Overcoming Past High School Insecurities

It’s perhaps the only thing that can feel more permanent than that dreaded
yearbook photo – the reputation earned while walking the halls of high

Studio 5 Relationship Coach Matt Townsend shares how to let go of labels,
and overcome past high school insecurities.


Remember that the insecurities are based upon old scripts, beliefs and fears
you had back in the past and are not who you really are today. One of the
fastest ways to lose the insecuritieto from the past then is to blow up the
past. Try to remember back to all of the stupid things you used to do, wear
and sawe back when you felt so insecure about yourself. Remember how all
of those things that you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing and saying made
everyone feel like you were so “cool” or “hip” back then. By being able to
laugh at how you used to dress and how much hairspray you would use to
“puff” your hair up could help you to realize that maybe feeling inadequate
back then really wasn’t such a bad thing. By recognizing how seriously
distorted your thinking was back then and comparing it to what you have
become today, you will begin to rewrite new scripts and impressions of
yourself. You may not have been really cool back then and that actually may
have been a very big compliment. Maybe you were just too big of a geek to
wear parachute pants, or sport a mullet like the rest of the cool people, or
maybe, just maybe you were ahead of your time. We should never use our
most distorted times in our lives to determine how we will feel best about


Nothing can be more damaging to our own self esteem than comparing
ourselves to another person because if you have enough people in your life,
eventually you won’t be able to be better than everyone at everything.
Comparisons are usually based on an inherent sense of competition between
ourselves and others. Our basic assumption in comparing ourselves to
others is the belief that we will feel better about ourselves if we are doing
and looking better than others. That belief is inherently false and in fact
produces the exact opposite result. Traditionally when we compare ourselves
to others we usually compare our worst traits and attributes with another
person’s best traits, which actually sets us up to feel even less self esteem.
Instead of trying to compare and contrast yourself with those from your past
focus your comparisons solely on your own progress comparing solely your
past with who you are today. Especially pay close attention to your growth,
successes and accomplishments from high school to today. Have you
finished college or other schools? Do you have children and a spouse you
love? Have you identified new hobbies and talents you didn’t know about
when younger? Have you discovered a career that motivates and drives you?
Have you grown in confidence or changed your style of dressing? Have you
overcome a bad habit or negative way of thinking? In the end our only real
competition is with ourselves and so that is a competition you have a better
chance of winning. Remember that our confidence should come from that
the fact that we are proud of the growth and progress that we are making
and not from the fact that we are making more progress than those around
us in high school.


Most of the time that I have found myself feeling really insecure and
inadequate I’ve noticed that I tend to be securely fixated on three things: me,
myself and I. The fastest way to lose some of that anxiousness will be to
focus on other people. If you have just reconnected with someone from High
school and you start to feel inadequate about yourself, focus on them. Listen
to their story, hear about their life and challenges and be willing to
complement them. The benefit of getting out of yourself and into another is
the fact that you can distract your mind from focusing and comparing
yourself to others. The further I get away from my high school days the more
I notice that we are all still just a bunch of insecure kids in older adult
bodies. In reality all people have the same insecurities, weaknesses and fears
and understanding that those fears are in everyone will help us to get over
ourselves. By truly listening to the life stories of others you will begin to hear
their own trials and struggles begin to surface in the conversations. Instead
of deriving pleasure from their mishaps which will only hurt your self esteem,
empathize with them and recognize how similar all of our lives are. By losing
yourself in others you will actually end up find yourself and realize what a
truly amazing person you are. Your self esteem will flourish and your needs
to compete with others will dissipate.

Trouble talking through real issues with your partner? Go to Matt’s free
training at: www.starvedmarriage.com.

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