How to Overcome Self – Consciousness

Self-consciousness starts very early in life.

You do not get much fun out of life when you are self-conscious. Going out among people and sharing activity with them becomes a tense business. The self-conscious person never really enjoys the company of other people. He is continually aware of ME in relation to THEM. He is unable to relax. He takes it all personally.

Self-consciousness makes us become awkward and clumsy. It upsets our coordination and makes us drop things, knock things over, upset things and trip ourselves up. And this, at the very moment when we are trying our hardest to be at our best!


Self-consciousness makes us hold ourselves back so that we rarely, if ever, dare to take the initiative and speak first. Some of our tension rubs off on other people, too, with the result that they feel vaguely uncomfortable when they are with us.

Self-consciousness starts very early in life. It is born in the infant at the very moment he becomes consciously aware of other people in relation to him. That is to say, when he realizes that they watch him, and see how he reacts, and they react with approval or disapproval, love or dislike.

Actually, the only person who can untangle a self-conscious person is the self-conscious person himself. In the final count, if you are self-conscious, it depends on you. You have to understand yourself and break the habit of being self-conscious by adjusting your attitude.

Positive affirmations are helpful because they point out the right way and suggest us into it. Try saying these to yourself:

1.  I will forget myself. I will think of other people.

2.  I will speak first even if I can only say “Hello”.

3.  I will assume that people like me. Why shouldn’t they?

4.  I will like people by looking for things in them to like.

5.  I will forget about myself and make people feel welcome.

Go back over your childhood and try to understand how the habit developed. Keep reminding yourself how it began and how it grew. Think positively and constructively by understanding it and replacing it with a new attitude. There are three things you should watch.

1.  Realize your own personal worth. You are a member off the human family and certainly no less than any other member off the human family. You are an individual, a unique personality, with your own special contribution to make to the whole word. It doesn’t matter whether this is large or small. But it does matter that you make it, because that is the only way you can be happy and truly yourself.

     Instead of bothering what other people may say or think, think about what you would like to do with your life. Have a practical goal and a sensible ambition which is within you power of achievement.

2.  Become so interested in life, action and other people that you forget yourself. Lose that concentration on the self which makes you self-conscious. Instead of hanging back, have a go. Everybody makes mistakes now and then and you won’t be different from anybody else, under this aspect. Never mind.

3.  Don’t aim too high, or try too much, or try to do it too quickly. Have a record of small, concrete achievements you can look back on to give you encouragement. Start by sharing activity with other people in small things. Leam to enjoy being with people and doing things with them. Cut out all the tension about doing it right, and doing it better than anyone else. Don’t aim too high.

     Build your self-confidence gradually. Give yourself a fair chance to mix with people, in an easy, pleasant, relaxed, style. Self-importance can make us self-conscious because it makes you want to be superior to everybody else. We worry about the possibility of losing our dignity.

     Get rid of the self-importance and the urge to be better than other people. Then being wrong and looking silly will cease to be such a catastrophe. You will have a sense of proportion and develop a keen sense of humour.

     People are not absorbed in us as our parents may have been. They do not notice or criticize all that much. Neither do they demonstrate approval, and praise us and make the same fuss of us. As adults, we have to set out deliberately it we are to provoke people or perplex them, or attract attention. People are busy living their own lives. They take us at face value. They demand no more from us than that we should be friendly and reasonably courteous and considerate.

     Employ your time more usefully and happily in some interesting activity or meeting people and taking part in all their activities.


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