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What Not To Do Anymore In 2017

What Not To Do Anymore In 2017

Ditch These Habits In The New Year

Does your mentality need a makeover for 2017? It’s traditional to start a new exercise or diet plan in January, but have you ever considered trying to overhaul your attitude and general approach to life instead? When it comes to honing in on your priorities, achieving your goals and increasing your overall happiness, there are seven bad habits you simply have to kick before you can start taking giant leaps forward. Don’t expect that such drastic change will be easy, but it will definitely be worth it when you start noticing the difference in all areas of your life.

Stop Caring What Others Think

Do you tend to place far too much importance on what someone else is thinking and how they might be passing judgement on your actions? Stop! When you prioritize the opinion of others over your own, you will end up miserable. Have the confidence to judge for yourself what is the best way forward for you. No-one else can fully appreciate what it’s like to live you life, and their opinions may well be based on faulty assumptions and incorrect information anyway.

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Stop Comparing Yourself With Others

It’s tempting to calibrate your worth and success by looking at what other people have, but this is a waste of time. We are all unique individuals who must follow our own paths, and so to compare ourselves to others is pointless. Moreover, comparisons too often result only in envy, which can poison relationships. Instead, congratulate others on their triumphs and focus on your own personal goals.

Stop Sacrificing Your Happiness For Someone Else

Have you put your dreams on hold to cater for someone else’s desires or lifestyle preferences? For example, perhaps you have moved to a place you dislike in order to support your partner’s career, or maybe you have taken on a less enjoyable job so you can spend more time caring for a demanding relative. Sacrificing your own happiness may feel noble but in the long run it seldom works well. Self-sacrifice leads to bitterness and resentment, whereas self-fulfilment and chasing one’s dreams often results in contentment and fulfilment. Try to strike a compromise between supporting others and leading the kind of life you want.

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Stop Waiting To Get What You Want

We all have a limited amount of time on this planet, and no-one knows when their time will end. With this sobering thought in mind, ask yourself what you have done lately to make progress towards your goals. Others can help you along the way as you pursue a dream, but ultimately the initiative and energy must come from you. Make 2017 the year you stop waiting and start taking actions.

Stop Wasting Time On Meaningless Stuff

Time is the most precious commodity of all. You can always make more friends and earn more money, but time spent is time you will never see again. Stop wasting time on frivolous pursuits and learn how to focus. It’s important to relax once in a while, but if you want to lead your ideal life then you need to clarify your aims and devote the majority of your time to making sure they are realized.

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Stop Focusing On The Negative

Life is a mixture of the good, the bad, the neutral and the ugly. Your experience of life will largely depend upon the perspective you choose to take. If you focus on the negatives in every situation, you are training yourself to view the world through a negative lens. This means that potential opportunities will pass you by, and your belief in the potential of positive change will gradually erode away. Try to find the positive in every situation and life will feel much more bearable. Spending time with other positive people can help you develop this habit.

Stop Being Trapped By Peoples’ Expectations Of You

Our relatives, friends, colleagues and society at large all place huge expectations upon us. We are told that in order to be considered a successful human being we should obtain a “good” degree, secure a high-paying job, find our soulmate in our twenties, get married and raise a happy family. At the same time, we are expected to maintain a large circle of good friends, to always act as good citizens, and to keep our vulnerable side hidden. All these expectations can weigh heavily upon us and increase the risk of depression and other mental health problems. Try to take a more realistic view of life, and separate your desires from those imposed upon you by external forces. Take time to know yourself and shape a life that suits you rather than following the expectations of the crowd.

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Jay Hill

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on January 16, 2020

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.

However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.

“Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous

Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.

1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.

When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.

Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success.[1] As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’

2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).

That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”

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Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.

3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.

If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.

For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.

People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.

This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.

4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.

Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.

Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!

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Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.

Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

5. Crack a smile.

If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.[2]

Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?

6. Break a sweat—with exercise.

Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.[3]

And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.

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7. Groom yourself.

This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.

A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

8. Dress nicely.

Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.

While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.

9. Do activities you enjoy.

Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.

You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.

10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.

Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.

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Why?

Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.

Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.

Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.

Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?

Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.

12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!

Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.[4]

The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.

Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com

Reference

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