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15 Things To Forget If You’re Not Satisfied With Your Life

15 Things To Forget If You’re Not Satisfied With Your Life

If you’re feeling frustrated and stuck, it’s probably time to make some changes in your life. Otherwise, you’ll likely continue to feel dissatisfied. As Tony Robbins said, “By changing nothing, nothing changes.”

It can be difficult to make changes in your life, but if you want a different outcome, it’s necessary. Just as important as “what to do” advice to change your life is “what not to do; what to forget” advice.

Here are 15 things to forget if you’re not satisfied with your life.

1. Forget to ask permission

If you’re waiting for everyone in your life to approve of a change you want to make – whether it is starting your own business, changing careers, relocating, or adopting a new lifestyle – you will never change. Choose wisely who you seek approval from, and tune out the others.

Start today: Write a list of people whose opinion of your life should truly matter.

2. Forget negativity

A negative mindset only makes you feel worse. Practicing an attitude of gratitude; an attitude of thankfulness and abundance instead of jealousy and scarcity, will help you immediately feel more satisfied with your life.  According to Oprah Winfrey, “If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.”

Start today: Start a gratitude list and hang it somewhere visible, such as your bathroom mirror. Each day, add something you are thankful for to your list. You will soon realize you have a lot of goodness in your life.

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3. Forget the past

Maybe you’ve been fired from a job, have a history of broken relationships, or have been rejected repetitively when applying for graduate school. Guess what? Nobody cares. You might feel like the whole world has seen your setbacks, but they really haven’t. The world is huge; there are millions of people who have no idea what you’ve gone through. If the past is holding you back from the life you want to have, it’s time to work on letting go.

Start today: If you feel you’re carrying major baggage around, it’s time to make an appointment with a counselor, therapist, or coach, depending on your specific situation.

4. Forget procrastination

How many time-suckers do you give your hours to every week? Time is our most precious resource, and wasting it on mind-numbing activities can drain it quickly. If you struggle with procrastinating, work on setting yourself a schedule every day. Writing down your to-do items on your schedule will help ensure that they get accomplished, and also help you visualize where you’re actually spending your time and what you tend to procrastinate.

Start today: Write out a schedule of your tasks for tomorrow.

5. Forget about immediate gratification

Immediate gratification feels great now, but not so good long-term. Make decisions from your future. Think about who you want to be, and make today’s decisions based on future you. For example, if your long-term goal is to spend a year traveling the world, you’ll need to save some money for your future endeavor. When you are tempted to upgrade your cell phone plan or purchase a new vehicle, think about whether the future you, the one who is exploring the world, would like you to spend or save that money now. More than likely, you’d be thankful in the future for saving money now.

Start today: When you purchase something today, see if there is a more economical option, and save the difference for a future expensive goal.

6. Forget about cultural norms

It doesn’t matter if society says you should work 9-5 at a job you don’t really like and retire at 62. If that’s not the lifestyle you like, give yourself the freedom to break free from the norms.

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Start today: Research one inspiring person who has paved his or her own trail.

7. Forget the time it takes

A goal that takes many years to accomplish can be overwhelming. It may be daunting, and take a long time, but if it’s something that’s truly your heart’s desire, that’s perfectly fine! Whether or not you move toward that goal, eventually you’ll be a decade older. If you want to be more satisfied 10 years from now, take steps today to move toward that goal.

Start today: Write down one large, 10-year goal you have.

8. Forget about toxic people

Toxic people can quickly drain your positivity and hope. As Jim Rohn, a businessman, said: “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” Spending time with toxic people might be a big part of your problem if you’re not satisfied with your life. If you want to be more satisfied, hang out with the following groups of people: people who are doing what you want to do, and people who have infectiously awesome outlooks on life. Surrounding yourself with positive, encouraging people can help you feel more happy and satisfied.

Start today: Think about the 5 people you spend the most time with. Is there a toxic person in your inner circle?

9. Forget about having everything planned out

If you wait until you have every detail planned out before you start a new endeavor, you’ll never start. It’s easy to get caught in analysis paralysis mode, where you’re constantly researching but not really making any forward progress.

Start today: Decide that you have enough information about one of your goals to actually start the project. You can study more of what you need to know along the way. Taking the first step forward is the most important step; without it you will never start.

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10. Forget about blaming everybody

Harboring anger toward someone who has wronged you hurts you and holds you back from living the wonderful life you deserve. Forget about spending excessive amounts of time blaming others for your current life situation. It does you no good. This doesn’t mean you have to feel completely happy toward somebody who has been malicious toward you; it just means you aren’t going to let thoughts about that person continue to hurt you as the years go on.

Start today: Focus on the positives of the future.

11. Forget about material items

If you want to be satisfied with your life, there are ample studies showing that having more money and material items, past a certain point, do not increase life satisfaction. You really only need a few things to be content: safety, nourishment for your body, connection with others, work that is meaningful and stimulating to you, and a feeling that you’re part of something greater than yourself. You don’t need a million new toys or the latest gadgets. It doesn’t matter if your neighbors have the “best” everything. Get over it.

Start today: Begin a decluttering habit by cleaning out one drawer in your home. Decluttering can set you free from materialism, and also free your physical space and mind so you have more room in your life for what you love.

12. Forget your uncertainty

When you think about making a change in your life, your mind may start racing as you consider all the “what ifs.” Here’s the deal: there will always be uncertainty. You will never know the future. Being able to embrace this uncertainty and realizing you’ll have to take some risks to get unstuck is key to being satisfied.

Start today: Think about a big dream you have for your life. When the “what ifs” and doubts fill your mind (and they will!), replace those thoughts with the positive version of “yes, but what if…” with all of the great things chasing that dream could bring into your life. For example, if you want to start a business, and every time you think of it you immediately think “what if I fail?”, replace the thought with “yes, but what if I succeed?” and let your imagination run wild in that direction instead.

13. Forget changing everything at once

If you’re not satisfied with your life, it can be tempting to want to revamp your entire life all at once. But actually, choosing one habit at a time to focus on may be a better option. If you focus on changing one habit, one week at a time, you can analyze whether or not your habit change is working for you, and tweak it as needed. I frequently recommend working on exercising first; exercise is a mood booster and makes us feel empowered. As we challenge our bodies and improve our health, we feel like we can tackle other areas of our lives we want to change.

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Start today: Choose one area in your life you’d like to change. Write down a small goal within that area for each day of this week (For example, bring a healthy snack to work instead of going to the vending machine every day). As you meet your small goals, you’ll gain the momentum to work toward larger goals (For example, fuel your body with healthy foods 90% of the time).

14. Forget about waiting for someone else to lead you

If there is something in your life you want to change, chances are, there are others in your life with a similar goal. Choose to be a leader and seek them out. Unsatisfied with your health? Find a buddy to cook some healthy meals with, or exercise together over your lunch hour with a coworker.

Start today: Think about something you’ve been wanting to do. Email your coworkers or friends and ask if anybody’s interested in joining you on your mission.

15. Forget about doing it alone

When you desire to change your life, find an accountability partner. This can be a family member, friend, personal coach, or mentor. Having someone to encourage you, inspire you, and keep you on track when you’re discouraged is extremely important.

Start today: Ask someone to be your accountability partner for a specific area in your life you’d like to improve.

Take away points:

It’s difficult to feel dissatisfied in your life. The good news is that your life is a story, and you get to write a lot of it. There will obviously be things in your life that are out of control, but practicing an attitude of gratitude, surrounding yourself with positive people, enjoying the ride of life’s uncertainties, and writing down your goals will greatly help increase your life satisfaction.

Featured photo credit: Think/Nastya Birdy via flickr.com

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Dr. Kerry Petsinger

Entrepreneur, Mindset & Performance Coach, & Doctor of Physical Therapy

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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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