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15 Signs You’re Doing Well In Life Even Though You Don’t Think So

15 Signs You’re Doing Well In Life Even Though You Don’t Think So

Let’s face it, sometimes life feels like it’s falling apart at the seams.  Perhaps you’ve lost your job, or your marriage just ended, or you failed to pass an exam and now you are simply feeling helpless and defeated. Winston Churchill once said: “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loosing enthusiasm.” Today I want to remind you why, even though you may be feeling a bit like a failure, you are most definitely not.  Here are 15 signs that show you are doing well in life even though you don’t think so!

1. You’ve lived and learned

No one said life was easy and while the bumps on the road may hurt, the ride is definitely worth it.  Think back to your failures and defeats. You must know they were all for a reason and part of a grander plan.  Each difficulty has led you to where you are at today, each trial has molded you into the magnificent, resilient, person that you are. Continue to move forward in faith, hope and love, knowing that each experience has taught you what you need to become who you were born to be.

2. You have a comfy bed to sleep in

I’ll never forget an interview done on NPR a while back. A young Haitian mother told her story. She had little ones that constantly wondered when they would be able to eat and go to school like all the other kids around them. What impacted me the most about this story was their sleeping arrangements: they all laid on the dirt floor, and at night if it rained everyone would have to get up, grab whatever was left of their “bed” and move to a dry spot.  This story gave me a whole new appreciation for my bed and I hope it does the same thing for you!

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3. You strive to be better

The fact you are feeling a bit down because you haven’t achieved what you want to achieve shows you are trying. In the grand scheme of things, you always strive to be better and for as long as you continue to do that, happiness, success and love will come – just don’t give up. Einstein once said: “It’s not that I am so smart, it’s that I stay with problems longer.” Hang in there and never stop striving to be all you can be!

4. You have/had a job

Whichever way you look at this one, it is still a win-win situation for you. If you have a job: kudos! Keep at it and know that you are richly blessed.  If you recently lost your job, don’t fret! You’ve gotten a job before, you can get one all over again. Perhaps this is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for to do something you truly love to do. Keep searching, keep hoping, and know that you can accomplish the seemingly impossible if you work hard and believe you can.

5. Knowledge is at your fingertips

In this day and age, you can learn anything and everything you want. Knowledge is truly at your fingertips! Since knowledge is power, seize that power and let it assist you in the pursuit of your dreams. Take advantage of all the “learning” opportunities that come your way.

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6. You have food to eat

Sometimes a bit more than you should! Food is such an overlooked blessing, yet if you miss it for a few hours you start feeling the necessity of it. Take the time to enjoy your next meal, whatever that is, savor each bite and remind yourself that happiness is found in enjoying the simple things of life, such as eating a piece of pie.

7. You have the power to choose

Aristotle once said: “Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny.”  Need I say more? Claim your power to choose.

8. You’ve experienced love butterflies or something like it

Ahh! To be in love…to feel your whole body literally react to that moment when you simply steal a glance from the one you are infatuated with. Experiencing such a natural, basic and simple, yet passionate moment will give you memories that will last a life time. You are beyond blessed to have experienced such a sublime moment!

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9. You have clean water

This one should not be overlooked. Do you ever watch Bear Grills and all his desperate moves to get just a few ounces of muddy water? There are also people who aren’t going without water because they have a survival show, but instead because it is their harsh reality. Around 783 million people do not have access to clean water around the globe. Be thankful and fully aware that you are doing well in life even if you don’t think so.

10. You have a dream

Whatever your dream is, it’s yours. You have the ability to embrace it and create it. Don’t give up on dreaming or on your dreams. They are what life’s best things are made up of.

11. Your happiness is real

You have the power to choose happiness for your life in everything you do and in every circumstance.  Your happiness is defined by whether or not you are able to discern and seize an opportunity to feel happy. It may be something as simple as enjoying the laughter of a child.

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12. You have clothes to wear

And sometimes too many options, which trumps your productivity, but that is another subject. The bottom line is, you don’t have to go naked through the streets or poorly dressed. You enjoy the blessing of being properly dressed for every occasion and have the ability to shield your body from the elements. Really, life would get very cold without clothes.

13. You have the ability to forgive

Can you imagine what this world would look like without forgiveness? Never mind the world, just your life! Imagine how bogged down, bitter and unhappy you would be if you did not have the ability to forgive other’s mistakes as well as your own. It would make it nearly impossible to live and most definitely a nightmare to move on with life when difficulties arose. You have the unique gift of forgiving and moving on.

14. You believe in something greater than yourself

For all the times you were so caught up in your own little world and drowning in a kiddie pool version of life’s problems, you’ve had the ability to step back and realize that you have something greater to live for than yourself.  Whether it is God, your family or friends, you can believe that your purpose is to achieve something that will be for the greater good or to simply bring honor to your God.

15. You have the opportunity to build global friendships

In today’s day and age, your best friend can literally be five thousand miles away yet you can still experience the beauty of that friendship. You have the unique capacity to be acquaintances with one person in almost every country of the world, something no other generation before the 1900’s was easily able to do. As far as I am concerned, your global ability to make friends is definitely a sign you are doing well in life, even if you don’t think so.

Featured photo credit: binpage via pixabay.com

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Sarita King

motivational warrior!

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Step right up, don’t be shy!

Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

Culturally Conditioned

We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

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Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

1. Broadens Your Network

After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

2. Improves Your Communication Skills

I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

3. Continually Learning

So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

4. Increases Self Confidence

Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

How to Talk to Strangers

Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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1. Say Hello

Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

2. Ask About Them

Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

3. Just Do It

One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

4. Don’t Take It Personal

One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

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5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

6. Detach

A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

7. Share Your Stories

Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

8. Give a Compliment

Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

9. Relax Your Body Language

If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

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If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

The Bottom Line

As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

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