Why do we inflict self-consciousness on ourselves, after all, it’s all in the mind! We believe we don’t measure up or we think we know how we are perceived by others. We trigger emotions of inadequacy within ourselves like jealousy, guilt, and shame, leaving us frustrated, anxious, and even depressed. When self-conscious emotions become excessive they can lead to social anxiety and isolation.
How We See Ourselves
Self-esteem is the opinion we hold of ourselves. Low self-esteem can lead to self-conscious emotions. It’s how we feel about ourselves and affects us more than we realize. It can leave us feeling awkward and incompetent. We all have times when we lack confidence and generally just don’t feel good about ourselves. But when it becomes a long-term problem, it can start to negatively impact on our day to day lives.
We stop trying new things and avoid challenging situation, this then just reinforces our doubts and fears. We need to focus on learning how to do what we are essentially stopping ourselves from doing. By taking positive action, we begin to see positive results. This in turn starts to build confidence.
Making new friends can be quite a struggle for many of us. We can be uncomfortably conscious of ourselves as we lay focus on how we are being perceived. So don’t put people on a pedestal as you try to connect with others, force yourself out of your comfort zone. You could make it easier on yourself and contemplate turning to individuals who are also interested in trying to make friends. How about considering the possibility of on-line friendships first? This arrangement could present you both with the opportunity to work on the skills that will help you build your self-esteem. By starting small and taking an interest in what others have to say, you’re laying the groundwork to help yourself move forward. As your confidence grows, doing the very things you find difficult will get a little easier each time. Gradually you will become less self-conscious as you continue with your efforts.
It may be difficult at first to develop an outward focus. Try some behaviours that encourage you to break free from the negative cycle of self-attention. A simple smile is a great place to start. We need to learn to accept ourselves with all our faults. Know that we are all unique individuals, bringing something worthwhile to the table, regardless of our imperfections. We all tend to be guilty of making judgements of others from time to time. We don’t even always realize we are doing it. But the more judgmental we are of others, the harder we judge ourselves.
Finally, it’s important to remember that people are never thinking about you as much as you think they are. Everyone else is so jumbled up with their own thoughts and worries, they have very little time left to focus solely on you.