Do you feel self-conscious in your relationship?
It might be manifesting in different ways for you…
…Maybe you’re feeling self-conscious about something in particular – such as your appearance – or just generally feeling like you’re not good enough for your partner.
I’ve been there! I now know it doesn’t have to be like this.
Here are the ways you can stop being self-conscious in a relationship, which worked for me!
1) Doubts your doubts
We think thousands of thoughts each day.
On some days, you might feel like you have a million thoughts!
Now, given the amount of thoughts we have each day, it makes sense that not all of them will be factual or helpful…
…Some of our thoughts can be things we make up and they can be incredibly unhelpful.
Doubts are some of these thoughts!
These pesky thoughts can make us feel like we’re not good enough and that we don’t deserve certain things.
In my experience, doubt has only caused me to not do things that I’ve really wanted to do and it’s not allowed me to have the sort of relationship I’ve wanted.
Simply put, doubt has held me back and kept me small.
So what does this mean for you?
Don’t accept doubts on face value… Instead, doubt your doubts.
In other words, question the thoughts you have and whether they’re true or false.
You can literally play a game of fact or fiction with your thoughts!
Rather than accepting something as it is, pause and check-in about whether it’s fact or fiction.
As in, ask yourself: is this statement something that is actually provable and true?
Odds are, you’ll find that a lot of the things you’ve been thinking are false and that you have nothing to worry about.
2) Stop affirming that you’re insecure or self-conscious
Now, what is your self-talk like?
Think about your self-talk on a regular basis: do you affirm positive or negative things to yourself?
The reason I ask this is because how you talk to yourself matters.
It directly affects how we show up in the world, and it can affect us when it comes to our relationships too.
Simply put, the way we talk to ourselves has a direct effect on your external reality; we have the ability to design our realities through the conversations we have internally.
Let me explain.
If you spend a lot of time saying that you’re insecure, it’s going to be what your reality looks like.
Simply put, you’ll be programming yourself to feel insecure and you’ll feel like you can’t get out of this way of being.
It’s the basic premise of the Law of Attraction: we get what we put out and we are what we believe.
In other words, our reality mirrors our inner worlds.
With that in mind, make a conscious effort to affirm that you are not insecure in your relationship or self-conscious…
…Instead, focus on shifting your mind to all of the reasons you have no reason to be insecure and focus on those.
Write down all of the reasons you are secure and confident, and keep them in a visible place so you can remind yourself of them!
3) Practice self-love
Going hand-in-hand with affirmation and getting your self-talk right is practicing self-love.
Self-love is so important when it comes to having a healthy relationship and showing up as our best selves.
So what does this look like?
Well, talking to yourself positively is a form of self-love…
…So is setting boundaries, taking time for yourself and allowing yourself to relax.
Self-care can take so many different forms.
In my experience, I find a sense of self-care from carving out time for myself to practice yoga and meditation.
Just an hour of time spent breathing and stretching can entirely shift how I feel about myself and a situation… Including how I feel in a relationship.
Personally, I find that consistency is key when it comes to any self-love practice in order to feel like there’s a benefit.
For example, I always ensure Sunday afternoons are spent doing yoga quietly by myself so I can set refresh for the week ahead.
It allows me to empty my mind and to work through any lingering feelings that aren’t serving me… Such as feeling self-conscious.
As if that’s not enough, self-love can also look like having a luxurious bubble bath and spending the night by yourself!
Simply put, there is no rulebook for what self-love should look like.
Find what works for you and double down on it!
4) Speak to a professional
Whatever the situation, a second opinion is always helpful.
While friends and family can offer good stances on situations, I personally think that talking your thoughts through with a professional is always a good idea.
You see, they offer a fresh perspective that isn’t biased!
I’ve found that having a therapist has revolutionized how I deal with situations.
But here’s the thing:
Not just any old therapist will do: you need to make sure you have the right person for you.
As in, it’s important to work with someone that connects with you and understands your situation…
…So don’t be afraid to take some time to find the right therapist by speaking to different people.
It might take a week, a month or even half a year to find someone that you really connect with, but it will be worth the wait!
During your sessions, take the time to talk about how you’ve been feeling in your relationship to get to the root cause about why you might be feeling self-conscious.
Don’t be surprised if things might come up that you had forgotten about!
5) Journal your thoughts
Journaling is such a power tool for daily use.
It’s one of those things I wish I did more, as I always feel so good for doing it!
If you’re completely new to journaling, it’s simply the act of writing down how you’re feeling and keeping it to yourself.
Unlike a diary where you document the day, a journal is your space where you can unpack your internal world and thoughts you’ve been brushing up against.
Simply put, it allows you to get things out of your mind and on to paper!
Now, in addition to getting your thoughts out, you can also focus on using journaling as a space for self-reflection.
One exercise that I like to use my journal for is thinking about my values.
This helps me find my inner strength and feel less self-conscious, as I become more sure of who I am and what I’m about.
So how do you do it?
This free checklist by Jeanette Brown is an amazing tool I always refer to during self-reflection.
It gets me thinking about what it is I really care about and who I am at my core, which fills me with greater self-confidence.
What does this mean for you?
By establishing your values, you’ll find more self-confidence, which is the opposite to self-consciousness.
As you get clearer, you become more empowered!
6) Prioritize open communication with your partner
You might be feeling insecure and self-conscious in your relationship because your communication is off.
If this is the case, don’t beat yourself up…
…While the cornerstone to any successful relationship is good, clear communication, it’s easier said than done!
Communicating with a partner can be hard.
As someone who’s in a relationship, I know how one minute it can seem like your communication is on point, before something goes wrong an hour later…
…And you can find yourself thinking: ‘we just don’t work’ and ‘they can’t communicate’.
I can regularly find myself thinking that I should throw the towel in and give up.
You see, relationships take work!
It’s cliche, but no one said a relationship between two people was supposed to be easy!
It will be a bumpy ride, yet if two people are committed to working on their communication then things can work.
In order for a relationship to work, there has to be time spent understanding one another and how you both communicate.
Things can be easily misunderstood if you don’t take the time to explain yourself or what you meant.
What’s more, there is such a thing as saying something at the wrong time…
…This is why it’s a good idea to schedule important conversations with a partner, as opposed to dropping a bomb on them out of the blue!
I suggest organizing a time and sticking to it.
Simply put, schedule some time for you and your partner to talk through the things that have been on your mind recently, and see how it makes you feel as a result.
7) Work on acceptance
Acceptance is so powerful.
If you can accept yourself, others and situations around you, it puts you in such a strong position in life.
Not only will having acceptance help you to stop being self-conscious and to liberate you from worrying, but it will allow you to live with more ease.
It will free you from stresses that you have no power over.
There’s a saying by American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr that embodies this:
“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
You see, of course there are things in our lives we can change…
…But there are also things that we can’t do anything about.
These might be things about ourselves, including our pasts, or situations that are going on in our families right now.
Our power is in accepting the things we cannot change!
If you can do this, it will free you of a lot of the self-consciousness that you’re experiencing.
What is self-acceptance?
Self-acceptance is not trying to change who we are, but accepting ourselves for the version that we are today.
Coach Abby Medcalf explains that it’s not about being stagnant and not growing, but it’s rooted in acceptance. She explains:
“Self-acceptance doesn’t mean we don’t want to continually grow and change, but it does mean that we accept ourselves for where we are right now.
“For me, at the core of self-acceptance has been self-compassion.”
In other words, self-acceptance doesn’t mean we forget striving…
…We just do it from a place of love for ourselves rather than punishment.
Take working out as an example.
Before I moved to a state of self-acceptance, I used to constantly tell myself that my body wasn’t good enough.
For that reason, I would almost punish myself daily in the gym. I forced myself to go when I didn’t want to, as I didn’t think I looked good enough as I was.
Now, I never used to enjoy working out because I attached feelings of punishment to it.
But then… After putting in the work to accept myself, my relationship with my body changed.
Today, I still work out regularly but it’s for a different reason.
Rather than working out because I don’t feel good enough, I work out as I want to feel healthy.
You see, just because I accept myself doesn’t mean that I now don’t work out at all… It just means that I work out with a different intention.
In other words, self-acceptance offers a perspective shift!
How can I be confident in a relationship?
Confidence can only be found from deep within yourself.
There isn’t anything your partner can say or do that will give you a sense of confidence.
Sure, a comment a partner makes can make you feel good in the moment – but it’s not going to offer you a lasting sense of confidence.
What’s more, building confidence doesn’t just come about through one action. There are a series of things that need to take place!
It starts with knowing your worth.
You see, a confident person knows their value and that they bring a lot to the table.
In a relationship, a confident person is aware that they have something to add that is unique to them, and they don’t sell themselves short.
They know that they offer so much to a partner just by being themselves, and bringing their energy to the relationship!
Now, a confident person also takes care of their needs.
In other words, a confident person isn’t afraid to let other people know what it is they need.
It might be time for themselves or more connection.
For example, a confident person might request that they and their partner have some space for a few days because it’s what they need…
…And they’ll have no problem saying it in a straightforward and clear way!
Confident people also don’t let limiting beliefs define their realities:
They let go of the things that hold them back so they can be the best versions of themselves.