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The first year can be one of the best years of your relationship with someone or it can be the most difficult. You’re entrusting your heart and investing your time, effort, and, sometimes, money into a person whom you are very much still getting to know. And well, that is scary. It’s no secret that people are out here living foul. Social media will never fail to serve you with constant reminders of this fact. People will cheat on you. People will disrespect you. People will violate you and then play the victim. People will lie. People will hide whole-a** families from you. People will seek to emotionally manipulate you.

The prospect of being done wrong by a new partner is anxiety-inducing, especially if you’ve had a traumatic past experience. Additionally,  when you struggle with feelings of inadequacy, the stress and worry compile. But if establishing a healthy and loving relationship is something you aspire towards, then it’s also necessary to keep in mind that there are good people out there as well and not every story ends in heartache. Struggling with insecurity does not mean that your new relationship is doomed, it just means that you’ll have to put in some self-work to get those thoughts in check. Here’s how:

Seek the help of a professional

When we think of mental health counselors, we think that they’re only available to treat mental illnesses; however, there are well-qualified therapists who specialize in relationships and can help to guide you through the process of managing your insecurities and anxiety concerning your relationships. A therapist may recommend different cognitive-behavioral techniques for working through thoughts that breed feelings of insecurity.

Use a journal

Anxious thoughts are so powerful because they can cause you to act on imagined threats. Getting insecure thoughts out of your head and writing them down on paper can make them less powerful and help you to regain perspective. Additionally, following up by writing down the reasons you feel this way can help you to recognize that your concerns are unfounded. For example, if you’ve been feeling particularly concerned about your partner and his co-worker, write down your fears. Then, write down the reasons that you feel that way. It is usually at this point that you begin to realize that your concerns are less about anything that your partner or their colleague has done and more the result of internal issues.

“Oftentimes, simply going through the process of writing in your thought diary helps you ferret out important insights,” explained Dr. Barbara Markaway for Psychology Today. “It certainly takes practice and patience, and if you persist, you’ll become adept at noticing your thoughts and seeing the connections to your anxiety.”

Do a self-check before you act

One of the greatest challenges of struggling with insecurity in a relationship is not acting on or every unfounded fear that crosses your mind. When you know you’re a person who struggles in this area, it is important to do self-checks, especially when confronting a partner in an accusatory manner.

Build yourself up

Investing in yourself is not only a way to raise your self-esteem, but it can also be a good distraction When you have too much free time on your hands, it’s easy for insecure thoughts to become more powerful and overwhelming. Investing in yourself can be as simple as picking up a new hobby or setting a fitness goal or as major as going back to school or starting a new business.

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