You’re cruising along, feeling good, getting stuff done. And then wham! You’re totally hijacked by insecurity. The scientific term for this punch in the gut (yes, there is one) is an inhibitor. But really, it’s just an asshole.
I think the two worst parts of this hijacking are:
1. You never seem to see it coming
2. You inevitably end up taking it as a commentary on you + your worth.
The thing is, this super annoying insecurity hijacker is your brains way of protecting you. I know. Sounds crazy. And, it’s the truth. If you translated this hijacker it would say, “Hey! Watch out! We’re some place totally new. Use caution.” Because it’s a built in security system- that has kept us alive for centuries- there’s no way to stop the alarm from going off from time to time. But, you can absolutely change your relationship with this mugger. And actually learn to see it as a good thing.
Here’s 4 ways to deal with an insecurity hijacking.
1. See it as a sign of progress
Brené Brown calls this phenomenon a vulnerability hangover. And that’s exactly what it is. You partied. Like a rockstar. Past your normal comfort zone. And now, you’re feelin’ it. Unlike an alcohol hangover, a vulnerability hangover is a sign of success. It’s your body’s way of telling you you’ve gone farther than ever before. You’ve moved into new territory. Dared to be seen, put yourself out there– left your comfort zone. (Yipee!) And, now you’re body’s catching up.
For example, I just finished a blog post I really like. It’s me. I think it’s a good subject. I think I offered good advice. And Wham! Now I’m terrified to publish it and totally rethinking every word of it. If it wasn’t more about me than what I’m used to sharing. If it wasn’t pushing my limits a bit to write (and like) it. If it wasn’t a tiny example of me letting my rockstar be seen I wouldn’t have gotten mugged.
So as awful as it feels (and I know, it sucks) re-framing it as a sign of accomplishment is your best and quickest way through it. Follow the hangover recipe, a little TLC and time. It will work every time.
2. Celebrate it!
I know, this one sounds funny, but I promise- this one will literally change your life. Next time insecurity mugs you, remember it’s an accomplishment and celebrate it! Treat yourself to a new pair of shoes, a coffee, a massage, some extra zzz’s, a pat on the back. Doesn’t have to be big and doesn’t have to be small either– it just has to be something that feels like, “Yes! I totally rocked this.”
3. Acknowledge the accomplishment not the BUT
Our ‘buts’ can get us so down. I’m not talking the ones in your jeans. I’m talking about your, “yeah, but…” ‘buts’.
Friend: “I love your shoes!”
You: “Yeah, but I spent way to much on ‘em.”
Me: “Insecurity popped up. That means you hit a new goal. Celebrate it!”
You: “Yeah, but I feel like crap.” “Yeah, but I don’t have time.” “Yeah, but it didn’t go like I thought it would.”
You get the point. Leave your BUT in your pants where it belongs, and embrace your accomplishment. Pay attention to what you did that created this vulnerability hangover. And celebrate THAT. Acknowledging your accomplishment will grow your vulnerability tolerance. So you’ll be able to go farther and do more without being hijacked. Plus, have some self-defense skills for when the mugger does show it’s ugly face again.
You’re not alone. (Promise.) And sharing your story is one way to truly feel this. It’s a huge step towards loving you and being seen. And, it may be the single best thing you can do when you’ve been hijacked by insecurity. Speaking your truth is a direct line back to you. Try taking a page from Maya Angelou (could there be a better page?) and keep this quote in mind, “When you get, give. When you learn, teach.”
Share your experience and your knowledge about this mugger with someone you care about. Let them in on your feelings and your challenge. Support and cheer each other on as more and more hangovers show up. And, together, leave your ‘buts’ in your pants and celebrate your accomplishments.