We are all in pain to a greater or lesser degree, but most of us find our own way of working around it so that we can get on with our lives.
However, our lives would be much richer and fuller if we could identify the pain of our insecurity and relieve it. Then we wouldn't have to overcompensate any more. But that takes know how. It also takes time, effort and courage. In the meantime, we are in pain. We have had this pain so long that we cannot even feel it anymore, but it is down there just the same.
We can begin to get to know ourselves better by reflecting on some questions such as:
What are your regrets and mistakes?
There is no such thing as a perfect person. To be human is to be imperfect, to be imperfect means we make mistakes and to make mistakes means we have regrets. Regret is the wish that things were other than they are. But they aren't. This thing happened, and it's regrettable.
You can live with the regret that you are less than perfect. Your imperfections are not crimes. You are not a guilty criminal worthy of punishment. You can replace your fictitious guilt with the regret that you aren't perfect, which only confirms your humanity.
There is no way to prevent imperfect human beings from being imperfect. You can take reasonable precautions, but beyond a certain point, your good intention to 'prevent' becomes counter-productive. You, like all humans, have limitations and make mistakes. Coming to accept both your assets and struggles is a key to open the door of self-discovery.
What do you see when you look at yourself in the mirror?
Many people wish that they were better than they are. Here's what's wrong with it: "When we say life will better if __" or "I will be better when___", we imply we are worse now. When we feel lesser, it's difficult to strive to achieve our best. This desire sets us up to feel that we are not good enough. We feel inadequate when comparing our appearance to others. We imagine that we will respect ourselves more after we have weight loss, boob job, face lift or hair transplant.
In reality, no one can take away your self-respect, but you. Self-respect is not contingent on your ability to be a perfect. Self-respect is accepting that you are a worthwhile human being who is unconditionally lovable despite what others' say or how you look.