how do you truly overcome insecurities? when will i stop needing this validation?

i believe i suffer from body dismorphia, which has been negatively impacting the way interact socially. recently, physical touch has become a trigger— whether its myself or someone else, when i feel my body being touched i am immediately sent into shock and disgust. i’m constantly fixated on other people’s perception of myself, what they think of me. constantly comparing my body to everyone around me. i cannot stop, its a habit.
Asked by danbob
Answered
10/21/2021

Almost everyone is dealing with some fears, patterns of anger, criticism, self-sabotage, guilt, shame, and self-hatred; that is why overcoming insecurity is a challenge each and every one of us must face, particularly when we are tasked with traumatic stressors and events and situations in our past. You start by exploring the reasons for your need for validation, perhaps there are some limiting beliefs at the subconscious level manifesting some needs you are apparently striving to meet. Some action steps will involve personal forgiveness and acceptance, dialoguing/journaling your desires, and learning mindfulness techniques. It is always good practice to start addressing body dysmorphic disorder-BDD with a full medical evaluation by your primary care physician to rule out other medical conditions and maybe medications when necessary and or psychiatric hospitalization. Then you can follow it up by exploring some possible strategies for dealing with insecurities with CBT- cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT will help you explore and process troubling and risky situations in your life. These may include but not limited to childhood trauma, separation, divorce, business failure, financial loss, grief, anger, resentment, self-hatred, regret, bitterness, self-criticism, and self-judgment. CBT may help you deal with BDD and self-esteem issues and insecurities by exploring your beliefs, perceptions, the outlook in life, your self-talk, the meanings and interpretations you give to situations and events in your world. CBT may be useful for you to learn how to increase your awareness of your thoughts, emotions, feelings, patterns of actions, and understanding the consequences of your actions, through value classifications. Cognitive-behavioral therapy-CBT for body dysmorphic disorder may help you learn the impact of negative thoughts, on emotional reactions and behavior choices as well as understanding ways of challenging automatic negative thoughts about your body image and learning more about social isolation and the inherent dangers. Yet other strategies involve you learning how to be kind to yourself, how to love yourself and forgive yourself for everything that has happened to you in the past. It will interest you to learn that we are all responsible for our experiences in life. So, learn to take ownership and responsibility for your restoration and healing. Check-in into yourself, there may be a need to explore ways of connecting with some form of support persons, systems, and or groups. You do need to avoid isolation as much as possible. Next, you work on changing /replacing the meanings, interpretations you give to events and occurrences in your life. The key understanding/ foundation of recovery from insecurities is a willingness to start taking consistent little steps with your plans and goals. Some of these actions include gratitude journaling /writing, radical acceptance, and forgiveness; writing goodbye/forgiveness letters to anyone that have hurt you, completing such journaling/writing exercises as “grieve sentence completion”; exploring pleasant imageries that involves your desired outcomes.

(MA, LPC, LCDC)