What is Self Conscious?

It’s one thing to be interested in how you are perceived by others, it’s another to be overwhelmed by wondering what people are (or a particular person is) thinking about you. Being consumed by what someone else is thinking about you indicates self-consciousness.

Which is not to be confused with being consciously aware of one’s self.


If you are self conscious, you are obsessed by what other people think about you and are threatened by their (perceived) thoughts, or even worse, if they actually voice the slightest criticism.

It may be of some comfort to realize that people are not as likely to think as much about you as you might like to give them credit for.

For instance, if you’re giving an important speech in front of peers at a formal affair, you’re introduced by the emcee and as you walk up to the podium you trip over the microphone cord. You don’t fall, but your misstep was painfully noticeable. You regain your composure, make your way to the podium and look out at all the faces staring at you.

The self conscious person assumes the entire audience is thinking something like, “what a klutz!” or that you’re, “so nervous,” you’re, “stumbling all over yourself,” and, “can’t even walk straight,” or they might be wondering if you’re drunk.

While the self respecting person (on the other end of the spectrum) would simply recognize the unfortunate cord placement which was nearly the cause of a full onstage fall, shrug it off, walk up to the podium and begin his or her speech as if nothing happened.

The self conscious person in this scenario might approach a confidant after the speech and say, “Did you see that huge mic cord stretched across the stage that nearly killed me as I was trying to make my speech? I tripped, nearly killed myself and must’ve seemed the fool, or people might have thought I was drunk.”

The confidant is likely to honestly reply, “Oh, I didn’t even notice.” As neither did most, if not all of the attending audience. The self-conscious create an enormous amount of self-imposed drama and internal dialogue based on ideas without merit: nothing.

Thinking is one thing, what about what someone says?

What someone says about you, or to you about you, doesn’t really have as much to do with you, as it does with them.

You might be introduced to a personal trainer who says, “You are amazing. You would be so much more amazing if you were to lose 15 or 20 pounds and firm up in a couple of target areas. I could help you with that.”

The self conscious mind machine goes into overdrive spitting out a mental ticker tape, asserting the trainer, “called me fat … said I was flabby … overweight … a big blob of jelly … I’m not as amazing as I could be because I’m a fatty …” and on and on it goes with the self criticism that could potentially lead to self loathing, “I hate myself.”

Self respecting people would ask for the trainer’s card and might say, “Thank you.” And if they’re not considering themselves a potential client, might offer the card to someone else who might be looking to spend more quality time at the gym.

What if you asked your partner, “How does my butt look in these jeans?” to which they reply, “Yeah… I wouldn’t be putting that butt in those jeans if I were you.”


Don’t worry about it. You have no idea what was going on inside the mind and body of your respective partner at the time you asked the question that made them respond like that.

Most everyone is self conscious to some degree, but to move from self consciousness to respecting yourself in all things is the goal of one growing in conscious awareness of one’s self. Not to deny anything is as it is, but simply to recognize that things are what they are, shrug it off and don’t let it (whatever it is) knock you off-track (even though it may knock you off-balance momentarily) and resume your life.

Stay tuned and I will give you some tips on how to overcome self-consciousness.

Don’t Should on Yourself

I work with people who come in covered head to toe in should. How can anyone have any quality of life when they’re covered in should?

I should do this, I should do that… There’s should over here, should over there. How can you get anything done when you’re so full of should?

don t should on yourself no should
Don’t Should On Yourself

Nothing good ever came from should.

Take a good look at your should, what do you see? A big, ol’ pile of should that is at the very least unsettling to examine if not totally disgusting.

Should is rooted in negative, guilt-ridden angst and needs to be eliminated from your life; otherwise it festers and piles up inside of you making you feel worse about yourself, doubt your ability to be productive, lose faith in yourself and can lead to self-loathing.

Should Elimination Cleanse

It’s time to take a big should elimination cleanse.

What’s on your Should List?

Get out a sheet of paper and write down all the things that you tell yourself that you should do on your should list. I should lose weight. I should write Aunt Emma. I should get a better insurance company. I should clean out the garage. I should get a better job. I should start working out. I should spend more time with my kids. Also include those things you feel you shouldn’t do, like I shouldn’t spend so much time with technology, I shouldn’t watch bad news, I shouldn’t drink alone, I shouldn’t show up late, I shouldn’t scream at the kids, I shouldn’t put others needs before my own, and the list goes on and on…

Look at the size of your should list. It’s overwhelming when you realize that you’re so full of should. We’re getting rid of your should list, although you get a chance to cull some of the things from the list and move them to another list.

To clean up your shoulds, get another sheet of paper, this is a list of goals. If you feel compelled to keep some of the shoulds, you may convert them to a goal only if you are willing to take action on it.

That’s the difference between a big pile of should that bogs you down and drains your enthusiasm and goals that inspire you to take action. Shoulds are the things that you don’t do and goals are the things that you do do. Shoulds feel bad because how long have they haunted you? They bombard you and overwhelm you with guilt and make you feel unworthy, that you’re not good enough or like a loser. If something’s been on your should list for more than a year: Really? That’s a lot of unnecessary self-abuse. But, if you’re willing to transfer it to your goal list, you’re only allowed to if you’re committed to taking an action on it within the next seven days. Otherwise, it’s gotta go.

You can revisit the eliminated should at a later date. If it is something you really would like to accomplish at some point, you can re-evaluate it when it’s more likely that you will take action on it and make a goal of it. In the meantime, there’s no more should about it.

Burn your should list. You’re done with that should. No should.

If you’ve transferred it to your goal list and not taken action on it in the seven days, take that should and burn it. Burn that should.

No more should.

You’re not taking any should any more. You’re shouldless.

And that’s just you shoulding on yourself. How often do you should on others?

You know what it’s like to be shoulded on. You don’t like to be should on, so stop shoulding on others.

And if people are shoulding on you, then put them on notice. They are not allowed to should on you again. You’re not taking any more should; not from you, not from anyone.

Enjoy living your new should-free life.

Am I Too Shy to be Massively Successful?

Almost anyone can go through periods in their life of shyness, especially if life has caught them off-guard or if they’re in a position to question their worthiness.

Am I too shy to be massively successful

In the event that you see what may be perceived as shyness come and go, then you probably need to do some internal work on your self confidence. This will help you get back on track and in the flow of self-empowerment.

If it’s a condition that you stuggle with all of your life, day in, day out, you may be an introvert.

Contrary to belief, introverts are not shy but rather approach life and expression of self in a different way that extroverts.

To answer the question, “Am I too shy to be massively successful?” The answer is clearly, “No.”

In fact, you may be comparing yourself to the wrong folks. If you’re comparing yourself to the loud, boisterous, famous people who dominate the press and tabloids, then you would certainly feel inadequate if you think that this is what you need to act like if you desire success.

On the other hand, if you compare yourself to other introverts who have made huge contributions to our world, you realize that you are absolutely perfect just the way you are.

Abraham Lincoln was an introvert and struggling with self-consciousness did not prevent him from taking massive action for the world at large.

Consider these highly successful introverts:

Never too shy to be great albert einstein bill gates steven spielbergAlbert Einstein
Audrey Hepburn
Bill Gates
Charles Schwab
Christina Aguilera
Courteney Cox
Eleanor Roosevelt
Emma Watson
J.K. Rowling
Steve Wozniak
Steven Spielberg
Warren Buffet

Not bad to have your name among those on that list, right?

First off, you must realize that you are perfect just the way you are. You have certain attributes and special abilities that come naturally that otherwise would be difficult for others who are less sensitive to learn. For instance…

If you are an introverts you are more likely:


More cautious and are prone to be less reckless than their extroverted counterparts.


Able to avoid the spotlight (tabloids) and are less likely to receive negative press on the front page news.


Gifted with the ability to carry on meaningful conversations (not just idle chit-chat).


Make other people feel as though you really care and are actively listening.

Deeply Connect

Avoid small talk, have meaningful conversations and active listening.


To under promise and over-deliver, unlike extroverts who tend to overstate and fail to live up to expectations.


Since they can be content with spending time alone and away from the crowd, this gives them time to be more contemplative and creative than their peers.


Work productively in an organized space and manner.


Excel at conducting extensive research

In the corporate world it is not unusual to discover that the introvert who has worked his or her way up the internal hierarchy is considered the “secret weapon” of the organization.

They are highly valued yet do not seek praise or public recognition as they are more comfortable in a respected support position in the background.

In brainstorming sessions and mastermind meetings they are turned to following violent discourses where they sit silently and calmly and are asked, “What do you think?”

Alternatively, there are some things that you’re less likely to be good at. You don’t necessarily have to learn to act as if you are an extrovert, but you might consider expanding your skill set to include some of the things that come naturally to extroverts.

Keep your eyes open for opportunities to engage in activities that you have never participated in before. Though this may be an uncomfortable challenge, think of it as learning to help others with similar inhibitions (because we’re more likely to be motivated to do something for someone les, than ourselves). Following the experience, you may be surprised to find it enjoyable or rewarding. Congratulations for getting ‘er done.

Consider getting more comfortable with:

  • Modeling others (try to “act like” someone you admire in a particular situation)
  • Dealing with problems (instead of avoiding them)
  • Tolerance (not judging others so much)
  • Public speaking & giving presentations
  • Networking in group settings
  • Becoming better in negotiations
  • Increasing your sales skills

Remember to take baby-steps toward your success. Don’t try to bite off more than you can chew. You could be easily overwhelmed and if too far outside your comfort zone, you might tend to bag the whole idea.

It’s better to be content with making a little progress every day (or regularly) than expecting to establish a high degree of competency overnight.

Reward yourself with solitude to recharge after engaging in a personal growth exercise and remember to love yourself because you are perfect just the way you are and totally well-equipped and poised for massive success!

Keep growing!

See you at the top.