Self-Consciousness: Solving the Hidden Hinderance to Enjoyment and Performance

The more energy you expend worrying about yourself, the less energy you have to make a difference in the world.

Self-consciousness drains energy, enjoyment, and effectiveness.

Self-consciousness is your inner voice telling you that people don’t like you, you’re not good enough, or you’re going to screw up.

Mother duck watching over ducklings.

Gently shift your attention to something bigger than yourself.

Self-aware or self-conscious:

Self-awareness is healthy and useful. Self-consciousness is harmful and limiting. The difference is judgement.

Self-awareness notices and responds without condemnation. Self-consciousness is criticism.

Freedom from self-consciousness:

Self-consciousness is mental focus.

Gently shift your attention to something bigger than yourself.

#1. Curiosity.

Curiosity about others is one way to shift from focusing on yourself to serving others.

#2. Focus.

Imagine tasks and responsibilities are screaming children. Let your attention go to the most important child.

Focus on the most important task at hand.

Your inner critic quiets a little when you direct your focus to an important task that’s outside yourself.

#3. Self-awareness.

Notice self-consciousness, but don’t beat yourself down when you do. Say, “Ah, I’m being self-conscious. Where do I want to shift my focus?”

#4. Engage.

Engagement is essential for fulfillment. Self-conscious leaders never enjoy leading because self-consciousness is disengagement.

Engagement and self-consciousness don’t coexist. As self-consciousness goes up, engagement goes down. How can you DO something meaningful? Why is it meaningful?

Self-forgetfulness is part of making a difference in the world.

How does self-consciousness hold back leaders?

How might people overcome self-consciousness?

Making the Most of Dissatisfaction

Learned Optimism