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25 Things To Do Before 30 That Will Make Your Remaining Life Better

25 Things To Do Before 30 That Will Make Your Remaining Life Better

Your teens and 20s are like training wheels on an adult bike. However, once you hit 30, the training wheels are off. Hopefully, you’ll have fallen off and scratched your knees enough times to learn from your mistakes before 30, so your remaining life will be better. Most of you have had your hearts broken, made a few bad choices, and had your parents bail you out of financial bind (or two). Your 20s are a time to push boundaries, be a little irresponsible, and get to know yourself in the process. By the time your turn 30, you should know who you are and how far you’ve come.

Practice these tips before you hit 30, and it will make the rest of your life somewhere you’ll definitely want to be.

1. Have No Regrets

Your 20s are for making mistakes and learning from them. There’s no need for regrets because if you’ve reflected and learned from what you did there is no reason why you would do it again after 30.

2. Understand There is No Failure, Only Feedback

All the greatest achievers of our time have failed, failed, and failed again. The difference is that they understand the value of failing. Achievers see it as an opportunity to brush themselves off and try again. Michael Jordan said, “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”

3. Love Who You Are

Take care of yourself and be proud of who you are. There are always opportunities to grow and change, but let it be out of love and not out of hate.

4. Travel Somewhere That Will Definitely Get You Out of Your Comfort Zone

You can often forget how lucky you are when you’re constantly surrounded by comfort. If you travel somewhere that doesn’t have first-world conveniences before you’re 30, you can begin to truly appreciate what you have and where you were born.

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5. Take Time for Yourself

You need to take time for yourself no matter how extroverted or social you are. We all need time to reflect and recharge, even if it’s only for a few minutes.

6. Find a Job that Makes You Happy

You don’t want to be stuck at a job that makes you miserable at 30. Stress and anxiety caused by a negative workplace can create serious health problems down the track. Think about what makes you feel good and how you can translate that into a career. Making money is another bonus.

7. Do Something that Contributes to the Greater Good

When you give back, you fee like you are part of something bigger than yourself — and that feels really good.

8. Be Okay With Not Knowing Everything

You don’t know everything and you never will. By letting go of being right all of the time, you allow yourself to be more open, honest, and ready to learn something new everyday.

9. Look Forward to 30

Thirty means more opportunity, self-awareness, and wisdom. Bring it on!

10. Accept Your Parents and Appreciate What They’ve Done for You

Your parents did the best they could. Once you appreciate them and accept them for who they are, your relationship will change from parent-child to peer. You may not agree with the choices they make or made, but it doesn’t matter because you have your own choices to make.

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11. Learn From the Mistakes You Made in Your Teens and 20s

Your teenage years and your 20s learn from your mistakes, hopefully without any major repercussions. Your parents bailed you out of that speeding ticket or paid for that phone you dropped in the toilet. However, once you hit 30 those responsibilities are solely your own. Be certain to learn from your earlier mistakes and be responsible in the future.

12. Be Grateful For the Life You’ve Led So Far

Gratitude is the appreciation for what you have. The more grateful you are for your past experiences, the more happiness you’ll have in your future life.

13. Anything Worth Having is Hard Work

You have to work to make things happen. You won’t be given things on a silver platter. Life is hard. Once you accept that, you can move on and start figuring out how to work through it.

14. Don’t Feel Rushed to Settle Down, Get Married and Have Kids

Life isn’t as short as they say. You have plenty of time before 30 to travel, explore, and experience life before you start the next chapter of your life.

15. Save Your Money

You spent your allowance on expensive shoes or on that new piece of technology, not really thinking about the future. However, you’ll be paying back student loans and your mortgage in no time, so start saving money now to set yourself up for the future.

16. Surround Yourself With People Who Make You Feel Good

When you were younger you might have hung out wit the popular kids or tried to get involved with groups that were seen as “cool.” When you’re older, hanging with the cool kids doesn’t matter anymore. It’s about surrounding yourself with people who accept you for who you are and help make you a better person.

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17. Learn to Control the Voice in Your Head

The older you get, the more you’re berated with society’s pressures of what clothes to wear, what car to drive, and what career to have; which can all fuel the ego and create self-doubt. Be kind to yourself and know that you are good enough, no matter what.

18. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

Just because you’re growing up doesn’t mean you should stop playing. Play is an important part of our human existence. We’re very social creatures. Dr. Stuart Brown (from the National Institute of Play) compares play to oxygen. Brown says, “It’s all around us, yet goes mostly unnoticed or unappreciated until it is missing.” This might seem surprising until you consider everything that constitutes “play. Play is: art, books, movies, music, comedy, flirting, and daydreaming,

19. Take Everyday as an Opportunity to Become a Better Person

“The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.” – Anonymous

20. Be Aware that You Can’t Change Anyone

You might get frustrated by a friend, partner, or family member because they aren’t doing what you think is best for them. You have to realise that you can’t change anyone — you can only change yourself. Changing the way you respond or behave can shed new light on any situation, despite the other person’s actions.

21. Talk Less and Listen More

You might have a lot to say and want to share it with the world, but if you talk less and listen more you will hear things you might have never heard. You could end up connecting with someone you might have never connected with otherwise.

22. Don’t Make it About You

The Buddha said, “We are formed and molded by our thoughts. Those whose minds are shaped by selfless thoughts give joy when they speak or act. Joy follows them like a shadow that never leaves them.” I would definitely like joy as a shadow, wouldn’t you?

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23. Slow Down

When you’re in your 20s it seems like everything is going a million miles a minute. Take time to slow down and be aware of your surroundings. Incorporating a mindfulness practice into your life is beneficial to your health and happiness. Check out Smiling Mind for more information about bringing mindfulness to your everyday.

24. Take Care of Yourself Emotionally, Spiritually, and Physically

Eating healthy, exercising, and looking after yourself on an emotional and spiritual level through meditation, yoga, or prayer will inevitably set the tone for a more balanced life after 30. A life of gratitude and understanding is certainly a life worth living.

25. “Dance Like There’s Nobody Watching, Love Like You’ll Never Be Hurt, Sing Like There’s Nobody Listening, and Live Like it’s Heaven On Earth”

This quote from William W. Purkey (educational author) says it all.

Featured photo credit: Girl with sunglasses in Bed via picjumbo.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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