The significance of awareness about oneself and consciousness about one’s surroundings is paramount. However, more often than not, this self awareness and consciousness reaches beyond the prescribed level and pays no heed to limits and boundaries. It is then that self awareness and self consciousness takes the form of insecurities. “Am I looking too fat in this? Is my hair alright? Do they think I am stupid? Maybe I should stop talking.” Questions such as these cloud the brain and destroy your peace of mind. Yes, they sound kind of silly and ridiculous. But these are the apparently insignificant questions that cause insecurities and self doubt.
You may be under the impression that this is not something to worry about. Right? But there are a few reasons self consciousness needs to be kept in check due to its harmful effects on you.
- Lack of confidence
There is nothing more attractive or impressive than confidence in a person. A confident person exudes charisma in the way he speaks and carries himself and is a immediate favourite in a crowd. However, if you are constantly worried about how you look or what others might be thinking of you or if anyone is judging you, that will always show in your personality. No matter how hard you try to conceal your self doubt, it is bound to be apparent to others. Your hesitation and uncertainty in action is quite evident and highly unappealing.
- You lose integrity of character
At this point your character starts losinga integrity. You are under-confident. You do not trust yourself at all and feel the desperate need to please others. You end up trying too hard. Putting in more effort than necessary makes you seem desperate for attention and that is rather off-putting. You say yes to everything even if it goes against your will. The incessant urge to be in the good books of everyone, stranger or friend, makes you appear a little cuckoo and people stop taking you seriously.
- Overtly sensitive to comments and opinions from others
When you are too conscious of your every move, you tend to become hypersensitive. Anything anyone says about you becomes far more important to you than it should be. Also, a self conscious brain has certain default settings: negative and irrational. You tend to misconstrue everything you hear. Even if someone tells you something without implying negativity, you automatically assume that they are criticising you. This misunderstanding is not based on any rational thinking. It is simply your hypersensitivity getting the better of you.
- Trapped in irrationality
When you are constantly obsessing over little things and not using your brain for more intelligent actions, your brain tends to shut down on you. The functionality of your brain gets reduced to redundant thoughts, baseless assumptions and self deprecating ideas. You start thinking irrationally; look at everything from a negative perspective. You stop believing anything good can ever happen to you. Why should it, right? Trapped in this vicious cycle, you seem to find no way out. So, you keep going back to your negative thoughts and find solace in isolation.
- Sense of alienation
Due to hypersensitivity, you tend to misunderstand your peers and well wishers. Naturally, you feel alone or even lonely. This sense of alienation is quite dangerous. There is no greater sorrow in the world than the sense of being all alone. You push away your friends and those who care about you. This isolation is self called upon and hence requires measures to be taken by no one else but you. The anguish you feel when you think no one supports you is quite powerful and can lead to greater problems than just minor insecurities.
- Misunderstood by everyone
No one seems to understand your problem. No one understands why you feel so negative all the time; why you are so conscious about your every move; why social gatherings cause you anxiety; why you are so harsh on yourself. Everyone seems to think your problems are juvenile and you should just “grow up” or “move on”. And you know what the worst part of all this is? It is that they are probably right – your issues are juvenile and you do need to grow up. But you just can’t help it. It is extremely frustrating to have to explain to others that it is not as easy as it seems from afar.
- You lose your faith in people
Can anyone really relate to you? Since it is highly improbable that anyone understands your anxiety issues, you lose your trust in people. You start feeling lost in a crowd and you feel as if your closest friends can’t relate to you. Naturally, your instinct to share your feelings with your best buddies starts to diminish and slowly disappears altogether. So, you isolate yourself further and build an impermeable wall around yourself. Living in a cocoon is hard and extremely miserable.
- You become bitter
The sweet and endearing nature that everyone adored you for starts to vanish slowly but surely. Your reluctance to do anything or engage in social activities and your lack of faith in others as well as yourself makes you the exact opposite of amicable. Pushing people away and hiding behind the walls you have built only makes you a weaker person. Your natural instinct is therefore to turn acerbic in nature. Everything annoys you and your response is cranky and irritable. Bitterness is really the go-to emotion. After all, offence is the best defence.
- You lose people who love you
Your acrid personality pushes away those who actually care about you. Friends and family only try to help you. But your irrational brain senses them as dangerous elements and goes into attack mode. Intentionally severing ties with the important people who make your life worthwhile is truly the worst thing that you could do. But all sensibility has left the building by now. At this stage, all you care about is yourself. You seclude yourself.
The ultimate ill effect of excessive self-consciousness is depression. Your failures and unpleasant experiences keep playing over and over again in your mind. Your anxiety, discomfort, hesitation, self deprecating thoughts are visible externally as well. All of these ideas reinforce your sense of defeat. You give up. The urge to get out of bed in the morning and carry on with your day attenuates. You feel lonely, vulnerable and shut out everything else. You find the emptiness comforting. Depression is the ultimate fall in your personality.
Being self aware is quite different from being self conscious in that one is positive and the other, negative. Be aware of yourself, identify your flaws and grow as a person. But do not get so completely consumed in yourself that it causes you to turn into such a miserable mess. Love yourself, be confident and have faith. Nothing is more powerful than belief.
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