Do You Feel Insecure?
Insecurity is something that those of us with ADHD deal with often; not all of us, I suppose, but a lot of us. And it has the potential to ruin your life.
Maybe “ruining your life” is a bit dramatic, but insecurity certainly has the potential to affect your life in a negative manner.
And it’s not just women with ADHD who feel insecure, either.
Most people with ADHD have low self esteem. It comes from just living our lives with ADHD; we make more mistakes than most, we fail more than others, we don’t seem to get the things that others pick up naturally.
Add in depression and anxiety, and of course we feel insecure.
How Insecurity Impacts Your Life
When you feel unsure of yourself, it affects your entire life.
You can make bad decisions because you can’t make up your mind. You put it off until the last minute, or ask everyone you know for their opinion.
If someone wants to, they can easily sway you to their side.
You settle for the wrong relationships because you’re convinced you can’t do any better. Or worse yet – you become an easy target for narcissistic, manipulative people and end up under their control.
You miss out on all kinds of opportunities, because you are insecure and afraid.
And the one time you decide to stop being so fearful, you take a leap and it’s a disaster.
Can You Learn to Be More Secure?
I think learning to be more secure sounds a little off somehow, but I will tell you two things:
- If you are lucky enough to find someone you can trust with your whole heart and who always has your back, then you’re partway there. At least you know you have a reliable sounding board and a trustworthy partner, and that they are there for you when you feel insecure.
- The best way to feel more secure is to be more confident in yourself. And boy, is that a hard one! But it can be done.
Gaining confidence isn’t easy, but it’s well worth everything it takes to get there. It’s a thousand times better than living your life feeling insecure.
And you should know – it’s OK not to be confident about everything. Sometimes that can be risky or even dangerous. Sometimes it’s just stupid.
But learning to be confident in who you are, what you believe and value, what you know, and what you think about things are all excellent goals to work towards.
And I know it isn’t easy.
Someone has probably written a whole book about being confident, because there really is that much to talk about, but for now, let’s just break it down to a few, easy things.
Who You Are
If you are a religious person, then you probably believe that you were put here on earth for a purpose. And if you’re not, surely you have some sort of belief system that gives you a reason to exist.
You are a valuable, worthwhile person. You have a reason to be here, even if you don’t know what it is.
Be proud of who you are and confident in yourself as a human being.
And if things like how you look make you feel bad about yourself, well, you have the power to change many of them. And if there’s something about how you look that you honestly can’t change, then you can always change your attitude.
In fact, changing your attitude is one of the most important things that you can do.
As I began writing this article, I thought about how negative it was, and how so much of what I write about ADHD seems to be that way.
But we can always turn things around, and that’s what we need to learn to do more often.
What You Believe and Value
Your beliefs and values are important; you shouldn’t let your insecurity compromise them in any way.
You always know – deep down – when something feels wrong to you. Don’t let your insecurity keep you from doing or saying what’s right. You never know who you’re setting an example for, and above all, you need to stand up for yourself.
I understand if it involves confrontation, especially in certain situations, but at least walk away and don’t support or condone it.
What You Know
Come on – admit it.
How many times did you purposely not raise your hand in school, even though you knew the answer, just in case there was the teeniest, tiniest chance that you were wrong?
You did, didn’t you? More than once.
Because to you, the humiliation of being wrong was worse than the possibility of being right.
And you still do it, all the time.
Maybe you were even told as a child to “stop being a know it all”. (Don’t get me started on what we were told as children. That’s an entirely new post. And maybe we should call in a therapist on that one.)
So, as my grandmother would say, “stop hiding your light under a bushel”.
A little bit of a weird saying, but you know what it means.
My youngest daughter purposely failed the test for the gifted program when she was five. (She took her first ACT at age 7 at the request of Northwestern University.) She didn’t want to leave her friends.
By the time she got to high school, she was barely putting in any effort at school. When the high school got back her scores on her ACT, the counselor told her, “We had no idea you were so smart”.
Sad story. Don’t make yours the same.
You’re smart. You can be smart without being obnoxious, so do it.
You have one, and it’s OK to express it.
You’re smart enough to figure out when it wouldn’t be such a good idea, but there are lots more times when it would be more than fine for you to speak your mind.
A Few More Tips about Insecurity
When my husband first got transferred from Michigan to Chicago, he lived here for 9 months before I could sell our home and the kids and I could move out here.
By then, he had a whole group of friends that he wanted me to meet. And all of their wives were younger and thinner than I was.
I hated getting together with them, because I felt insecure and self conscious, so I did a silly thing. I had inherited two rather large diamond rings from my aunt. My own wedding rings no longer fit me and I was too proud to have them resized, sure that one day they would fit again.
So every time we went out, I would wear those rings. It gave me a false sense of confidence, but it also helped.
And I finally got to know those women, and they were so nice!
You can do the same kinds of things, just to help.
- Come up with a few outfits that make you feel good about yourself and wear them when you need an extra boost. In fact, figure out what makes them so special and buy a whole wardrobe of them!
- Learn to do your makeup or your hair if that helps.
- Get your nails done regularly.
- Hang out with people who are as smart as you are. Lots of times we dumb ourselves down just to fit in. It feels SO good when you are among others who “get” you.
- Find some positive sayings and put them everywhere. Put one on your phone screen, your computer screen, tuck one in your wallet, put one on the dashboard of your car, just to remind you of how awesome you really are!
- And finally, find some nice things to say to people when you’re out and about. Tell someone how great that color looks on her, or thank someone for being so nice. It will make you feel better about yourself, and spread a little goodness too!