More threads by stargazer


Is there a term or specific treatment for a person who is often too self-conscious or embarrassed to find the motivation to take needful and postive steps toward better circumstances and situations?

The reason I ask is, that's me. It took me a long time, for example, to get over a couple of minorly bad experience to re-advertise my music transcription service on an Internet list where I had gotten about five clients in the past. I finally did so this weekend, and got a number of responses, one of which turned out to be a promising client.

When I first e-mailed her back, I wrote in the wrong phone number, putting my last year's number down by mistake. So I had to follow up with an immediate second e-mail.

She replied this morning, and when I put my new fax number down (I just got it yesterday) I put the wrong prefix by mistake, so again had to follow up with an immediate second e-mail.

So now I am embarrassed and self-conscious again, and concerned that I will not be able to proceed with the job with self-confidence. (I did, incidentally, finally create a signature with all the correct phone & fax numbers and other information, to use on business e-mails.)

It also alarms me how slow I am to re-advertise in certain areas where I fear my reputation might be shot. Almost invariably, I find that my reputation is *not* shot. A number of people may have had bad individual experiences with me, but they don't speak for the entire group concensus.

Also at work now, I'm in trouble, and I may have to leave my job and look for something better and more suitable for me. But I lack confidence that I can present myself in a positive way.

I wasn't like this in the South Bay, the recent children's theatre job, but look what happened. It almost seems as though there is no middle ground. I walk around town wondering if everyone is looking at me, and laughing at me, and I just can't find the self-esteem I need in order to succeed anymore.
stargazer, i think cbt is what would come in very handy in situations like this. you have to keep practicing it so you become more skilled at it. it is hard work to circumvent the feelings of embarrassment etc., but well worth the effort. it's going to take time and effort, but if you keep working at it you will get past these feelings. i have noticed for me that the cbt has made a huge difference, but also, that i need to keep putting it into practice. hope this helps.
Hi SG:

I empathize with your situation. Because I find that I too get easily embarrassed and then sometimes trip over my words and make what to everyone else is really just a normal mistake but that I assume is greatly magnified because I am so acutely aware of being around other people, it makes it hard sometimes to recognize that really my mistakes are closer to everyone else's. I also found it helpful for me to work with women at the shelter who are in need of help - and my helping them took my mind off myself and how I come across. In any case, it is not easy, but I wish you the best.:)


I just came home and read what I wrote this morning, several hours ago. I think I must have written those words at a moment of particular low self-esteem. It's true that I often perceive myself that way, but I don't always look at it that way. I think I was affected by having made those silly mistakes in the e-mails (about the wrong phone and fax numbers.)

I agree that CBT will help with this. Also, in therapy, we've been talking about developing greater awareness. It sort of seems as though self-consciousness is the opposite of awareness. The more aware I can be, the more my responses to situations will be the appropriate ones.

I also agree with what Texas Girl just said. A lot of the time, our mistakes aren't any worse than anyone else's--rarely, in fact, are they worse than those of others. We all make mistakes. When I first joined the Church Choir, I thought I was making all kinds of stupid mistakes, because I'd never sung in a Choir before, and I was self-conscious, because I knew they believed I was a good musician, and I thought they expected too much of me. Now I have more awareness, and I'm aware that other people in the Choir are making mistakes, too. So I'm less self-conscious.

But like ladybug says, this will all take practice.
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