According to Dan Baker, Ph.D. and co-author of the book, What Happy People Know (Rodale Inc., 2003), an abiding sense of security has been determined to be one of the top twelve contributing factors to a FabYOUlous life. That being the case, it is important that we define what exactly is meant by security. For some people, a sense of security comes from having enough money in the bank to weather a financial crisis. Others find security in their relationship status, outward appearance, social status etc. While there is nothing inherently wrong with any of these factors, they each fall short when it comes to understanding the meaning of a true and lasting sense of security.
While our surroundings, relationships and possessions can all make us feel secure, true security has little to do with external forces. Instead, true and lasting security comes from a sense of grounding and inner peace that abides regardless of what external forces are at play. It comes from understanding that we live fragile lives in a chaotic world and yet maintaining the ability to deal with whatever circumstances arise–despite the uncertainty that surrounds us. A true sense of security boils down to our ability to trust that we have within us, the fortitude of spirit to handle whatever situation comes our way.
While we can all find great peace of mind knowing that we have money in the bank for a rainy day, a loving relationship with our significant other and a comfortable home in which to raise our family, it is the inner knowledge that we could survive (and even thrive) even if those conditions were not present that creates a true sense of security.
Though every human being on the planet experiences occasional moments of insecurity (some more than others) it is possible to cultivate a stronger sense of security in your life. Try these five powerful exercises to help develop a stronger sense of security and personal resilience. As your sense of security rises, so too will the level of FabYOUlousness in your life.
5 Exercises to Strengthen Your Sense of Security
1.) Examine Your Core Beliefs: We all have firmly held core beliefs that we have developed over the years. These beliefs develop over time, are largely shaped by our past experiences and whether we realize it or not, they influence our thoughts, behaviors and emotions. Unfortunately, these core beliefs are often flat-out wrong. For example, a core belief that you’ll never amount to anything, may prevent you from applying for your dream job; or a core belief that all of the good guys are taken, may keep you from accepting a date with your future spouse. In this way, core beliefs often become unfortunate self-fulfilling prophecies.
Take some time to identify and evaluate your core beliefs. Modifying negative core beliefs requires purposeful intention, focused attention and hard work, however; doing so can drastically alter the course of your life and place you on a FabYOUlously positive trajectory. Modifying negative core beliefs can also help you to become more self reliant and therefore less swayed by external conditions.
2.) Stop Wasting Your Brain Power: Worrying about things that we can’t control is such a waste of one of our most valuable personal resources–our brain power. When we waste our mental energy ruminating about things that we can’t control, we will have less energy for positive, productive and creative endeavors. For example, if a major storm is forecasted for your region, there is no sense worrying about it because your worry will have no effect on whether or not the storm manifests. Instead, focus your energy on preparing for the storm–something that is well within your control.
By preserving your mental energy for productive tasks such as problem solving or goal setting, you are training your mind to find solutions and be adaptable. This in turn, will develop within you a mental toughness that will result in a greater personal sense of security.
3.) Learn to Tolerate Discomfort: Having a strong sense of security doesn’t mean that you don’t experience negative emotions. In fact, security comes in large part from the ability to be acutely aware of your emotions so that you can make the best choice as to how to respond to them. A strong sense of security stems from the ability to recognize and accept your emotions without becoming controlled or overwhelmed by them. For example, if you experience high anxiety when it comes to trying new things or accepting new opportunities, try challenging yourself by taking a step outside of your comfort zone. Some discomfort is often a precursor for greater gain and learning to tolerate that discomfort will help you to feel more competent and secure in the long run. Tolerating uncomfortable emotions or situations takes some practice but it is one of the quickest ways to develop your personal sense of security.
4.) Work to Eliminate Distractions: It is difficult to feel secure when you are stressed out about your job, finances, relationships etc. Your sense of security should not be dependent upon these things but let’s face it…life tends to be much easier when these elements of life are in alignment with our values and desires. If your lack of job security is distracting you from your greater purpose, put some time and energy into refreshing your resume and networking with colleagues. If your relationship with your spouse is difficult, make an appointment with a marriage counselor. Taking proactive action to minimize the negative effects of these external forces will give you a greater sense of control and help you to focus on internal states of contentment, perseverance and resiliency–all of which lead to a stronger sense of security.
5.) Reflect Upon and Celebrate Your Progress: In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it is often difficult to take time for quiet reflection. Still…reflecting upon our progress in any area of life is one of the surest ways to ensure positive progress. At the end of each day, ask yourself what you’ve learned about your thoughts, emotions and behaviors. What steps have you taken to further develop a sense of true and lasting security in your life? As you identify positive thoughts and behaviors, be sure to celebrate them.
Going through these steps and following this process might not yield immediate results as feelings of insecurity are often deeply rooted and difficult to overcome; however, by gradually using these techniques, you’ll begin to understand that true security is not based upon shakeable, external circumstances but rather upon a strong sense of self and one’s ability to to be resilient in the face of adversity or change. Following these steps will help to cultivate that resiliency, thereby instilling a strong and unbreakable sense of security in your FabYOUlous life.