you and you are good enough to do whatever you put your mind to.
4. Take action and do something for yourself.
Once you’ve realized where the root of your insecurity lies, it will be that much easier to cope with. Understanding what exactly is making you feel insecure will help point you in the direction of the action you should be taking.
For example, maybe it’s high time you put together a portfolio or apply for a new job. Don’t discount the reach of your actions. Even small steps in the right direction will move you closer to what you truly desire, which in turn, will help you leave insecurity behind.
When it comes to feeling insecure, you need to remember that everyone feels that way at some point. Insecurity never means that you aren’t good enough, it’s only a sign that it’s time you make some changes to the reach the goals you’ve subconsciously been dreaming of.