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10 Things You Should Avoid On The Road To Pursuing Happiness

10 Things You Should Avoid On The Road To Pursuing Happiness

We all define happiness differently, because we all live our own lives and we experience our own set of situations. However, there are certain facts about happiness that we can all relate to, no matter how differently we live our lives and no matter what we have experienced. Here’s a secret. Happiness is not about doing anything special, but more about choosing what not to do. Here are 10 things you should avoid on the road to pursuing happiness.

1. Too many expectations

Sure, we all have expectations. We wish that everything will always work the way we plan them to be. But the truth is, things will not always be the way we expect them to be. We can’t expect everyone to want to do things as we do. Each person’s experience and way of dealing with things is unique, so to expect others to do things the way we do is unfair to them. When we have too many expectations, we are not going to be able to work with others, because it will often cause conflict with others, and that will only give us more trouble than a peace of mind. If we can put our expectations aside, allow things to be what they are, and become what they need to be, we will be so much happier.

2. Comparing ourselves with others

We all know people who often evaluate their happiness by comparing themselves with others. They compare their income, their possessions, their status, their intelligence, their appearances, their success and so on. Jealousy is the thief of joy.

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The truth is, there is no end to the comparison game. No matter who we compare ourselves to, there will always be someone out there who are better at doing what we did. Comparison puts our focus on the wrong thing and person. When we constantly compare ourselves to others, we are actually wasting our time and energy focusing on other peoples’ lives, rather than our own. Understand that we were not born to live other peoples’ lives. We can learn to enjoy what we are, rather than regretting what we aren’t.

3. Toxic people

Negative people are good at telling us what we are not capable of becoming, while influencing us to believe that what they say is true. They will not only drag our energy down, but also crush our dream by constantly reminding us of how impossible it is to get to where we want to be. Surrounding ourselves with these people will sabotage our happiness.

We can always choose who we want to spend our time with. We can spend our time with positive people who talks about ideas, who are willing to exchange information and who can provide us with useful knowledge. By choosing who we spend our time with wisely, we can gain so much wisdom which we can use to improve ourselves. Self-improvement plays a crucial part of our happiness, as we will find a better life’s purpose through the process.

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4. Holding grudges

People often carry on grudges while having moral battles with the one who has done them wrong, casting themselves as the righteous and the other person in the wrong. What they don’t realize is that they waste too much energy on it, and eventually put themselves into a darker side of the situation. Whatever damage that the person causes cannot be undone, therefore holding on to it is only going to gradually damage you. One of the keys to true happiness is forgiveness. Letting go is the key to true healing, and that is where true happiness eventually emerges.

5. Self importance

Self importance is a product of fear. People who believe in self importance are afraid of losing their ego over anything else. They view themselves as an extremely important person, and expect everyone around them to put them as a priority in any situation. These behaviors will eventually damage their relationship with the people around them, and leads to an isolated life, since people will try to stay away from them. If we all learn to have gratitude towards the people around us, we will learn that what and who we are today are somewhat influenced by them. We will learn to appreciate the people and things we have, and live a much happier life.

6. Suppressing emotions

Holding back on our emotions might lead to depression. We might think that showing our emotions would make us vulnerable, but the truth is, a truly strong person is able to show all their emotions because they are not afraid to acknowledge that they are only human, and that is is absolutely okay to feel. When we are open to our emotions, and are honest about them, we are setting ourselves free from the heavy emotional burden that are otherwise buried inside of us. A truly happy person allows themselves to feel every emotion and appreciate being alive. We have to experience all emotions in order for us to appreciate happiness.

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7. Worrying too much over the future

There are many other ways to secure our future than to be worrying over it. It is so important to value each moment of our lives since we only live once. To worry over the future takes away our precious moments, because we are too distracted to enjoy living the here and now. We can set goals and be productive to secure our future. Enjoying the here and now contributes so much to our happiness as it ensures that we don’t miss out on our little happy moments that accumulated to a fulfilling life.

8. Putting others down

Some people think that putting others down will boost themselves up. There is a saying that blowing out someone else’s candle doesn’t make your’s shine any brighter. People criticize and put others down so they can have the feeling of superiority, so they can hide their own insecurities. Judging others don’t define who they are, it only defines who we really are. Strong people don’t put others down, instead they lift them up. Instead of putting people down, we should inspire somebody, improve somebody else’s life for the better, and make someone smile.

9. Blaming

To blame our faults on someone else is a fairly convenient way to get away from trouble. But what we don’t know, is that when we put the responsibility on someone else, we are actually putting ourselves at risk of not having the control over our situation. We become the victim of our circumstances, since we are not able to manage our situation because we are not in control.

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We also lose the opportunity to learn from our problem and grow from it. When we stop blaming others, we begin to discover who we truly are. We will find peace within ourselves when we realize that our happiness are entirely our own responsibility. When we learn to overcome our problems with courage, we will find ourselves in a much peaceful, fulfilling and happier life.

10. Rushing

It is important to know that we are the ones who create the time pressure for ourselves. It might seem like we are often running out of time, but the truth is, if we manage our time efficiently, there is always enough time in the day. What we can do is to set priority to things that matter more over things that are less important to us. We can’t have all the time in the world, and we can’t do everything we want to do at the same time. But we can manage our time, set priorities, and try to get the other things done when we have the time and opportunity to do them.

Rushing over things is not only bad for our health, but often cause us more chaos than decent accomplishment towards our plan. Once we stop rushing through life, we will be amazed at how much more life we have time for. A healthy and well-balanced life is crucial in our pursue of happiness.

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Crystie Lim

Life Coach

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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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