Even the strongest leaders are not secure and confident 100% of the time. Struggling with personal insecurities from time to time is normal, and as long as they don't start running the show, they do not have to get in the way of leading your team to success. When you practice intentional growth strategies around overcoming your insecurities, they can even become a launchpad for better leadership skills.
Understand the Insecurities Definition
Your personal insecurities don't have to be seen as the enemy. Essentially, you are experiencing an insecurity when you are plagued by self-doubt, fear or lack of confidence about your abilities or choices.
Insecurity is that little twinge you feel in your gut that says, "I'm not good enough for this" as your heart begins to race, and you feel a bit vulnerable and self-protective. Insecurity can also cause your thoughts to race and prompt you to wonder if you are cut out for leadership roles at all.
Causes of Insecurity
Personal insecurities in leaders have a wide variety of causes ranging from past failures to trauma and loss and even insecure or disorganized attachment patterns from early childhood.
If you think about events in your life that have caused you to doubt yourself, you are likely to arrive at the root of some of your leadership insecurities. Perhaps your last business went bankrupt, your parent was emotionally unavailable growing up, you lost your home to a fire or came back from combat with a bit of PTSD. The main thing to remember is that your insecurity is not a moral failing but rather a signpost indicating a place of hurt in need of healing.
Signs of Insecurity
Insecurity has often gotten a bad rap as something that causes people to become controlling and abusive in the workplace. While this does sometimes happen, insecurity does not always manifest in the form of abusive behavior. Some common signs of insecurities include:
- Freezing instead of making decisions
- Avoiding confrontation
- Obsessing about past choices
- Difficulty communicating
- Challenges in forming relationships
- Anxiety or shyness
- Inability to see strengths
- Inability to advocate for needs
- Difficulty with emotional regulation
- Feeling or acting defensive
These signs of insecurity can certainly impact others in harmful ways, but they also make it less likely for a leader to lead a team to success, receive a needed promotion or achieve a healthy work-life blend.
Create a Confidence-Building Routine
Since insecurities are about a lack of self-esteem or confidence, working on building up yourself personally can help you overcome insecurities at work. In "The Miracle Morning", business leader Hal Elrod espouses getting up early in the morning to follow a basic morning routine that he calls "Life S.A.V.E.R.S.," standing for:
S – Silence
A – Affirmations
V – Visualization
E – Exercise
R – Reading
S – Scribing (writing)
This simple morning routine helps you create and reinforce new neural pathways in your brain associated with success and pleasure, especially when you practice it for 30 days or more. As you experience more success, your confidence and self-esteem increase, leading to reduced insecurities and a positive impact on your work life.
Seeking Outside Help
While your individual efforts can sometimes succeed in helping you to overcome your insecurities, it is also OK to seek a bit of outside support. Business coaches can help you with confidence-building techniques like creating a vision board, creating a celebration board, daily affirmations and setting SMART goals.
HeartMath HRV biofeedback and EEG-based neurofeedback can help you target areas of your brain that are struggling with leadership insecurity and give you a shortcut to creating new, healthier workplace patterns. Finally, trauma-informed therapy can help you overcome potential trauma responses or PTSD symptoms contributing to insecurity in the workplace and acting as roadblocks to success and confident leadership.
- Alaska Staff Development Network: Attitude Breathing Technique
- GoodTherapy: Insecurity
- BetterHelp: Signs Of Low Self-Esteem And What To Do About It
- Entrepreneur: 10 Things You Can Do to Boost Self-Confidence
- Entrepreneur: Training To Be The Best Version Of Yourself: The How-To
- NBC News: I Tried 'The "Miracle Morning' Productivity Routine for a Month. Here's What Happened.