Few of us are fortunate enough to come across charismatically and at ease in every social situations. However, most of us suffer from some degree of self-consciousness at times and we choose to alter our behavior in an effort to appeal to others. This desire to please starts, of course, in childhood and becomes a habit we carry can throughout our lives. The pressure to conform resides within most of us.
Have you every asked yourself, “How much am I pretending?”
How much of yourself are you giving up in order to gain the fickle approval of others? Interestingly, the people we tend to admire the most are those who make little or no effort to conform. We admire individuality.
Learning to be yourself, again:
1. Look outside yourself.
- It is much harder to feel self-conscious if your attention is not focused only on yourself.
- The key to being self-conscious is to focus on your appearance, clothes, posture, and words.
- Get rid of this self-scanning behavior and you will feel much more comfortable.
- Look around at your environment.
- If someone is speaking to you, focus on their face and their words.
- Your ability to focus outside yourself will strengthen with practice.
2. Boost your self-esteem.
- Pretending to be something that you are not suggests that you believe that you are not good enough in some way.
- But, remember that you have done some amazing things in your life.
- Focus on your positive qualities.
- Remind yourself of your successes.
- Most importantly, leave your failures and regrets in the past.
3. Accept yourself as you are.
- Remind yourself that no one is perfect. Perfection is overrated and distracting.
- Even your best friend has numerous flaws that you could quickly list. You still love them anyway.
- Perfection is overrated and a major distraction to enjoying life.
4. Watch your anxiety level.
- There are many tools to help us lower our anxiety, but they are most effective when we first notice our feelings of anxiousness starting to rise.
- When we feel highly stressed, it becomes much more of a challenge to get our emotions back under control.
- When you first notice yourself becoming uncomfortable, focus your energy on taking slow, deep breaths.
- Redirect your focus to your breath and your environment.
- It is your previous thoughts and thinking that resulted in your anxiety, so work to change them.
5. Find your purpose and do that.
- It could be argued that we do not act boldly enough to be ourselves because the stakes are just not high enough…yet.
- When you have enough motivation, anxiety rarely shows up.
- Do you know your purpose in life?
- When you can answer this question definitively, much of the social pressure in your life will disappear.
6. Take on one task that you have been avoiding.
- It can be something really small, but jump in the deep end and do something new and excites you.
- It may be singing Karaoke or taking dance lessons.
7. Time is limited.
- All of “this” will all be over someday, so there is little cause to worry.
- Anything that we worry about today, will probably be fairly meaningless in the distant future.
- Relax, have some fun and enjoy your life.