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Last Updated on March 11, 2020

10 Simple Steps to Let Go of the Past

10 Simple Steps to Let Go of the Past

Time flies and the past is behind us now. With the times that we’ve left behind, there are several trials and tribulations we go through in life; we learn from our mistakes and move on. However, there are moments we’ve had in the past that we just can’t let go of. We’re brought down, made emotional and we cry thinking about things that should never have happened to us.

But, it’s not the past that defines us. As psychologist Carl Jung says:

“I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.”

We all choose to become what we desire and want and we should not regret about the things that did not go well in the past as they only make our shoulders heavy and hold us back from a cheerful life.

So how to let go of the past? Here’re 10 steps to try:

1. Recognize That It’s Time to Move On

The hardest part of letting go of the past is trying to make decisions to move on.

Yes, it’s pretty hard to make new choices that can overcome our misdeeds in life but you should always remember that you have a future to share.

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You’ve already paid for the past and if that’s not working out for you, you need to recognize that it’s time to move on.

These signs will tell you that it’s time to move on: It’s Time To Let Go And Move On When You Experience These 21 Things

2. Make a List of Things You Can “Re-Do”

Life does not give you a second chance all the time. But, what you can do is make a list of things that you would have done differently if you could go back in time and do it again.

Making such list will help you to learn from your mistakes while also giving ideas on what things should have been done right. You also develop a skill to plan things and this will surely help you shape your future goals in life.

3. Believe in Yourself

Pain and suffering are parts of everyone’s life and if you believe in yourself, you’ll overcome the grief sooner than everyone else. All you need to do is make sure you know what you are doing and it’ll not let you hold back in forgetting your past.

When you start believing yourself, you develop a positive vibe around you and these feelings you gain will help to overshadow the mistakes and bad memories that haunt you.

4. Meditate

If you’re frustrated and depressed because of things that happened in the past and nothing worked to change your feelings towards it, you need to start meditating.

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Find stillness, remain calm and take long breathes. With meditation, you get to keep yourself away from the busy and fast paced noisy world. You keep yourself away from distractions and make yourself at ease with meditation.

Try out this 5-minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime.

5. Live in the Present

If you don’t enjoy the life that you are living, you future is certainly going to be dark. You should have no regrets that eat up your thinking and you need to live in present. What’s done is done and there’s no going back.

Go on a hike with your friends or dance, sing and do what ever you love to do. It’s make you lively and energize you to focus on things that you need to accomplish right now.

Here’s How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying.

6. Forget the Fear

If you’ve ever failed in the past, chances are it’s developed a sense of fear in you. If you can’t overcome the fear of your failing and wrong-doing, you’ll get tensed and things won’t work out smoothly.

Become a challenger and forget the fear. Think about things that you’re afraid to do and try to perform them, one at a time and overcome the fear. If it’s still difficult, find someone you believe to help you overcome your fear.

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Learn How to Overcome Fear and Realize Your Potential (The Ultimate Guide).

7. Don’t Forget Your Morals and Values

If you’re to perform better in life, you need to stick to your morals and values. There’s no denying that the bad events in life develop a feeling of change in us and changes are not good every time.

Stick to your beliefs and morals to develop a self-esteem and pride. This plays a huge role in order to develop a positive attitude towards your life.

8. Forgive

Mistakes happen but holding back and remembering the same thing again and again will do nothing good to anyone.

If you’ve made mistakes, apologize, console and forgive yourself. If it’s your close ones who’ve hurt you in the past and you just can’t let go of it, acknowledge the fact that they are the one’s you trusted back. You need to learn to forgive and move on to find happiness.

Take a look at these tips to help yourself: How to Forgive and Live a Happy Life Again (A Step-By-Step Guide)

9. Let Go of Anger and Resentment

Anger and resentment are toxic. These feelings will keep you enmeshed in the past. They will bring you down to the ground and hurt you more.

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Letting go of anger will help you to develop positive attitude and you might want to punch on the wall or a pillow, or scream; do it. Vent your anger and frustration. It might take time, but after you leave anger and resentment, you’ll start feeling fresh.

Find out how you can let go of your resentment in this article: How to Let Go of Resentment and Anger

10. Realize That You Did What You Could Do Best

Perceptions shape our feelings and actions. The way you respond to what you did in your past will help you decide on your present and future.

If you’ve a feeling of guilt or remorse at things you could have done better, realize that you did what you could do best at that moment. If you acknowledge the fact, you’ll also learn that your effort was never intended to go in vain. This will keep you motivated to improve and thrive for the better in the future.

More Tips About Letting Go

Featured photo credit: Spencer Backman via unsplash.com

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Grishma Giri

Grishma Giri is a passionate writer who shares about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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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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