The opposite of self-confidence is self-consciousness. To achieve self-confidence, then, all you need to do is get rid of your self-consciousness. But how? How do we get our attention off ourselves? Easy — by putting it somewhere else. And the easiest way to have your attention on something else is to have a purpose of some kind.
Let’s see how this works. Let’s say you’re at a party and you’re feeling self-conscious. The first question to ask is “Do you have some purpose for being at the party in the first place?” If you don’t, a quick and easy way to stop feeling self-conscious would be to leave the party. But let’s say you do have a purpose for being there.
Ask yourself, “What’s my purpose here?” In other words, what do you want? What are you trying to accomplish? What are you after? Take a few moments and think about it. Would you like to make business contacts? Do you want to entertain people? Do you need information from somebody? Do you want to help bring people together? Do you want to meet someone? The question is: What is your aim or intention? If you don’t have any purpose for being there, either go somewhere where you do have a purpose or make up some purpose. For example, during the course of the evening your purpose could be to find someone who knows where you can get a good math tutor for your child.
In a place I used to work, we had stretches of time with nothing to do, yet we had to be there. It left me with no purpose. So I made up purposes or made the situation serve other purposes of mine. Some of the employees spoke more Spanish than English, and I wanted to learn Spanish, so in the dead times, I’d teach them English and they’d teach me Spanish. Other times I needed new ideas for a project I was working on at home, and I asked my coworkers to help me, which they were glad to do. Accomplish a goal. Make up a goal if you have to. Do you want to get rid of your self-consciousness? Put your attention on an aim. To have self-confidence, have a purpose. It’s that simple.
Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal Growth, Slotralogy, Antivirus For Your Mind, and co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English). Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.