Overcoming Self-Consciousness

Advice on Not Caring About What People Think of You

I think it can be agreed upon that we all suffer from insecurities and beat ourself up way more than we should.

It would be absolutely phenomenal if we could all save ourselves from this pain and move on to a life of gratitude and acceptance of our flaws.

Obviously, this is easier said than done.

As a kid in elemenary school, I got to really get the inside scoop on bullying. Not because I hung out with the popular crowd and had a chance to understand the reasoning behind it (hallelujah), but because I was on the receiving end of it. I also saw others that were on the receiving end of it.

To be clear, the reason I was bullied was because I was not skinny. I wasn’t excessively large either. I just hadn’t hit puberty and therefore I was just sort of round without much of an actual figure.

I had the same reaction then that I feel I would have now: Confusion. It was always something that took me back.

One year, the thing was “swee piggy piggy”. That’s what a group of boys would say to me when I walked by. I would look at them puzzled wondering what that even meant. I remember asking if they owned a pig and that’s how they knew what to say to them, because I loved pigs and wanted to possibly come over and pet them.

That proved successful in deterring the nonsense. Unfortunately, I never got to pet any pigs.

All of the bullying hit me in the summer before middle school when I eventually hit puberty and insecurity naturally swept in to my life. We all know how that goes. Unless you are reading this and you are a child. Then, hold on, buddy, you are in for a good time! Not.

There was a point that summer that I refused to get out of the car anywhere because I was petrified that someone would see me. I was so insecure that I wouldn’t even get out of the car. Not only that but I would slink into the floor board!

Anyway, it was rough. I know I am not the only person that went through this struggle so I need not carry on further.

The moral of this story is that I was able to pull myself out. I was able to learn how to love myself. 
With these 3 simple steps, anyone will be on their way to overcoming insecurities, as well!

1. Written Affirmations

For a gift the Christmas before this summer, I was gifted a deck of cards that had a unique phrase that promoted self love. They were cutely decorated and I hung them up around my room. When I was feeling really bad about myself, I would read them. They helped! Now, I would call them affirmations. They are popular and people use them all the time.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

2. Realize that no one cares. And if they do, you shouldn’t.

This one was huge for me. I realized that when I was out and about, I was worrying to death about what other people thought of me. Was my hair okay? Did my body look normal? Was my face okay? I quickly noticed that I wasn’t looking around and judging anyone else at all.

It also occurred to me how absurd it would be if I was judging everyone else. I couldn’t even try to care about the flaws of others if I wanted to. In my mind, anyone that sits around judging other people is not someone that I care about the opinion of or want to be friends with.

So, that helped. Knowing that everyone else is either doing the same thing I am and worrying about their own self or sitting around being total jerks and accumulating bad karma that is in no way my problem, but theirs.

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

3. Hone in on your special and unique magic!

The third thing I did was discovering the parts of me that made me great.

I stopped worrying about the “bad” aspects of myself and started focusing on improving the good. For me, my best traits were my sense of humor, my kindness and my coolness. Yes, coolness. I was a cool kid, it’s true.

So, I did those things. I cracked jokes and made people laugh which only stoked my fire and made way for more laughter and fun. I was accepting of others and kind to everyone I met, allowing people to feel good about themselves and trust me and love me as a person. Lastly, I was cool. I went with the flow, I tried new things like playing guitar and skate boarding (I failed at both but that’s neither here nor there), and I did a lot of things that the girls that were already blessed with beauty didn’t think to do.

I got better at the things that I enjoyed doing and that I was already good at and made those me. In developing those qualities of myself, I began to really love myself and other people seemed to love me more too.

Photo by Chuck Hildebrant on Unsplash

4. Cultivate a supportive tribe of like minded people

One particularly valuable aspect of my kindness was my ability to make other unique people feel good about themselves because I knew that feeling.

I made friends with other unique people that didn’t quite fit in but were awesome. Oddly enough, those were the kids that are nowadays considered the coolest: musicians, skaters, intellectuals, hippie kids. I accepted them, they accepted me. I was surrounded by supportive friends. I was best friends with guys and girls that were awesome and rare because I, too, was awesome and rare.

The process of cultivating my tribe gave me confidence and courage to face the world and not feel lonely. Even if no one else liked what I had to offer as a human or wanted anything to do with me, I could rely on my people.

Photo by Timon Studler on Unsplash

Four steps may seem overly simplified to embark on the journey to Self Love, but in all reality it is simple.

Write or read affirmations when you are feeling low to remember your majesty, understand that people aren’t concerned about you as much as you may think and that the people that don’t value you aren’t worth your worries, embrace your amazing qualities and grow them, and collect other awesome humans to support you on your path.

The one thing we can all agree on, is that life happens. Everything comes together as it should. Some of us may fall into pits of depression or self loathing but we can always find a light and a way back to happiness and self acceptance if we try to take the simple steps that are available to us.

“You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you, and allowing that goodness to emerge. But it can only emerge if something fundamental changes in your state of consciousness.” — Eckhart Tolle


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