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How Insecure Are You?

Emotional Awareness By: Katie Lister

January 16, 2024

Are you insecure? How insecure are you? Is it normal to feel insecure? What can you do to stop feeling insecure? If you are looking for answers to these questions, this article is for you. 

Hi, my name is Katie Lister, a practicing Registered Nurse and the founder of Growth Gals. This is a supportive and interactive network made for women. How to deal with feeling insecure is one of the topics discussed on Growth Gals. 

Feeling insecure or unconfident is a common issue faced by many people, including women.  In this article, I will demystify insecurity and tell you everything you need to know.

Table of Contents

Katie Lister

Katie Lister

Written by Katie Lister, RN, BScN. An experienced Registered Nurse, Group Facilitator, Life Coach, and Community Leader. Read Katie's Full Author Bio

How Do I Know If I am Insecure?

Insecurity is the feeling of not being good enough and anxiety when interacting with other people or performing. You feel like you cannot measure up and keep doubting your ability to do even things you know you are good at.

The APS (American Psychological Association) defines insecurity as a “feeling of inadequacy, lack of self-confidence, and inability to cope, accompanied by general uncertainty and anxiety about one’s goals, abilities, or relationships with others.”

When you feel insecure, you lack confidence, get anxious about relationships or goals, and constantly wonder if you can succeed. These feelings of inadequacy become negative thoughts about life and prevent you from making genuine connections with other people. You start criticizing others overly and constantly worrying about your relationships, especially romantic ones.


We all deal with insecurity once in a while. It can creep into different areas of our lives, and causes may be other things, such as:

  • Previous experiences
  • Traumatic incidents that affect your mental health
  • Social conditioning, where we learn rules from observation
  • General environments such as home, school, or work

Insecurity can also stem from instability, especially for people who go through unpredictability in their daily lives. Such people are far more likely to feel insecure about everyday routines that may seem simple to others.

Is Being Unconfident Normal?

Being insecure from time to time on a small scale is average. When it becomes a crippling feeling, then you need help. Everyone goes through insecurity patches now and then, especially when facing new and unfamiliar challenges. It’s normal to feel self-doubt when starting a new relationship or a job. Insecurity can have more substantial consequences when the self-doubt persists.

When you constantly feel unsure, it is possible to turn the negative thoughts into reality, preventing you from being the best version of yourself and achieving your objectives in life. An insecure person who feels they cannot make good leaders will always hesitate to grab opportunities to lead others.

They may question their communication skills and think of themselves as less capable than their co-workers. Such behaviors can cost this person promotions at work.

The Signs Of Feelings Unconfident

Signs of insecurity can vary, but some of the common signs are:

Low Self Esteem

Low self-esteem or negative self-image is a sign of insecurity, especially when it does not match one’s self-evaluation. Low self-esteem means you think poorly about yourself or have low self-worth and your abilities. It may lead to mental health issues if not caught on time.

People with self-esteem issues try to appear secure, and they may deliberately self-misrepresent or tell lies on social media about their lives. This fake representation of who they are reinforces their social anxiety and insecurities.

For example, those with narcissistic personality disorder are insecure and always try to portray a false image to the outside world. This does not mean every insecure person who tells a few lies about themselves is a narcissist. It means your need to self-misrepresent shows you are hiding insecurities.


It is a sign of insecurity when you are never content with progress and must control everything perfectly. Perfectionism is born from the feeling that you or your work is never good enough. Perfectionism can appear anywhere, but it mostly crops up with body and job insecurity.

For instance, body image insecurities are the primary cause of eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia. These disorders come with attachment insecurities and perfectionism.

Avoidant or Anxious Attachment Styles

Attachment insecurities can bring about unhealthy attachment styles and abnormal relationship approaches. The most common abnormal attachments are avoidant or anxious attachments.

An avoidant attachment style comes from insecurities and people with this style have very superficial relationships, avoiding deeply intimate associations. Anxious attachment styles are the complete opposite of avoidant.

While avoidant styles steer away from intimate relationships, anxious attachment involves emotional dependence. These people rely on others for their emotional well-being, fear being alone, and fantasize about perfect relationships.


People with low social insecurity tend to avoid social interactions and self-isolate. Such people prefer online to physical interactions as they feel more in control. They try to make themselves seem minor when they think they cannot control or are uncomfortable in social situations. An insecure person will always avoid eye contact as they find it intimidating and awkward.

Seeking Constant Validation 

Insecure people constantly seek validation and may hold off decisions until someone else gives them a thumbs up. They may continuously pursue compliments or praise from others to feel good about something they did. These insecure people might be the ones who put all their business on social media platforms, waiting and hoping for likes from friends and strangers.

Seeking Constant Reassurance

Seeking constant reassurance is a sign seen in more intimate relationships. The insecure person always needs assurance. It’s more prevalent in romantic relationships and contributes most to relationship issues. However, seeing it with family members, close friends, or co-workers is also possible. For instance:

  • A partner who keeps asking if you still think they are attractive
  • A family member who constantly needs you to reassure them of your love
  • A colleague at work who always requires you to reassure them their report is okay before they hand in

Arrogance and Defensiveness

Some insecure people will be the opposite and act arrogant. They pretend to be better than everyone else but panic, hoping no one will call them out. Arrogant behavior is a means of covering up feelings of poor self-esteem and a bid to protect a fragile ego.

Insecure people are sensitive to any criticism, whether positive or negative. They become very defensive whenever someone tries to correct them, misconstruing it as a campaign to hurt or bring them down.

Want to learn how to let go of anger? Find the answers in this article. 


How to Overcome Feeling insecure

Learning how to not be insecure and gaining confidence is possible with hard work. Here are five tips on how to overcome insecurities:

Seek Therapy

One of the top things you can do is seek help from a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) to help you deal with the root cause of your insecurity. Therapy can help you build skills to deal with your lack of confidence, improve your self-esteem, develop coping skills, etc. If you have any mental health issues, the LSCW can point you in the right direction where to find more help.

Practice Self-Love and Self-Compassion

As an insecure person, you are probably constantly beating yourself up over something. Reflect on what you criticize and judge yourself for, such as your relationships, career, or body image. When you start being self-critical, practice some self-compassion and speak loving and positive affirmations. Speak lovingly to yourself the way you would to a loved one. Show yourself some grace and remember that no one is perfect.

Face your emotions

Do not hold on to negative emotions about yourself or allow negative experiences like criticism to erode your confidence. Instead, face your feelings and unpack your thoughts. You can do this best by learning how to process emotions and seeking therapy to try and unravel the connection between your thoughts, feelings, and behavior.

If you cannot access therapy, try practicing journaling, where you question and challenge the irrational and negative thoughts that are causing your insecurity.  

Surround yourself with people who cheer you on.

Surround yourself with family members, close friends, and co-workers who recognize your abilities, provide emotional support, and cheer you on. Use them as motivators and sounding boards when you doubt yourself to remind you to keep your head up.

Try something new

Try new things like learning new skills, traveling, or taking classes. Trying and succeeding at new things reaffirms that you can grow. In the process, you might meet and connect with successful people who share your passion and are overcoming the same self-consciousness issues.

Join networks like LinkedIn on social media platforms and connect with other professionals in your field to gain more confidence. You can challenge yourself and start a podcast. Share your struggles to communicate with other struggling individuals and build an emotional support network.

Stop Comparing

When we are insecure, we tend to compare ourselves to others. Your friends may be in happy relationships, financially secure, or look different from you, and you may feel left out. Remind yourself we are all different, on different paths, and our lives unravel at different paces. Celebrate your small wins and embrace them as your own.

Growth Gals Can Help You Stop Feeling Insecure!

This goes out to all women striving to become better versions of themselves! Are you seeking a means to self-discovery? With Growth Gals, you will find a compassionate and encouraging community of women who can assist you with your insecurities.

Follow @growthgals_ on Instagram to stay updated on our journals, coaching, and support groups. Be sure to check out our newsletter for the latest tips and tricks on personal growth. Join us now and start your journey towards self-improvement, overcoming your insecurities, and becoming a more confident woman!


Feeling insecure in life is normal and happens to us all, especially in unfamiliar situations. However, we should not let insecurities dictate our lives. If you are showing all or all the signs of insecurity, seek therapy from a professional instead of drowning in your insecurities.

A licensed therapist will help you see things from the proper perspective. If a therapist is not an option, practice some self-compassion. Try journaling while challenging your negative thoughts and repeat positive self-love and affirmations. Join Growth Gals today!

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