Do you often feel insecure or struggle with negative self-talk and low confidence? If these emotions sound familiar, you may be interested in exploring some of the root causes of insecurity. While we all experience setbacks and moments of doubt, understanding why we feel this way can help us identify more productive ways to handle it. In this blog post, our experts dive into the science behind insecurity, discussing stressors that trigger insecurity, how genetics play a role in perceptions of ourselves and others, and the significance of mental health on security levels. Keep reading if you want to learn more!
Root Causes of Insecurity
A. Lack of Access to Resources
Financial insecurity is a problem that affects many in our society as the cost of necessities like food, housing, and healthcare continues to rise. The root cause of this perpetual financial instability often lies in the resource disparities between different members of society. Those who need access to opportunities for good jobs, high-quality education, and health care have an increased risk of becoming financially unstable due to these inequitable resources.
We must level out these discrepancies to ensure economic wellbeing by providing equitable access to these essential resources.
B. Low Wages & Unstable Employment
Low wages and unstable employment are significant causes of financial insecurity for many individuals. In these times of economic uncertainty, people with low wages struggle to make it from paycheck to paycheck. Such workers often lack the primary safety net of benefits like health insurance and retirement plans, creating a constant feeling of financial stress.
Furthermore, as jobs become increasingly unsteady or are moved overseas or replaced by automation, financial security becomes even more challenging. This combination of low pay and job instability leads to chronically insecure households lacking savings– leaving them highly vulnerable whenever an unexpected expense arises.
C. Unequal Distribution of Wealth
Unequal distribution of wealth is increasingly becoming the norm in many countries, and its effects have been especially damaging to those of lower socioeconomic status. Financial insecurity has become a pressing issue, as high-earners are leaving everyone else farther and farther behind in accessing resources and opportunities. An unprecedented financial instability makes it even more difficult for individuals to access the basics they need to survive and lead happy productive lives.
As more people suffer due to this trend, it’s becoming increasingly clear that addressing the root causes of income inequality is essential if we achieve sustainable economic security for all.
D. Unemployment & Underemployment
Unemployment and underemployment are two of the root causes of financial insecurity, which can significantly affect a person’s life. Without secure employment, individuals may struggle to afford essential household bills or necessary items, leading to greater hardship and even homelessness in extreme circumstances.
Employers who provide good working conditions and the security of a full-time job are vital for reducing financial insecurity. It is also important to recognize that underemployment can be as damaging as unemployment and strive to ensure that all available workers are given access to secure living-wage jobs. Only then will people, families and communities feel genuinely confident in their finances.
Social & Psychological Insecurity
A. Loneliness & Isolation
Today, it is becoming increasingly apparent that loneliness and isolation are deeply rooted causes of various social and psychological insecurities. When individuals do not have a robust support system within their communities or social circles, they may become disconnected, highly stressed, and even fearful. Undeniably, this can lead to an array of other issues, such as depression, lack of self-confidence, the inability to communicate with others effectively and performance issues at work or school.
As we strive for a healthier and more cohesive society, we must create an environment wherein everyone is included, respected and embraced for who they are. We must actively bring people together, so everyone feels that sense of human connection essential for our wellbeing.
B. Discrimination & Harassment
Discrimination and harassment are outlawed in many countries, but it persists within societies all over the world. Underlying prejudices and biases stop people from living life to their fullest potential and prevent them from feeling secure. Such denying of social and psychological security makes individuals targeted by this behavior internalize these negative feelings, leading to lasting conditions such as anxiety, eating disorders, depression and other psychosocial ailments.
These painful illnesses can be avoided if steps were taken at an institutional level to thwart discrimination and harassment. Still, it seems like these ugly forms of oppression are often never truly rooted out.
C. Abuse & Trauma
Abuse and trauma cause ongoing ripples of insecurity and hardship in many areas. Those affected can struggle with trust issues, fear, and anxiety that carry through into relationships and work environments. Without proper help, victims may be stuck in cycles of destructive behaviors or a lack of self-esteem that holds them back from achieving their potential.
It’s crucial to recognize the profound impact abuse has on individuals and find ways to support those experiencing such pain emotionally and mentally. Destigmatizing seeking mental health help is one important step toward allowing people impacted by childhood trauma to move forward with greater awareness and hope.
D. Low Self-Esteem & Self-Worth
Low self-esteem and self-worth can devastate an individual’s mental and emotional wellbeing. When these issues are not addressed, social and psychological insecurity can grow in its place. Believing that one is not worthy or capable of anything can lead to an inability to pursue goals that are usually achievable.
This lack of confidence can be seen in a reluctance to form meaningful relationships, try out for new opportunities, or take risks in life generally. To combat this deep sense of worthlessness, it is necessary to start by creating a positive outlook and taking small steps to make oneself more physically and mentally secure.
E. Mental Illness, Substance Abuse, or Addiction
Mental illness, substance abuse and addiction are serious issues that often lead to social and psychological insecurity for those affected. One significant consequence of such conditions is that the sufferer isolates themselves from friends, family, and longer-term support networks. This isolation can be further compounded by a lack of understanding of what the sufferer is going through, leading to feelings of being misunderstood or alienated.
As such, mental illness and the like can devastate an individual’s sense of security. Therefore, those diagnosed with these challenging conditions must receive professional care and emotional support to foster a sense of wellbeing, security and social connectedness.
F. Media Influences
Studies have demonstrated that media influences can play a significant role in developing social and psychological insecurity. Exposure to certain types of media, whether books, movies, or television programs, can expose individuals to specific anxieties and expectations, which can eventually become their own.
Further research has revealed that people who consume more media generally have lower self-esteem, increased feelings of insecurity, and are more likely to experience depression or anxiety. It is important to recognize the power of media influence to combat its damaging effects on our mental health.
A. Poor Education & Access to Information
Access to quality education and reliable sources of information is essential for any nation’s security. Though the origins of institutional insecurity can be complex, poor education and access to information serve as root causes in many countries. When citizens lack the knowledge to participate in their society or make informed decisions meaningfully, it can create conditions ripe with conflict and instability.
Thus, providing access to quality education and reliable information reduces institutional insecurity. Efforts to address structural inequities through increased access will ultimately contribute to greater security while establishing a more just nation.
B. Unfair Laws & Regulations
Unfair laws and regulations are a root cause of institutional insecurity, pointing towards the notion that a lack of attention is paid to an equal representation of all parties under the law. Often, these laws are implemented without consideration of how they target specific groups disproportionately. When applying the law, institutional insecurity ensues, and regulation is seen as unjust and unequally enforced.
Amendments have been put in place to further infringement on individuals who may have their rights neglected about the implementation of any given law or regulation; however, it is clear that there remains room for reform when it comes to establishing equitable representation across different identities within effects made by legislation.
C. Political & Governmental Dysfunction
Political and governmental dysfunction is a major issue facing our society today. This is because systemic feelings of insecurity, usually brought on by policy decisions being made without proper disclosure or evaluation, are increasingly prevalent across institutions. Political and government leaders often need clear goals of how their decisions will affect the public, leaving many feeling vulnerable to the whims of those in power.
This has caused a drop in public confidence and trust in governments to properly serve their citizens’ interests, leading to an overall sense of insecurity within institutions throughout society. Undoubtedly, political and governmental dysfunction stands as a primary driver of institutional insecurity – one that must be addressed if meaningful progress is going to be made throughout our world today.
D. Exploitation of Vulnerable Populations
Institutional insecurity is a significant problem, especially in developing countries. Sadly, the exploitation of vulnerable populations often lies at its root cause. All too often, marginalized individuals lack the power to challenge their mistreatment, leading to significant physical, psychological and economic suffering for those with little control over their daily lives.
To reduce institutional insecurity, these vulnerable populations must be protected from abuse and given the autonomy to address their individual needs without fear of retribution. Moreover, this will also benefit society since every person has an important stake in creating security within their community.
E. Lack of Accountability & Transparency
Institutional insecurity is a rising problem, and its root cause can be attributed to organizations’ lack of accountability and transparency. With the proper checks and balances, departments are held responsible for their actions, which creates a culture of inaction. Furthermore, when there is no transparency in the workplace, chaos and distrust reign as coworkers cannot rely on accurate data from each other or their leaders.
With this sense of security, workers may feel safe from their duties, leading to an overall decrease in productivity. To create secure institutions, accountability and transparency must be established early on so that employees know who they are working for has a clear system of rewards and punishments for their efforts.
F. Systemic Oppression & Discrimination
Systemic oppression and discrimination are deeply ingrained into and inherent to our society. These oppressive systems create institutional insecurity by creating an environment where marginalized individuals have limited access to proper resources, such as education, job opportunities, and legal protection.
This can negatively impact the quality of life for those in lower socioeconomic statuses and minority communities due to systemic disadvantages built over time. Institutional insecurity stands between marginalized individuals and economic advancement opportunities- they remain oppressed, unable to work out of it. If we want to enact lasting societal change, we must strive to correct these systemic imbalances and remove barriers that may stand between minorities and economic or personal emancipation.
G. Ineffective Social Safety Nets
The ongoing reality of widespread social and institutional insecurity signifies that not enough is being done to provide safety nets to those in need. It’s clear that when nations fail to establish systems of comprehensive social protection, low-income households are among the most affected by poverty, inequality, and instability. Access to essential services like healthcare, housing, education and emergency support for those struggling becomes challenging as funds are reallocated elsewhere. Individuals can avoid financial crises or become trapped in long-term deprivation with effective safety nets.
Ultimately, this inadequate allocation of resources translates into wider-reaching costs for societies and governments trying to create a more just society.
It’s not always easy to identify the root causes of our insecurity, but it is essential to try. Once we understand where our insecurities come from, we can begin to work on addressing them. If you’re struggling with insecurity, know that you’re not alone, and help is available. Reach out to a therapist or counselor who can assist you in exploring your insecurities and developing healthy coping mechanisms.