trisha lewis
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Get out of your head

How to get out of your head

3 tips on how to escape self-consciousness and be more present - essential for effective communication.

First Impressions Smiling

The following 3 tactics are ‘states’ - and being in these states is within your control - so no excuses. These ‘out of your head’ tactics are learnable and your ability to use them will increase with practice - like most things.

Here’s your motivation for practising:

Self-consciousness or being ‘inside your head’ is a barrier that stands between you and the success of your business. 


When you are too self-conscious you become:

  • riddled with self-doubt
  • swamped with ideas that are not clear enough to put into action,
  • distant in your face-to-face communication with others (a trust breaker)
  • Obsessed with ‘what others think about you’
  • Lost in subjective thought and lacking in objectivity
  • Less likely to perform well in high-stakes situations like presentations and public speaking

I could go on.

None of the above are going to help you grow yourself and your business - so here is the far better alternative to this self-consciousness:-

  • Be present
  • Be permissive
  • Be playful

If you practice being these - you will get out of your head and into the moment - you will become clearer and more engaging - good things will happen.

'Gradually I learned to be indifferent to myself and my deficiencies; I came to centre my attention increasingly upon external objects: the state of the world, various branches of knowledge, individuals for whom I felt affection.'  Bertrand Russell

Why and how?

Here is a brief overview (although each would be the subject of an entire blog post).

1. Be present

‘..all you need to do in order to be present is to ignore one of the most basic human instincts you have: you need to stop thinking ahead.’

How To Be The Greatest Improviser On Earth - Will Hines

  • Listen - really listen! Listen to others not the voices and scripts in your head.
  • Responsive - be aware of what is going on around you.
  • Curious - be keen to listen to the stories others tell and the stories the world has to tell.

2. Be permissive

Don’t be too confined by rules - unless they are legal requirements! Go with the flow and avoid getting hung up on  right or wrong. Avoid making assumptions!

  • Try to be non-judgemental (not always easy). We all make instant judgements and we all have unconscious bias - we are human. If you get those thoughts out of your head - give them a once over and put them to one side - you are opening up to being receptive to whatever communication comes your way.
  • Be adaptable - be tolerant of people and environments that are out of your comfort zone - be ready to adjust, learn and flow!

3. Be playful

After all - you were a kid self-consciousness was far less of an issue!

‘Life without play is a grinding, mechanical existence, organised around doing the things necessary for survival. Play is the stick that stirs the drink.  It is the basis of all art, games, books, sports, movies, fashion, fun and wonder - in short, the basis of what we think of as civilization. Play is the vital essence of life.  It is what makes life lively.’ Play - Stuart Brown M.D

  • Open up your child-like Imagination and create stories
  • Bring a spontaneous energy to the dynamic.
  • Embrace the unknown and unplanned
  • Never cease to be curious and full of wonderment

‘A person who pays attention to an interaction instead of worrying about the self, obtains a paradoxical result.  She no longer feels like a separate individual, yet her self becomes stronger’ - Flow - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Just how self-conscious are you? Take the test.

Is it getting in your way of communicating effectively? Is it making you anxious about public speaking? Is it making you a less engaging communicator?  Well - first step - do the test!

Sign up below to receive your Self-Conscious Level Test - devised by Rich Masters - Reinvestment Scale 1993 (Researching how skill breakdowns under pressure).

About the Author Trisha Lewis

I help people become more effective communicators through the kind of coaching that offers a safe space to explore and rehearse and better understand the impact they have. My blog is full of insights and tactics that will help you break down the barriers that prevent you from being a truly effective communicator. These insights are based on my own experience as well as the issues raised during coaching sessions and workshops.

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