It may be in a clothing store, a coffee shop or at a party where you feel most awkward. You maybe examine your fingernails and pick at your nail polish. Maybe you open up your notes on your phone and begin to type with a purpose to give off the impression that you are in a riveting conversation over text. Wow! Before you know it, you have effectively read the words on that poster taped to the wall 5 times while you waited for the barista to shout your name. Just trying to "act normal." You don't know what to do with your body as you stand around a crowd of people you don't feel comfortable with. Or what the right thing to say is, or how to act. You're just awkward. Or maybe that's just what you think...
For the majority of my life, if I could think of one word to describe myself, it would be awkward. I feel weird being around a crowd of new people. I overanalyze everything I want to say and everything I have said. At large gatherings, I've always clung onto my sister and used her as my shield.
I have programmed my mind and told myself that I am this awkward being that I perceive myself to be and my actions mimic this mindset. My family and friends have fed off of the perception I have of myself and have begun to characterize me as awkward. Although that may sound insulting, I'm the only one there is to blame for this label.
The image we have of ourselves makes a huge impact on the way we feel and act. For most people, their first instinct is to characterize themselves by their flaws. As a result, we limit ourselves while our negative perception overshadows the positive defining characteristics. If we saw ourselves in the way that we should and got rid of the negative parts that we convince ourselves we embody, our entire outlook would change. Although easier said than done, effectively understanding our own value allows others to see it as well.
There is a misperception that thinking highly of ourselves is somehow a bad thing. What we all need to embrace is the idea of self-love, if we love ourselves we will receive it back from others. Everyone can feel awkward from time to time but those moments do not define us.