Ever walked into a social gathering or meeting and stood there for a while feeling completely at a loss and wishing you were more confident?
Horrible isn’t it? You look around and see everyone else engaging and you’re not sure if you even fit in.
If you can’t shake it (or someone doesn’t come and save you) it can ruin your whole experience. And if you’re someone who always feels like this then you probably completely avoid these kind of situations, right?
Feeling inferior is isolating and keeps you from expressing yourself freely.
Coping is so important. After all a lot of the things we want in life involve or emerge from social situations. Friendships. Family life. Leisure. Work. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Nope, whether you like it or not there’s no escaping the downsides to not being comfortable in your own skin.
It can lead to not getting our needs met and lots of missed opportunities.
So why do you suddenly feel so self conscious and how can you feel more confident?
It’s all down to having a poor self-image.
You see it’s really important to us to be accepted. We’ve already established how much is riding on it. So it kind of makes sense that you’re going to be a bit apprehensive going into any group situation.
But that natural concern can make you overly-focused and overly-critical of yourself. You start questioning one or more aspects of your identity. How do I look? Will they like my character? Am I behaving right?
Meanwhile it’s fine and acceptable for everyone else to be exactly who they are.
And suddenly we’re on the outside. Feeling disconnected.
It’s fuelled by judging yourself in a harsher way than you would others.
The funny thing is that if you saw someone suffering like this you’d probably want them to feel welcome. Nobody wants anyone to feel like that – feeling like they’re in an emotional prison.
So if you think about it there’s no one judging you but yourself. And that’s the key to your release. You’ve got to stop sentencing yourself so harshly in the first place.
So simply practice seeing and talking to yourself in a more compassionate way.
There’s actually lots that you can do to stop tying yourself in knots. But let’s get right to the point – anything you do should be about learning to see yourself far less critically.
For example you could try this:
Close your eyes for 5 minutes (or more if you like) and start feeling strong compassion for yourself. Now say something kind to yourself that contradicts something negative that you currently believe.
For instance you could say something like ‘I am a very likeable person.’ or ‘I can speak confidently.’
Now simply rinse and repeat this method regularly until you’ve changed your self-critical habit. Maybe make it part of your morning routine?
You’ll soon begin to feel just as worthy and just as deserving as everyone else.
There’s nothing better than feeling more confident and realising that there is (and never was) anything wrong with you. If you want to fit in then of course you can, it’s just up to you to make that first move.
Just don’t forget that the best first move you can make begins with your own self-acceptance.
Let me know how this helped…