by: Remie Longbrake | published: Jan 17, 2020
When I was growing up, I had supportive parents, I done well, and excelled at most things. Not to brag, here, but to share with you that even through that I still suffered from a lot of confidence issues that I was very conscious of. I was often bullied, had few friends, and worried a lot about how to help my parents because they were always struggling in their relationship and financially.
Why am I sharing this? Well to help identify with you. To help understand that we pretty much all have our own inner dialog with being self-conscious And to give hope that we don’t have to stay in that place forever, as things can improve.
In fact one of the biggest hindrances in my life has been self-consciousness and lack of confidence. I’ve had relationships not end well, business venture not go according to plan, and friends not end up being friends, which are many things we can all relate to.
I tended to worry a lot about pleasing people. Not only did I worry what other people thought, but I would intentionally avoid social situations where I would be uncomfortable. In conversation I had no problem with people in general, but in social gatherings I avoided them like the plague.
Also, had a lot of issue talking with girls. I know many can relate, but I got dumped publicly once, which didn’t help my anxiety of confidence.
I once dropped a class because I got an F on a paper, not flunked, just one F. I couldn’t handle it back then. I hated to go up in front of the class, still hated that until recently, although getting better.
Now, I have grown enough to overcome most of my confidence issues and being overly self-consciousness to where it would be crippling. Before anyone else could love me, I realized that I had to love myself. Embracing my circumstances was the only path I was able to move past my own limitations.
While this life is awesome and not without it’s hardships, self-consciousness is rooted at the core of who we are. With that said, here are 12 ways that I have been able to work with my own self-consciousness as you can to.
1. Figure out what your good at. Take time to learn about yourself. Write down things that interest you. Ask others what they think your strengths are. Then decide why do you like the things you do. Are you doing things you don’t like to do? How do your thoughts dictate your day and your attitude?
2. Know what your flaws are. Not sure? Ask. I’m sure someone is willing to clue you in. Have them be respectful and do an honest assessment however. This is important. Regardless, don’t take this as a sign of weakness. See this as opportunity. It’s about the mindset that you are capable of more, and we should be doing more. That’s our problem we face, we tend to see our flaws as problems. In our media and culture, there is this desire to be perfect, when in reality there is no such things. Improve on what you can and do your best.
3. Stop worrying about the past. This is a problem area for many of us. Regardless of our past, we can and should move on. If that is a constant struggle, find someone you can trust to talk to past these area. Of course you need to be willing to open up and share. That’s not always easy in the beginning, but over time that should ease up and hopefully you can put things behind you.
4. Embrace what’s out of your comfort area. Conventional wisdom tells us that it is good to accept ourselves the way we are. Acceptance can be a great quality, but reality is when we are self-conscious we are generally stuck in an area. It’s important to embrace what is out of your zone of comfort. Be open to new ideas and new avenues provided they offer growth.
5. Create acceptance. Stay comfortable with who you are about. Be happy with you but understand there is no staying the same. When time is constantly moving, we can’t go back to who we were yesterday, nor can we expect others to stay exactly the same. We should expect that we are progressing just like time itself.
6. Yes, talk to strangers. Regardless of what you are self-conscious about, talking to strangers and other people will help you overcome yourself. When we have interaction and conversation it’s helps build character and bonding, which are building blocks to becoming more aware and confident.This takes time, but one of the best things you can do is keep meeting people. Accept invitations and go out of your way to attend local gathering and events. You don’t need to spend money of new clothes or a new car. By all means just be you and share your story. When you do share, go over a 30 second introduction about who you are and what you do. Show interests in others and make new friendships along the way.
7. e as emotional as you need be. Our culture can be brutal. This is your permission to be emotional. Of course not everyone is emotional in the same way, but when you really take notice about your thoughts and feelings, there is nothing left to hide. Start telling friends about whatever makes you self-conscious and you will realize that it is mostly in your imagination. Use those feelings for purpose. Understand them as they occur to you. Feel the why behind the emotion. Log your thoughts. Save them if you want, but you don’t need to. They are over at that point, just be realistic with who you are and make no apologize for that. No one says you need to blog or have an Instagram page, but you do need to share your emotions with someone you can trust. And if those closet to you are not those kind of people then we need to understand that and be able to associate with new personalities to do.
8. Go bananas! Yes, there is nothing wrong with having fun. As introverted as I am at times, I find it fun to be silly and make a dork of myself. I love to get others laughing. It actually helps me get outside of myself and build that confidence. It don’t have to be anything extreme, or illegal by the way, please no! Nothing wrong with dancing weirdly by yourself, telling a joke in public, or just being you, as long as it is the true you.
9. Go help someone. Often enough, when we look to much at our own insecurities, the other problem is that of not being helpful to others. If you have ever volunteered you know it can be a powerful experience. Helping another person in their time is sobering and can help put things in better perspectives. It doesn’t remove your problems but they can seem pale to what you see another person is going through.
10. Expect more from yourself and less from others. This was a big one for me. I certainly was expecting too much from others. The issue was never them of course, it was me and my own insecurities rooting to the surface. The lesson here is do more and expect less. Be the bigger person, do what matters and don’t expect anything other then the deed itself. Stop trying to force people into this mold, because the thing is the mold is you and if you want change, you have to be the one to do it.
11. Be willing to sacrifice. What sacrifices are you making in order to accept new growth? We set our own standards and really need to see ahead to where we want to end up. The reality is, our journey is never a straight line. And in order to get ahead, we must be open to letting some things go. That could be a relationships that isn’t going anywhere, a career that is a grind, it could be money if it means an investment in your future overall. The challenge is seeing the other opportunities in front of you and not staying stuck in place that isn’t serving you or others well. And when we stay stuck self-consciousness erodes and we again tend to focus less on being true to who are need to be not only for ourselves but for others too.
12. Set rewards for yourself. Are you rewarding yourself for your triumphs? Chances are you don’t. It’s the small wins that happen everyday that gets us to where we end up. Reward yourself, but first set standards that you live by and be that person, but don’t stop there, continue to improve and bring up those around you according to the values and gifts you offer the world each day.
There’s some great ways I have personally used to build up character and be self-conscious. These are steps we can all take to improve day to day and understand how that impact our future and those around us. Being self-conscious can be good or bad, it’s how we interact with our environment and who we ultimately become is what matters. Study and improve for yourself, and your own awareness to understand what you are about. Figure out what you’re capability of and reach out to those who inspire and motivate you achieve whatever is inside of you.