I can honestly say I’ve looked at this in depth for twenty some years. I have two daughters, both raised in similar ways and both so individual they are almost opposites in their outward securities. The oldest is meek, mild, quiet, deep, understanding beyond words and very insecure with herself almost to a fault, while the other is just like I was once I came to age, afraid of nothing, headlong into the fray and willing to take on any challenge set in front of me with purpose and authority. Needless to say my youngest daughter has always ranked as an ‘over achiever’ while my oldest has been quite content to settle into the challenges of kids and family not seemingly worrying about much, I can only liken her to a hippy stuck in the wrong time. I love both of dearly and support both of them with all my heart and soul regardless of their differences.<br />
Personally when I was young I was very self-conscious, shy and a ‘pleaser’. I was the cute kid that all the older women would pinch my cheek and want to kiss me with wrinkled lips and red lipstick gobbed on their faces … yuk. It was when I hit puberty, still a really good looking kid that was thoughtful, insightful, kind but also boxed and enjoyed rough sports that I came out of my shell. That’s because my peers accepted me, especially girls. It was encouraging and allowed me to see that I was able and capable and I took on an entire different persona to the point of being an example and a leader amongst my peers. I let my kind side rule me and used my tough aggressiveness in a constant hunt for bullies that picked on kids simply because they were different. I was revered as tough, but not in the jock list. They stayed a mile away from me because, for the most part, they were the bullies in school and I had zero tolerance or fear of letting them know it wasn’t going to happen in front of me. After all that I was really well accepted by everyone. No more insecurities and it felt great. <br />
Of course in the dark recesses of certain nights we all resort to our insecurities and question them along with our fears. The world and just the way we have pressured ourselves in this society manifest fear as a common element.<br />
I believe all personality traits are to some degree genetic, simply because they exist and secondly because they seem to show up at such a young age. How they play out in your life though is environmental and part self-determined. <br />
Your experiences up to the age of puberty are everything in molding your psychological responses to the world and people in it. A negative upbringing will result in damage to a person’s esteem. I can’t say I had the ideal up bringing having a mother that was to some degree affected by a mental illness, five kids, little income and a father that was never there because he had to work two jobs. I seem to have learned and taken value about the things I saw and felt that were negative in our family dynamics and gone forward ensuring that my life was NOT going to be like that. So many of my siblings were really terribly affected by it and still struggle today with personal challenges as a result. Bottom line everything that touches either the creation of your life or its course determines your psychological profile but it’s the courage you have to stand up against the negative feelings that determines your level of insecurity.<br />
Problem being, today that we face bigger challenges. We are professionally marketed to feel insecure if we don’t act in certain ways, dress in certain ways and buy certain products. That’s a pressure that is molding anyone of the past two decades of TV/radio and other media and has a terrible effect on self-esteem. All for the profits of a CEO and his board members. That in my opinion is criminal and I can’t even begin to consider the amount of misery it’s spawned and loss of young life it has taken from all of us.
Do you think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned perfectionism? High-achievers (which I would certainly class you as being) seem to always go into every circumstance with the intent to reach a perfect outcome.
It must bring on so much personal stress and pressure entering into something new or an immediate situation that arises.
I can say that I strive for perfectionism in everything I do but I've come to terms with entering into it without stressing about it understanding that for every moment in the past I've worried about an outcome being negative - it's so seldom materialized that the worrying is pointless.
I can't say how many times I've ran situations in my head that might happen and what I'd say and do only to find out when the time comes it isn't an issue or problem that actually materialized. I guess I just got fedup with worrying for nothing and I'm able to 'go with the flow' as it progresses now and just dig in deeper when I am confronted with challenges without pre-worrying about them...(If pre-worrying is actually a word.)
It would be good to hear what a lot of other people feel about this though because I don't think there's a person it doesn't affect in some way.
I think its a defense mechanism.
You are obviously insecure from being hurt in the past. Its your mind's of telling your heart to be cautious of what is ahead.
I think it has much to do with early years of life, upbringing and negative influences, plus hi percentage heredity factors.
A little of both. Depending on your order of birth..ie middle children can be more insecure. Mostly the die is cast you can see it in the babies eyes.
Y i think theres a whole religion built on in the womb experiences affecting a persons makeup.
I'm no shrink, but this ain't my rodeo. the core issue is self-esteem. actions define character. do what's cool, if they don't dig it, they're un-cool