7 Tips For When You’re Feeling Insecure That Therapists Swear By

No matter how confident you are, everyone has days where they feel insecure and less than, in some way. Sometimes this is a direct reaction to rejection or failure; other times, you just wake up feeling kinda blah and don’t know what to do about it. While it would be great if simply telling yourself to cheer up and reminding yourself that you’re awesome actually worked, it doesn’t. Instead, you’ll have to be a bit more proactive. Here are some ideas that therapists swear by to boost your confidence and help you feel amazing.

1. Limit your time on social media.

As much as you love scrolling your Insta feed, it’s not doing much good for your mental state. As licensed therapist Meg Mattingly, LPC, tells Bolde, it’s important to reflect on how these apps are making you feel. “Social media is where we go now for community, inspiration, resources, laughter, distractions, etc.

However, it is important to assess how you feel after scrolling on your phone for 10, 15, 60 minutes,” she explained. “Do you feel invigorated, inspired, or do you feel numb, judgmental, agitated? If we are spending hours every day looking at pictures of what we think our bodies are supposed to look like, what impact do you think that has on you?” Instead of spending so much time on social media, focus your energy elsewhere.

2. Embrace the use of positive affirmations.

Dr. R.Y. Langham, a psychologist specializing in OCD, believes that affirmations can be truly transformational not just in helping you feel less insecure but in reframing your overall outlook in life. “Affirmations can also be a game-changer. Though they might seem trivial at first, consistently reinforcing positive self-perceptions can subtly reshape your self-worth over time,” she explains. It’s important to find affirmations that resonate with your life and particular situations in order to get the most out of them.

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4. Practice gratitude more often.

When you’re feeling insecure about your appearance, your abilities, or your general worthiness, it can be hard to feel like there’s anything worth being grateful for in your life, but that’s just not the case. “Insecurity creates fertile ground for comparing and self-judgment. It can be so hard to access kindness and joy when we’re stuck in this loop.

A helpful tool in getting unstuck is inviting gratitude into your daily life,” Mattingly suggests. “This act doesn’t have to be grand. In fact, starting small can help us slow down and appreciate the little moments throughout the day. When we begin to invite in appreciation and gratitude, it shifts our way of thinking and provides an opportunity for more connection to ourselves and the world around us.”

5. Start challenging your negative thoughts.

When you’re feeling insecure, your brain is trying to convince you that you’re not good enough and that you’re lacking in some way. Why are you just accepting that? It’s time to fight back. “Identify and question negative or unrealistic thoughts about your body or dating experiences,” says psychotherapist Mollie Spiesman, LCSW. “Ask yourself if there’s real evidence behind these thoughts or if they’re unhelpful assumptions.”

6. Consider working with a professional.

There’s no shame in admitting that your feelings of self-doubt and insecurity are so big that you don’t feel you can tackle them alone. When that happens, it’s important to seek out a licensed professional who can help you work through these issues and help you feel more empowered. For deeper-rooted issues, seeking therapy can offer invaluable support. A professional can provide strategies tailored specifically to your experiences and feelings,” Dr. Langham advises.

7. Celebrate all the things your body is capable of.

If your insecurity is rooted in your physical appearance, paying less attention to what you look like and making it more about how you feel can be incredibly effective in helping you realize how beautiful and capable you are. “Instead of getting caught up in how our bodies look, we can shift our focus to what our bodies can do,” explains Carolyn Ball, LCPC. “By acknowledging and appreciating the strength and functionality of our bodies, we can develop a sense of pride and gratitude for all that it can do.”

8. Set boundaries and hold tight to them.

If you’re wondering how this can help you stop feeling insecure, consider this: When you know your hard limits and you don’t allow people to treat you in ways that are not in line with those boundaries, you cement your sense of self-worth. Or, as Spiesman explains, “Knowing your limits and assertively communicating them can enhance your sense of security.” You should introduce these limits in your dating life, your professional life, and even with friends and family.

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill