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10 Things Only People Who Love Their Career From the Heart Would Understand

10 Things Only People Who Love Their Career From the Heart Would Understand

I used to have jobs, positions where I put in my best effort and was paid in return, but who I was and what I did for a living were two disparate things. Once I had the focus and bravery to address and say out loud, “I’m a writer,” everything changed. I began doing what I love and the world became an expansive and breathtaking place.

There’s no shame in doing what you have to do to make ends meet, but getting to a point in life where you can realize and seize what you’re truly built to do is nothing short of exhilarating.

Here are some things known only by people who love their careers from the heart. And if you’re not there yet, I hope this encourages you toward achieving it.

1. You feel invigorated after a long day of work

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that you’ll never feel tired again. Some days after hours of staring at the screen; dealing with the administrative aspects of entrepreneurship; graciously, yet as realistically as possible, interacting with clients regarding rates; and, oh yeah, writing, I am pooped.

But I lay down at night glowing with the satisfaction that I’ve earned this rest and that I’ve made some real strides with my day.

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2. You wake up with a sense of contentment and excitement

There have been times in life when I would feel consciousness creep over me with a sense of dread. When one day is too much like the last, or a mind-numbing row of hours lay ahead, it’s easy to get bogged down.

But when you open your eyes and your mind starts assessing what to tackle today and how you’re going to get it onto your “done” list, you feel a sense of furor that only comes when you’re using your skills to shape the career and life you’ve wanted.

3. You feel the world expanding

Your perception shifts when you find you’re validated in things you only used to vaguely dream about. You kind of always knew you could do it, but you were intimidated. You knew you had skills but didn’t know how those skills could apply to the real world.

When you find your skills clicking in real live interaction with the larger picture, and you meet people you wouldn’t have otherwise, you realize that promise is truly endless. What a thrilling feeling.

4. You feel more connected to humankind

When you make new connections and particularly when you see your work has helped people in one way or another, it reinforces the fascinating symbiotic successes we can achieve only through collaborating with others.

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This feeling is powerful and brings about a whole new level of the human experience.

5. You feel charged, rather than bummed, when it’s time to head back from a break

Everyone needs breaks. Working in beast-mode all day every day will wipe you out and hurt you in the long run. But the difference when you’re doing what you love is that breaks are nice, but getting back to it is nice too.

No sense of dread or counting down the hours ’till you can finally call it quits for the day.

Hours are tools you can’t wait to get your hands on.

6. You love it when someone asks you what you do

When someone inquires as to your career, your heart swells.

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When the words come out of your mouth, it makes sense to you, it feels right to you. In fact, if they’re interested to hear more, you could really talk their ear off about it. That’s a good sign.

7. You feel aspects of yourself come alive when you work

I’m a big believer in the fact that we all have inherent talents which are the hardware of our functioning in the world. The skills and ideas we take in allow these bits and pieces to really spark and ignite the way they were made to.

When you do what you love, you’re alive in a way you could never be otherwise.

8. You feel a deep sense of purpose

You’re driven by something other than money. You don’t punch in and out, you embrace each work day as your own. You have a reason to do what you do and it’s inextricable from who you are.

It’s a psychological principle that the harder you have to work for something, the more pleasure you get out of it. Sayonara instant gratification! Challenges are now opportunities.

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9. You feel disappointments to the core

Gone is the luxury of indifference. When you really care, your heart is on the line and the more you feel it when things go awry.

When you love what you do, it’s an extension of yourself, and there are agonizing times when that makes you incredibly vulnerable. But it’s worth it.

10. You see the future as holding promise, rather than uncertainty

You have goals that you know you can achieve. You frequently review the progress you’ve made and look to what’s next, both short-term and long-term, and your consciousness swells with potential energy.

There will be days of doubt, days of discouragement, but, all in all, your mind is on the precipice of all that is possible; just breathing it in deeply and ready.

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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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