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15 Things Mentally Strong Women Understand

15 Things Mentally Strong Women Understand

Whether you’re 14 years old or 94, there’s something in this article for all women. This piece was written to encourage and empower women everywhere and from all walks of life to pursue their dreams and make a positive difference in the world.

1. It’s okay to be successful

You have as much right as anybody else in the world to thrive, succeed, and be happy. Never apologize for being successful. Rather, you should embrace your successes–every single one of them–and know that you’re doing the world a favor by being the successful, thriving woman you were always meant to be. So what does it mean to be successful? That’s completely up to you.

2. Don’t compare yourself to other women

I’ll admit, it’s not easy not to compare yourself to other women, whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a woman in the workforce. The dangerous downside to asking yourself who’s better than who is that it inevitably promotes a what-I-don’t-have mentality, rather than a what-I-do-have way of thinking. On the flip side, you should ask yourself, which of this person’s positive qualities can I develop to make myself a better person?

3. Because it’s all right to be different

Besides, what’s the fun in being a cookie-cutter wannabe?

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4. Don’t be afraid to express your feelings and emotions

By opening up emotionally, you become happier and live longer; even scientific studies say so. While this is a well-known fact, in Western societies, especially in the United States, being openly expressive is still often seen as a sign of weakness, for women as well as for men, when in reality it can be a sign of confidence and emotional strength and stability.

5. But don’t let your emotions govern your actions

While it’s okay to be emotionally expressive, being in control of those emotions is equally important. Emotions are a powerful human mechanism that, if left uncontrolled, can overpower a person to the point of completely governing their actions, more often than not with very negative consequences. While keeping one’s emotions in check can be more difficult for some than others, this is an ability that anyone can develop and use to prevent a lot of future problems and heartache.

6. Being strong and independent means not relying on a relationship to make you happy

Ever heard of the “overly attached girlfriend”? That’s the exact epitome of what you shouldn’t be. In a relationship, the two people are meant to complement each other, not define one another. If you’re one of those people who have yet to find that special someone, don’t fret. Just focus on being the best version of yourself, and everything that’s meant to be will be.

7. It also means not asking permission to do what you want to do

It’s your life. You do what you like (so long as you’re considerate of other people!). While some, if not many, people will disapprove of what you do and perhaps even try to discourage you, it’s not they who own you! (It’s you, in fact.)

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8. Stand up for yourself

It goes without saying that in order to overcome the skeptics, the discouragers, the haters, etc. you must first learn to stand up for yourself. Oftentimes, your parents or your closest friends won’t be there to hold your hand. Therefore, you must learn to hold your own (pun intended, maybe).

Maybe you’re not as naturally thick skinned as other women. The good news is that any woman can build and develop her self-confidence, although it may take quite a bit of time and effort. If you want to know more about developing your self-confidence here’s an article you should read.

9. But help other women too

So now that you’ve learned to stand up for yourself, now the hard part: learn to stand up for other women too. There’s nothing that shows self-confidence better than offering another woman a helping hand (when you more easily could’ve dragged her down), and there’s nothing like building a bridge, when you’ve helped a fellow woman, that you know you can always cross over when you yourself need help.

10. And uplift them

Be a mentor. Show them their potential. Let them know they’re invaluable. Let them know they can do anything they put their heart into. You get the gist.

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11. Be educated

And no, I don’t mean go to college. While a bachelor’s degree can nicely decorate your resume, it’s not the golden ticket to success (and this is coming from a current college student!). Just be knowledgeable about your stuff, whatever that may be, so that you can work effectively and, just as importantly, be taken seriously.

12. Stay physically healthy

Good physical health almost always correlates with good mental health, and with a strong and healthy mind, you’re bound to do many great things in life.

13. Be financially independent

What if, for example, the person you’re financially reliant on gets sick or dies unexpectedly? Well, I guess you always could ask someone else for money (which, of course, I don’t mean seriously!).

14. We still live in a male-dominated society

Unfortunately, despite having more college degrees than men, women still earn significantly less–78 cents for every dollar a man earns–and frequently face gender discrimination. Fortunately, however, we are a far cry from where we were decades ago and are succeeding every day in making the world a better place for women, albeit just a little slowly.

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15. For that reason, we need mentally strong women like you

After all, there’s only one of you, which means the world doesn’t have enough of you. Make yourself count, and remember, it’s okay to be successful.

Featured photo credit: Politically Incorrect via img.4plebs.org

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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