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12 Little Habits That Steal Your Happiness Away (When You Aren’t Aware)

12 Little Habits That Steal Your Happiness Away (When You Aren’t Aware)

We all want to be happy at least most of the time, but, unfortunately, that’s not the case, and we end up searching aimlessly to find happiness, and it always seem to eludes us.

We are all creatures of habit, and often we get stuck in a rut because we refuse to make the necessary changes to our lives that will bring us the happiness we yearn for.

Not all our habits are bad, but sometimes we need to look at the things we do continuously and decide whether we need to make some adjustments if they don’t yield the results we need.

Unfortunately, as humans beings we tend not to want to change, and so we fight tooth and nail not to do this.

We suffer the same headaches and frustration time and time again and never do anything about the issues that are causing us such unhappiness.

Remember if you continuously do the same things over and over again not only will you get the same results but you will become the things you do.

So, if those habits aren’t helping you they are hurting you, and you need to change now to avoid being the same way for a very long time.

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Some of the many reasons you are unhappy are that you:

Hold on to what you know and refuse to budge

Life is about living and learning. When you stop learning, you stop growing and thriving; hence you won’t  be living a fulfilled life. You have to be prepared to venture out of your comfort zone into unfamiliar territory to truly grow and become who you were meant to be.

You need to be challenged and tested because only when you face challenges will you grow and become better. Remaining in one position will only keep you stuck. Being stagnant is not progressing.

Find ways to challenge yourself and do not be afraid of being pushed. Push back when pushed but do not accept the normal as progress. You must hold fast to your core values while you search for your purpose in life.

Keep resisting life and its changes

There is nothing more painful than when you try to resist life and the changes it brings. Change is never without pain and discomfort. There is nothing more painful than remaining where you are for the rest of your life.

Whether you want to change or not you are in fact changing every day. Look back at your life and see the many changes that have taken place, some positive and others negative. That is life, and you must accept it and work with it as it comes instead of fighting to remain stuck.

Allowing other people to decide what is possible for you

Close your ears to all the discouragement and negativity from people who do not know or care about the real you. You know yourself, and the plans you have for your life so do not allow them to use words to discourage you.

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Most of the time they are only telling you what they think and want for themselves so close your ears and forge ahead. Choose to do things your way and if you mess up, you’ll know at least that you did it your way.

Focusing on others and not your own life

You could spend your entire life focusing on others while they build their lives and enjoy it, and neglect yours, or you could choose to use your time to build your life. Do not sit around and admire the success of others while your dreams fall apart.

Be happy for them but put the focus on building a life for yourself. Do not allow others to use you to build their dreams and life either.  Cut a path for yourself and chart it. Do not be burdened down with other people’s load.

Focusing too much on your problems

You need to change the way you view difficulties in your life. The challenges you face most times aren’t the real problem: it’s how they are perceived. Change your attitude towards the difficulties you encounter.

See them as nothing more than minor infractions in your life; keep maintaining a positive attitude and you will be fine. You have the power to control your mind and how you view things. Use this to help you to keep your mind away from your problems and focus more on your goals. Let go of the stress by letting go of the problems.

Focusing on being right all the time

When you are focused on being right all the time, you are losing valuable insight into things. Not only are you destroying some great relationships but you are allowing your pride to sabotage your future.

Sometimes you have to choose to be wrong even though you aren’t to maintain and keep an important relationship. You must become confident enough to accept when you are wrong, and even when you are right; sometimes, you must be willing to back down.

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Holding on to someone who is pulling away from you

It is important to build a great relationship, but you need to make sure the persons or person with whom you are building that relationship are offering you the same in return. It doesn’t make sense for you to be forcing yourself to maintain a relationship with someone who doesn’t want a relationship with you. Do not waste your time trying to prove to them how wonderful you are. If they can’t see it, then that’s their bad luck. Use your time and energy to build yourself up and find someone who will treat you right.

Loving others more than you love yourself

It is fine to love others, but you must remember if you do not invest into yourself no one else will. It is alright to give to others, but you need to be giving to yourself as well. There is nothing wrong with loving yourself and taking the time make sure you are being taken care of.

You won’t be able to take care of others if you aren’t well. The only way you can do that and give them your best is if you give yourself the best as well. Do not let anyone make you feel guilty for loving yourself and who you are. You can only be happy if you are happy with yourself.

Being too self-absorbed

You cannot spend your life focusing on you and not take some time to lend a helping hand to someone else. Being kind is what will help to make you happy. Giving to someone who needs it is what is going to make you smile on a bleak day. Being kind is what will make you feel as though you are contributing to human lives.

Expecting that people will always like you

You have to understand that not everyone is going to like you and want to be around you. People aren’t going to be nice to you all the time, and you must accept that and move on. Do not waste your time trying to convince them to love you. Accept the love from people who want to show it to you and forget the others.

Refusing to let go of the past

Letting go of hurt and pain is necessary for you to be happy. You cannot be holding on to things that you no longer have control over while trying to build something new. You must be willing to let bygones be bygones and leave them where they are. They are in the past for a reason; they should no longer be part of your life. Stop picking back up old pain and burdens that have weighed you down for so long. Rid yourself of them and move one.

Waiting for the right time to be happy

Happiness is not an event; nor do you have to achieve any specific goals to be happy. You must be happy where you are while working to get where you want to go. You should not be waiting around for some great accomplishment before you can be happy.

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If you can’t be happy with little, you will not be able to be happy with much either. Choose to be happy now while working on achieving the goals you set for your life.

Life is filled with ups and downs, and you must be prepared to adjust to make your life as happy as possible and that includes making some changes. Even though you might not want to do so, you must realize that the temporary discomfort is good for you in the long run.

Accept these changes in your life and you will see the results you have always wanted.

What are some of the changes you have made in your life that have served you well?

Featured photo credit: Giedriusok via shutterstock.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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