“The greatest thing Harry Potter has given the world, is the freedom to use our imagination” – Oprah Winfrey.
The Harry Potter books penned by the prolific wordsmith J.K. Rowling are one of the most imaginative, magical and captivating stories ever written.
Hidden in this beautiful series of books are messages of love, friendship, family, courage and many more inspiring life lessons. The books and movies have touched millions of people all over the world. The strong characters have inspired many to take up debates and issues which the book addresses – from libertarianism to feminism to civil rights to raising their voices against power struggles, bigotry, and violence.
J.W. Eagan sensibly said, ‘Never judge a book by its movie.” However, the Harry Potter series is a rare instance of the films complementing the books exceedingly well. Yes, they do not cover all the details, but they do justice to most of the books in the 2-3 hours that is the length of a feature film. The level of detail from art design, to sets, to special effects, to the conviction of the characters portrayed bring alive the enchanting world of Harry Potter. I suspect the close association of the author with the films might have something to do with this.
J.K. Rowling’s sparkling wit, humor and exceptional ability to deliver simple insights with great impact are seen in these several quotes that went on to become extremely popular with fans. Notable among these are those belonging to Albus Dumbledore, who in many ways was her voice in the books.
Here is a pick of some of the best quotes about life lessons relating to different topics:
On coping with loss:
Dumbledore reminds Harry to live in the present moment and not dream of a past gone or a future that could have been.
“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” ― Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Courage comes in various forms, it’s not just about fighting your enemies like Harry, Ron and Hermione demonstrate, but also about confronting your friends like Neville shows us.
“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” ― Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Dumbledore points out to Harry the wisdom of accepting our mortality and not fearing the end but looking upon it as an opportunity for a new beginning.
“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” ― Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
You are a consequence of your choices in life. It doesn’t matter how capable or talented you are, it’s what you do that makes a difference in the world. We are who we choose to become.
“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” ― Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Happiness is an inside job. It is a conscious choice and lasting happiness emanates from within and is not affected by external circumstances. We all have it within us to find that hope in the midst of despair.
“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if only one remembers to turn on the light” – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you. Treating everyone with kindness is important, as Sirius Black points out.
“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals” – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
On making the right decisions:
- When we are faced with problems, it’s only too easy to take the easy way out but this may not always be the right choice.
“Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.” – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
On being sensitive:
Empathize with others and put yourself in their shoes to appreciate their point of view.
“Just because you have the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn’t mean we all have.” – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
On accepting and understanding ourselves:
We have all experience positive and negative thoughts, emotions, and sensations. But we have a choice not to be swayed by them, through making independent decisions on how to act appropriately.
“We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
On being human and recognizing the power of pain:
If we didn’t have problems, we wouldn’t appreciate the good things in life. Pain, loss, and failure is inevitable in life and brings perspective, clarity and is a catalyst for positive change, should you allow it to be.
“Harry, suffering like this proves you are still a man! This pain is part of being human … the fact that you can feel pain like this is your greatest strength. ” – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Everything will work out eventually and for the best, even if it’s not in the way we expected it.
“Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.” – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
On the fear of death:
It is the lack of knowledge and experience that makes us fear death and darkness, just like a child may fear the shadows but as she grows and understands more, she becomes fearless.
“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more. ” – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
On reality and the mind:
Reality is but an illusion. Everything we experience in the world is a reflection of our mind. So our perception is colored by our internal makeup which is why different people see the same things, differently. This is J.K. Rowling’s favorite quote from the series.
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
On using words wisely:
Words can hurt or heal so choose yours carefully. Think before you speak.
“Words are in my not-so-humble opinion, the most inexhaustible form of magic we have, capable both of inflicting injury and remedying it.” ―
True love is unconditional and eternal.
“After all this time?”
“Always,” said Snape.” ―
The End of an Epic!
This quote is not from the series and was spoken by JK Rowling at the premiere of the last film. It was the perfect way to bid a fond farewell to Potter fans who mourned the end of their childhood with the end of the series; as many of us grew up with this books and movies. However, they will stay with us forever.
“No story lives unless someone wants to listen. The stories we love best do live in us forever. So whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” ― J.K. Rowling
So, what is your favorite Harry Potter quote?
Featured photo credit: The Trio in The Burrow via vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net
Last Updated on March 30, 2020
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.
Table of Contents
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.”
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.
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. 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.
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.
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. 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 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 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.
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. 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, but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.
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.
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
- How to Build Self Esteem (A Guide to Realize Your Hidden Power)
- How to Gain Confidence and Really Boost Your Self Esteem
- Signs Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes You Might Not Know
- How to Be Confident: 62 Proven Ways to Build Self-Confidence
Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com
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|||^||Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It|
|||^||Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine|
|||^||Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?|
|||^||Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware|