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12 Signs You’re Doing Better Than You Think You Are

12 Signs You’re Doing Better Than You Think You Are

Sometimes in life, we become so focused on what we haven’t achieved that we lose sight of what we have. It’s easy to forget about all the progress we’ve made, and be discouraged by all the things in our lives that are going wrong or ‘missing’.

But maybe it’s time to start taking pride in our progress. Maybe it’s time that we recognize all the accomplishments we’ve made and the true significance of these accomplishments.

That being said, here are 12 signs that you’re doing better than you think you are.

1. You know what you don’t want.

We spend so much of our lives searching for what we truly want. The life partner that will make our lives more meaningful. The career that will make us more fulfilled. We look at those around us and wonder why we haven’t yet achieved all that they have.

But we don’t have to base our lives on other people’s schedules. It’s okay to take your time to figure out what you don’t want. It’s okay to narrow down your choices.

It’s okay to discover what you want through finding out what you don’t. You want to be happy, not just content – and you deserve that.

2. You take responsibility for your life.

We’ve all experienced some form of pain in our lives. Maybe we’ve suffered heartbreak, death of a loved one, financial hardship, or problems with our families and friends.

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We can’t erase those horrible experiences, but we can choose to move forward from them. If you’ve realized that your future is in your hands, then you’re taking responsibility for your life and what happens to you.

You understand that you can’t change the past but you can change what happens from now on.

3. You know the value of genuine relationships.

At one point or another, you’ve probably surrounded yourself with negative, toxic people. People who bring out the worst in you. But now you’ve let those people go.

You understand that it’s not about the quantity of people that you know – but the quality of the relationships. You know that you deserve to spend your time with people who deserve your time.

You refuse to be around people who bring you down and who are unable to share your happiness and you know that you deserve so much better.

4. You know there’s more to life than material possessions.

It’s so easy to get caught up in trying to find happiness through objects, but such happiness doesn’t last. You don’t need to buy the latest products to be happy. Likewise, you don’t need the most expensive clothes or house.

If you know that happiness doesn’t lie in material possessions, then you’re placing more importance in the relationships in your life. You know that a homemade birthday card from a friend can be much more meaningful than an expensive gift from the shop.

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5. You don’t let the little things bother you.

We all get upset from time to time, and for different reasons. Regardless of what the problems are, no matter how big or small, our feelings are always valid. However, we need to remind ourselves that life really is short.

If you don’t let the little things bother you, then you’re giving yourself more time to experience all the good that life has to offer. You’re bouncing back sooner and finding the maturity to move on.

You’re making the conscious decision to choose happiness over anger.

6. You don’t let pride get in the way of asking questions.

We all need help sometimes. Naturally, we all want to grow and to expand our knowledge. If you find yourself struggling to ask questions, don’t let embarrassment and shame talk you out of it.

There’s no such thing as a stupid question. If you already find yourself asking questions when you’re unsure, be proud that you do. You understand and value achieving growth through learning.

7. You know that life is about balance.

It’s easy to struggle with the work-life balance, but you know where your priorities lie. You may not always get it right, but you try your best and that’s what matters. You do what you can to spend time with your family and friends.

You do what you can for yourself and for your career, and you do what you can to look after yourself physically, emotionally and mentally.

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8. You’re grateful for what you do have.

There’s a lot in your life that could improve, but you choose to be a ‘glass half full’ person. You know that there are people in your life that you can depend on and who care about you. You know that your house may not be the most extravagant, but you’re grateful that you have a roof over your head.

Some people aren’t blessed with the basic necessities that you have and you can appreciate that fact. You’re grateful that you have the freedom to do what you want with your life and although you may not ‘have it all’, you’re grateful for all that you do have.

9. You’ve picked yourself up after challenges.

We’ve all climbed mountains we thought we’d never surpass. We’ve been confronted with challenges that have tested us on so many levels.

Yet, here we are, still standing. If you’ve fallen down and picked yourself up, recognize the amount of strength that it took. Acknowledge that you’ve overcome so many adversities you once thought you couldn’t and how you’re so much stronger than you knew.

10. You’ve made progress in an area of your life.

You may not be the best at a specific skill but you’re trying your best. You’ve made improvements and that’s what’s important. Don’t spend time comparing yourself to others – you are your own unique person with your own unique skills and talents.

If you’re making consistent progress, then give yourself a pat on the back, because you’re already heading in the right direction and that’s what matters.

11. You add meaning to the people in your life.

Sometimes, when we’re feeling down about life and all the goals we haven’t achieved, we might forget the impact that we’re having on people’s lives. You might not have the career that you want or achieved the goals that you’ve planned yet, but you’re making people smile. You’re making them laugh. You’re making their lives brighter just by being in it.

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Even if you don’t realize it, you’re likely adding much value to the lives of others just by being there. Paying your friend a compliment may not seem like much to you, but it could be making all the difference to them. I

t could be the thing that gives them hope when they need it the most.

12. You’re striving to become a better person.

Life is a learning curve. We don’t need to be perfect. We don’t need to live free from mistakes. If you are determined to improve yourself and to become better, then you are already halfway there.

You may not be happy with your career, your relationships, with who you are, but you still have the chance and the opportunity to have a brighter future. If you are doing all you can to become better, then maybe you’re doing better than you think you are.

Featured photo credit: Attractive Hipster Male Relaxing Near River via shutterstock.com

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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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