If you claimed to be totally confident on a date, I’d question your honesty. The truth is, it’s a challenge to go on a date and not have your insecurities rise to the surface. The fear of rejection has a knack at rearing its ugly head in the vulnerable experience of dating. But, in order to find love, you have to subject yourself to the possibility of rejection. The trick is not to let your insecurities get the best of you, and possibly ruin an amazing date.
Here are a few tips to help calm your fears and feel confident.
Own your insecurities.
Figure out what you’re really afraid of. What parts of yourself are you ashamed of? What do you think you need to hide? Most of the time, your fears are just a story you’ve created in your mind. It might sound like this… if I show this person that I am not this way (insert your “way” here… smart enough, skinny enough, successful enough, etc) then I will not be loved. Ask yourself where you learned this belief. I guarantee you weren’t born with it. You learned it… which means you can unlearn it. But first, you must know it. And once you know it, you learn to love it or let it go.
You are YOU. Bottom line. There is no one like you. If you are hiding who you are, your perfect love can’t find you. What are you hiding? Who are you afraid to be? What if you believed you had nothing to hide? Everything about you is perfectly imperfect. Your “flaws” could be your greatest asset if you learn to embrace them, just as you embrace your strengths. There is no perfect. The key to ridding yourself of insecurities is to have the courage to be authentic and lighthearted about your so called “imperfections.”
Practice makes perfect.
Dating is a numbers game. The more dates you have, the more confident you will become. It’s worth it to push yourself to keep dating, even when you feel uncomfortable. Think about it. There is nothing you do in your life that you haven’t had to practice at, right? Whether it’s some skill at your job, or walking or talking, you’ve had to practice. You may have had some falls and mistakes along the way, but you learned. Dating is not different. Plus, you’ll become a sleuth at detecting the right kind of partner for you. You’ll know who’s worth your attention once you’ve had several dates to compare.
Be the Chooser, not the Chosen.
There are 7.5 billion people on this planet. If someone doesn’t like who you are, there will be another who will. Focus on this mindset shift of abundance, and your insecurities will become less of a focus. People have a tendency to go into dating with the fear of being rejected. Hoping you will be accepted by a partner leaves you in a state of powerlessness. It can put you into a feeling of insecurity and fear. Instead, focus on this idea…”there are so many potential mates in the world, I have unlimited choices. If one doesn’t fit with me, I’ll find another.” When you shift your mindset into believing you are the one in charge of choosing a partner, vs. being the one who is ultimately chosen by a partner, you gain power. And power will help you feel more secure.
Keep your anxious mind calm.
If you have a tendency to feel very anxious around dating, it can help to develop a regular practice of meditation and mindfulness practices. This can help your brain find a calm baseline to return to when your insecurities begin to flare. A calm mind will give you a lot of mileage when it comes to dating.
By keeping your brain calm, shifting your mindset, and finding the courage to be authentic, your insecurities will have less power. You will gain the ability to show up in authentic ways on dates and in relationships. This will help lead you to a partner who is equally authentic, unafraid, and able to embrace his or her own insecurities, as well as help you conquer your own. And that, my friend, is love.