If I have a hole in my tooth and it's causing me pain, all I can think about is that tooth; you might say I am "tooth centered." If I have a hole in my roof and a big rain is forecast, all I can think about is that roof; you might say I am "roof centered." If I have a hole in my being that's causing me pain, all I can think about is myself; you might say I am self-centered. I stay tooth centered until I get to the dentist. I stay roof-centered until roof is fixed. I stay self-centered until the hole in my being is filled.
In reality there is no hole. It just feels that way. I feel empty because I lack intimacy with my higher power. I'm here on earth being purely human and my higher power is off somewhere in the heavens keeping score. In this state of separation I must be anxious, I must worry about what you think because I sense that without connection to my higher power, I have no power at all.
As I take the steps and begin to identify false beliefs, negative attitudes, and mistaken concepts--old ideas--I make room for my higher power to enter my being and fill me up. As this process continues, I no longer need to think about myself so much, about my little plans and schemes. I don't have to worry so much about what other people think about me (they are just projecting their own insecurities onto me). Eventually I reach a state of un-self consciousness. I no longer worry. I trust. This is the new freedom promised in our book.