Self-Conscious Behaviour 101: You are about to make an appearance at a work party. You are dressed to the nines, unlike your usual office attire. You are nervous. As you step through the door, you are suddenly extremely aware of the movement of your hands. Did they always swing so awkwardly? Read more You are aware of your walk. Is it elegant or clunky? You feel a mild sheen of sweat on your brows and your palms feel clammy. Is your dress alright? Your hairstyle? Is everybody staring? Why? Oh God! Here’s the Oxford definition of self-consciousness: undue awareness of oneself, one’s appearance or one’s actions. In its literal sense, what does self-conscious mean? is but another term for self-aware. It refers to an individual’s understanding of oneself. It is a recognition of identity, a state of reflection that tunes one in with a higher source. Today, however, self-consciousness is commonly used as a way of describing how a person might appear to others. Do you know the most interesting part of being self-conscious? It is a state of mind that comes into existence only when we are amongst people, mostly strangers or acquaintances. When you are in a comfortable space like home or amidst friends and family, you are not self-conscious, meaning, you don’t worry about how you appear – is your laugh too loud? Are you eating too much? Are you behaving appropriately? Such questions disappear. Why? Acceptance. And that’s the key. The following FAQs delve into this all-important concept of acceptance, the insecurities that hold us back from being ourselves and how, in the end, the only person who can help us overcome our self-conscious traits is… ourselves. 1. How do I stop being self-conscious? The act of turning inward is like putting on your comfy, wrinkle-free, and soft pajamas. Once you are in your pajamas and you learn to be comfortable seeing yourself clad in them, you not only perform every role far more effectively but also with much greater ease, almost effortlessly. Living in your pajamas means being yourself. No make-up, no matching shoes or accessories, or carrying yourself in a certain manner, no crap — just you being who you are. You no longer have to laugh softly with great finesse, you can roar like thunder, peal upon peal if you so wish. Why bother having or wanting anything from those who will only give you that thing if you were a certain way! Accept others as they are and do not waste your time being someone else if they cannot accept you for who you are. Continue reading Living in Pajamas for a phenomenal analogy on one’s day. 2. What is a good method to overcome self-conscious behaviour? All big changes start with a small step. A step after step after step is a goal achieved. A few moons ago, I discovered an effective structured approach to moulding behaviour and life! It’s called the Kaizen method. The Kaizen method is about taking tiny steps towards your big change. ‘Tiny’ is the operative word. Here’s the Kaizen way: Bring about the change 1/4th at a time. So, If I were consuming 2 spoonfuls of sugar in my tea, I’d take 1/4th less for a week. The following week, reduce by another 1/4th. So in the second week, I am taking one and a half spoonfuls. And so on. Why does it work? Because the change is so tiny, the brain doesn’t even notice. No craving, no falling back into the sweet trap. And then, I have built a routine, which will become a habit soon. The Kaizen approach works for various aspects of life: health, work, home, relationships, habits, and challenges. Keep reading OSME Digest: Kaizen for Change, for other meaningful stories that will help you bring about the change you’re seeking. 3. Is it possible to overcome my self-conscious tendencies? That’s all that really counts at the end of the day. That is: have I lived up to my potential? Doing so is not possible though unless I discover my own truth, not my teacher’s or my ideal’s, but my own. The gift, the talent I am born with. And the courage to charter my own course requires self-belief and conviction, neither of which comes unless I’m at peace with myself and my decisions. I have also realized that to be at peace requires a degree of self-esteem. You must have a certain level of acceptance and love for yourself before you can be at peace with who, where, and what you are, figuratively and materially. And, it’s not possible to love or respect yourself unless you are at ease, unless you live with a sort of carefree abandon. Most of us are forever trying to be like someone else. Inspiration is good, imitation, not so. Realizing Your True Potential is in your hands. Are you ready to make the change? 4. Why am I so self-conscious all the time? What do you do if someone asks you why you are sad? Usually, you will tell them a story behind your sadness. What’s particularly interesting, purely from a psychological perspective, is that we don’t view these stories as stories but reasons. In the same manner, we believe we have a legitimate reason for feeling self-conscious. Maybe that’s true but mostly it’s subjective, these are not the reasons but the stories we tell ourselves. If you take a moment to reflect upon it, you will discover that we have a story for everything that happens to us. For every single one of our feelings and actions, we tell ourselves a story. That narrative becomes an integral part of our lives; indeed, it takes over our intelligence and wisdom, reducing us to merely a character in the story. Even if that character is the protagonist, it’s still just a part of the story, whereas you could be the writer of your story. Taking out the negative incidents from your story can be rather painful and time-consuming. At times, the best solution is to snip it all and have the courage to rewrite your story. Ultimately, the moral of the story? Change your story if you want to change your life. And read The Stories We Tell. 5. How do I stop feeling self-conscious about my aging body? You know what, aging is not only inevitable, it’s alright. Really, it’s okay. It’s fine. It’s beautiful. For, there’s no substitute for the grace, wisdom and stability that comes with aging. Today, I bring to you three principles of aging gracefully with purpose: Accept: The greatest secret to staying youthful is to gracefully accept the truth of aging. re-evaluate your goals and re-prioritize your life. This realignment brings you the freshness of being born again. Keep learning: As long as you have the desire to learn, you will have the will to live. Life is always bubbling in a curious heart. This curiosity can give you much-needed purpose. Travel light: We all are the way we are. Each mind is unique. We don’t have to take everything personally. Above all, we don’t have to keep everything inside. Be light if you want to take off. Focus on what’s important. And one of the greatest rewards of aging? The maturity of the mind. Keep reading Aging Gracefully for more beautiful secrets on staying young at heart.


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