This article was contributed by Pink Moods.
How are you feeling?
The most successful viral ad campaign of 2013 was for the soap company Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches”. FBI-trained forensic sketch artist, Gil Zamora, was hired to draw two pictures of twenty women – one based on a self-description, another based on the description from a stranger. The results were startling, showing that the stranger gave a more accurate depiction than the woman herself in almost every case. Often, the self-description led to more grotesque, unflattering sketches. Not only are we not recognising our beauty within us enough, but furthermore we don’t see ourselves as physically beautiful as we actually are. Maybe it’s time that we stopped being so self-conscious, stopped being so frightened of the judgement of others, and realised that the worst judgement comes from ourselves. Here are five attitudes you should avoid.
If you have come across someone in the past who was mean about you, the chances are you remembered certain characteristics about them – how they dressed, their job, their interests. Whenever you come across someone with similar characteristics, the negative association you hold because of the past means you judge them as mean straightaway. This can work for other personality types too and it results in over-reliance on first impressions. You end up using stereotypes too much to navigate yourself around people. Remember that it is your mind that is intimidating you, not the person. They are just another individual like you. Get to know them without judgement.
This isn’t natural shyness that everyone is bound to feel around certain people, but the more overwhelming, claustrophobic type. Not being able to hold eye contact, overly quiet voice and inward body language make it difficult for others to understand you. In more serious cases, you might be suffering with social anxiety. If this is the case, bear in mind that your anxiety is only holding you back. [5 triggers of anxiety] Try to view your defence mechanisms as barriers, not protectors. Fight against these barriers to show the real you that people would love to meet. To help get started, try to stick to small groups of people before building yourself up to dealing with large crowds. You don’t have to throw yourself into the deep end. If you want to do this in a very gradual way then you can always speak anonymously in our members only community and have a group of amazing ladies as a soundboard for how you are feeling, they may even have experienced something similar too.
Sometimes when you’re so preoccupied with how you’re coming across, you actually ignore the other person. Being distracted by your thoughts and not listening will make you come across worse than you want to. That in itself is what makes people not engage with you leave with a bad impression of you. Even if you don’t want to lead a conversation in fear, at least listen and take interest in the other person. It might even help your confidence to put the pressure on them a bit to talk about themselves before you open up. For confidence building strategies visit our Video Moods section.
People are drawn to optimism. [7 ways to train your brain to be positive] Good conversations rarely get going from complaining, playing the victim or not taking compliments well. The more negative a vibe created, the less a connection can develop. Find one bit of common ground to talk about, and you’ll find the person seeing you in a good light because you both share an interest that you’re both enthusiastic about. They’ll remember you by that shared interest rather than anything else that you may have been worried about.
Self-conscious people tend to imagine detailed scenarios of how good or bad the outcomes could be. They like to feel rehearsed and prepared before talking to others, but sometimes these expectations are unrealistic. What they assume will happen doesn’t. Other people have their own minds and won’t see things the same way you do. This is a good thing. Instead of hoping for a certain outcome, learn to go into conversations and interactions without expectations. Be open to seeing other perspectives, and as long as you’re polite, you should have no problems keeping the conversation up. Ask questions and be enthusiastic to share your opinions on things. This is often how the best conversations start. To build your confidence daily download our easy to follow daily planner.
Ultimately, when it comes to getting over your self-consciousness, you have to let go of your fear of the unknown. You can’t go through life knowing everything about what’s going to happen and some things can’t go as planned. Don’t try to prepare so much for people, because there are too many people to care about too much. There will always be someone out there who will like you for you; embrace it.
Photo Credit: Copyright: sifotography / 123RF Stock Photo
This article was contributed by Pink Moods.