How to Hide Insecurities

Have a plan to cope when you are feeling insecure.
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Nobody likes to appear insecure, so it can be tempting to want to hide those feelings of being "not good enough." Hiding insecurity is not a good long-term solution, though -- it only helps things look better on the surface. A far better option is to work on being OK with who you are, and learn how to express yourself without worrying what other people think.

1 Self-Esteem File

One way to work on building your confidence is to keep a "self-esteem file," says author Therese Bouchard, in the "Psych Central" article "5 Things to Do When You Feel Insecure." Anytime somebody says something good about you or gives you a compliment -- it could be as simple as a classmate saying you are a good listener -- write a little note and add it to your self-esteem file. When you are in a situation that makes you feel insecure, remember the notes in your file and all of the reasons that you have value and worth.

2 Develop Inner Authority

Insecurity develops when we feel there is a part of us we need to hide, say psychiatrist Phil Stuz and psychotherapist Barry Michels in the "Chatelaine" article "How To Overcome Insecurity and Become Self-Empowered." For example, you might feel nervous giving a speech in front of classmates because they will notice your hands shaking. Stuz and Michels suggest imagining your "shadow" -- that inner part you are afraid to show -- and then connecting to that person. Develop your "inner authority" by being your whole self, flaws and all. Instead of hiding your insecurity, be more concerned with being your authentic self.

3 Have a Plan

If your insecurity shows up in a relationship, you can use techniques known as mental contrasting and an "if-then" plan to cope, says psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson in the "Psychology Today" article "Never Look Insecure Again." For example, if you can't stop texting your boyfriend out of worry that he is with another girl, imagine yourself being calm and confident instead of needy and jealous. The next time you feel the need to text, focus on a task such as schoolwork or an art project instead.

4 How Others See You

If you are still worried about your insecurities showing, realize that other people notice much less than you think, says Bouchard. Even though you might feel not good enough on the inside, you could still appear confident and self-assured to others. Though it is important to do the work to build up your self-esteem to overcome insecurity, you can be comfortable knowing that the cute guy in your math class probably hasn't noticed that your conversation is awkward. Your insecurity is really only visible to you.

Arlin Cuncic has been writing about mental health since 2007, specializing in social anxiety disorder and depression topics. She served as the managing editor of the "Journal of Attention Disorders" and has worked in a variety of research settings. Cuncic holds an M.A. in clinical psychology.