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1 year ago · · 0 comments

How To Stop Being Insecure – The Top 5 Answers You Have Been Searching

Learning how to stop being insecure is a skill

In order to learn how to stop being insecure, you must first begin to understand your self esteem. Self esteem, begins early in life. Low self esteem is the product of your upbringing and life experiences and manifests in feelings of insecurity, fear and anxiety. Feelings of insecurity are learnt along our journey when you (incorrectly) learn through negative experiences to connect negative events to being rejected.

For instance, as a child, you learn to feel insecure if you are brought up with caregivers engaging in inconsistent parenting. This happens when your parents’ or guardians’ disciplines in an inconsistent manner. This inconsistency results from parenting being mood dependent, rather than consistently being based on particular rules, norms or expectations.

how to stop being insecureAt school this inconsistency is highlighted on a regular basis amongst friendships. Children are going through so many hormonal and emotional changes at school, that emotional reactions and hurt feelings occur daily, if not weekly. If you were taught to perceive these changes as simply emotional and not personal, your self esteem would stay in tact. However, often children internalise these daily rejections to mean they are not liked or unwanted. Even after children make-up (which also happens daily), they can be left with the scars of potential rejection. Children then learn early how to ‘walk on eggshells’ to avoid being rejected again. Thus perpetuating feelings of insecurity.

 

The same insecurities can develop in personal relationships when there is inconsistency, or highly negative consequences to your behaviours. Examples of how insecurity in relationships develop are as follows:

  • A close friend gets angry any time you have to say “no” to doing something with her, regardless of your reason
  • Your partner yells at you every time he is overtired or stressed out
  • A mother in your mothers group argues against every opinion you have about parenting
  • Someone close to you ignores you when you are in a group
  • Your x-partner cheats on you, so you become paranoid every partner will cheat on you in the future

How To Stop Being Insecure In Relationships

The above points highlight negative behaviours that can lead to the development of fear of rejection and feelings of insecurity. Each of these examples highlights other people’s behaviours, which were internalised incorrectly as self-blame. However, this internalisation was incorrect. The examples above would best have been internalised as external responses resulting from the other person’s personal issues. Let’s quickly dissect each example:

  • A close friend gets angry
    • This is a reflection of your friend’s insecurities and has nothing to do with your behaviour. You have a right to say “no” when you are busy too 
  • Your partner yells at you
    • Your partner’s moods are dictating his reactions towards you. His moods are the issue, not your behaviours 
  • A mother in your mothers group argues against you
    • This is a reflection of the mother either feeling intimidated by your opinions, or insecure about your role within the group. You have a right to have a different opinion to hers
  • Your close friend ignores you in a group
    • This is either an oversight, or the other person is overcompensating for their own insecurities, or jealousy, by focussing on those who may need more work to become close friends or family 
  • Your x-partner cheats on you
    • This is a reflection of your x-partner and has no bearing on you within the relationship. Regardless of anything occurring within the relationship, cheating is only the fault of the person engaging in the behaviour

The Top 5 Answers For How To Stop Being Insecure

The answer to how to stop being insecure lies in

  1. Rebuilding your self esteem to ensure you have the strength to cope when things go wrong and to be resilient to negative experiences
  2. Questioning honestly whether someone’s behaviour  is a reflection of their issues (not yours)
  3. Trusting in yourself and in your instincts
  4. Being open and honest with those you care about to express how you’re feeling and question inappropriate behaviour
  5. Living in the world of facts, not perception. So you only act on your insecurities when you are 100% confident your judgement is accurate (e.g. ask if necessary before you act).

How To Stop Being InsecureStart by Rebuilding Your Self Esteem with my Free ebook you can download here.

This free guide will help you to reduce fear and anxiety and rebuild your self confidence.

 

 

The most important thing is to trust that insecurity is not a healthy emotion and leads to negative and destructive behaviours. It’s not your fault that you feel insecure, but as an adult you have the choice of either continuing to feed this insecurity, or challenging it and overcoming in. In doing the latter you will enrich your relationships, enhance your career and live a much more healthy, happy and successful life.

lizzie o'halloran - how to stop being insecure

 

lizzie o'halloran - how to stop being insecure

 

 

 

Lizzie O’Halloran, Founder of Help For Mums & Author of Perfect Mums & Refresh Your Life

1 year ago · · 0 comments

Relationship Counselling – Do You Feel Unappreciated?

Do You Ever Wonder If Your Partner Really Appreciates You?

One of the things that often occurs in long term relationships is complacency. You get so used to your partner, you do the things you HAVE to do to keep each other happy and you assume your partner should just know how you feel. Affection drops, you look around and it feels like every other couple is ‘loved up’, holding hands and happy. Just look at the recent Royal Wedding! This lack of appreciation is a common thread in many relationship counselling sessions.

relationshp counsellingOf course life gets busier as the years pass in your relationship. When you add children to the family unit, life gets even busier, as a lot more your of  your energy needs to be directed towards raising a family. With or without children, life becomes more complex and financial responsibilities increase. As a result, couples often forget what it means to really show their partner they are still in love. They love each other, but often forget the important aspects of intimacy and expressing love. If the love is still expressed, it is often only reserved for special occasions, such as Valentines Day, Birthdays and Holidays.

How Do You Show Your Partner You Care – & Vice Versa?

Do you ever stop to asses how you and your partner like to give and receive love? Consider the 5 love languages described by Gary Chapman:

  1. Words of affirmation
  2. Acts of Service
  3. Receiving Gifts
  4. Quality Time
  5. Physical Touch 

If your preference is for Quality Time, but your partner’s preference is for Receiving Gifts, miscommunication of love can easily occur. One is not better than the other, but they are very different.

What often occurs in relationships is each person is expecting to receive love in the same manner in which he/she prefers to be shown love. Everyone has elements of each of the 5 love languages, but one is almost always more prominent. If your prominent preference is lacking in your relationship, you can feel very hurt, unloved and resentful. Confusions strikes when one person is showing love through their preferred love language, but it is falling on deaf ears. This is something I see often in my marriage counselling practice with couples.

So what can you do to bring love back so that both people feel loved and satisfied?

Firstly you need to understand how each of you prefers to receive love. Then, it’s time to talk about it honestly. Sometimes you need an impartial therapist to guide the conversation during relationship counselling and not deviate towards hurtful conversation. Then it’s also important to understand how you prefer to communicate. This is achieved through the Myers Briggs. It’s a wonderful tool for helping couples to understand their respective personality types and the best ways to communicate to really hear each other. For instance, the Myers-Briggs helps each person within couples discover:

  • if they prefer details or bigger picture themes in a conversation
  • whether they make decisions based on facts rather than feelings
  • if they need to be alone or around other people to reenergise before engaging in ‘partner time’ after work

and so on…

These issues are so important to help to understand each other and in turn avoid each person taking conversation or behaviour the wrong way. Miscommunication often happens as a result of each person within the relationship operating within the confines of their own Myers Briggs personality type. Thus not really understanding how their partner prefers to communicate.

We can’t be complacent in relationships. We need to regularly check in with each other and be mindful of each person’s needs. In doing so, each person feels really heard and truly loved.

Is Relationship Counselling Right For You?

If you are struggling within your current relationship, it’s important to speak to an expert. A Relationship Counsellor can really help to get your relationship back on track and to also tap into the real issues behind relationship conflict. Relationship Counselling takes place in a supportive and trusting environment. It’s a place to work through issues that you are your partner are struggling to resolve alone.  Relationship Counselling is not about casting blame on to one person within the partnership. Therapists take an empathetic and objective view of your personal circumstances, so that they can assist both parties to achieve happiness and peace.

Find Out More

relationship counselling

Author, Therapist & Motivational Speaker

1 year ago · · 0 comments

Is Your ‘The Grass Is Always Greener’ Thinking Holding You Back From Being Truly Happy?

Do You Engage In “Grass Is Always Greener” Thinking?

When you engage in “grass is always greener” thinking, you are rarely satisfied and always looking forwards or backwards, assuming life is better ….over there. This type of thinking leaves you feeling frustrated, unhappy and constantly searching for something external to bring you happiness.

If you engage in these types of thoughts on a regular basis, it is highly lightly you are engaging in grass is always greener’ thinking:

  • “things will be better when…”
  • “if only I had [xxx], then I’d be happier”
  • “when I get [xxx], then my life will be easier”
  • “things were better before this”

grass is always greener thinkingThis type of “grass is always greener” thinking style leaves you feeling very dissatisfied with life. It also welcomes too much upheaval into your life as you pursue happiness in the form of change. Lastly it creates low self-esteem because you no longer learn to trust your instincts and easily question decisions that you finally make. This makes it very stressful for you and for those around you. You regularly break promises, disappoint and change your mind to satisfy your insecurities and hope that new decisions will ultimately lead to happiness.

Despite all these negative arguments, MANY people engage in the “grass is always greener” thinking style.

 

Has the “grass is always greener” thinking style held you back?

Think about your life this past week in your life. How many times did you think to yourself that life would be better if something changed? Yet, how many changes have you made and how many goals have you achieved over the course of your life? Do you recognise these achievements, relish in them and feel happier – long term – as a result? The problem with “grass is always greener” thinking style, is that it leaves you constantly dissatisfied. You feel happier for a moment when you achieve yor desires, but this happiness is only short lived and you soon look for (and find) problems with this outcome. This negative thinking then creates a dissatisfaction with your current situation and you search for change again.

Good example of “grass is always greener” thinking, include when:

  • you search for a new relationship, but soon find problems within it
  • you buy a new car and soon crave a newer/shinier model
  • you move to a new location and soon pine over the old one you used to complain about

grass is always greeneAre you convinced yet that the “grass is always greener” thinking style is NOT good for your health?

What if you learnt to trust your instincts and relish if your achievements and desires? Imagine how much more enjoyment you would gain from your life, if you consciously decided to STOP engaging in this negative thinking style. Let’s look at an example.

 

EXAMPLE: Engaging in “grass is always greener” thinking

You are feeling unhappy at work. You begin to engage in the “grass is always greener” thinking. You tell yourself, you will be so much happier if you just get out of there. You spend every effort to move into a new job. You settle into your new job, but soon the same personalities begin to annoy you. You soon begin to feel just as agitated and dissatisfied as you did before you left your last position. In fact, you begin to look back with rose coloured glasses to find positives in the job you just left behind. You feel very dissatisfied and start looking for a new job again.

EXAMPLE 2: Curbing “grass is always greener” thinking

You are feeling unhappy at work. You begin to engage in the “grass is always greener” thinking. You tell yourself, you will be so much happier if you just get out of there. You stop yourself and you begin to question what your dissatisfaction is really about. Are you unhappy with the work location, the hours you’re putting in, the work you’re undertaking, your pay scale, or the people you’re working for? You pinpoint what’s going on. You’re feeling undervalued. You decide to have a meeting with your boss to discuss the issue, but you do not feel much better after your meeting. You decide to look for a new position, but you focus on looking for a job where your skills will really be valued and you can shine. You project this through the interviews you sit and you finally secure a job that provides you with that validation you have been missing. You settle into your new job and begin to thrive. You leave that “grass is always greener” thinking style behind and feel so much happier. You love your new job.

The key difference in both these examples is questioning WHY you might be engaging in “grass is always greener” thinking. Most likely, there is something underpinning this thinking tendency. When you identify what is really going on, you can address the issue at hand and stop yourself from looking for change to make you happier.

But isn’t change as good as a holiday?

They say “change is as good as a holiday” and this is true. You feel great when you go on that holiday, but very soon after you return, life goes back to normal. If you were feeling dissatisfied before – you will feel dissatisfied again. The holiday does not fix any internal issues, it just helps you to ignore them for a while. Whilst this is a nice distraction, it’s not the way to resolve personal issues, because they are all there waiting for you when you return. The change, just gives you a break. It does not make you happier long term if you continue to search for happiness externally to yourself. The first place to start building your happiness is internally, but focussing on building your self esteem. Then, you will be in control of your life and your destiny.

lizzie o'halloran, grass is always greener blog article

lizzie o'halloran, grass is always greener blog article

1 year ago · · 0 comments

Separation Anxiety In Toddlers – 5 Steps For How To Best Overcome It

How To Ease Separation Anxiety In Toddlers

separation anxiety in toddlerSeparation anxiety in toddlers is very normal, however, it can still evoke worry and guilt in mums having to leave a crying baby behind. The good news is, it usually dissipates with age and careful strategies which we will discuss in the 5 step process.

Regardless of whether you are a first time mum, or a seasoned parent, separation anxiety in toddlers is often a source of great anxiety and stress. As a parent, you always want the best for your child, so it can be heartbreaking to see your little one crying as you leave, or even getting upset when being held by others. Because there is a misconception that children should just easily transition to new experiences and to new people, parents often (incorrectly) blame themselves for their child’s separation anxiety and this causes further anxiety and guilt down the track. These emotions can make the separation process even more difficult and drawn out for both you and your toddler or baby.

The good news is there are easy to follow steps you can implement to aid your child through transitions. This process will also be much smoother if your understand your child’s temperament, which we will go into a bit more detail in the 5 step process below.

5 steps for how to overcome separation anxiety in toddlers

How To Ease Separation Anxiety In ToddlersStep 1: Getting to Know Your Child’s Temperament

You may be thinking “what does this have to do with easing my child’s separation anxiety?” Well, it is actually the key piece of the puzzle that not many people talk about and yet it is SO… helpful to parents when going through separation anxiety in toddlers. Research tells us that approximately 65% of children fall into 1 of 3 temperament characteristics. Slow-to-warm Up, Easy, Feisty. Each one of these responds very differently to new environments and new people. If you work out your child’s temperament, you with then be able to assess the best way to deal with separation anxiety based on your child’s temperament.

Each of these 3 temperaments responds uniquely to new environments

Slow to warm up

The slow to warm up child takes time to adjust to new environments and people. They need lots of security and attachment to parents. These babies do not like to be held by people they do not know. They need to feel comfortable and then they will relax and be the life of the party. These children need gradual introductions and repeated similar introductions. So ensuring your child is left with the same carer in childcare for instance, will make the transition MUCH smoother. Also, this child is better off attending childcare a few days a week, rather than one day a week. The reason for this is that by the time ‘day-care day’ returns you toddler will have forgotten about it again and the separation anxiety will once again begin.

Feisty

The feisty child needs rules, boundaries and structure. So, this child will want to be very clear of the process of transition. Keeping the routine and simple and clear as possible will really help this child to adjust. For instance, going through the same motions in the morning on your way to childcare, or when leaving your child with a babysitter will help your toddler to feel comfortable about the separation process. You may also have a routine after childcare pick up which you can maintain consistently for your child to feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible.

Easy

The easy child will find new environments much less stressful and will adapt to new environment with greater ease. With an easy temperament there may be signs of separation anxiety, however these will typically only last for a short period of time. They will only represent in times of extreme stress or uncertainty.

How To Ease Separation Anxiety In ToddlersStep 2: Ensure the care in which you are leaving your child meets the 4 Quadrant ‘Perfect Mum Book‘ Rules

In order for you to feel OK about leaving your child crying in someone else’s care, you need to feel comfortable about where you are leaving your child. In the Book Perfect Mum, I talk a lot about the 4 essential parenting quadrants which centre around four critical questions:

Is Your Child

  1. Safe?
  2. Secure?
  3. Happy?
  4. Healthy?

When you can answer “yes” confidently to these 4 questions, you are much more comfortable about the emotional aspects associated with separation anxiety in your toddler. For instance, when you receive images throughout the day from your day-care centre showing your child is happily playing, you feel comfortable that question 3 (is my child happy) has been satisfied.

Step 3: Repetition is the Key

Your child will feel much more comfortable being left within an environment that feels comfortable. Whilst it may always be his/her preference to stay with “mummy’, your child will find the separation much easier if you ensure things are kept relatively similar and the environment is not completely alien. When beginning a new childcare arrangements, start slowly if possible. Begin by attending the centre together a few times, then leave your child for 1-2 hours and eventually build up to the required day-care length of time. Repeating the process several times will help your child to feel safe and secure being left somewhere without you (quadrants 1 and 2 above).

How To Ease Separation Anxiety In ToddlersStep 4: The Comforter

Choose a special toy your child can bring from home to provide familiar comfort throughout the day. You can also select a special toy your child likes at childcare. You can talk about how exciting it will be to see your child’s special toy again when you arrive and go together to collect the toy. This little routine can give your child something special to look forward to and because you have been talking about it, the toy provides a comforting reminder of you if they begin to miss you throughout the day.

How To Ease Separation Anxiety In ToddlersStep 5: Avoid dragging out the drop off

This step is probably the toughest for mothers experiencing separation anxiety in toddlers. As a mother, you want to leave your child in care feeling happy. However, the longer you stay to comfort your child, the harder it is for your child to separate and make the transition. Quick and comforting goodbyes are usually best. Your child then becomes accustomed to this routine and will not draw out the tears begging you to stay. You can tell your child “mummy is coming back to pick you up” when you leave. Then when you collect your child, repeat this again – “see mummy came back to pick you up”. This helps your child to feel secure and to trust that everything is going to be OK. Then at pick up, if you’d like to stay a bit longer to play with some toys together or read books, this is the time when you can take as long as you like to leave.

Following these 5 steps to easing separation anxiety in toddlers will really help to make transitions into other people’s care much smoother. There may be tears from time to time, especially if your child is feeling unwell or overtired. However, you know the tears will only last for a very short period of time. It is important to note, though, if your child continues to feel anxious, or the anxiety is getting worse, it’s time to intervene. Talk to the carer/s about what might be happening. Assess whether the childcare arrangement is suitable for your child. Further, don’t be afraid to make a change if you feel it’s in the best interest of your child.

Lizzie O’Halloran, Founder of Help For Mums and Author of Perfect Mum & Refresh Your Life

separation anxiety in toddlers