Today you are the sum total of the habits of your life. When you look at your life frozen in the moment, you’re not just looking at a here-and-now snapshot, you’re also looking at the culmination of everything that preceded you. The ups and downs of your life, the illnesses, separations, traumas, surprises, successes, failures, and accidents, all add up to yield you, the person you’ve become. And one crucial, architectural force behind all these formative shaping experiences has been your experience of insecurity.
If insecurity is a driving force in your life, then you might, for example, find yourself with compulsive habits, things that you have to do rather than want to do. Or perhaps you have a habit of worry–a chronic what-iffing reflex. Such long-standing habits may seem totally natural; they are part of who you are. But just because something seems natural doesn’t mean it is natural.
What’s truly natural in life flows effortlessly from us; it builds us and restores us. This is a creative force, what the biologists call anabolic energy. There is another kind of energy–the energy mandated by insecurity. This energy–catabolic energy–requires effort, maintenance, and stamina. Catabolic living depletes you rather than restores you. This psychological depletion need not always be dramatic or even obvious, but make no mistake–it is cumulative and it will catch up with you. Once depleted, you become the proverbial accident waiting to happen. And while you’re waiting for the crash, your life begins to sputter and stall.
Whether you have serious problems such as anxiety or depression, or everyday skirmishes with negativity and worry, you can never overestimate the corrosive influence of insecurity. And just as any gardener will tell you how difficult it is to pull out a dandelion root, the roots of your insecurity will fight you with the same kind of resistance and tenacity. But persist you must. If you don’t, then insecurity will eventually strangle your potential for a more natural, spontaneous life, just as weeds will overrun a garden.
What is insecurity? Look at some facts about it:
– Insecurity is a feeling of vulnerability and/or helplessness.
– Insecurity results from childhood psychological wounds–real or imagined.
– Insecurity is the false belief that you cant handle life or some aspect of life.
– Ongoing insecurity is based on distortions of reality, not fact.
– Insecurity becomes a habit of thinking and perceiving.
– Insecurity minimizes the possibility for accurate self-perception.
– Over time, insecurity feels like a natural part of your personality.
– Insecurity becomes worse over time.
– Like any habit, the habit of insecurity can be broken.
Let’s take a moment to appraise your general level of insecurity–your root system. Answer each question as being either mostly true or mostly false.
Please read the following questions carefully, but don’t overthink your responses. Circle your responses as being either mostly true or mostly false as they generally pertain to your life. Answer each question even if you’re not completely sure. Scoring is at the end of the test.
T – F I tend to be shy or uneasy with strangers.
T – F I’d rather be at home than going out on an adventure
T – F I wish I were smarter.
T – F I never have enough money.
T – F I’m usually pessimistic.
T – F I often wish I were better looking.
T – F I don’t think I’m as good as others.
T – F If people knew the real me, they would think differently.
T – F In relationships, I tend to cling.
T – F If someone’s quiet, I might think they’re angry.
T – F I’m usually afraid to get too close to others.
T – F I would be a lot happier if I didn’t worry so much.
T – F I have lots of fears.
T – F I tend to hide my feelings.
T – F In relationships, I tend to get hostile.
T – F I often wonder what people really think of me.
T – F I find it hard to trust.
T – F I worry about my looks.
T – F I have a hard time saying no.
T – F I tend to be too sensitive.
T – F I’m overly cautious.
T – F I worry about getting sick.
T – F I often feel guilty.
T – F I hate the way I look in pictures.
T – F I don’t think of myself as an emotionally strong person.
A score of 1 to 10 “True” answers indicates a tolerable degree of insecurity. Self-Coaching can be used more for personality expansion than for repair.
A score of 11 to 16 “True” answers indicates a moderate level of insecurity. Insecurity is probably undermining your capacity for effective and successful living. You can expect Self-Coaching to significantly change your view and experience of the world.
If you scored 17 or more “True” answers, you may be suffering substantial interference due to insecurity. Your self-worth and confidence have been eroded by insecurity, and its clear you’re going to be using Self-Coaching to restructure your thoughts and perceptions.