10 Clever Ways to Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
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We’ve all been there – whether you are about to give a presentation at work, joining a new social group or going to a party – those moments where you feel like all eyes are on you and you are achingly self-conscious.
Although most of us know the feeling all too well, it can sometimes be hard to define…what does it mean to be self-conscious?
Simply put, feeling self-conscious is being excessively aware of being observed (and possibly judged) by others.
Whether genuine or perceived, this feeling seems to come on most at a time when we want it least.
There could be many reasons, from insecurity to fear, but whatever the reason, we just want that self-consciousness gone!
So, how can we get these insecure, fearful, intimidating feelings to go or, better yet, not even creep up in the first place? Try these suggestions to help curb self-consciousness the next time you feel it coming on:
10 Strategies To Use To Quit Feeling Unsure
1. Remember That This Situation is Not Your Forever
Sometimes we place permanent importance on temporary situations, bringing on that self-consciousness due to fear.
No matter how significant your current situation, it will not be your forever situation.
You will get through it and move on.
A week, a month, a year from now, it may not even matter at all. Keeping a proper perspective takes the pressure off in a big way.
2. Keep Confidence Boosters Posted Where You Can See Them
If you regularly find yourself feeling self-conscious, it may be due to an overall lack of confidence or self-esteem, worrying that, no matter the situation, others may be looking down on you or judging you.
To counteract this, be your own cheerleader!
Post confidence boosters – encouraging cards or notes you’ve received, positive reviews, pictures from great moments in your life, etc. to help you remember that, yes, you are smart, lovable and capable.
Put them where you will see them regularly to help crush self-consciousness or confidence issues before they begin.
Power Thought Cards are great for this purpose (and really cool too!).
3. Remember That People Aren’t Always as Aware of You as You Think
It’s easy to feel like we’re in a spotlight or the center of attention when we are not at our best.
And let’s face it. Our egos fool us into believing that we’re much more important to others than we really are. Trust me.
While there may be some attention toward you at some point, people have very busy lives.
And honestly, they’re much more concerned with what’s going on in their lives as compared to what’s going on with you.
Realizing that others have too much going on in their own lives to be preoccupied with what you are doing or what you look like is not only a good dose of reality, but it can help take the pressure off of you.
4. Others May Feel Exactly the Way You Do
When those self-conscious feelings rear their ugly heads, it’s often hard to get past them or think beyond them.
However, it may be quite possible that you are surrounded by people that are just as self-conscious as you.
Just because they don’t show it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
Putting yourself in the place of others is a great way to help lessen the focus on yourself.
5. Redirect Your Focus
Similar to the last point, redirecting your focus from yourself to others often makes a huge difference.
Instead of thinking, “Who’s looking at me?” or “What are they thinking about me?”, ask yourself “How can I help them?” Or “What might they need that I can do for them?”
A change in perspective can make a big difference in how you feel, and it just might make a significant difference to someone else as well.
6. Practice Role Reversal
If you are tempted to constantly worry about what someone is thinking of you, try putting yourself in their shoes.
If you were them, would you be thinking all that you are about you?
Would you have such strong opinions?
Would what you’re worried about be that important? Would it even matter?
Chances are, they won’t be thinking about it any more than you would if you were them.
7. Keep Your Head Up, Literally
This is a little trick that can produce big results.
Confidence is perceived when one looks up and forward, while looking down is perceived as a lack of confidence or adequacy.
Holding your head up also makes you look better physically.
It may take a little practice, but keep your head held high until it comes naturally.
Others will see you as more confident and certainly not self-conscious, and you may soon see yourself that way as well.
It may seem overly simplistic, but never underestimate the power of a smile.
Happy, confident people smile readily and show the world that they are satisfied with who they are.
Plus, a smile naturally makes you more attractive and receptive to others, lessening the tendency to be self-conscious.
So, flash those pearly whites!
9. Play the Part
If you still struggle with being self-conscious and it is causing detrimental effects, you may want to consider simply faking it for a while.
In spite of how it may sound, this doesn’t mean that you should be “phony”.
In this circumstance, you are simply practicing on the outside how you will one day soon feel on the inside.
Sometimes it’s necessary to act in faith until we get there.
There’s nothing wrong with that and it can help give you the boost you need to get you there that much quicker.
10. Give What You Need
The principal of sowing and reaping, karma, whatever you want to call it, has been around since Biblical days and for good reason – it works.
If you can’t shake the self-consciousness, help others with theirs.
Genuinely compliment a coworker or friend, or share some kind words with a stranger.
You may be surprised at how great it makes you feel, not to mention what it does for the other person.
Then watch that positivity come back around to you!
Struggling with feelings of self-consciousness is no easy thing to overcome, but it is possible.
To stop feeling self-conscious, try implementing some or all of these tips to boost how you feel about yourself.
They can not only help you feel stronger, content and more confident, but once you do, they’ll make you a better person for the effort.
Was this post helpful to you? Let me know in the comments and if so, please think about who you know that needs to read this and would be encouraged and benefit from this information in their personal journey. Then share this message with them. Thanks!
Kimberly Clay is the founder and creative force behind What She Say. She’s a business professional, writer and editor who’s been creating and managing digital content for nearly twenty years. Her work is now focused in the areas of self-improvement and personal development, and she is passionate about helping other individuals, especially women, to find a path for living their best life.