Letting go of self consciousness and self criticism

This is my biggest thing at the moment that I am working on. On Saturday I went shopping and I just felt so anxious and self conscious in the shops and just really weird and unlike myself. I could see myself being like that but I was caught up and couldn’t get out of that anxious headspace.

I unpacked it later and think it came from a combination of:

I always have felt lucky and spoilt growing up so have a lot of guilt around shopping and spending money.

I am very critical of how I look so trying on clothes and being near mirrors isn’t always easy.

I think out of feeling not sure of myself and who I am I get a bit lost when shopping sometimes as I am not sure what clothes I actually want/like (or need).

I think I also feel a bit of guilt around shopping because I am trying to be more minimal at the moment and not over consume.

New, more compassionate thinking

Yes you are lucky but you also work hard and have thought about what you want to buy. Try not to be so hard on yourself, if having a few new things is going to make you feel better and you’ll enjoy them that is okay. If you can afford it you can give away other bits to charity. You don’t need to feel guilty about this. Try and let it go, you know you aren’t a wasteful, greedy person. Trust your inner compass. 

It is just a thought that you don’t look nice. You are more than how you look. You are a kind and loving person. See this thought pattern and hold it in awareness, smile with it and let it go. It is a learnt critical thought pattern which has developed since you were little, being aware of it and offering yourself compassion is the first step to it loosing any hold it might have over you. 

I tested out my new thinking at the gym this morning. I often find it hard to look at myself in the mirror but I did a few times and when I could see myself being critical I was aware of that and able to let the thought go, rather than loosing myself in feeling bad about myself. What really helps me is to consciously try and drop back/relax back into my body, bring awareness to my hands, feet or breathe and turn to my inner self, my heart space, and live from their in presence. From that place, negative, anxious thoughts come and go but I am able to watch them and let them pass.

It is a daily journey but seeing it as a journey and offering myself compassion, rather than seeing it negatively as battle, has helped me start to be more present, less anxious and less self conscious.

Now I am going to go for a walk and try and be present and not lost in my head. I’m wearing  my new trainers which I love and don’t feel guilty about buying too 😀

 

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