To Be Or Not To Be – Self-Conscious


A universal story we all can relate to. You were in college when you went to audition for the news anchor job. It was your dream to be on camera reading the news. You rehearsed this role for many years in front of the dressing mirror at home. Now finally one gets an opportunity to audition. As you walk into the audition office, you feel the spotlight is on you. Today was the day to turn your dream into reality. But you felt self conscious of every move you made, in front of the panel of experienced anchors. This inhibited your natural flow of thoughts and the serene state of mind. You suddenly seems to doubt their own voice, tone, content. You are only conscious of how everyone is judging your persona. The focus shifts on fear and not performing to your potential. Needless to say, you fail the audition!

We can all have experienced these incidents in our lives. Been part of an audience and hesitated to ask question, as people may judge think it was a stupid question. Felling very self-conscious to dance freely in party and so missed the fun. Acting too reserved or guarded as we feel people may laugh at us!

Being Self-Conscious is it good or bad? Self-conscious emotions arise from how we think of ourselves and how other people think of us. So exploring this more deeply, we analyze the distinction between moderate and excessive self conscious emotions. These emotions increase our self awareness to make us more compassionate to our community, culture and teaches us social skills. If I am aware of my mistakes or if I hurt someone’s feelings, I know I have to apologize. These moderate self conscious emotions are healthy for us.

The excessive self-conscious emotions which overwhelm our thoughts, emotions and our self esteem are unhealthy for us. The best way to explain this is by observing our teenagers who should be conscious about their clothes, their looks, their hairstyle etc. But if this becomes an obsession for them then it is harmful. This obsessive behavior can lead to low self-esteem which can lead to anxiety and depression.

Self-conscious emotions are really connected to our self-awareness. We need to be just conscious of how we are within without any judgments. Once we are mindful of our own thoughts and actions, outside influences and opinions do not affect us. We have to be grounded, without being arrogant and overconfident about ourselves. Once we go inwards we are conscious of this fine line, which transform our excessive self-conscious emotions to healthy emotions.

List of various ways to develop a positive image and a healthy self-conscious emotions:-

  • Accept your mistakes, take responsibility and try to make amends
  • Practice deep breathing and avoid brooding about the past.
  • Avoid taking ownership of any shame or guilt, related to any medical condition. Seek treatment.
  • Mindfulness and Meditation Techniques empower the Self and self esteem.


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