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8 Boulders You Need To Remove On Your Way To Success

8 Boulders You Need To Remove On Your Way To Success

Success is not one simple act, it’s a summation of your habits. In today’s world so many people want to become an overnight success. However, what you don’t realize is that the most successful people work extremely hard. For example, Jack Ma (founder of Alibaba) credits his success to hard work and dedication. NBA All-Star Kobe Bryant would wake up at 4:00 A.M. to practice free-throws by himself before official practice started with the Olympic team hours later. He literally practiced before practice!

Perfecting and practicing your craft are keys to success. The best way you can systematize doing those things is by creating positive habitsLike Jim Ryuh says, “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”

Today, I want to share eight bad habits standing in your way of massive success, and how you can tackle them head-on to achieve your dreams.

Bad Habit #1: Not being disciplined with your time

Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, time is our most precious and limited resource. There are only 24 hours in one day. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that you’ll wake up tomorrow. That being said, it’s critical that you’re disciplined with your time. Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, gets up at 4:30 A.M. every day. How’s that for discipline?

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Sleeping and waking up at the same time everyday is good for your body and helpful in setting a disciplined, daily routine. Besides being strict about when you wake up and go to bed, it’s also important to be protective of your time. A great tactic to do this is to designate a few days or specific hours throughout the week for “success time.” These are blocks of time where you only focus on doing things that contribute to your personal goals, whether it’s learning a new language or working on a side business. By designating your “success time,” you’ll be able to focus on the things that matter most to you and will be less tempted to say “yes” to last minute social invitations or distractions that can get in your way. You also have to be able to say “no” to committing to things that don’t interest or benefit you. Remember, the few hours you spend doing something you’re not that into are hours that you could have spent learning or growing yourself.

Bad Habit #2: Analysis Paralysis 

Do you spend way too much time trying to decide minor things, like what you’ll order at a restaurant or which toothpaste to buy? Successful people have a track record of making tough decisions with limited time and information. You have to develop habits that can help you do the same. If you struggle with analysis paralysis, challenge yourself to make better decisions faster. Contemplating over minor decisions is inefficient and time-consuming. Humans have limited willpower, so you’ll want to use your willpower for decisions that really matter.

One of the best ways to simplify decision making is to limit the number of options to choose from. The paradox of choice (which has been proven in numerous studies) states that when we’re presented with too many options we become overwhelmed and are then unable to make any decision at all. By narrowing down your choices to the top two or three options you’ll be able to decide faster.

While you can limit the number of options, you can also limit the amount of time that you have to decide something. If you’ve ever had a job offer, you know how effective a deadline can be when it comes to forcing you to make a decision fairly quickly. So if you’ve been debating about an important decision for years, give yourself one week to decide and see how much faster you’ll pick a path!

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Bad Habit #3: Dwelling on the Past

We’ve all done things that we may have regretted, perhaps it was that missed promotion or the company you could have joined that just IPO’d. While it’s great to observe the past and learn from your history, dwelling on the past will only hold you back. Like the Buddha taught, “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream in the future, concentrate on the mind on the present moment.” Focusing on the present moment will help shift your mind’s focus from the past and into the moment. It will help you feel more connected and grateful for the journey you’re on now, rather than thinking about the mistakes of the past.

How do you break out of this nasty habit? Set a reminder that alerts you a few times a day to do what I like to call a “mental double check.” It’s simply a way to check-in with yourself to make sure that you’re focused and engrossed in the present moment. When you get the reminder, check-in on your mind and figure out where your mind is. If you find yourself focusing on the past, take a few deep breaths and close your eyes to feel grounded in the moment so you can reset and get present again. If you realize that you actually are living in the moment, celebrate that achievement!

Bad Habit #4:  Negative Self-Talk

Does that little voice in your head get you down? Remember, we become the things that we tell ourselves. Like Henry Ford says, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t. You’re right.” Your mental habits can make or break you. It’s important to get a hold of that little voice in your head, especially when it’s telling you that you suck.

So how can you start controlling that voice in your head so it doesn’t control you? Start taking note of the cues that trigger negative self-talk, it may be when you make a minor mistake or step into the office. Next, realize the routine that you’re in, are you complaining and being negative or telling yourself you’re not “good enough” to be there? Finally, rather than give into that negative voice, transform that thought into a positive one. Rather than beating yourself up for making a small mistake, immediately turn that thought into a positive statement about yourself. Another alternative is to simply own the mistake and propose how you will make sure that you will improve the next time. By distracting your mind with a positive thought or brainstorming how you’ll improve the next time around, you’ll stop yourself from triggering the usual negative self-talk that makes you feel like crap.

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Bad Habit #5: Taking Things for Granted

No matter what issue you may be facing or how horrible the world may seem at a given moment, there is always something that you can be grateful for, it may be a family member or friend or something “minor” like a roof over your head. Being grateful is such an important habit to develop. Successful entrepreneurs like Oprah and Tony Robbins constantly practice it. Practicing gratitude is not only good for the soul, but studies have shown that it also lowers stress levels and increases quality of life. Grateful people also tend to exercise more and eat healthier.

An easy way to practice gratitude is to make a daily or weekly list of things you’re grateful for. These can be big or little things from people in your life, to running water in your apartment! Write it down in solitude. Find a quiet environment to truly internalize the things and reflect on what you’re grateful for. 

Bad Habit #6: Staying in your Comfort Zone

Being successful means trying new things, meeting new people, and being open to different opportunities. With big risk comes big reward, so don’t limit yourself to your current comfort zone of your job, usual friends, and activities. Switch it up and start challenging yourself! The road to success is not easy, so learning how to adapt in different environments now can help you down the road. Like successful business coach Brian Tracy says, “Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.”

So how can you start expanding your comfort zone? A great resource is Meetup.com.  Explore an interest you don’t have a lot of expertise in but want to learn more about and dive even deeper. Get to know new people who you can learn from and aren’t part of your usual social circle. Other ways to step out of your comfort zone include reading books or watching movies that are totally out of the usual genres you expose yourself to. 

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Bad Habit #7: Hanging Around Limiting People

You are the company you keep, so be sure you’re surrounded by supportive and positive people. Take a quick survey of the people who you spend the most time with. Are those people optimistic and positive? On the road to success you don’t have any time for negativity or pessimism. If you notice that the people you spend time with aren’t supporting you, then distance yourself. Find people who share your interests and encourage you to reach your goals. In today’s age there are so many awesome forums to find like-minded people, like Facebook groups, Slack, online forums, and Twitter where you can find a supportive tribe or even create your own!

Bad Habit #8: Comparing Yourself to Others

On the road to success be sure to define your own path. It’s easy to look at other people in the media or on your social networks and feel jealous of what they’ve got, but you never know the story behind the story. What may seem like an “overnight” success was usually years and years of blood, sweat and tears. Comparing yourself to other people can make you feel like you’re not good enough. To kick this habit, limit your time on social networks. This study showed that more than one-third of respondents reported predominantly negative feelings after using Facebook. They were also more likely to feel envious and experience lower levels of life satisfaction.

If you want to be really vigilant of the time you’re using on social media you can track it using apps like RescueTime or MinutesPlease. Remember, you’re on your own unique journey. You’re the only person who truly owns your own experience, so don’t worry about what other people are doing. Spend your time focusing on your own growth and achievement.

Conclusion

The path to success is paved with twists and turns, in order to achieve your dreams you have to build the right habits to get you there. Understanding the boulders that can get in your way will make you better equipped to tackle them head-on so you can attain massive success!

Featured photo credit: Paxson Woelber via flic.kr

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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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