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11 Life Lessons From Albert Einstein

11 Life Lessons From Albert Einstein

Einstein may have been a genius and a great scientist, but he also knew one or two things about life. He understood the importance of imagination, the need to keep moving forward, and most importantly, to keep learning. The human brain isn’t designed to stay stagnant and its full capacity still isn’t known. Using your brain, your potential, and your life is your personal responsibility — to do otherwise is to cheat yourself!

1. “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”

In other words, be aware and don’t stick your head in the sand!

The world and economy is changing all the time. Whatever your profession, you need to look to the future and understand how changes may affect you. I qualified as a lawyer and the legal profession has changed more than I ever thought possible when I was at university.

Keep your finger on the pulse and maintain your networks of friends and colleagues. Don’t allow yourself to become stale or jaded as you will close yourself off to opportunities.

2. Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”

Never stop developing yourself and your skills.

If you’re skilled in languages or playing an instrument, for example, keep practising and maintain those abilities. Those hobbies and skills could earn you money as a side business or give you other options if you lose your job.

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I developed my own sideline private tutoring business and have written books in order to maintain my own long-term versatility. I learned a long time ago that it was simply not enough to “just” be a lawyer.

3. “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”

Have goals and dreams and never give up on what it is you want to achieve.

Write down those goals and take action on them! Seek all available avenues to achieve them and be as specific as you can. Don’t just say you want “a better life” or “more money.” Really drill down into what you want for your own future then visualize every single day in order to manifest those desires.

A mood board is great for this, even a virtual one on Pinterest. Having goals is like putting fuel in your tank, it means you’re progressing, developing, and moving forward. Factor in some small wins too, like a weekend break, lunch with a friend, or a long walk through the park.

4. “Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.”

This sounds quite overwhelming, which very often means nothing gets done — which is the worst outcome of all!

When I do my tutoring, I often talk about working in “manageable chunks” and I apply that to my own business practices too. I set aside specific times to undertake certain tasks and make sure things are done well in advance.

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Making lists is great, there’s something very satisfying about writing it down on paper and striking something off as it’s completed. It reinforces the fact that you’re taking action and moving towards your end result.

5. “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”

By using this quote, I mean we should stay current with technology trends but don’t let them take over your life!

So often we hide behind our phones, tablets, and laptops; the art of conversation is seemingly dying as we walk around swiping, texting, and surfing. Get the balance right and open up a world of opportunities.

Life is all about balance, so use technology to your advantage, not disadvantage.

6. “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”

But what time we do have should be used wisely!

We’re all guilty of saying we have “no time” and of course life does get in the way, but this shouldn’t be used as an excuse. If you’ve got a commute to work, listen to self improvement audiobooks or entrepreneurial podcasts instead of listening to the radio or just staring into space.

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Maintain a sleep routine and don’t get into the habit of sleeping your mornings away on the weekend. We all have the same 168 hours each week so we need to squeeze every last drop out of them.

7. “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new”

Taking risks is scary but so is living a life without trying.

Starting a new life or a new business will take you outside of your comfort zone. You have to put yourself out there and risk rejection. What is life without some element of risk? I’ve lost count of the number of rejection letters I got from literary agents after submitting my novel, but I didn’t let it stop me trying. Yes, it can’t always go your way, but sometimes it can and it will.

8. “There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle or you can live as if everything is a miracle”

In other words, you can choose how you view your environment and your life. Have an attitude of gratitude for the small things; there is always something to be appreciated. It can be the hot water in your bath at the end of a long day or a cup of tea someone else has made for you.

Happiness isn’t always found in the grand gestures. Use all of your senses: really taste the food you eat and really hear the birds singing in the morning. It’s amazing what happens when we just stop for a moment and are mindful.

9. “The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not what he is able to receive.”

Giving value to others should be our primary concern, not what we can get for ourselves.

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Money is important, that goes without saying, but too many of us worry about either the lack of it or the want of more of it. Money is only the byproduct of the value we give to others, so whatever it is you seek to do, ensure it is worthwhile for everyone. Much like the saying, “what goes around comes around,” the energy we put out there for other people comes back to us, so if we give value, we attract it right back to us.

10. “Imagination is everything; it is the preview to life’s coming attractions.”

Use your imagination to paint a mental picture of what you want your best life to be. Create a vision of your better self and better life and move towards that reality. Our world is the product of our thoughts: they create our environment. Use your thoughts to create what you want.

A vision board or Pinterest board is a fantastic way to help create that mental picture. Review it every day and let the power of your thoughts attract everything you wish to achieve.

Entrepreneurs do this all the time, so don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

11. “The only real valuable thing is intuition.”

Listening to your gut or trusting your sixth sense is something I believe in very strongly. Much like a mother’s instinct, there is an inexplicable reason why something feels wrong or a person you encounter doesn’t feel quite right.

Have an honest conversation with yourself. What do you feel passionate about and what gives you joy? Too many of us go through life doing what we are told is the “right thing” to do and suppressing what we really want.

Listening to and trusting the messages your body gives you is like having an inbuilt compass giving you direction and focus. Ignore at your peril!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.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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