Jul 13th, 2008 by spaceagesage
In previous posts, I discussed five sources of insecurity stemming from our past and the messages those events can leave us with for a lifetime. In my last post, I wrote about overcoming Adversity as a source of insecurity. Another of those sources is a Lack of Stability, which can leave us with a life message that says “I start to get some roots and a sense of how things work, and it’s all ripped from me again.” Growing up in unpredictable environments and with chaotic parenting or frequent moves can create this kind of thinking.
The trouble with living under the influence of a negative mindset, which can trap us into repeating the past, is that we remain deaf, dumb, and blind to real strength, security, and confidence. True character is developed by facing challenges and having successes. How can we make lofty goals, power up our ambition, and stick to a plan of success if we are sure it will fail? If we truly believe people, situations, or the world is just waiting to pull the rug out from under us, we can never overcome insecurity.
People who are confident and secure see the world as fertile ground. They know they can put down roots anywhere and grow something successful. In order to find this sense of groundedness and stability, we have to make a powerful effort to release from a negative mindset of discouragement that tells us we are doomed to failure, and instead, embrace the idea of creating our own stability.
Here are some micro-steps for creating stability on your way to overcoming insecurity:
1) Create your own traditions
Chaos may have ruled your early life, but now you are older, wiser, and committed to bettering yourself, so make up your own traditions to give a sense of rootedness. Pick a special time of the week or month to watch movies or eat a favorite childhood meal. Reward yourself on the last day of your work week with something relaxing. Plan campouts or vacations around certain holidays. Start building something that will take months to complete. Create a constancy in your life that works to encourage and warm your heart.
2) Join up
When we put our efforts into a just or noble cause or for something greater than ourselves, we automatically create a legacy in our life from which we gain strength. I have volunteered hundreds of hours as a firefighter/EMT, as a chamber of commerce board member, and a self defense instructor. The hours I gave away came back to me a hundredfold in self improvement and in a very meaningful sense of fulfillment. Being a part of a group, such as the Red Cross, also creates stability because of the group’s history.
3) Ancient ways of movement
The martial arts and yoga have deep roots in history and in various cultures. By studying them, we can also feel that rootedness. When I was a new student of the martial arts, I relished knowing that the kata, moves, and techniques dated back thousands of years. It was as if I was part of a martial artists chain leading backwards into history. The training also helps instill an inner sense of harmony that makes it easier to find stability and to look at life with a more positive and hopeful outlook.
4) Dive in to literature
If you haven’t read the classics in literature, you have missed a great way to feel the power of the human mind and soul to affect the world - for good and for bad — and that we all have choices. The Once and Future King, by T. H. White, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, Moby-Dick by Herman Melville - they all delve into the richness of human experience. When you can understand life through the powerful words of great writers, it changes your perspective on the world, creating a deeper understanding. If longer works of literature don’t appeal to you yet, start with great American short stories.
5) Cherish people and institutions of value
When you find a person with a heart of gold who will stand by you, do everything you can to nourish that relationship, for it will give you roots and stability like few things can. The same for institutions. For some, this is the military, for others the church, and for others a political party or movement. Follow your heart to what seems to heal, encourage, and strengthen you and then open your heart just a little at a time until you feel comfortable and safe.
To conquer the sense of instability, we have to generate areas of groundedness in ourselves. It doesn’t matter that our parents weren’t equipped to give us this or if life threw some curve balls at us. The power to change our lives, our outlook, and our world is in the now.
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“A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her.”
~ David Brinkley ~
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