Step by Step Guide to Stop Being Self-Conscious
Being overly self-conscious does none of us any good. Yes, it is a good thing to be conscious of oneself, however, there hardly is anyone who knows where to cut that train of thought off so as not to veer into the negative.
Let us take a look at how to bring ourselves back from that edge to overcome excessive self-awareness.
1. Look Like You Belong And You Will.
“Don’t change color to match the walls. Look like you belong and the walls will change color to match you.” --Kender proverb ; ‘Time of the Twins’ by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
Confidence is an interesting thing. It is intangible. You can't hold it and it doesn't shine like the crown of a king on a camera.
Until you wear it.
If you project confidence then people will see it. Assume an air of nobility and grace and people will notice. Life is a stage so be an actor and get so deep into the role of a 'confident and competent' figure that you forget it is an act. Once you put your mind there It WON'T be an act.
2. Realize That We Are All Terrified
“We're all scared most of the time. Life would be lifeless if we weren't. Be scared, and then jump into that fear. Again and again. Just remember to hold on to yourself while you do it.” Emma Hooper, Etta and Otto and Russell and James
Research the biographies of some famous people that you admire. Once you remove the glamour from these figures and a more realistic picture emerges. Guess what? They are human beings, just like you, and all of them are extremely 'flawed'(especially the writers and artists).
Let that sink in.
You've got some creating to do. Once the world decides that you have contributed enough then you'll never be considered 'flawed' or 'crazy'. At the most, you'll simply be 'eccentric'. That's a goal everyone can get behind!
3. Pub Night For Honest Feedback
“In vino veritas.” (In wine there is truth.) – Pliny, the Elder, 23-79 A.D.
Get a group of your closest friends and announce that drinks are on you for the night with a catch. You want feedback about your body language. If going out will be too expensive then get ready to host at home.
Bring a notebook with you so that you can write down some critiques or have your friends scribble them into the notebook which you'll pass once every round.
Ask them what you do when you are confident or when you are nervous. Ask what physical signs they notice. Make an evening of it and get as much feedback as you can. Now you can disguise the nervous behaviour with rehearsed poses and new habits. Neat, huh?
4. Winston Churchill Rehearsed His Speaking Constantly
“He mobilized the English language and sent it into battle”, John F. Kennedy, citing American Journalist Edward Murrow about Winston Churchhill
Winston Churchhill had a stuttering problem. It vexed him so much that if he knew he would be going out in public then he would make lists of what people MIGHT say and rehearsed his responses ahead of time. Sometimes he would spend six to eight hours making a mere 40-minute speech. Do you remember Churchill as a stutterer?
We didn't think so.
Try it yourself. Get your notebook and think of some common situations that arise at work and what you could say. Rehearse these things. Eventually these 'memorized responses' will incorporate into your standard mode of speaking and you will sound more confident and professional.
5. Jump Into The Pool(somewhere else)
"I actually love swimming but I just hate jumping in the water." --Natalie Coughlin
So you have studied your body-language and you've rehearsed some things to say. You are pretty sure that you could walk around a castle and the servants there would scurry around you without a second thought because your steps are regal and sure. The problem is that you are afraid to try this in public because it's still a 'leap of faith'.
While it is best to just 'jump into the pool' so that the cold water hits you all at once there is one other thing you can do. Choose a city one or two hours away and rent a hotel room. You are going to spend the weekend there.
Go out in your Confidence-persona. Do things that scare you like public speaking or karaoke. Get out of your comfort zone. No one that you know is going to see you.
Don't allow yourself to be discouraged and you will see like the characters from 'The Wizard of Oz' that the confidence you were looking for was yours all along.
Start practicing these steps and show the world the confidence that is truly yours. It's time to SHINE.
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