The cause of our insecurities

Postby Aghayden » Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:30 am

It’s not your flaws that you are aware of that cause insecurity and self-esteem issues. It’s the flaws you’re not aware of, the self-defeating beliefs you don’t even know you have.
Nobel Prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman explains this problem brilliantly, “We’re blind to our blindness. We have very little idea of how little we know. We’re not designed to know how little we know.”

Your analysis of what’s causing you social problems is inaccurate, limited, and completely biased. If you want to change, you must first learn the true cause of your social problems.This fundamental understanding is the foundation for all social self-improvement.

Self-confidence and charisma (or the lack of them) are largely the results of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Psychologists have found that social expectations become social outcomes. Research on the powerful psychological force known as the Pygmalion Effect has shown this time and again.

Imagine a friend warns a babybsitter that the kid she’s going to babysit is impatient, annoying, and arrogant. He’s a real shithead. After hearing this, the babysitter becomes anxious about meeting this kid. When she finally meets him, just as expected, he’s horrible. This kid won’t listen to her, he has a short temper, and he treats her with total contempt.

There’s something the babysitter was totally blind to. The kid she babysat wasn’t usually a shithead, he was usually a perfectly normal kid. He acted like a shithead because she expected him to act like a shithead. Psychologists believe this happens because when we expect people to act a certain way, we treat them differently (often without our awareness). The person that’s a total a**hole around you might be a saint around someone else.

Common sense matches this. If you’re a Trump supporter and you met Hillary Clinton, you’d probably treat her very differently than a supporter of hers would, and she would probably treat you differently than she would treat a supporter of hers.

We don’t just cause people to treat us differently based on our expectations of them. Our negative beliefs about ourselves cause other people to treat us differently too. If you don’t respect yourself, your behavior will reflect this (and people will treat you with less respect.

Someone who is self-pitying gets pity, not respect. If you believe you’re a weird who doesn’t deserve to be liked, you’re going to act uncomfortable around people. You will be shy and closed off. This behavior will repel people, and as you notice that people don’t seem to like you, you’re going to build even more evidence that you’re a weirdo who doesn’t deserve to be liked.

Then you’re going to act even more shy and closed-off around others, and this pattern repeats itself ad naseum. If you were aware this was happening, it would be easy enough to deal with, but we don’t notice this happening. We only live in our own mind which can easily become a vacuum chamber of negative, self-defeating beliefs.

We can’t understand how a better mindset would change our life for a similar reason that a deaf person can’t really understand how hearing would change their life.

We don’t have the proper context to understand what our mindset is doing to us until we become aware that our mindset is damaging us and is negative in ways that it doesn’t need to be. Lack of this awareness is why you don’t think it’s your behavior that’s repelling people, but that it’s the ‘fact’ that you’re a weirdo that’s repelling people.

Without knowing it, we become our own worst enemy. We might believe people are assholes, but we don’t realize they’re just reflecting our own beliefs back at us. We might believe we’re not worthy of affection, but we don’t realize that we wall ourselves from vulnerability and make it impossible to receive affection.

We might believe we don’t deserve a girlfriend, but we don’t realize that we could easily get a girlfriend if we just took the right actions. In countless ways, we **** ourselves, and because our brain is constantly looking for an explanation for our problems, we blame those problems on something we don’t think we can control to free ourselves of responsibility.

We do this because it’s easy. Our brain was designed to take the easy route. Facing insecurities is never easy. The truth is that you are in control of (and therefore responsible) for all your social shortcomings, but it’s intrinsically difficult to notice the damage you’re doing to yourself.

Changing yourself isn’t hard because it takes so much willpower or hard work, change is hard because it requires openminded introspection and honest questioning of your own thoughts, behaviors, and values.

Case Study: A Man Who f***ed Himself Over Without Knowing it

I had a friend, Nick, who was an interesting case, he was good looking by societal standards, 6’2, blonde hair blue eyes, athletic build. He generally seemed socially confident, you would never guess that he had a crippling anxiety towards meeting women.

He hooked up with some women by getting wasted and trolling the bars, but they were rarely the kind of women he wanted in his life. He would date the first girl who would sleep with him. Once he dated a girl he wasn’t physically attracted to for an entire year.

After a few years of drunken debauchery, he met a girl who actually met his standards, she was athletic, ambitious, confident, caring, everyone loved her.He was super nervous when he met her, but with some nudging from his friends he managed to go on a few dates with her. After they started dating, he began acting incredibly neurotic.

Because of his nerves about this girl, he decided he needed to meet other women. He found a girl on tinder, slept with her, then on the same day (while the tinder girl was still at our house), he invited his crush to come by.

His dream girl came over, and the situation quickly deteriorated into sitcom-level awkwardness as Nick told his dream girl that he had slept with this other girl. Unsurprisingly, this turned his dream girl off, and they stopped dating.

A couple months later, Nick met his dream girl again, he was afraid to approach her, but another friend and I convinced him to do it. Surprisingly, she was happy to see him and they made plans to hang out again. Nick never followed through with these plans.

Nick hasn’t slept with another girl in six months since this happened. He will declare that he needs to start meeting women again, and he’ll go out once or twice (for 30 minutes before he drives back home), and then he’ll say he needs to focus on his career right now.

Recently he decided this dream girl of his f***ed him up. He said he doesn’t go out anymore because she scarred him.

The Downward Spiral

From the outside looking in, his behavior is clearly neurotic. But to him, it all made logical sense. That’s the real problem, it’s so obvious how other people unnecessarily **** themselves over, but we all have a bias to be blind to our own similar behavior.

It’s easy to notice when someone else is falling into a neurotic, self-destructive pattern, but it’s incredibly difficult to admit this to yourself.Nick’s mindset has a foundational issue that’s preventing him from growing. He is dealing with his relationship problems using what psychologists call a static mindset.

A static mindset is a belief that people don’t change, that we are the victim to external circumstances. A static mindset is a ruthless self-fulfilling prophecy.

For example, you can have a static belief that you aren’t intelligent.Maybe you didn’t excel in school early on and you got negative feedback that made you believe school just wasn’t for you. This calcifies into a static mindset that you are not smart, that you, as a person, aren’t able to be a good student. This mindset becomes self-reinforcing.

When you are assigned homework, you tell yourself that you’re not a good student, so you avoid the homework or approach it halfheartedly. When you read for class you don’t pay attention, because, what’s the point? You’re not going to get anything out of it anyway, school’s just a waste of time for a dumb kid.

Then the grades come in, your parents are disappointed, and the negative feedback is stressful. The easiest way to interpret this feedback is to blame your failure on something outside of your control. Something essential to who you are, like your lack of intelligence.

By doing this, you relieve yourself from the pain of knowing that your own decisions are causing you to fail. By doing this, it’s not your fault. Instead, it’s like a disease, something you don’t have to blame yourself for, something that you’re a victim to.

This is a negative self-belief that can only lead to negative feelings about yourself. Sure, you alleviate yourself from responsibility for your problems, but you accomplished this through negative self-evaluation. This frees you from one source of stress, and traps you in another, far more damning stress- the feeling of helplessness. You paralyze yourself and make action impossible, because your mindset says action is pointless, that you’re not good enough, no matter what you do.

Victims to Ourselves

Nick believes that he doesn’t deserve a healthy relationship based on mutual respect. So, he makes it impossible for himself to get in this kind of relationship. He avoids meeting women unless he gets wasted, and when he does meet a woman he really likes, he self-sabotages the relationship so that it’s doomed to end before it ever really begins.

He tells himself a story about why this is happening, a story about who he is- a person that is fundamentally damaged, wounded, a victim. And through making himself a victim, he entitles himself to continue acting in self-destructive ways, sabotaging his relationships with ridiculous decisions like inviting a second girl on a date with the girl he really likes.

And those self-destructive behaviors reinforce his static, negative self-beliefs. He must be damaged or he wouldn’t keep acting in such self-harming ways. If he weren’t a victim, then why does he keep making the same mistakes without ever escaping the cycle?

Most people do this, the differentiator between those who change and those who don’t is how effective you are at becoming aware of the damage you’re doing to yourself.

Every time you catch yourself falling into a self-destructive social pattern, you are opening yourself up to change. This is the only way to make real, substantial growth. Ask yourself how you might be doing this to yourself right now. It may be mild, it may be extreme, but self-destructive patterns are there, no one’s mindset is perfectly enlightened. We all have negative beliefs about ourselves.

The path towards deep confidence is a path of building awareness of the ways in which your mindset is damaging yourself, and then finally being free to let go of them and disprove them.

Don’t think of your mindset as something you need to ‘fix’, in a paradoxical way, this gives that mindset more charge, more power. What you resist, persists. Actively fighting against a mindset is emotionally acknowledging that mindset as valid. Conscious rebellion doesn’t work, the path towards true change is counter-intuitive, it is surrender.

By accepting you do have negative self-beliefs, by surrendering to the fact that these mindsets are affecting you, they lose their emotional power over you. This is the path to freeing yourself from your self-imposed limitations.
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Postby laureat » Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:03 am

How little we know about ourselves?

I think psychology is intuitive and there is not too much which is not intuitive

When you are unsure about x-person you will act no different but unsure, and keep a distance, which wont allow the other to do anything else but keep distant - this is all logical

it only starts to become less intuitive if we try to ignore the problem and we become anxious about,

anxiety with the unknown cause : the cause is something you chosed to ignore but inside you still worry about it , and you dont know why , this starts to become less intuitive

Someone who just separated from the parents may have separation anxiety: and the pressure of responsibilities : it is also logical but if tries to ignore the cause , you forget the cause but you keep the anxiety and forget where did it start

When you are true with your feelings everything starts to become logical and intuitive its only when you ignore feelings
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Postby Livetowin » Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:46 pm

How well we see others is in proportion to how well we see ourselves. We define the outside world according to how much we ask of it. So people who have low self-esteem look to others to define themselves, meaning they seldom see the person for who they are, so much as what it is they provide to them.

When you understand who it is you are and that you only control yourself, then the message becomes clear. It starts with you and ends with you. When you can look at someone and not be hampered by worrying about what they think, you can see them as they are and measure actions and intentions typically with far greater skill than someone lost in wanting their praise.

When you know what impacts you, what affects you, and what inspires you, then you understand what you surround yourself with. Too many psychiatrists and philosophers get lost in the weeds on misplaced theories. In truth there's nothing to guess when you understand your life experience and how it makes you feel. Knowledge is the tool from which you apply reason and association with everything in life. The more you know and understand yourself, the clearer life around you is.
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Postby moondaddy1 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:09 pm

"Don’t think of your mindset as something you need to ‘fix’, in a paradoxical way, this gives that mindset more charge, more power. What you resist, persists. Actively fighting against a mindset is emotionally acknowledging that mindset as valid. Conscious rebellion doesn’t work, the path towards true change is counter-intuitive, it is surrender."

AKA Reverse Psychology, or to put it another way the struggle between willpower and imagination. If you try to consciously fight against your insecurities your imagination will simply magnify and strengthen them. If you try to force yourself not to smoke, overeat or whatever by using willpower alone you may succeed but not for long. Imagination almost invariably wins out over willpower in the end because your attempt to consciously force the notion of smoking, eating or whatever from your mind results in the imagination being stimulated by that very attempt. It wears the willpower down and sooner or later you give in.

Concerning the concept of "surrender" perhaps the term "self-acceptance" might be just as apt. Insecurities and negative feelings are a part of you, when you simply accept that then much of their power is dissolved and their importance - sort of paradoxically - diminishes in your mindset.
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Postby rodriguezsmith » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:37 am

Thanks for sharing the post. Very useful information!
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Postby J Derrington » Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:47 pm

Great post, I completely agree.
Insecurities stem from unconscious beliefs you have about yourself and others. Letting go of these beliefs and the fear that comes with them is a process that takes time but it can be done. It is scary to do so though, you have been acting in the world with these set of beliefs and you have survived. It might not have been great but you have coped. It is scary to put yourself in situations which might improve your life situation but for which you have no bearings for. If you have always been the guy that doesn't get girls, you will deflect girls because you don't know how to be otherwise. Personal transformation is tough and it is scary, but it can be done, I think there are two main steps to overcoming your insecurities and the fear that comes from them:

1. Understand where this fear comes from
2. Take action

1. This fear comes from your underlying beliefs. Even though you might not be aware of it, you probably unconsciously believe that you have to be perfect for others to like you, that if you say something wrong people will think that you are stupid and will think less of you, that you are fundamentally imperfect (so you have to be constantly monitoring yourself, doing something so that this doesn't shine through. You don't think that you can simply relax and still be ok)... These beliefs were acquired as you were growing up, in school, through your parents, your peers, ... As a child you misinterpret people's criticism and anger towards you as an indication that you are imperfect just by being yourself. These beliefs are unconscious, like you say, you don't know why you are nervous. They are stored in you in the form of this nervousness/fear you feel.

2. You can only let go of these beliefs by taking action. You have to receive experiences where you will feel this nervousness, that meeting you had was a great opportunity to experience the nervousness and to tell yourself that it is just your body trying to protect you from being rejected by your peers. It is your body trying to protect yo from putting yourself in situations you have no experience of and so you might fail in them. Don't beat yourself up for it. It is there, don't resist it, understand it. It is your body telling you to act so people don't see what you are scared they will see. I recommend that you seek out your opportunities, so that you can rewrite your unconscious opinion of yourself, and to see that you are OK just by being yourself, and that people are welcoming of you as you are. You will come to see things for how they are, and not like your inner fear sees them as. :D
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