Are you masking insecurity in these 6 ways?

Oct 06, 2020

"Sometimes our thoughts are backed with so much insecurity that they create lies we believe." - Unknown

  • When you don't do something because you are a perfectionist... guess what?  You are masking insecurity.
  • When you stick with something that you no longer enjoy but call it being loyal... guess what?  You are masking insecurity.

When you are able to recognize it and admit it, you will see it all around you.

Sometimes you are masking insecurities that can serve you and sometimes you are masking insecurities that can harm you.

What does that mean?

If you are like me, as you think about the 6 ways we mask insecurity, you will want to know which ones you are doing, why and if you want to keep doing them.  

And, honestly my friend, that is what it is all about. Unmasking.

“A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.” – Dalai Lama

A mask, in this context, is simply any action (or inaction) you take that is not what you want in an effort to avoid discomfort.

Here are a few examples:  Deciding not to go for the promotion you have been wanting because you are loyal to your current boss.  But actually you are afraid you will be embarrassed if you go for it and don't get it.  Someone invites you to a pool party and you decline because you have work to do.  But actually you are fearful of the judgement of others if you get in a bathing suit.

The process of masking insecurities invites you to lie to yourself twice- once in not doing what you want to; and again when you say it is for another reason than the fear and insecurity.

But here is the thing....

Not wanting to is an acceptable reason.   

You get to decide.  And, as long as you like your reason for your decision, great!  

It truly doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.  

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. – Dr. Seuss”

Unmasking our insecurities is such a useful concept because it is a way to get honest with ourselves which is a key component to building self trust.

Our human brains want safety.  When we lie to ourselves and resist our true feelings our brain is trying to avoid pain.  However in avoiding one pain, we trade it for another AND we miss out on possibility. 

When we unmask insecurities without judgement, we allow ourselves the power of choice.  We may still decide to not do the thing we want, but we are no longer lying to ourselves about why.  And that is the first step to acceptance and taking control.

Like in the above example where the person didn't go for the promotion.  The real reason is they are afraid they will be embarrassed if they don't get the job.  They may honestly not be ready to put themselves out there like that.  If they are able to be honest with themselves for the reason, and still make the decision to not go for the job; that is the right choice for them.

No one can tell you what the right choice for you is.

Of course, none of us want to feel insecure which is why we often lie and cover up.  Nonetheless, I imagine you'll recognize yourself in at least one of the ways I am going to describe.

“No one is perfect. Even the most confident people have insecurities. At some point in of our lives, we may feel we lack something. That is reality. We must try to live as per our capability.” – Anil Sinha

The first way you could be masking insecurity is by people pleasing.

Are you letting "being nice" get in the way of what you want?  Maybe you don't want to disappoint someone or let them down.  But what you are really doing is making an excuse.  What you are really doing is avoiding discomfort and conflict or seeking approval and validation.  Or both.  

People pleasing seems selfless but it is a form of hiding and not believing in yourself.  It is looking outside of yourself for acceptance.  These are core contributors to a lack of confidence.

The second way you could be masking insecurity is by stagnation/ complacency.

If you are staying in a relationship, job or situation that doesn't make you happy because you are... loyal, think nothing else is out there, say things like "the grass is not always greener", think you are lazy or that things are good enough.

If any of those are you, you could be masking  insecurity.  

When we stick with things we no longer want or are no longer serving us and our future goals; we can often cite reasons such as loyalty and laziness.  But often it is a mask for fear of loneliness, rejection, failure.  

The third way you could be masking insecurity is by perfectionism.

If you never make a decision or take action on something you have been talking about for awhile because it is not perfect yet... you could be masking insecurity.  It could manifest as an ongoing project that just isn't right yet.  Or, wanting to look a certain way before putting yourself out there.  There are many ways perfectionism can present.  

But what perfectionism really is, is a way of saying "it's not good enough".  It's really saying "I'm not good enough."  It is a way to avoid shame and humiliation.  

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” – Steve Furtick

The fourth way you could be masking insecurity is by being a know-it-all.

If you find  yourself interrupting others and feeling that you have to put your "two cents in" at every turn. Or, find yourself needing to study up on current events prior to communicating with others... you could be masking insecurity.

When we need to show others what we know, it is an attempt to feel superiority or seek acceptance as a knowledgeable person.  It is seeking validation from self or others from outside.  It is a lack of true belief and comfort in self. 

“He who is humble is confident and wise. He who brags is insecure and lacking.” – Lisa Edmondson

The fifth way you could be masking insecurity is by comedy.

If you make a joke out of anything and everything and seemingly take nothing seriously... you are likely masking insecurity.  Humor is often used as a deflection mechanism.  It is a way to avoid feeling negative emotions 

The sixth way you could be masking insecurity is by mimicking.

Are you always looking to others for how to do things?  Do you often imitate others who are and have characteristics and things you want?  Do you dress like someone you admire?  Eat somewhere, say things and go places that people you admire eat, say and go? 

Often times we look to others for how to be.  We think they are special and we are not.  It is a way to avoid being ourselves.  Finding out who that is and creating our own enviable life.

 “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” – Steve Furtick

Are you deliberately making choices that are right for YOU or... are you lying to yourself to avoid some discomfort?

The whole point of removing the mask from your insecurities is to remove the judgement you are placing on yourself.  To stop giving your power away to the insecurities.  To stop beating yourself up about the choices you make. 

I want you to intentionally make decisions that are right for you, own them and have your own back, even if they end with the same result as when the mask was on.  Even if others would encourage you otherwise. 

You are a powerful creator in your life.  Be aware and own it.


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