“What will they think of me?” That is the question insecure people always ask themselves. I ask, “What makes you believe people are thinking about you?” That is how pride and insecurity are linked. We think others are focused on us.
Many people believe pride only rears its ugly head when someone boasts, won’t admit mistakes, or refuses to hear criticism. Those are indeed tell tale signs of pride. But, insecurity is also a form of pride.
Insecurity stops people from moving ahead. It cripples their progress and the progress of the people they are supposed to be leading.
Whenever I coach someone who allows themselves to be overwhelmed by what other people think of them, I chalk it up to a strange form of pride.
The insecure person may say –
- What will she think of me?
- What will people say?
- What if I am wrong and people find out?
The question I ask them at that moment is:
What makes you think people are thinking about you?
What People Are Really Thinking
Insecurity is a perverse form of pride because we assume everyone else is focused on us. THEY AREN’T. We are making ourselves out to be much more important to them than we actually are.
The truth is, most people are not spending that much time thinking about other people. They have their own lives and concerns that occupy a majority of their time.
This is where fear and pride intersect and create insecurity. We believe everyone is thinking about us, and we are scared of what those thoughts may be.
I understand that there could be many psychological reasons for an individual to be overwhelmed by insecurity. I am not trying to diminish the impact someone’s past can have on their perception of how the world sees them.
But really, most of the world is not spending that much time thinking about us.
It is our twisted pride that makes us think they are spending as much time thinking about us as we are!
The Bottom Line:
Insecurity is a habit that often starts with pride which then creates fear. This powerful combination of pride and fear can incapacitate an otherwise gifted and talented individual.
To defeat pride, we must exercise Humility and realize we are not the center of other people’s existence.
To defeat fear, we must exercise Courage and face our fears. We must do the things we are afraid to do. That is the only way to defeat fear.
Pride and insecurity occupy two sides of the same coin. When we ask “What will they think of me?” we are assuming other people are as interested in us as we wish them to be.
The truth is, they may be wondering the same thing about us. And then we are all stuck in a pattern of insecurity that prevents us from becoming the people are families, our teams and our society needs us to be.
When has insecurity kept you from stepping forward?