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The Seven Biggest Mistakes People Make Trying To Deal With Personal Insecurity

Jaemin Frazer is an award-winning life coach and author. He is the founder of The Insecurity Project and specializes in helping entrepreneurs, leaders, and business owners eradicate insecurity so they can show up to life unhindered by doubt, fear, and self-limiting beliefs.

Executive Contributor Jaemin Frazer

The fear of not being good enough is something we all deal with on some level. This insecurity shows up in ways that limit every area of life. From tolerating poor relationships, never asking for a raise, low self-esteem or even mental health issues; insecurity is a massive issue in the world today.

A woman that is stressed sitting on the floor

Thankfully, there are seven essential practices for eradicating this fear and solving the insecurity problem for good. Yet, unfortunately, most people make one or more of the following seven mistakes instead, which only makes their insecurity worse.

1. Running and hiding

The human condition is best summarised as our deep desire to be seen as good, undermined by our fear that if we are completely seen, we’ll be found out to be somehow bad.

For this reason, most humans run and hide. Some are on heroic quests to demonstrate their goodness by how hard and fast they can run, and how extraordinary their performance is. The problem is that in their mind they are only as good as their last performance and so they can never stop running.

Others are solving the problem by hiding instead. They seek out safe corners of the world where no one is even looking at them in the first place. They prove they are good by not doing anything that could be seen as bad.

Both running and hiding only make things worse. Fear unexamined only grows. To truly solve the insecurity problem requires you to step into the light and turn and face it instead. You will also need to name the fear accurately as your worst opinion of yourself being confirmed by the world.

2. Become confused through misdirection

When people finally tell the truth about what they are afraid of, the next mistake is to misunderstand what caused this fear in the first place. Most people incorrectly assume that it was the painful words and experiences of their past that caused the insecurity and so it seems impossible not to be wounded and afraid because of what has happened to them. This leaves a person forever positioned as a victim with the only course of action being to manage the fear and try and distance themselves from the pain of it all.

This is a mistake simply because it leaves you misdirected as to where the real action took place. The true source of the wound was not in what happened to you but entirely in what you made it mean about you.

As Don Miguel Ruiz powerfully explains in his book The Four Agreements - It is not the words spoken to you, or about you that change your life, just the ones you agree with.

This means that no one has the power to bless or curse you without your permission!

Therefore, you are not the actor in the story, but the storyteller. You’ve always had the pen.

3. Mask, medicate and manage

The next mistake is to suppress the pain caused by insecurity. This leads to short-term wins and band-aid solutions. While it is possible to escape pain in the short-term, the long-term pain only escalates and compounds.

The insecurity problem gets solved when we stack the pain instead. Feeling crappy about yourself is supposed to feel like crap. That's the point. It's not the way we were designed to feel. That pain is actually a loving message from yourself to motivate lasting change.

We find the strength to address the wounds of our past when we tell the truth about the cost of living in pain and fear. There is always pain involved in change, but now you can see that there is far more pain in remaining where you are.

4. Dreaming in the dark

In order to overcome insecurity, you must have a compelling vision for how you want your life to be. However, the big mistake here is to let your insecurity dampen and dial down what you truly desire. It is as though some people have been in a dark room for so long, they forgot what the sun looks like. Their dreams are so watered down, shallow and insipid that they don't have the power to motivate them out of the place they are in. 

Being crystal clear about what you’ve always wanted for your life is the only thing powerful enough to give you the reason to change. To desire is human. When you tell the truth and are prepared to listen to your heart instead of trying to protect it, you discover these desires are still there as they have always been. More than simply being motivated to move away from what you don’t want (staking the pain) it is essential to know what you are moving towards instead.  

5. Seeking help from the wrong people

At some point we all need some assistance to face our deepest fears about ourselves. However, the big mistake here is getting help from the wrong people. This is tricky because most of those who describe themselves as helpers do not know the way. Worse still, the greatest problem with these therapists/counsellors/psychologists is that they confuse the world about who the hero is. Unless these individuals have solved the insecurity problem in their own life, then how could they possibly know how to help you solve it in yours.

Most therapists are insulated from applying their own advice by their desk and their certification and do not have to smoke what they are selling to be a registered practitioner.

It is also possible that they may have become a therapist to escape doing their own need for therapy, gain significance from being the one handing out advice to others, or worse still, enjoy being needed to rescue victims from their suffering and therefore become the hero in the story.

Every hero needs a guide, but you must find one who knows the way and yet will not get in your way.

6. Hoping to be rescued

It is a huge mistake to look outside yourself for this problem to be solved. If this could have been fixed by someone nice telling you how wonderful you are, your mum would have fixed this for you years ago.

The problem is that you are the bully in the story not the victim. You betrayed you by accusing yourself of being the reason your world wasn’t working the way you desired. No one is coming to save you. Until you are ready to be wrong about your worst opinion of yourself and go all the way back to the beginning and completely change your mind, you’ll be stuck in this fear forever.

7. Just be positive

The final mistake is to try and rewrite a new story over the top of the old one. The common belief is that positivity fixes everything. This leads to affirmations on your mirror and constantly reminding yourself that you are enough in an attempt to override years of negativity or fear. While this thinking is very mainstream, it cannot bring about lasting change. The moment you get tired or stressed, the old insecurity narrative takes over as it always has done.

To re-write your story effectively, you must clear the slate first. This means fully deconstructing limiting beliefs all the way back to their origin and rendering former opinions obsolete. 

you can read more about the solution to the problem and understand The Seven essential practices for overcoming insecurity here.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and visit my website for more info!


Jaemin Frazer, Author, Speaker & Coach

Jaemin Frazer is an award-winning life coach and author. He is the founder of The Insecurity Project and specializes in helping entrepreneurs, leaders, and business owners eradicate insecurity so they can show up to life unhindered by doubt, fear, and self-limiting beliefs. He is widely recognized as one of Australia's best personal development coaches and a leading voice globally on the subject of personal insecurity.



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