4 Steps to Help You Release Self-Consciousness
Did I really just say that?
What will they think of me?
Will they judge me?
Oh boy, this is so uncomfortable… What should I say now?
I'm too shy.
I don't like to talk to people.
I'm not interesting enough.
I'm not good enough.
I don't know what to say.
I’m too awkward.
This right there is what my very intimate inner world looks like most of the time when I am in social situations.
Why am I telling you guys about this pretty raw and vulnerable part of myself? This part of me that I've been (and still am sometimes) so ashamed of? Always trying to hide it, change it ?
Well, simply because I am finding ways to get over it! Slowly but surely.
It is still a process, but I now know that this is not who I am. Surely, it's been who I thought I was many, many times, but that's only because it is a story that I've repeated to myself on and on and started to deeply believe in. And we all know that what we believe in becomes true for us. We create our own reality based on what we believe.
This story I've been repeating myself is based on past experiences, which developed the feeling of never being good enough. This false separate self I have created lives in fear, thrives on the approval of others and is simply way too self-conscious.
So what I wanted to share in this article is how I am learning to overcome self-consciousness. Because it is still a part of my life (I would by lying if I said I was totally over it), but now I am learning how to deal with it. And since I believe this might benefit quite a few people (even if you don’t identify as shy or introverted, I am sure certain situations leave you feeling uncomfortable), I wanted to share a few tips on how to work through it.
But first, what is self-consciousness?
Self consciousness is when, placed in a social situation, you become very aware of yourself, focusing on what you say, what you do, how you react and you imagine what people might be thinking about you and how they are perceiving you.
Every time we are self-conscious it is because we desire to appear our best in front of others in order to be liked and approved by them.
The problem is that it usually keeps us from relaxing and from being our true authentic selves.
If we want to live life to the fullest and really be free and happy, we need to get out of this prison we build for ourselves, we need to dissolve the walls we create and completely let go of needing the approval of others.
How do we do that?
Here are the 4 steps that have helped me and still do, I hope they can help you too:
1. Releasing the illusion of separation
We've made ourselves special, thinking we were separate from one another, when in truth, at our very core, we are all the same. Yes, most of us created walls around ourselves, but behind this false self, this social mask we create with our jobs, personalities, self-image, career etc. there is our true self, our essence. Behind all that we are not, we're just pure consciousness. Everything else, circumstances, thoughts and even personality traits are just experiences rising and subsiding inside our being, our truth.
That's the one thing we all have in common, we are all pure awareness, no matter if we are conscious of it or not.
So maybe the first step you can take is reminding yourself of your oneness with all that is.
Yes, behind our masks, we are all one.
The idea of separation is an illusion created by the ego, the false self wanting to keep us stuck in fear, comparison, jealousy etc.
The concept of women and men all being equals is known, but it is rarely applied or truly understood. The mere thought of feeling inferior or superior to anyone, or seeing someone that is more successful as deserving more respect contradicts this concept.
Truly, we are all one.
2. Focusing your attention away from yourself
Instead of focusing all your attention on yourself, try to simply direct your attention towards others:
How can I get to know her/him/ them better?
How can I brighten her/his/ their day?
How can I make her/him/ them feel better about herself/himself/ themselves?
Because it is very likely that when you're with other people, all they want and need from you is your LOVE & ATTENTION.
Another way to get the attention away from yourself, is to bless people around you with the best things in life; love, peace, joy, success,… Simply by wishing them to be happy, your focus is no longer on how you can please them to feel good about yourself, but on how you can spread love and light in their lives.
3. Changing your story
It is so freeing to realize where your true power lies: in choosing to use and master your mind instead of letting it control you.. Instead of being its slave.
Once you realize this, you face, at any given moment, two choices: taking responsibility for the life you wish to create by choosing positive thoughts or continuing feeling like a victim.
If you're ready to stop playing small and willing to embark on the wonderful journey of self-mastery, there is one powerful thing you can always do in your life when you aren't feeling happy, and that is: changing your story.
For my part, I was sick of this story which truly didn't serve me and decided to write a new one.
My old story: " I'm shy, I'm awkward, I care about what others think of me…", then became: ''I am happy and confident with who I am. I am here to love and not be loved. I love getting to know new people. What others think of me is none of my business. My only purpose is to spread the love.''
4. Don’t take yourself too seriously
When you take yourself less seriously, you are able to see things with a bit of distance and more objectively. It's a lot easier to laugh at your mistakes and it tends to make people around you more comfortable, which helps you feel more at ease and not so self-conscious.
By choosing to laugh at yourself more often, you release the pressure of always having to appear your best in order to please others.
I hope this helps you on your journey,