This inward focus distracts your mind from what is happening around you and is likely to attract attention to yourself through your nervous gestures. If you can concentrate on the outside, you minimize your chances of feeling self-conscious as self-consciousness can only come from the inside.
Self-consciousness causes you to have feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. You constantly compare yourself with others and you feel you are not good enough. You are very reluctant to approach people unknown to you. You fear rejection and the unfavourable opinions you feel you are like to receive. You avoid actions that you think are likely to attract criticism, so you concentrate instead on pleasing others.
As a self-conscious person, you are easily noticed. You unconsciously display distinct signs of self-consciousness. You fidget awkwardly a lot, for example, through nervousness you make small movements with your fingers, with your pen or any object, rubbing your hands, holding a bag, file, etc. in front of your chest, avoiding eye contact when talking to someone, talking quickly and not sufficiently attentive when being talked to.
Most of you have no difficulty in speaking to one, two or a few people. But when having to speak before a crowd, you tremble helplessly with fear. Your self-consciousness is induced by the disturbing thought that all eyes will be focused directly on you, and you will be under continuous and critical examination. These feelings of fear and anxiety cause your mind to go completely blank and consequently, at their worst render you almost speechless.
One main contributory cause of this terrible fear is the intention to deliver an excellent speech so as to create a favourable impression among members of the audience. The remedy lies in not trying to impress or be someone else. Be your natural self and you need not have to impress. If you are a good speaker, people will notice. When you free your mind from the thought that everyone is looking at you, your fear and nervousness, which are perfectly normal, will cease to communicate themselves to the audience and your self-consciousness will not be so conspicuous.
Remember, the people are there to listen to you, so focus your attention outward on them, and not inward on yourself. As long as you know your subject well and deliver it well, you will certainly gain the approval of the audience. Even if you show visible sign of slight nervousness, they will accept it with understanding that it’s a normal human feeling given the circumstance you are in.
How you view yourself is important. If you dislike some aspect of yourself, the tendency is there to feel self-conscious about it. Say, you don’t like the shape of your body or the size of your nose or ears. Improvements, nowadays, can be easily sought. Available options include physical workouts or cosmetic surgery which you can resort to, to definitely enhance yourself. But wouldn’t it be better to accept yourself as you are? After all, each of you is born to be special.
If you are the type who is unduly aware about your dressing, and thus feel self-conscious in the presence of well-dressed people, before you rush to spend extravagantly on those fashionable clothes, be honest with yourself as to whether you have any justification for feeling this way. Do you want to be one of those who are given to doing things based on wild imaginations?
Building your character free from self-consciousness requires continuous effort. An effective way to eliminate self-consciousness is by affirmation. Choose a positive state that you always want to be in, and by repeatedly affirming it as if it is already a fact, it will soon become a reality. But bear in mind that an affirmation must be free from negative words, and expresses what you do want and not convey what you do not want. For example, “I want to be more self-confident” is better than “I want to be less self-conscious.” The word 'self-confident' is positive, the word 'self-conscious' is not. Affirmation is a powerful way to effect change in your own self if carried out seriously.