Are you frequently self-conscious when around other people? Does your attention automatically go to your body, clothes, behavior or overall person, and you feel somewhat awkward or insecure? Well, you can learn how to stop being self-conscious and put an end to all of this.
As a social confidence coach, I work with people who are self-conscious on a regular basis. Individuals who are shy, or socially anxious, or they don’t think too highly of themselves are typically also very self-conscious in social settings. And I help them overcome this.
I’d like to show you how they manage to overcome being self-conscious. By applying the ideas that I’m about to share with you, you will be able to attain the same results as them.
Alcohol Isn’t the Way
I was recently chatting with a friend and the topic of how to stop being self-conscious came up. He half jokingly commented: “Oh, it’s easy to stop feeling self-conscious! Just have a couple of drinks. It works for me!”
The truth is that many people do relax and become more comfortable in social settings by drinking just a bit. I’ve certainly experienced this myself. A beer or a couple of shots can reduce the overanalyzing that’s going on in your head and gets you feelings self-conscious, thus making you feel more confident.
However, this is not by far the best solution, and I don’t ever recommend it. It makes you dependent on drinking in social settings in order to feel comfortable; it doesn’t address the roots of the problem, it makes it even harder to feel comfortable without drinking, it damages your health in the long-run, and it creates all sorts of other tangential problems.
So, drinking is out. It’s time to consider better alternatives regarding how to stop being self-conscious.
Practice Shifting Your Attention on Others
A big component of feeling self-conscious is the fact your attention is focused on you. But if you deliberately shift your attention away from you, on other people or on the environment, you’ll immediately begin to relax.
This is why shifting your attention is a great exercise to practice. Whenever you’re feeling self-conscious, try to swing your focus away from your own person.
For instance, if you’re having a conversation and the other person is talking, focus on what they’re saying. Listen attentively to them instead of contemplating the way you look or whatever.
With practice you’ll get better at shifting your focus and you’ll be able to loosen up more and more in social situations.
The “Stop” Technique
A very useful and simple technique to stop feeling self-conscious is this: notice your internal dialog for just a second or two, and then yell to yourself in your inner forum (not out loud): “STOP!!!”
You see, when around others, you’re probably questioning and criticizing yourself in your internal dialog, and this makes you feel self-conscious.
By using this technique, you’re commanding your fault-finding thinking to end and you’re interrupting it. This instantly brings a sensation of relief.
The trouble though is that usually the effect will only last a couple of minutes, and then your self-doubting will be back. This is just a temporary fix. Sooner or later, you’re gonna have to implement a permanent solution for your problem. And that solution can only be to…
Change Your Self-Image and Your Perception
Ultimately, people who are self-conscious are this way because at some level they think they’re not good enough, or that they must always get others to like them, or some other irrational stuff like that.
This is what makes them focus on themselves and become very aware of their faults in social situations. If you would truly like yourself, be okay with some people not linking you, and so on, you wouldn’t focus on you and you wouldn’t become self-conscious in the first place.
So really the definitive solution to stop being self-conscious is to work on changing your thinking and your self-image.
The good news as that beyond all the self-help junk, there are some proven psychological tools that you now have available for doing this, which work incredibly fast.
I talk about them in this special presentation, which I recommend you watch right now. It could be one of the most useful and motivating presentations you’ve watched in a long time. So make sure you check it out.
I’ve been helping people learn to look at themselves, others and the world in new, better ways for the past 5+ years. I know this is a change any person can achieve with the right tools and consistent application.
And I know that with a better self-image and gained confidence, a whole lot of things become possible. Being significantly less self-conscious is just the beginning.
Image courtesy of Anne Ruthmann