Self-consciousness is the act of being too occupied with one’s self and over-concerned about others’ perceptions. The person may feel everyone is judging his or her actions and words. People who experience self-consciousness are more prone to be extremely paranoid, have low self-esteem and be shy. They are worried about making small mistakes and embarrassing themselves. Self-consciousness mostly affects teenagers who are going through the puberty stage. Being self-conscious can prevent you from:
I started to be self-conscious when I was 13 years old. I was more on the chubby side and often wore my hair in pigtails. My classmates would tease me endlessly all the time. They made jokes about me for being big and ugly. For the first time, I realized there was a huge difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bodies. People labelled ‘good’ body as being skinny and pretty while a ‘bad’ body was classified as fat and ugly. I certainly didn’t fall into the ‘good’ body category at that age; my self-worth and self-esteem have plummeted that year.
One day, I decided to make a major change to improve myself. I searched the Internet and read magazines on how to lose weight. I came across successful stories of how several girls overcame obesity through effective exercise regimes. I became inspired and gave myself a try on exercising. I went to the gym and tried a few exercise regimes, namely Yoga, Pilates and Zumba. Among these fitness exercises, I discovered my love for Zumba fitness. After joining Zumba for several months, I noticed my waistline decreased. I could still remember the day when I bought a new pair of skinny jeans. I could never imagine myself being able to fit into a pair of skinny jeans before I started exercising.
I admit the entire process is not a piece of cake. I didn’t lose weight and gain my confidence overnight. I have put in a lot of effort to reach to where I’m today. I found working out to be a laborious task as I wasn’t an active person back then. I preferred playing computer games at home to going for a walk. Every day, I would make it a habit to exercise in the gym. I also set small goals along the way. I found that setting small goals were important as they motivated you to further improve yourself. I felt a sense of fulfilment each time I achieved a goal. I began to realize that strengths and good qualities are more important than appearance. Your self-worth is not defined by your height and weight. Instead, it is measured by your positive attributes and strengths.
There are several other steps that you can take to stop being self-conscious:
It’s true that we often put ourselves down and feel bad about ourselves. There are times when others will make negative comments about us. Try not to take them seriously and stop being harsh on yourself. Embrace your little imperfections and remind yourself that you are a unique person.
Teenagers With Experience is an organisation created to provide teenagers with a platform to share and help others from their own experiences while also educating others on different topics. We aim to provide a safe space to all teenagers around the world and support others. You can contact us via email, social media or our contact form found on our home page.