I’m not sure if this is the best possible piece of advice, but it completely changed my attitude, my state of being, and eliminated much of my fears (especially social fears) within the first day.
I decided to monitor my thoughts and eliminate or change any negative thought I’m having about myself or about another person. The two go hand-in-hand. It’s a burden on yourself when you feel negative about someone else (which you might not realize until you stop doing it), and you’re less compelled to condemn other people when you feel perfectly clear about yourself.
Stopping thinking any negative thoughts about yourself will greatly help your confidence and reduce your fears of judgment, allowing you to better express your true self. It will also mitigate if not eliminate the need to seek validation from others. At least in my experience.
Stopping thinking negative thoughts about others will ease your social relations, and also could even lead to helping others whom you interact with heal their pain.
Note that that this practice doesn’t mean denying fact or deluding yourself. You could have some kind of personality shortcoming (at least as judged relatively to whom you really wish to be), but condemning that shortcoming is entirely optional.
The same, of course, applies to others’ perceived shortcomings. Everyone has value as a spark of life, and everyone deserves the best.. some people just grow differently from yourself. Just think of the fact that there are probably others who perceive you as an asshole for some reason or another (and they may even have a good point, on a certain level), but yet you know your true value because you can see it from the inside.
I also stopped thinking negatively about possible outcomes, and regarding my interpretation of my situation and the universe in general.
Note that this probably isn’t best approached by simply resolving not to think negative thoughts, since thoughts are so highly habitual, but rather by paying attention to the thoughts you are having, and when you catch yourself thinking negatively, either changing your focus away from that thought or imagining a more positive interpretation and committing it, or perhaps even acknowledging some deeper truth about that person or situation that you knew was true on some level but didn’t want to address.
Practicing this philosophy, at least/especially the not-judging-others part of it, could start to seem impossible, at least if you attempt to do it categorically, since there’s seemingly no end to the evil or negativity that can afflict/inhabit some humans. But don’t get discouraged; just see every new event or piece of information of this type that comes up as a personal challenge.
In case it helps, in ‘Choose Them Wisely: Thoughts Become Things!’, Mike Dooley says this:
‘Have you ever wondered how you might behave in someone else’s shoes? If you have, you’ll likely admit that this kind of thinking is usually critical of the person you’re thinking about. The truth is, you are the other person, and they are behaving exactly as you would if you were indeed in the exact same shoes–however inconsiderate, abusive, outrageous, or immoral their behavior is.’
‘True, you are probably more thoughtful, fearless, loving, and honest than those who disappoint you. But you are also at a different point in your journey, maybe “more advanced,” or maybe just more at ease for having chosen a less “challenging” path. We’re all of “one,” exhibiting different colors of the same light, and rather than passing judgment, it’s best to remember that each of us is just doing the best we can.’
One further note: stopping thinking negative thoughts about yourself, and hence having more self-esteem, could lead to noticing many particular thought-habits (and maybe social habits too?) that one has in reaction to things for the sake of protecting one’s ego/sense of being “good enough,” so taking some time to explore those and change/heal them might become prudent.