A special dedication to a friend
We live most of our lives based on what people will say, think or react to us.
Sometimes this insecurity and wanting to fit in gets so bad that we lose ourselves in the process. And worst of all is that we often do not realise that we aren’t true to ourselves, until later in life when there’s basically nothing we can do about it because it has gotten so bad.
I write this not because I know better than other people, but because I see what insecurity can do to one. It is one of the most dangerous challenges to experience in life and every person faces insecurities in their lives. But those who are most affected are teenagers, especially ones in high school.
What makes insecurity so challenging is that we don’t acknowledge it, nor do we really know its causes and how to overcome it. I’ve seen what it can do to a person; it totally influences every decision a person makes and every action they take. What causes insecurity I believe is low self-esteem, self-doubt, traumatic experiences, neglect, peer pressure and general emotional pain.
The world in which we live in is very cruel and has no mercy towards the weak and vulnerable or for the kind and considerate. It’s a world where it’s every man for themselves, regardless of whether or not someone gets hurt in the process. As it’s said “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.” But this has an effect on real people, with real emotions.
It’s very devastating and heart breaking to see someone you care for face insecurity due to this very culture. When a person has little knowledge of what reality is and they think that life is a fairy tale, that’s when insecurity hits them hard. When they then come to see that what they thought all along was true is false, they try to find a place where they fit in, which is not easy. And when they don’t fit in, they then face insecurity and their lives start being a huge misery.
I have seen a friend struggling with insecurity to the point of self-destruction; that’s how bad it is. And what’s worse is he doesn’t even realise that he has serious insecurity problems. Every move he makes is calculated to how people will perceive it. I mean even something as small as laughing; he feels the need to receive approval for it.
So tell me this, is that the life he’s meant to be living? Does it really make him happy or will he be happy with his life looking back in the next ten years? Yes, that’s what insecurity does to a person. It makes them slaves of acceptance and approval from other people. It makes a person aim to please even if they themselves aren’t pleased.
Being a high school student in itself is not easy. In this generation there is a lot of influence from the media, where people have a say about how you should look, speak, act, etc. This increases the pressure you have already and because most students succumb to these influences, it makes insecurity very high for those who can’t meet the expectations.
Sadly, insecurity ends up affecting these students’ mind-sets and they no longer do anything for their own happiness anymore, but do things to please others. When people do things, even when it has nothing to do with them, they feel the need to take blame and start doubting themselves.
As much as insecurity is a big challenge, it can be overcome just as any other challenge. But it won’t be an easy journey. The first crucial step in dealing with insecurity is the hardest but most essential. Acknowledging and admitting that you have a problem and you need help is the first step. The second step is self-reflection; examining every single thing in your life and seeing exactly what truly makes you happy and what you do just to please others and need help on.
The third step is going to speak to somebody and seek help either from friends, family or professionals. The final step is self-acceptance. After going through those steps then you most definitely know yourself so you have to make a choice to change and be the person you want to be. But despite the changes, you have to learn to accept who you are and start loving yourself unconditionally.
Everyday a person wakes up, they wake up different from who they were yesterday and who they’ll be tomorrow. And just knowing that should give you hope to make the future what you want it to be and stop dwelling in the past. Start living your life to the fullest and stop caring about people’s opinions of you.
People will be people and they’ll always have something negative to say. But at the end of the day you’re in charge of your life and come hell or high water, what you say is what goes. You’re boss of your life and no matter what happens, always strive to make yourself and not others happy because you only get one shot at life so live it to the fullest.
Tell us what you think: How do you deal with insecurities and pressures of fitting in?