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Managing Your Insecurity

Accepting the human condition and coping with it (Installment 2)

This post is part of a series. Check out Installment 1 before moving to the below.

In yesterday’s article, I set expectations that self-doubt is a part of life. But just acknowledging your insecurity isn’t enough to help you get ahead in the world.

Below are some methods I use for managing my imposter syndrome. Without completely overcoming self-doubt, here are ways to lessen its impact on your emotional state, so you can focus on doing good work today.

When insecurity hits…

1. Play the future game

This is the most gimmicky solution I’ll mention, but it has been a boon to my mental health, especially in stressful situations.

I’m about to do something really hard, or scary, or downright unpleasant. I imagine myself a month from now. Is that future version of myself bogged down by this issue? The answer is almost always no. This helps put my feelings into perspective.

2. Get real honest about other people’s interests

Can you think of the last time you spend days, weeks, or months thinking about someone else’s failures?

While I am meticulously obsessing over my own flaws, I am NOT meticulously obsessing over other people’s flaws. Guess what? They aren’t obsessing over me either.

The reality is that you care way more about yourself than anyone else cares about you. This might feel really depressing, but it is also liberating. The embarrassing moments and big mess ups that keep me up at night don’t even register with 99% of the people in my life.

That interview you tanked? It was a blip in the calendar of the hiring manager, and they’ve already moved on.

This has allowed me to release my past mistakes more easily so that I can focus on the future instead of wallowing in my failures.

3. Compartmentalize

Insecurity is a distraction. It eats up brain power that you could use on being awesome right now.

Instead of trying to overcome your insecurity, find a way to put it aside. Don’t examine it too closely, or find a very specific time to examine it. Focus on the job at hand.

This isn’t overcoming your fear, but it is putting it on a box on the shelf until you have time for it.

Boxes in a warehouse
Don't let negative feelings clutter your mind. Put your self-doubt aside and focus on good work now.


These three tips are ways to move forward despite your insecurity.

Next we’ll explore how to build up your confidence so you don’t have to trick your mind into ignoring these bad thoughts.


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