(March 21st to April 19th)
Convincing yourself that if you ever give up your adventurous, nonstop, always-on-the-move lifestyle, that you will lose all sense of identity. You’ve always been known as the exciting and spontaneous one, so you start to feel really insecure when you slow down for a little while, because you worry that no one will find you interesting anymore or that you’ll no longer have a strong sense of self.
How to help yourself: Stop thinking of adventure as such a black and white thing. Traveling the world and taking on daring activities is great, but you can be just as adventurous when you stay in one place, as long as you’re always trying new things and saying ‘yes’ to stuff that intimidates you.
(April 20th to May 21st)
Believing that if you pause for a moment and take care of yourself for once, instead of putting everyone else first, that your loved ones will be angry with you or will lose their trust in you. You take pride in the fact that you’re warm and dependable to everyone around you, so ‘choosing yourself’ every once in a while makes you feel nervous and self-conscious.
How to help yourself: Remember that love is two-sided. Go easy on yourself! It’s wonderful (and rare) to be such a kindhearted and tender person, but taking care of yourself doesn’t mean you’re deserting the people you care about. They want you to be happy and healthy as much as you want that for them.
(May 22nd to June 21st)
Letting someone see you outside of your typical carefree, lighthearted, composed manner. You feel most confident when you’re light and happy and making other people laugh. But because you’re human, you have your anxious and uncertain moments too, and nothing makes you feel more insecure than someone seeing you being vulnerable.
How to help yourself: Stop convincing yourself that people need you to be ‘on’ all the time. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be a fun, bright spot for the people around you, but no one can be 100% joyful and high-spirited all the time. Give yourself some slack and make yourself remember that your friends and family will still love you in the dark moments.
(June 22nd to July 22nd)
Feeling like your sympathetic and emotional nature gets on the nerves of others. Because you’re an intuitive person and are used to reading people, you can sometimes lean to far into your own perceptions and assume people are more irritated with you than they actually are.
How to help yourself: Don’t let your thoughts get away from you. Because you’re a empathetic person, it’s easy to get overly worried about the thoughts and opinions of others, but you just have to work on coming to terms with the fact that the best you can do is be a good partner, family member, and friend – and that the rest is out of your control.
(July 23rd to August 22nd)
You tend to derive a lot (or sometimes, all) of your self-worth from your achievements and successes. Your motivation, work ethic, and creativity are some of the most positive things about you, but the insecurity comes when you place all of your weight on succeeding and being the best and you end up failing – because you often unintentionally trick yourself into believing that failure means you are unloveable.
How to help yourself: Continue working hard and striving to be the best and don’t feel bad about it. But also remind yourself on a constant basis that you are human, you aren’t perfect, and it’s more important that you are trying than it is that you are always succeeding. Your worth comes from working hard and putting yourself out there, not from being flawless.
(August 23rd to September 22nd)
Order and purpose give you a sense of calm and control, so you feel self-conscious when you feel like you’re not being of use in some way. When you’re at a party, you need to be the one refilling the chips basket and asking people if they need refills, even if it’s not your house. When you’re out to dinner catching up with an old friend, you love to ask them questions about their life but feel instantly anxious when they ask you what’s new with you, convinced that you’re boring them. You’re always uncertain about hanging out with people and only bringing ‘you.’
How to help yourself: It’s going to take some time, but you need to start getting in the mindset of ‘people like me for me.‘ There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be supportive, helpful, and considerate, but friendship is about enjoying one another’s company, not what you can get out of the relationship. Start only hanging out with people who make you feel loved for you, not for what you can do for them.
(September 23rd to October 22nd)
Nothing makes you feel more insecure or out of place than someone who doesn’t immediately like you or warm up to you. You’re used to being the peace maker, the bring-together person, the one everybody looks to when it comes to deciding plans. And no matter how many people like you, when there’s someone who’s a little bit cold to you, you just can’t let it go.
How to help yourself: You have to come to terms with the fact that not everyone is going to like you. You don’t have to like this fact, but you have to acknowledge it. Sometimes, people just aren’t going to click, and instead of obsessing over your relationship with this person, focus on how lucky you are that’s it’s actually noticeable to you when one person doesn’t absolutely adore you.
(October 23rd to November 22nd)
Knowledge and information is what makes you feel confident, certain, and sure of yourself. So when you feel like you’re out of the loop, or you don’t know where to go from here, or you’re uncertain of where your career or relationship or anything else in your life is headed, you feel totally lost and uncomfortable in your own skin.
How to help yourself: Start having a little more faith in yourself! There’s no way you’re ever going to know absolutely everything, no way you’re ever going to know with 100% certainty what the next best step is for you at this moment in time. But when you can take solace in is the fact that you are a smart individual, you have good instincts, and you’re too tough to be easily discouraged.
(November 23rd to December 21st)
You feel immense pressure to be the happy, optimistic, encouraging person for everyone, all of the time. You constantly worry that if you’re not upbeat, clever, and full of good advice for anyone at any moment, that you’ll be rejected or unwanted or simply unnecessary.
How to help yourself: Be human. Surround yourself with people who love you enough to let you be human. If you allow yourself to become blindly optimistic, you’re only going to hurt yourself (and others) in the long run. So don’t apologize for wanting to be a helpful and encouraging presence to those around you, but remember that sometimes it’s okay to be down, or to be wrong, or to be uncertain.
(December 22nd to January 20th)
You have a wonderfully silly side to you, but you only feel confident when you’re completely put-together, calm, and reserved. The ‘not a hair out of place’ type of presence is what you’re convinced you have to give off if you want to feel confident and comfortable around others. You feel most insecure when you let loose, play around, or let someone see you being something other than poised and control.
How to help yourself: Seriously, let your hair down. Wanting to make a good impression and to be put-together is not a bad thing to aim for, but you have to stop treating yourself like a two-dimensional character in a bad television show. Laugh, have some fun, throw back a few beers if you’re in the mood. No one is going to think any less of you for being less-than-serious for a minute.
(January 21st to February 18th)
You feel uncomfortable and embarrassed when you care about things. You’re highly afraid of admitting that you badly want something, in case you end up failing or not achieving it, so you feel more confident by just pretending to be fairly detached about most things in your life – your career, your hobbies, your relationships, whatever. It scares you to admit that there’s something out there that you greatly desire.
How to help yourself: Force yourself to acknowledge that you’re never going to get anything you really want if you pretend not to want it, because you’re just going to get in your own way. Stop apologizing or feeling insecure for trying, for wanting something more – and just go for it. Let the naysayers complain and judge from their pedestals, and be the one to actually try something for once. You’ll feel so much more joy and life inside of you, even if you fail.
(February 19th to March 20th)
You have a really hard time with criticism. Even if it’s constructive, it takes you a long time to get over it and a lot of effort to not beat yourself up. Your sensitivity can be a huge asset, but it can also make you feel incredibly fragile and susceptible to judgment or gossip.
How to help yourself: Continue to be compassionate to others, even when you don’t receive it in return. Compassion is in your nature and behaving that way, no matter what, will make you feel the most like yourself. Be okay with your sensitivity, by understanding that even though it often feels like a weakness, it can often be one of the best qualities about you too.
By Kim Quindlen