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Unread 06-26-2012, 01:11 AM   #1
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Default How to overcome self consciousness and low self image ?

I didn't have a really happy childhood, and due to many reasons too lengthy to tell, I was always the "odd" kid. I was judged harshly by adults, looked down on frequently, abused and was very shy back then.

Now I am much better, living an almost normal life. But my poor self image from the past keeps following me all the time. I always have a feeling people are seeing me in a negative light, or they dislike me, or they think I'm naive and exploitable (this is what I feel). As a result I am extremely insecure and self conscious about the way I act in public, even at home with my parents.

I'm always afraid people will walk over me once again. I have built a muscular body, a cold look and an infinite list of things I do to help me overcome my insecurity. None of them actually help.

Sometimes taking a walk on the street is extremely uncomfortable. I can sense people noticing this too and that makes them uncomfortable too. I'm nearly 20 and this problem has greatly interfered with my life.
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Unread 06-26-2012, 08:58 AM   #2
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Default Re: How to overcome self consciousness and low self image ?

You cannot overcome inner feelings by outer trappings. It is not that other people are going to walk over you, it is that you are afraid they will; that's very different. So, no amount of muscular body and cold looks can make you feel better inside. You have to get a muscular inside and warm, welcoming looks to get that good feeling.

Start with how well you have been taking care of yourself! You did not cower in the corner and give up. You worked out and tried to protect yourself. The trick is to realize you can do that; has anyone taken advantage of you lately? No. Unfortunately, part of that is because people are afraid to come close to you at all which is probably not what you want?

I would start with practicing smiling instead of looking cold. Hard to do/remember but think about how well you have kept people away. Think of things in their extreme too, so you can laugh. Here you have this muscular body, are a strong, virile 20 year old man and what if a little old lady were to want to take advantage of you? I always think of my stepmother, how she tickled my brother into submission when he was about your age No other way she could have, it was very fun/funny for all of us.

Have you ever thought about how much bigger and stronger you are than your mother, even your father? When my stepson was a young teen and got his growth spurt, he started getting a bit aggressive and we were playing "catch" in a long hallway in my house and I had to gently nudge him against the wall and point out, "You may be taller than I am but I outweigh you by over 100 pounds" :-)

Think of your assets, not your fears. You are intelligent, thoughtful, have worked hard with yourself to help yourself and have, you just did not understand how to do the inside bit. It can be learned and you are intelligent. . . etc.!

There are lots of books and sites to help you learn. I like this one because most of the steps are "easy"/can be practiced right away:

http://www.thechangeblog.com/self-confidence/
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Unread 06-26-2012, 09:07 AM   #3
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Default Re: How to overcome self consciousness and low self image ?

Dear Finieas,
Perna has said all i would have liked to tell you.In addition,i will say that though much older than you in years,i too always felt like you did 7 i could very well have written what you have written.But i have recovered lost ground & i would like to share it with you.Please see this link
http://jeeteraho.blogspot.in/2010/12/mouse-in-trap.html
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Unread 06-26-2012, 09:43 AM   #4
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Default Re: How to overcome self consciousness and low self image ?

Excellent suggestions from Perna.

There's also a self-esteem forum here which I personally found helpful:

http://forums.psychcentral.com/steps-better-self-esteem/

Edit - I see it's been moved to that forum, hope you will check out some of the other threads fineias - there are lots of good tips among them.

Last edited by Anonymous321456; 06-26-2012 at 11:06 AM.
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Unread 07-08-2012, 05:04 AM   #5
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Default Re: How to overcome self consciousness and low self image ?

You must start from the inside, not the outside. I'd say. I'd dealt with a lot of low self estéem and thought that the earth would be a much better place without me.
As you, I have also felt alone and looked down upon. But then I started thinking that we aren't born in to this world as lower or better than each other. But we have a choice to impose good or bad to the world. To be part of it or to withdraw from it. If you choose to be part of the world and be good to the world, then you are of a great value to this world. Even little things counts. And this in itself should bring self-esteem. The negative option is easier but the other one is more than worth it! And no matter what your past is each time you bring a smile to someones face. Wether it's a deep smile or a shallow smile you are of great value to us all. Because we need each other. And people need you.
If you start thinking this way and doing good actions, I dare say it will not only affect you on the inside but also on the outside.
Best of luck!
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Unread 07-08-2012, 09:13 AM   #6
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Default Re: How to overcome self consciousness and low self image ?

Very true,sundaymorning.
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