Psychological safety: developing your sense of inner confidence as an adult

12 May, 2023

Psychological safety

Develop their sense of security and inner confidence, as an adult

“Anxiety is the evil of the century! »

Surely you have heard something like this or read somewhere that anxiety is increasingly affecting children and adolescents. But it is also present for us, young (and not so young) adults .

To experience less anxiety, you must first feel safe. And what is security? It is first and foremost a feeling (an assessment and awareness of the dangers).

Do I feel safe in my hometown, in my house, in my family or in my workplace? In terms of physical security, usually it's fine.

But the question also arises in terms of psychological safety.

How do you ensure your psychological safety as an adult and how do you facilitate it within a group (at work or at home, for example)?

First, what is psychological safety? It is the ability to share ideas, emotions, questions and concerns without fear of personal repercussions (or the reaction of the other).

The psychological security we feel therefore has a lot to do with the emotional skills of the people around us, hence the importance of choosing the right life partner and workplace.

That said, creating a climate of psychological safety and benevolence is also something cultural, which can be modelled, learned and practiced!

  • In the teams (the family is also a team!) that we accompany, we first encourage authentic, even vulnerable exchanges.
  • It means being honest about our human experience , its ups and downs: our level of fatigue, our sadness, our grief and disappointment, our dreams, our values, our joys, our desires. Team members can therefore feel a sense of connection and closeness around their common experiences while at the same time accepting differences and the great diversity of experiences, points of view, realities, needs and emotions.
  • Normalizing universal human emotions and needs cultivates empathy: I may not "understand" or "share" the cause of your emotions, but I can remember, as a human, having felt that same emotion.
  • Finally, offering flexibility and autonomy makes it possible to honor this diversity and share responsibility. Thanks to a more flexible framework, everyone has a little more leeway to meet their needs while considering those of others! No need is denied or refused and we encourage ourselves to meet it within a reasonable time!

homeland security

Along with psychological safety within a group, we can question our own inner safety and ways to increase it. A psycho-educator I know recently spoke of the “alert level” in which we find ourselves.

For my part, I have thought a lot about my tendency to quickly go up in the curtain (put myself on high alert), the main sign that my inner security is troubled.

In my own experience, accepting all emotions has helped me a lot to react less negatively to certain so-called negative emotions and exposure to situations that are uncomfortable, but without real danger, has helped me to develop my self-confidence. and my ability to adapt. Yes yes, in adulthood!

Strategic introspection:

  • Am I confident in my ability to adapt? Am I afraid of certain sensations or emotions? Am I able to live my emotions , all my emotions without perceiving them as threatening, without reacting to silence or transform them?
  • Do I trust the world around me, am I continually envisioning the worst case scenario, preparing myself to be disappointed or unsettled? For what? Am I able to distinguish between a real risk and danger and a risk or danger amplified by my thoughts ?
  • Does the environment in which I currently find myself offer me benevolence and psychological security ?
  • Is this a sign of getting help or changing jobs ?
  • How could I create a benevolent and safe circle around me?

These are as many questions to ponder as courageous actions to take.

Psychological safety is also modeled to our children! From the perspective of reducing anxiety, turning to oneself is therefore an interesting first step.