We have all been told to stop being so self-conscious probably as many times as we’ve told someone to stop being so self-conscious. We have come to use the term “self-conscious” in a negative, pitiful way – as a way to tell someone that what they are feeling towards themselves is being over-felt. And we have all come to use the term as an excuse for why we won’t do certain things, as a blanket to hide what we do not want acknowledge.
The term self-conscious, however, is actually quite a positive one. To be self-conscious is to have an acute awareness of oneself. To be aware of oneself is to recognize that you, each and every one of you, is an individual who has sentience existing inside a body. To be conscious of this is a gift to both your mind and your body. Be self-conscious.
Be self-conscious when you wake up in the morning and look yourself in the mirror. Do not be self-conscious in the way that feels embarrassed by a blemish on your cheek or a dimple on your thigh. Be self-conscious in the way that recognizes that you have a body, which is yours to take care of. And be self-conscious about the ways in which you treat your body. Be aware of what makes your skin feel fresh, your hair shine, your cheeks rosy, and your body feel like home.
Be self-conscious when you dive down a new career path. Do not be self-conscious in the way that makes you feel nervous around your new co-workers, afraid to ask questions, or uncertain of your ability. Be self-conscious in the way that recognizes your own intelligence, makes you aware of your desire to learn the answer to questions, and makes you cognizant of your skills.
Be self-conscious when you begin a new relationship. Do not be self-conscious in the way that makes you feel inhibited, or afraid of taking things too fast or slow. Be self-conscious in the way that analyzes how your new partner makes you feel both physically and emotionally. Be aware of your reactions and non-reactions, the presence and absence of your emotions, and the rationale behind your desires.
Do not be self-conscious in vanity. Be self-conscious in a way that allows you to see yourself, to feel yourself, to recognize you as a self. To be self-conscious is not to feel afraid, or unattractive, or uncomfortable. To be self-conscious is to feel. To be self-conscious is to recognize that you are alive, you are individual, and you are important. Be self-conscious.