It’s no fun to be self-conscious. This one of the reasons that drugs and alcohol are so attractive to some people. These substances decrease self-consciousness. Self-consciousness is the result of wanting to control the image other people have of you. Ask yourself why you even care in the first place.
Caring what others think is a natural, default condition. It’s a leftover from your school days. You’ve grown beyond that environment. It’s time to move on.
Embrace boldness and live your life on your own terms:
1. No one cares. That can be good news or bad news depending on your perspective. As soon as you catch yourself preoccupied with the thoughts and opinions of others, remind yourself that they’re too worried wondering what you’re thinking about them. Give yourself a break and relax. You’re being judged less than you think.
* Studies have shown that people pay attention about half as much as you think they do. For example, in one study, college students were asked to wear an embarrassing t-shirt into class and then guess how many of their fellow students noticed the t-shirt. The guesses were approximately two times higher than the actual result.
2. Failing to act or speak results in more regret than saying or doing something embarrassing. Embarrassing incidents never seem to be as traumatic as predicted. Your ego stings more when you hold back. It becomes harder and harder to forgive yourself each time.
3. Ask yourself, “So?”. That inner voice will keep you paralyzed if you allow it. Instead, turn the tables and ask “So?”
* “If I go to the beach, everyone will see my thighs.” “So?”
* Instead of reacting emotionally, use a little logic and override your initial impulse. What’s the worst that can go wrong?
4. Avoid comparisons between others and yourself. The truth is that we notice the strengths of others and our own weaknesses. We’re not good at noticing our own strengths. We don’t notice the weaknesses of others easily, because they’re so busy avoiding them.
* Take note of your strengths and you’ll see just how great you are. Spend your time comparing your weaknesses to someone else’s strengths and you won’t feel good about yourself.
5. Pretend you’re confident even if you’re not. Confident people act. When you act, and nothing bad happens, you’ll begin to develop real confidence. Keep telling yourself that you’re a confident person.
- * Adopt confident mannerisms and a confident posture. Speak with authority. It takes time to convince your brain that you’re a confident person, so start right away!
6. Take part in activities that excite you. It’s easier to be bold when doing something that you really want to do. Learn to be bold in the easiest way possible. If you’ve always wanted to visit Rome, but fear international travel, traveling to Rome will be easier to accomplish than attempting something you fear, but have little interest in.
7. Try a new style on for size. Change up your wardrobe or hairstyle. Expand your view of yourself. Others will view you differently too. This might make it easier to do and say the things that are on your mind. When you view yourself differently, you give yourself permission to act differently.
Self-consciousness is natural, but it’s uncomfortable and potentially limiting. Take a moment and imagine what your life would be like if you were able to stop caring about the opinions of others. This is a battle that everyone must fight in order to be truly free. Ignore your social anxieties and be your true self.