Manifestations of Insecurity

I know that as a woman I am constantly bombarded by messages that are designed to make me feel insecure. The world thrives on narratives that make you feel you aren’t good enough and that you must acquire or possess something to overcome this lacking or failing. It happens across segments and the targets are both men and women, but when it comes to the context of these narratives, they are a lot more powerful and numerous when it comes to women. But the manifestation of insecurity isn’t in context to gender. So something should be done to change the status quo as insecurity is like cancer, it spreads to all aspects of your life.

Being possessive and insecure both lead to discontentment and discord within and without. Someone who is insecure can derail teams and pull down the morale of people they work with.

I wonder what it is about insecurity that it gets such a stranglehold on you. No one is perfect and we all have our weak moments and bad days that may leave us feeling insecure or possessive. But, the ones to look out for are the repeat offenders who cannot break the pattern. Both parties get impacted negatively, the individual and the person at the receiving end.

Here are some indicators on what these behaviours are and what to look out for:

  • Insecure people tend to micromanage as they feel they need to stay involved every step of the way
  • Insecurity also creates trust issues and working relationships get hampered
  • People who deal with insecurity also struggle with delegation
  • As insecurity stems primarily from a lack of confidence, there’s lessor propensity to take on risk
  • Insecure people often find it hard to thrive in challenging environments
  • A lot of times, everything becomes about projecting in good light versus making things happen
  • Insecurity also leads to a self-centred approach, so these people find it hard to deal with success of others and don’t take very well to seeing others grow
  • This in turn sometimes leads to a disrespectful attitude
  • Insecurity also leads to showcasing a smokescreen of strengths and the inability to come to terms and work on weaknesses
  • Insecurity also leads to people being unable to handle conflict easily

How do you work with insecurity when you are dealing with it yourself:

  • It’s ok to be insecure, know it, be aware of it and accept it, which will help work on it
  • Know that everything is not in your locus of control and accept that there are things you cannot change
  • Stop competing and comparing yourself with other people around you and don’t be threatened by others
  • Work on being better yourself both in terms of deliverables and performance and in context of behaviour
  • Insecurity stems from an irrational fear of the unknown which can be tackled with better insight into the self, so spend time knowing yourself and your positives and negatives
  • Learn to celebrate success when it comes to people around you, learn to reward them and applaud them and celebrate effort, despite outcomes
  • Results don’t define your worth, effort does
  • You cannot always have the last word
  • Listen, accept and work on feedback
  • Actively seek and take advice from people you trust
  • Don’t tell people how to do their jobs, trust them to do it and they will

How to deal with an insecure leader:

  • Take it to the source, if there is an issue, make sure you take it up and ensure its addressed
  • Learn to navigate and communicate right and find ways to do it so it will work for you
  • Offer verbal and emotional support and learn to diffuse the insecurity
  • Triggering is always a terrible thing in cases of insecurity, so steer clear of any triggers
  • Work on your own reputation and build standing and credibility
  • Know that it is not you, but the other person
  • Channelise and change course for micromanagement by building a practice of openness and transparency every step of the way
  • Stay positive and stay real
  • If push comes to shove, ignore
  • If it gets worse, leave… You cannot be at the receiving end of this treatment for long as it can be detrimental

Whoever you are in the value chain, this situation is not essentially pleasant so ensure you change the dynamics…

While we personally change our narratives of insecurity, let’s hope the larger world does so too and we see less of why we are all not good enough…

Most bad behaviour comes from insecurity. – Debra Winger

Shreya Krishnan
Vice President - Marketing and Communications at Aon India Insurance Brokers
Shreya is a CSR Specialist and Corporate Grooming Consultant. Her interests lie in Activism, Dance, Theatre, Poetry, Blogging, Modelling, Acting. She considers herself an Earth Warrior and is an Event Anchor and Trainer. She is a Pageant Winner and public speaker.

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