Overcoming your insecurities

  • duglyduckling

    Posts: 279

    Mar 15, 2007 2:46 AM GMT

    I am sure many of you had the same experience growing up as me... where I was made to feel insignificant throughout my younger years by everyone except for my family. Being on the abusive end of endless schoolyard bullying, etc were all common daily experiences.

    Nowadays, those memories still haunts me... so I am just wondering how many of you out there who have managed to overcome your past insecurities... have managed to do it? Any useful tips and hints?
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    Mar 15, 2007 7:56 PM GMT
    I completely understand what you are describing. I was similarly treated as a kid. It is sad in that it is lost time and I never learn how to play any sports because I was teased mercilessly. In the midst of such thorough taunting I avoided athletics until I was 26 when I joined a gym for the first time. These scars are not easy to get over. I did not go to therapy for them, if I had, maybe I would have been open to fitness earlier.

    There are people out there with similar experiences. I am one. If it is really debilitating or an obstacle I recommend therapy.

    Last fall, when I was working with a new trainer he asked me to jump rope. there was no space to jump that day except for the basketball court where the 'real' straight men were playing. i really did not want to go in that gymnasium, i imagined all the bad times in school. it was a panic moment, but i walked in and took a corner to jump, the irony was that the guys in there asked me if i wanted to play in the bball game.

    we all have inssecurites and we should keep trying to work through them.

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    Mar 15, 2007 11:57 PM GMT
    First of all you are not ugly now, I think I told you that before.

    We all have something I think that we can talk about. At the age of 4 my newborn brother needed some emergency medical procedures done. My parents spent hours driving from RI to Boston to tend to his medical needs. I was tossed from one relative to another. Felt very unloved as a child. It affected a good part of my teenage life.

    It was when I matured (Thank God, it happened at the age of 19) that I realized a healing took place and that I would do the same thing for my children that my parents did for my brother. In my case I spoke my feelings with my parents and my younger brother. I also forgave them in my own mind and I also use my own experience to understand others.
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    Mar 16, 2007 12:38 AM GMT
    I carry around a lot of rage and resentment at my bio father's cop-out suicide when I was 2, and the subsequent 'shunning' of his dirty little secret that his side of the family has pulled on me. To this date I've never met them, and his headstone makes no mention of him as a father.

    Don't know that I CAN get over that.

    WRT bullying as a kid - well, it was just something that happened. Oddly enough I never let it stop me from doing what I wanted. In high school I went to a school with a dedicated arts program - grade 10 I started playing rugby on the school team and amazed my coaches. Lol, then...after practice I'd clean up and then head down to the dance studio, lol.

    Now, life is busy and all I've got time for is the gym. But I've found most people that take the time to respect themselves also tend to respect the rights of those around them.
    Maybe that's just me though...heteros tend to like me *shrugs*
    I think it's all mindset - people pick up on fear and tend to capitalize on it. I beat that by being imposing - I give off an intimidating feeling without being an ass about it.
    Ultimately, people need to realize that 99% of the people you pass on a day to day basis don't even register you as being there. That's not a bad thing, it's just life - there's way too much going on around us to be focusing on everyone and everything we walk past.
    When you drive home from work, do you notice the pedestrians you drive by? Enough to not hit them (hopefully) but that's it.
    People don't...particularly care about those around them.
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    Mar 16, 2007 2:34 AM GMT
    Hey there,

    I think you should read the book " living in the light" By Shakti Gawain. There is a part in the book that talks about listening to the negative voices in your head, and then asking the voice "who is that?" You come to realize that those voices are not you but other people saying those things about you. It's a great self help tool. Changed me from being so damn depressed into the social evanglist I am today.
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    Mar 16, 2007 11:04 AM GMT
    Yes, I agree with dreamdrop - that book is amazing and helped me through a hell-ova-lot in my life. Her other books I can strongly recommend aswell. One shouldn't see those experiences as something negative, but rather try and swing it to your advantage. The things that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger!!!!
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    Mar 16, 2007 2:30 PM GMT
    Many of the schoolyard bullies are dealing with their own insecurities in their own way. I was a schoolyard bully for a short while, until I looked deep into the eyes of the guy I was kicking and realized, damn, he's cute!!
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    Mar 16, 2007 3:01 PM GMT
    Life is fucking painful. It's also rewarding, breathtakingly beautiful, ugly, boring, and so fascinating I can't stop doing it.

    We live in a fucked up self help society that suggests you are not happy unless you are on the road to wholeness, wellness, happiness, or some kind of actualization. Maybe, but I don't buy it.

    You can face your fears, your fuck up habits, your less-then-helpful behaviors, the journey's only danger is that you become an ego absorbed world of one.

    I was standing, waiting for the subway last night at 2 am. Looking at the tracks I thought, how perfect do I have to be before I am happy in anything? How many of my ghosts do I have to exorcise?

    Then I thought, aw fuck-it, the world can take me as I am, I have too much to do to worry about my soul's posture. I'm not going to let the fact that I am a fuck-up steal my attention. So for me, mostly, the best way to let go of my fears, past, shit, etc, is to let go of me and focus on living, others, adventure, and not stepping onto the tracks.

    “I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wondering awed about on a splintered wreck I've come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty bats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them...” A. Dillard
  • dfrourke

    Posts: 1062

    Mar 20, 2007 1:24 AM GMT
    ...it's hard for me not to look in the mirror and see the flaws of my youth:

    - The uncoordinated athlete
    - The financially irresponsible student
    - The prideful/stubborn boyfriend
    - The caretaker
    - The passive agressive friend

    Growing older has allowed me more time to gain confidence and acceptance for all of those things, but on those "insecure days" its very easy to go right back there...

    - David
  • duglyduckling

    Posts: 279

    Mar 20, 2007 2:07 AM GMT
    After reading all the posts, I find it pretty amazing how many of you guys who are absolutely gorgeous and beautiful experienced something similar. It is certainly an eye opener, as I can see that it can happen to anyone, and probably more than I ever thought.
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    Mar 20, 2007 2:50 AM GMT
    For me, the best realization I ever had about insecurities is that getting over them is usually painful and often awkward, but that's okay, that's just how it is, I can just relax into that. It doesn't make it less painful or embarassing (in fact, I learned a long time ago to repress a lot of emotion, telling myself I was somehow overcoming it... and then later it all comes back out.) But it does make it easier to tolerate, because I have perspective.

    Like, I used to be super socially awkward, and always wondered what I could do learn to be more sociable without just suffering through incredibly awkward social situations or forced, unpleasant bouts of faking it, or whatever. Years later, it turns out there wasn't anything I could do; all the social awkward stuff happened, and it sure was awkward, but that's the process, right? It didn't kill me.

    Or, God, the first -- man, probably ten or so -- times I had sex I thought I was just going to die of embarrassment, things were so awkward.

    The more stuff I go through like that, the more I realize that it's not gonna kill me, and even if it's not pleasant, I learn about a million times more about myself in times of pain than when I'm just sitting around being comfortable.

    To tie this in with the whole RealJock thing, athletics have been a huge help for me in that. Growing up, my parents talked me into trying all sorts of sports. Baseball. Basketball. Etc. Turns out I just didn't like team sports, and other than biking just to get around, I was totally not athletic at all until I turned 22, at which point I picked up the yoga, the climbing, and a couple years later, the road biking. Hell, I was a pretty steady smoker until I was 23.

    Through sports I've really developed a different relationship with pain. Used to be I saw pain as an awful thing to be avoided at all costs. Now I see it more subtly. Acute pain is still bad, but burning in the muscles is just telling me something. It doesn't mean I can't hold on or push myself harder.

    Similarly, it translates back to real life. Overcoming fears and insecurities, I feel that aversion, this resistance, but I can also recognize how beneficial it is to overcome that stuff, and view the resistance & fear just as information -- telling me to be careful, not to overdo it -- and I can work with that, instead of letting it scare me away.

    God, this was a really long post. Sorry about that, I'm lying in bed trying not to fall asleep after a long ride.
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    Mar 20, 2007 2:53 AM GMT
    Also, you're insane if you don't think you're beautiful too. I mean, you know, everyone's beautiful on the inside and all, but even being totally shallow and just looking at the outside -- I'd kill to have as little body fat as you! :)
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    Mar 21, 2007 3:56 AM GMT
    No matter how beautiful you are, how you build your body into a model of pure perfection, we are have insecurities. Some have just learn how to better hide behind their masks than others. My insecurities have plagued me for years and I was forced to confront them last year in order to gain inner peace. It was extremely painful, but the best decision I ever made. I still have a few linger things I am currently resolving, but the major ones I have been eliminated. However, I am in such a positive space in my life. I think we all just want to be loved, respected, cherished, and so forth. The worlds mirrors exactly how you feel about yourself. If you feel unworthy, you will attract unworthy people in your life. No matter, we are ALL worth and deserving of the best - so don't settle...
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    Mar 21, 2007 4:10 AM GMT

    I have co-sign what you said about having socially awkward moments...man, I've had so many that I've lost count...When they first starting occuring, I was like what the F*&K is going on...Later in life, I realized that no matter how crazy I look in a situation, I always come out top...Meaning the situation always ended in my favor by learning a great life lesson...Life has a uncanny way of turning something that we think is tragic into something ground breaking in your life...Like he said, in the end, it doesn't kill you...Who cares if you get laugh at? You won't die, you just get stronger...Also, the situation is never as bad as we sometimes make it in our minds...Sometimes mental we take a single experience and we make it grandioso...When in fact, its a minimal experience that will quickly pass.
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    Mar 23, 2007 8:41 PM GMT
    Kwelzo - "If you feel unworthy, you will attract unworthy people in your life." Well said!

    I had similar sports-related insecurities in my teens, which probably lead to my jock-like perspective at present. I did always had a way of impressing myself by showing talent in other areas. This came to an end after I graduated from college, when I was faced with the reality that there were other life skills that I hadn't focused on developing and wasn't very good at. It was hard to accept this but my relationship with an ex-boyfriend and some therapy eventually helped me to start accepting myself for who I was, feeling happy for living life to the fullest and learning new skills. And it just kept getting better from there. I have been able since then to realistically look at my shortcomings and not feel exaggerated feelings of hopelessness or loathing. That helped tremendously in overcoming hurdles in life, and inspired me to be more optimistic and also more realistic about other people and community.
  • jrs1

    Posts: 4388

    Mar 08, 2010 6:21 AM GMT
    I try my best and sometimes I fail, but I know I am who I am. I see some guy and I never know what to say ... I never know how to approach the situation, but as I age, I realize that it's not too much of a big deal to walk up to someone - expecting little or nothing in return - and to simply say hello. I am beginning to feel more confident in myself and I am starting to realize that I have people who care about me and know what it means to be gay in a world like today; so I don't feel alone. I need to either do what I say that I'm going to do or I don't, but there is no need for me to complain if I am the culprit who did not take the initiative.

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    Mar 08, 2010 6:46 AM GMT
    Well, hearing positive feedback as an adult can be really helpful. But that wont in-and-of-itself get rid of your insecurities. It will just make you aware that they exist. And that is the first step.

    That's pretty much where I'm at in life. My insecurities have faded somewhat, along with my rage, sadness and hatred. But it's always been hard for me to let go of even small things completely.