Insecurity is everywhere around us. We usually use the term “insecure” to negatively identify somebody who doubts themselves. But, nobody is without an insecure feeling. For example, we feel self-doubt, fear, frustrations, and anger that, in most cases, originate from a feeling of insecurity.
This is not a problem. The problem arises if we don’t know how to deal with the feeling of insecurity. In such a case, we will leave insecurity to impact our life and work. This impact will change the outputs of what we do. We will procrastinate and use distraction as an excuse to escape from reality and stop the feeling of insecurity.
On the other side, your small business depends on you and your decisions. If you feel insecure about the decisions, it will negatively impact your company’s performance.
Because of that, here I want to talk about the sources of insecurity and signs that will tell you that you feel insecure about your small business.
Table of contents
- What is Insecurity?
- Where does insecurity come from?
- 1. Your weakness
- 2. Insecurity because of your self-doubt
- 3. Low self-esteem and lack of confidence
- 4. Your Competences as a Source of Insecurity
- 5. Insecurity based on previous failures
- 6. Low level of motivation as a source of insecurity
- 7. Procrastination
- 8. Insecurity because of perfectionism.
- 9. Past critics
- 10. Unpredictable future
- Signs Your Insecurities are Affecting Your Small Business
- How to Overcome Your Insecurities and Improve Your Self-Esteem
- 1. Always have goals for everything you need to do.
- 2. Normalize quickly from failure
- 3. Ask for positive feedback from a closed environment
- 4. Remove perfectionism inside you instead, do the job.
- 5. Stop comparing yourself with other people
- 6. Remove self-doubt and fear
- 7. Always learn new things
- 8. Start experimenting
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is Insecurity?
According to Wikipedia, insecurity is:
“A feeling of general unease or nervousness that may be triggered by perceiving of oneself to be vulnerable or inferior in some way, or a sense of vulnerability or instability which threatens one’s self-image or ego.”
So, insecurity is a state of being insecure or feeling that stems from a lack of confidence and belief in yourself. If you feel insecure, you probably feel like you don’t have what it takes to be successful in business or in anything else in your life.
Furthermore, we can see that insecurity often relates to the fear of not being smart enough. I think we have some similar fear, but it doesn’t mean we don’t need to challenge ourselves and prove that this statement is false. How? Start doing things, learn new things, implement what you have learned, and you will prove that you are not stupid but a smart person.
We will discuss different reasons in the next part of this article.
Where does insecurity come from?
You must know you feel insecure in many situations if you want to remove any insecurity inside yourself.
In most cases, insecurities are related to specific standards set by the individuals, organizations, and communities we interact with. These standards come from our family, friends, employees, business partners, and society in general. They can be legitimate or perceived. Moreover, insecurity will appear when we don’t value our uniqueness. Instead, we are using comparations with others. This is the case, especially when we negatively perceive that we are different from others. So, this is a more psychological state of a person.
Here are some of the most important causes of insecurity:
1. Your weakness
Nobody is perfect. All we have our own weaknesses for which we know or don’t know. If we become aware of them, they easily bring insecurities.
If you know about your weaknesses and you are convinced that you’re not good at something, you will start feeling insecure about that thing.
2. Insecurity because of your self-doubt
Self-doubt is one of the highest reasons for insecurity. On the other side, we all feel self-doubt about ourselves at some point in our life. Sometimes we don’t know if we are good enough to deal with the surrounding things like uncertainty.
Many people don’t know if they will be strong enough, persistent, smart, and successful entrepreneurs in this world. I know many people who have never ventured into entrepreneurial waters because of this mindset. Because of this feeling, they escape from doing insecure things, even knowing that entrepreneurship brings many uncertainties and insecurities.
3. Low self-esteem and lack of confidence
Some signs that you have low self-esteem and confidence in yourself are related to your thinking about the following:
- I never get anything right.
- I am a failure.
- Why do I need to try something when I know that I will not succeed?
- I am a loser.
- I will never accomplish anything.
- Why can’t I finish everything I want to finish?
- I don’t know what I am doing.
As you can see, if you keep saying things about yourself in a negative context, you simply will start believing in those things. Your self-esteem and your self-confidence will suffer. You are allowed to judge yourself and your decisions. But be careful. You want to avoid losing your self-esteem and self-confidence. This is important because your small business will require exactly that.
4. Your Competences as a Source of Insecurity
Your competencies come from your knowledge, skills, and experience. It is normal for you not to possess all three from the beginning of a business. If you learn and increase your knowledge, but only if you implement it and learn from failures, you will begin mastering skills and experience.
You don’t need to be disappointed and insecure about your competence. Start doing things, and you will become better.
5. Insecurity based on previous failures
In my experience, I have failed many times. I have failed as a student, employee, startup entrepreneur, and manager of my own business. Many times I was in the situation to give up after my failures. But, looking from this perspective, I thank God because I don’t give up. Sometimes my decisions were tough to be made. Opportunity costs if I take one way instead of the other were huge. But, persistence in the journey I want to take is vital for me. If all of those failures make me feel insecure, I will make many more failures.
This is also related to low self-esteem and confidence. Since unhappiness also influences your self-esteem, failure and rejection can deliver a double whammy to your confidence.
6. Low level of motivation as a source of insecurity
If we are not motivated to do some things, we will never do them. We start to procrastinate, trying to escape from what we need to do. In many cases, we try to find excuses that we are not good enough to do those specific things, and in such a way, we become insecure.
The fact is that we all procrastinate at some period of time in our life. This is not resulting because we are lazy and want to procrastinate, but because doing specific things sometimes can be uncomfortable or uncertain.
We often don’t know how to organize ourselves to do the task, or we don’t know how to do it, and because of that, we start to procrastinate.
8. Insecurity because of perfectionism.
Nothing is perfect in this world. Nothing you are doing is perfect 👌. I have mentioned here many times that everything can be done better. You can improve everything. And this is true. So, why will you want to be perfect when you can have a chance to improve? There is no such thing.
9. Past critics
If you are criticized in the past about some work you have done, it somehow impacts your security. Those criticisms will stay in your head for a long time if you don’t look at these critics from an entirely different perspective, as something that gives you information that you need to improve yourself.
10. Unpredictable future
Yes, the unpredictability of the future will make you insecure. For example, you work on your sales prediction, but the coronavirus pandemic makes all your predictions miss reality. But, the situation involves many problems that we cannot control. Many of us have never been in a similar situation. So, everything is new, and we don’t know what to expect in the future.
This doesn’t mean that we need to surrender to our insecurity. Yes, we don’t have the tools to change our external environment. With COVID-19, we can only behave according to health protocols. But, we can change our mental well-being and try to look positive in the situation by searching for new opportunities.
Signs Your Insecurities are Affecting Your Small Business
There are many signs of insecurity, but one of the most frequent signs I have seen are inside statements like this:
- I postpone essential decisions for my business. If you feel insecure, you will procrastinate and postpone many critical decisions or tasks you need to do for your business.
- My business is the same as last year. How can you change something inside your small business if you feel insecure about taking action steps? If there are no changes, it means that you are insecure about implementing them.
- You are dependent on other people. Suppose you always ask for validation of everything you have done. In that case, it means that you don’t see your opinions as something valid and acceptable. And that is something you will need to change.
How to Overcome Your Insecurities and Improve Your Self-Esteem
1. Always have goals for everything you need to do.
The first thing you need to do if you want to overcome your insecurities to write your goals on a piece of paper. Put three most important goals for you in the next twelve months.
Why do you need goals? You need a destination before you start drawing the map where you will go. Without goals, you don’t know where you want to come. Your path will become full of unknowns in such a way, which will only increase your insecurity.
2. Normalize quickly from failure
First, be aware of your failure and don’t look at it as something catastrophic. Look at your failures as your learning process. Why have you failed? What can you do not allow the same thing to happen again in the future?
The next important thing is to persevere and keep pushing toward achieving your goals. Furthermore, you will need to become willing to try different action steps, strategies, and plans if it is necessary to make a change. Pivoting is another tool in your hands.
Remember that anything you have planned will not happen in reality. You always need to be prepared that some changes will need to be made on an everyday level. So, your self-esteem and confidence will increase if you learn to return to normal from the failure. Your insecurity to take necessary action steps will be on the lower possible level.
3. Ask for positive feedback from a closed environment
Positive feedback from a closed environment will always positively impact your self-esteem. In such a way, you will remove your insecurities one by one.
When you want to remove your insecurity related to your competency, feedback or acknowledgments from your closed environment are really important.
4. Remove perfectionism inside you instead, do the job.
Yes, your aspiration to perfection sometimes can harm you and bring a higher level of insecurity. One of the first things you will need to do is think about your work or how you are doing something. Do you have unachievable goals? Think about how much difference in results you will have if your job were better. You will know that you can improve something so that you will not experience any insecurity related to your work.
I have seen many people with high standards and expectations for themselves. But, when they don’t achieve these expectations, they start feeling very insecure. So, don’t be a perfectionist when you work on your goals. It can be very harmful to your self-confidence, bringing more insecurity.
You need to do your best instead of doing it in perfection. You need the job to be done. When you know that you have put all your efforts into doing the job and the job is already done, you will not be disappointed in yourself.
5. Stop comparing yourself with other people
Comparing yourself with others sometimes is not helpful and can harm you. You need to use comparison only as a strategy to identify yourself with someone successful to improve yourself and achieve your goals.
6. Remove self-doubt and fear
Also, you will need to remove your self-doubt and fear. You can start with the acknowledgment that you feel self-doubt in yourself and fear of mistakes. When you become conscious of this, you can start planning the best way to eliminate them.
Next, think about what brings you your self-doubt and fear. Is it something good or bad? Do you really need to feel self-doubt and fear? Also, imagine your life and business without your self-doubt and fear.
7. Always learn new things
If you want to remove the feeling of insecurities from yourself, you need to learn daily. The knowledge will increase your security and thoughts about yourself. Once you achieve some level of knowledge, you will see how confident you will be about your action steps.
8. Start experimenting
Knowing without experience is not enough for the elimination of your insecurities. Yes, you need to experience things. If you want to have experience, you need to start with experiments. Create several experiments in the field in which you have learned something new. Create models and, test them, prove the hypothesis you set from what you have learned. Your experience will decrease the level of insecurity inside you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Insecurity is a state of being insecure or feeling that stems from a lack of confidence and belief in yourself. If you feel insecure, you probably feel like you don’t have what it takes to be successful in business or in anything else in your life.
Causes of insecurity are your own weakness, self-doubt, low self-esteem and lack of confidence, your own competencies, insecurity based on previous failures, low level of motivation, procrastination, perfectionism, past critics, and unpredictable future.
(1) Always have goals for everything you need to do. (2) If you fail, try to normalize quickly from failure. (3) Ask for positive feedback from a closed environment. (4) Remove perfectionism inside you; instead, do the job. (5) Stop comparing yourself with other people. (6) Remove self-doubt and fear inside you. (7) Always learn new things. (8) Start experimenting.