How to Be Secure

Why are some people secure while others aren’t? Is it because they deserve or don’t deserve to be secure? There are enough obvious counter-examples to that idea to dismiss it immediately. Is it genetic? Maybe partially, but many people have switched from being secure to insecure or vice versa. I’d argue that being secure is a practice that anyone can implement.

A friend of mine once told me, as if the idea was an obvious one, that he constantly suspected that people didn’t really like him very much and invited him around to be polite. This idea completely blew my mind, because he was one of the core members of our friend group and I’d never once heard anyone say anything bad about him. It made me realize that insecurity is usually an error of perception.

Pickup transformed me from a very insecure person, who basically thought that almost no woman would really want to get to know me, to a very secure person who now assumes that basically everyone will like me and see my value.

The biggest thing I learned is that people will like you for who you are. This sounds obvious and simple, but for years I just figured that there were one or two “very likeable” archetypes, and I wasn’t one of them. Media and pop culture set this trap and it’s an easy one for anyone to fall into.

What I found was very nearly the opposite. Someone acting cool is not scarce or interesting. Someone being genuine and authentic and presenting themselves through the clearest lens possible is extremely rare. These people are so rare that when you meet them you immediately like and respect them, even if you don’t have much in common with them or even want to be friends with them.

If you’re insecure you may be either living a lie or trying to. If you are trying to portray yourself as someone that you aren’t, you should not be secure! You should be worried that your secret will be found out. If you are simply being yourself, there’s nothing to worry about.

This is a lot easier if you know who you are, know what you believe in, know what you stand for, and know what your values are. Imagine that you know all of those things and you know that you are doing a reasonably good job living by them and are striving to get better. If someone thinks negatively of you, you can know for sure that they just don’t know you well enough to know the truth. You have the proof that you are living up to the standards you have set for yourself.

People would always ask me what people I met thought about me living in an RV, with the implication that there would be some negative association. It never occurred to me to care about what other people thought about it. I knew my values, knew that the RV was perfectly aligned with them, so their opinion didn’t matter.

This becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, because when I talked about my RV there was no hint of insecurity. I was excited and proud of it, which probably led to people thinking it was cool, even if it wasn’t something they would want to do themselves.

You could come up with a lot of concrete reasons you should not be secure. Maybe you’re poor or overweight or a nerd. But if you can think of even one person who has that trait and is still secure, you know that it’s not a real obstacle.

Being secure is a choice, but not an instant one. Your mind takes time to retrain. Think about what you do and what you believe in. Are you proud of those things? If you aren’t, you should change them or think more about why you do them. For example, if you’re a janitor but aren’t proud of being a janitor, you can be proud that you are willing to take a job like that to support yourself or your family. Of course, if you do something and aren’t proud of it, you should probably stop.

The next time you feel insecure, think about what caused it. Is it real or is it something made up? I knew a girl who always thought that guys thought she was ugly and didn’t want to go on second dates with her. The truth is that she was insecure about her looks and the insecurity drove people away.

If it’s real, ask whether it matters or not. If I played basketball with people who were good at it, they would probably laugh at me because I’m terrible at it. Is that real? Sure, I’m not good at basketball. But being good at basketball isn’t important to me and doesn’t matter, so it wouldn’t make me feel insecure.

Hold yourself to your own standards. Anyone who is trying to hold you to a standard they’ve created which you don’t subscribe to is not doing you a service. Be proud of who you are and be honest about who you are. Anyone can be secure if they work at it and understand the underlying mechanisms.

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Photo is Lake Mead. It’s fun to swim there in the summer, but cookouts and bonfires on the beach make fall pretty amazing, too. Plus you don’t have to live in constant fear of being sunburned.

I’m going to Hawaii tomorrow for the first time since March! I feel like I might cry from joy when I land there.

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