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4 Important Things You Lose In Life And Why You Should Be Grateful

4 Important Things You Lose In Life And Why You Should Be Grateful

Losing things is often painted with negative connotations. As humans, we tend to hold onto things in all areas of our lives — our jobs, relationships, friendships, and even our control over situations.

But is this healthy in terms of our wellbeing and overall happiness? Living in the present moment is the best way to obtain a happy and fulfilling life, which means we have to let go of the past and lose things in life in order to grow as a person.

While it’s sometimes difficult, we should never think negatively about changes we face. In fact, we should see them as opportunities to grow and seek new and interesting paths. Here are 4 important things to lose in your life that will expand your mindset, perspective, and ultimately help you become a better person.

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1. Losing Your Direction

Most of us get to a stage in life when we question our motives, our past and present actions, and our true happiness. When we go through this, it can feel extremely overwhelming, sometimes depressing, and we feel lost about what our life purpose really is. Perhaps you question your direction of career or feel you’ve missed out on pursuing your dream because you’re too old. What we need to remember is that it’s these times that are actually there to help us figure out our true path in life; whether we’re on the right one or if we need to find something different.

When we fall into negative situations, they are there to show us that we need to rethink, readjust, and walk down a more suitable and happy road. Don’t ever think that you’re a failure because you haven’t figured it all out yet — everything happens at the right time and it’s these moments in life when we lose direction that we are being told to reprogram because a different path may be more beneficial to us.

If we don’t lose direction every now and then, we don’t get the opportunity to grow, change, and pursue avenues that could lead to ultimate happiness.

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2. Losing Touch With Others

While having many people in our life can bring a great dimension to our wellbeing and happiness, we often hold onto those relationships that no longer serve us. Sentimentality can cause us keep certain people in our lives — they remind us of the good times, they were an intrinsic part of our lives once or shared happy memories. However, over time we change and grow as people — our tastes, attitudes, dreams, and directions in life can change either subtly or dramatically and this can mean drifting away from once-important people.

As sad as this may feel, losing the (what seems like) never-ending connections with our friends can be a valuable life lesson. It teaches us the importance of quality over quantity, it helps us let go of those that don’t bring any growth into our lives, and it can show us that the past is the past but we’re now living in the present.

Holding onto past, fading relationships only stunts us in our efforts to simply be in the present. By losing touch with people and letting them go, we are able to cherish what they contributed rather than feeling a sense of negativity and sadness that they are no longer a bigger part of our lives.

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3. Losing Yourself

Life is all about losing ourselves, changing ourselves, and growing according to our ever-evolving experiences, mindsets, and perspectives. Change is inevitable, but sometimes we can hold onto our old selves, perhaps even wishing we were how we used to be.

The reality is that there is no fixed us. We are constantly adapting to an ever-changing world and our changes are just a sign of progression in this journey of life. To lose yourself means experiencing and opening up to different experiences, such as travelling, studying, moving abroad, or changing careers, and marching head-on into your fears and coming out the other side. Everything we do that challenges the way we think and view the world allows us to lose a small part of our old self and create a new, improved person. This constant evolution allows us to truly find our happiness.

4. Losing Control Over Things

Uncertainty is a fear that most of us have. By dealing with this, we tend to try and control situations or even people. While we’re young, we believe we have much more control in life than we think, but as we get older and we gain more life experiences, we realise that most things in life are out of our control. Life is constantly changing and nothing really stays the same. This means we can either adapt to the changes or they float out of our existence.

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While sometimes we desperately hold onto things such as relationships, jobs, and general life situations, this only serves as a trap that keeps us locked in our comfort zones. When we’re in this space, there is little room to grow or seek other opportunities that we’d otherwise ignore or be unwilling to pursue.

For example, imagine you’re made redundant from your job. While this is initially seen as a bad situation, you come to realise that if you were truly honest with yourself, you weren’t really passionate about your job anymore and this “bad” situation that was out of your control is actually giving you the opportunity to find a job much more suitable and enjoyable — which you may not have done if the redundancy hadn’t happened.

Embracing the fact that you have little control may seem like a scary thought, but it’s these times that open up opportunities for us that we wouldn’t ordinarily take or pursue.

So never be afraid of change and losing things in life. While it may sometimes seem like life is against you in these situations, they are really just amazing opportunities in disguise.

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Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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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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