Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.
I believe you are right, your feelings of insecurity probably go back to childhood or young adulthood with something you went through. A poor relationship with your parents, peers, siblings or even a few off comments by a stranger can sometimes stick with us and make us question ourselves. It becomes a learned behavior and we need to learn another way to think about ourselves.
What you can do about it is start to work on your thinking. That is where the insecurity is coming from- your thoughts about yourself. As you said, you are attractive, intelligent and have a pleasant personality. Those are all great traits. So it is your thoughts about yourself that is causing you to feel this way.
Start by thinking about situations in which you feel insecure. Identify your feelings about these situations. For example, you have trouble when talking to other people about yourself. Identify how this makes you feel. Do you tell yourself that you are not good enough to talk to them?
Once you get an idea of how you feel when confronted with these situations, begin to challenge what you are telling yourself. Why would I think I am less than these people? There is no reason for that feeling, for example.
Begin replacing the negative thoughts with positive ones. For example, I am just as worthy as anyone else. Go through all of the thoughts and self criticisms and challenge all of them.
Forgive yourself and allow yourself to be human. Be kind to yourself and realize everyone makes mistakes. Give yourself permission to be you, in any situation. If you start by being nice to yourself, it becomes easier to accept yourself in all situations.
If you find that you have trouble working on this issue by yourself, see a therapist.You can ask your doctor for a referral or try on line at www.find-a-therapist.com
I hope this has helped you,Kate
I am confident at work and in relationships with family and female friends. It is only personal relationships with men that I seem to have trouble. I left my husband after many years of marriage. He is an alcoholic (as was my father) and did not treat me well. I had thought of leaving for a long time and finally did 5 years ago. I met another man (younger) and developed strong feelings for him. Initially, I didn't know that he was recovering from a drug addiction. We moved in together about a year after we met (although I was still technically married). A lot has happened in this relationship - very tramatic at times stemming mostly from his relapse. He would stay in contact with other women to obtain money to support his habit. Fortunately, he participated in Rehap (6 months) and is currently "clean". However, now that he is on the right path I am fearful that he may find other women more desireable. He is very attractive and has a charming personality. I find myself checking the phone bill trying to determine if he's talking to women. It feels obsessive - I know it's obsessive. I also know that this type of insecurity is unattractive to men. But most importantly, I want to feel inner peace. Is there some reading you can reccomend? Also, I recently lost my mom (3 months ago). We were best friends and I think that loss has had a bigger impact on me than I realized. I do have access to a therapist through EAP at work. However, I am wondering if you can recommend some reading?
Thanks for the additional information. It helps to understand your situation.
Yes, there are some good books about your situation. Here are a few:
If This Is Love Why Do I Feel So Insecure? by Carl G Hindy, J. Conrad Schwarz, and Archie Brodsky
Self-Esteem: A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving, and Maintaining Your Self-Esteem by Matthew McKay and Patrick Fanning
The Mourning Handbook: The Most Comprehensive Resource Offering Practical and Compassionate Advice on Coping with All Aspects of Death and Dying by Helen Fitzgerald
I recommended the grieving book because you may need to still be going through the grieving process, which like you said, can affect you in ways you don't realize.
Keep in mind that you may also need to explore marital therapy. While it is easy to see that insecurities in a marriage are our faults, sometimes our partners are acting in such a way that it triggers that insecurity. So it can work both ways. If you work on your issues and still do not feel your marriage is going well, consider marital therapy.