Dear Dr. Rob: How Do I Overcome My Insecurities?
Updated: Feb 3
By Dr. Robert Carpenter:
Taking on—and overcoming—insecurities is a very brave thing to do. It’s brave not only because most people don’t do it, it’s brave because it means that you’re a warrior who is willing to do whatever it takes so that no perceived flaw will hold you back.
The insecurities that you develop over time can be relatively minor or they can be major things that create significant negative consequences in your life. Regardless, the fact remains that you have them and want to get them out of your life. But the question is how?
Although you might feel like you will have these insecurities all your life, the reality is that you don’t have to.
Here are 5 ways to overcome the perceived flaws and insecurities you have about yourself that you believe are holding you back from being your best:
1. Admit that you have insecurities. Through simply acknowledging the truth, you can remove much of the ego and fear you might have about your perceived flaws that could put up unnecessary barriers on your road to recovery. Being honest is always the first step in healing any kind of issue in your life.
2. Don’t get defensive. When overcoming an insecurity (or insecurities), it can be hard not to try to rationalize or justify them (especially if other people have pointed them out to you or somehow added to the trauma you have experienced because of them). The key here is to be humble and embrace potential solutions from others, even if it temporarily bruises your pride (because having “temporarily bruised pride” is better than having a “forever insecurity”).
3. Change what you can and accept what you can’t. While it’s true that many of your insecurities can be changed through behavior modification, it’s also true that some of your insecurities will only be changed through “perception modification.” That is, you may have to change the way you think or feel about a perceived flaw instead of trying to change the perceived flaw itself. Either way, you win, but just know you can use both strategies to overcome various insecurities. If you remember nothing else from this post remember this:
Your insecurity can be overcome with new behaviors or new perceptions.
4. Reject your haters. Part of the reason you have insecurities is because you are afraid that other people will reject or embarrass you. But if you embrace the idea of rejecting those who only accept a “certain version of you” (and not the real you), you will remove half the battle you have with your insecurities because you won’t be trying to please or impress or win others’ favor. People will have to want you for you, and if they don’t, they don’t belong in your life.
5. Choose to live freely. By choosing to break out of the straightjacket that says you have to be perfect to be happy or confident, you can live with a freedom most others desperately crave. When you live freely, you reject perfectionism and instead pursue authenticity (the key ingredient that helps you overcome your insecurities).
Dr. Rob is an author, filmmaker, and host of The Dr. Rob Show. He advises celebrities, pro athletes, and everyday people on how to live their best lives and has been published in The Oxford Business Review and The Harvard Journal for Public Health, among others. His book, The 48 Laws of Happiness: Secrets Revealed For Becoming the Happiest You, is available where books are sold.
Read our interview with Dr. Rob here!