February 11, 2019

Below is a lesson from Harvard Business Review on recognizing where you insecurities come from to overcome them, as well as our key learning.

The Blue Courage team is dedicated to continual learning and growth.  We have adopted a concept from Simon Sinek’s Start With Why team called “Learn, Share, Grow”.  We are constantly finding great articles, videos, and readings that have so much learning.  As we learn new and great things, this new knowledge should be shared for everyone to then grow from.


To Overcome Your Insecurity, Recognize Where It Really Comes From

Insecurity is a social problem, not a personal failing.

by  Svenja Weber and Gianpiero Petriglieri

June 27, 2018

Raymond closed down. Sandra snapped. They both had solid records and promising career prospects, and yet they felt that something was not working. Their bosses, colleagues, friends could tell too, but they were equally puzzled. How could someone so talented get so lost, or lose it, in seemingly trivial discussions, for no obvious reason?

The answer is deceptively simple and widespread: insecurity at work. The nagging worry that we are not quite as smart, informed, or competent as we ought to be, or as others might think. The fear that we are not good enough, or simply not enough. The second thoughts about our ideas, observations, and even about our feelings. The constant concern about being judged.

Feelings of insecurity leave us overdependent on external factors — admiration, praise, promotions. But even then, the feeling of achievement is generally temporary. Soon after, we turn inward, digging inside ourselves for a vein of confidence that remains elusive.

Continue reading here.


Key Learnings:

  • Insecurity makes it difficult for us to make our voices heard, leaves us unable to dissent, and makes us tentative in our work relationships. 
  • It leaves us dissatisfied, undermines collaboration, and renders our teams less creative and efficient. 
  • Insecurity at work is commonly seen as a personal foible, associated with imposter syndrome. Sometimes it’s linked with ambition and overwork. These views cast insecurity as both a flaw and a drive, the result of a deeply rooted belief that one is a fraud, that one’s achievements are a product of circumstances rather than competence.
  • Such beliefs make us cautious and resentful in relationships. Hence insecurity becomes a driver for chronic efforts to prove oneself. 
  • Insecurity is a social issue with psychological consequences, not a psychological issue with social consequences. In the workplace, the roots of insecurity are often found around us, not within us.
  • Throughout life, we need loving others in order to be healthy, independent people. It is precisely when we lack solid, supportive relationships that we turn inward and become insecure. Belonging is as fundamental a human need as autonomy.
  • Bringing our full selves to work, our strengths and vulnerabilities, ideas and questions, would be neither an achievement nor a privilege. It would be a gift that we receive and give in turn.
  • Seen this way, insecurity is neither a flaw nor a drive. It is a byproduct of a workplace culture in which individualism is rampant, relationships are instrumental, and bias goes unquestioned. 
  • To accept and overcome insecurity, we rather need to stop caring too much about each other and start to care more for each other, and for the place we work in.

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