July 8, 2019
Self-consciousness can prevent you from being who you are, expressing what you are feeling, doing what you want to do. Learn how to break free of worrying about what other people think.
Jim Taylor, Ph.D.
It seems like a lot of us are afraid to do what we are capable of doing for fear that some is watching and will criticize us. I have learned a long time ago that I cannot excel if I let others hold me back. It seems to me society today has created unfounded concerns on far too many of us and it is costing us by the resultant conformist limits on our happiness.
Here is an abridged article from the Saturday Evening Post that reminds us that most of the things that hold us back is our own self-imposed barriers.
Let Go of Self-Consciousness
Is it just me, or are people more self-consciousness than ever before? Thanks in no small part to the Internet in general and social media in particular, it seems like everyone is “under the microscope” these days.
This intensifies a culture where appearance, whether physical or financial, is all important; it can seem like being critical of others is the national pastime. Through the popular media, we also are bombarded by messages that we aren’t good enough, others are better than us, and we can be the best if we really want.
Because of these persistent messages of being judged and compared, it’s so easy to think that everyone is watching and critiquing our every move. When you think other people are thinking about you, it’s actually you who is thinking about you. When you believe others are being critical of you, they’re not, you are. Are you a mind reader? Of course not — we humans aren’t clairvoyant (though we like to think we are). So when you think someone is thinking badly of you, it’s really you thinking badly of you. Now that, not what other people are supposedly thinking of you, is something to be really concerned about.
Of course, this epiphany is a double-edged sword. It can lift a huge weight off of your shoulders because you no longer have to worry about what other people are thinking or saying about you, and you are free to think, feel, and act in ways that are true to yourself. The downside (sort of) is that we all want to live under the illusion that we are worthy of others devoting time and energy to thinking about us. But, as the saying goes, the truth will set you free!
Tips to Help You Let Go of Your Self-Consciousness
- When you feel self-conscious, look around and see if anyone is actually looking at you.
- Remind yourself that what you think others are thinking is actually what you are thinking.
- Take a risk and act in a way that might make you self-conscious and see what happens (probably nothing bad).
- Say “F&%# it” when you feel self-conscious and instead act in ways that you want to.
- As the saying goes, “dance as if no one is watching.”
- If your self-consciousness is interfering with your happiness, find a good therapist.
Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-brake on.
A grandmother was pushing her grandchild around Wal-Mart in a buggy.
Each time she put something in the basket, she would say, “And here’s something for you, Diploma” or, “This will make a cute little outfit for you, Diploma” and so on.
Eventually, a bewildered shopper who had heard all this, finally asked, “Why do you keep calling your grandchild Diploma?”
The grandmother replied, “I sent my daughter to college and this is what she came home with!”
“People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves, they have the first secret of success.”
Norman Vincent Peale
My wife was in labor with our first child. Things were going pretty well when suddenly, she began to shout, “Shouldn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t, didn’t, can’t!”
“Doctor, what’s wrong with my wife?!”
“Nothing. She’s just having contractions.”
A bill collector came to my house the other day, so I gave him a huge stack of old bills.
A gentleman was having some physical problems and his doctor told him that he had to drink warm water with Epsom salts one hour before breakfast. At the end of a week he returned and the doctor asked if he was feeling better. The man said that he actually felt worse.
“Did you drink warm salt water an hour before breakfast each day?” the Doc asked.
“No,” replied the man somberly, letting out a sigh. “I could only do about 15 minutes!”
Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.
After a trial had been going on for three days, Finley, the man accused of committing the crimes, stood up and approached the judge’s bench. “Your Honor, I would like to change my plea from ‘innocent’ to ‘guilty’ of the charges.”
The judge angrily banged his fist on the desk. “If you’re guilty, why didn’t you say so in the first place and save this court a lot of time and inconvenience?” he demanded.
Finley looked up wide-eyed and stated, “Well, when the trial started I thought I was innocent, but that was before I heard all the evidence against me.”
To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.
Because my mother had a habit of losing her cordless phone, I bought her a phone with a clip on it, so she could attach it directly to her belt.
A few days later, I walked into my mother’s home and found her standing in the middle of the living room, halfway dressed. That didn’t strike me as odd so much as the fact that she was holding her pants to the side of her head and speaking into them.
“Don’t look at me that way,” she yelled. “The phone started ringing and I couldn’t figure out how to undo this stupid clip!”
Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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