Advertising
Advertising

7 Steps To Embrace Your Inner Introvert And Not Feel Bad

7 Steps To Embrace Your Inner Introvert And Not Feel Bad

Have you ever done a personality test? When I got the results of my Myers-Briggs last year I had an epiphany. INFJ all the way. Of course, I’m an introvert! Are you an introvert as well?

Unfortunately, the excitement over my new insight wore off quickly and was replaced with worry: Does that mean I suck at networking? How can I ever be successful if I’m not a people person? Will all my friends abandon me if I embrace my introvert personality?

If you’re an introvert like me, you probably feel bad about yourself quite often, because you think your personality is holding you back in life. But over the course of the last 9 months I found plenty of reasons that that’s not true. I discovered 7 ways how you can embrace your introverted personality and feel great about it, here they are.

1. Listen to music when you leave the house on your own

As an introvert, I often walk around outside alone, for example to the pool to go for a swim or to shop for groceries, or even just take a walk. I found that listening to music makes me a lot more confident. You can listen to your favorite songs and get pumped on the way to the gym, or play a funny game called eye-gazing: you look people in the eyes as they pass you. Don’t look mean, smile, but look them in the eyes and don’t look away. You’ll see most people will avert their gaze faster than you do!

Advertising

It’s a great way to boost confidence and make you feel great about who you are. Dance your way through the streets, not caring what anyone thinks. You’re an introvert and you’re just fine.

2. Use social media. A lot

Remember how everyone always says social media aren’t all that social, because now people just stay in and socializes on their computer? This is what makes them perfect for us introverts! You can talk to and connect with millions of people – without having to leave your living room.

Imagine having 20 people in your house, exhausting, right? But talking to 20 people throughout the day on Twitter, Facebook and even Skype, that can be fun! You can reach out to old friends or get to make new ones, learn tons of new things and find mentors, without having to say a single word, if you don’t want to.

3. Start something creative, and be bold in creating

Have a passion project, for example a blog, an Instagram account where you take photos, or write a book. When you create you can be as bold as you want to be. Your imagination knows no limits and none of the limits that others might put on you matter when you quietly work on something that shows your genius.

Advertising

I chose to start a blog and it’s been great fun to write for myself, for other blogs and try all kinds of content to grow it and create something valuable that helps people. This is your chance to show the world your brilliance, passion and even become an authority. Those who teach are always perceived as experts. A lot of people who might criticize you at work, will commend you for what you write on your blog, giving you a confidence boost and showing you that you DO have a story that’s worth telling and showing the world.

The world is split into consumers and creators. Becoming a creator is one of the best ways to feel great about yourself (whether you’re an introvert or not).

4. Pick up a solo sport

You know exercise is important, and maybe you even do sports with your friends on occasion already, but chances are a team sport is not for you. Even if you play one, a solo sport can be a great way to balance things out.

For us introverts exercising solo is one of the best times to think, so get a treadmill, buy a ticket to the pool or pick up yoga, running or another sport you can do all by yourself. It’ll just be you, your thoughts and maybe some music – you’ll feel great during and after!

Advertising

5. Say no to meetings you don’t want to do

Especially for business, people love to do in-person meetings. Everyone just gets together and chitchats. These meetings are often much more about socializing, than they are about solving a problem. Often there’s a much faster way that doesn’t even require a meeting to take care of the problem.

So when you feel like a meeting won’t help you make any progress, politely decline and suggest an alternative solution. The same is true for meeting with your friends. Do it as often as you like, but never be afraid to say no when you don’t want to. You’ll always be glad you did it afterwards.

Do you know that awkward feeling in your stomach after you said yes to something you didn’t want to do? This will make it go away.

6. Inspire yourself by reading books about famous introverts

You’re not alone. There are many introverts out there in the world, who have become wildly famous and successful. You just need to surround yourself with them. Books are a great way to do this. For example “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, “Quiet! The Power of Introverts” by Susan Cain or the Sherlock Holmes series by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are a good start.

Advertising

All of these people are introverts, but they didn’t let that stop them and neither should you.

7. Come up with a powerful mantra

A mantra or affirmation is a short little statement you can recite to yourself over and over again. For example this can simply be you, standing in front of your mirror in the morning, telling yourself: “I’m an introvert, and I’m great the way I am. My life is my message to the world and I’m going to make it inspiring in my own way.”

You can also develop a very short mantra that you can repeat to yourself before difficult situations, for example when you’re about to enter your office in the morning, such as: “I am strong.” or “What I do matters.” Just repeating this one sentence over and over again for a minute or so will program your subconscious mind to live the words throughout the day.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via images.unsplash.com

More by this author

Niklas Goeke

Student, Technical University of Munich

Creating a Daily Reading Habit in 4 Steps (A How-To For People With No Time) 15 Motivational Books To Read In Your 20s 15 Motivational Books To Read In Your 20s Benefits of reading featured image This Infographic Will Show You How A Few Minutes Of Reading Every Day Will Make You A Better Person Why It’s Never Too Late To Do Something Great This Infographic Will Finally Teach You How To Be Mentally Strong

Trending in Communication

1 Why an Attitude of Gratitude Is Essential (And How to Develop It) 2 Procrastination Is a Matter of Emotion, Here’s How to Stop It 3 What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It) 4 How to Get Unstuck in Life and Live a More Fulfilling Life 5 What Will Happen When You Surround Yourself With Positive People?

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

Advertising

1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

Advertising

If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

Advertising

6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

Advertising

In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

Read Next