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We Don’t Need More Likes, We Need Self-Esteem

We Don’t Need More Likes, We Need Self-Esteem

Have you noticed how posting on social media sites can be addictive?

Like any drug, it starts off seeming like something fun and harmless. You post a few images of yourself on the beach, and suddenly dozens of your friends have liked or shared them. Feels good, doesn’t it?

However, in time, we can become caught in a vicious cycle of continuously needing positive feedback on our posts. If the likes and shares are missing – a part of us feels missing too.

It can be a tragic situation.

What’s missing isn’t others’ approval, it’s self-esteem.

Becoming dependent on likes and shares for our happiness is a difficult addiction to break.

Your mobile device holds your attention – and often holds you hostage.

The first step in learning to escape is to understand that needing constant likes and shares is usually a symptom of low self-esteem. If you can learn to boost your self-esteem, you’ll be able to break the mental and emotional chains that bind you.

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I’ll be honest with you, though. Building and maintaining self-esteem is not an easy task. You’ll need to work on it daily and know and practice the most effective tips and techniques. (Luckily, I’m about to share these with you!)

Self-esteem determines how you feel and think about yourself.

Why should you care about self-esteem? This question can be answered with another question: Do you care about yourself?

If you have low self-esteem, you may feel inferior and worthless. With high self-esteem, you’ll have the opposite qualities: confidence and value.

In other words, you should definitely care about your self-esteem. It’s vitally important for your personal well-being, happiness and success in life.

With high self-esteem, you’ll find yourself living a simpler, stronger and more purposeful life.

It’s the difference between a failed actor and someone like Tom Cruise. The first guy probably lacked self-belief, while Cruise has gone on to become one of the world’s most successful actors. He’s talented for sure, but he also possesses powerful self-esteem.

The magic of boosting self-esteem lies within you.

As we’ve seen, your happiness and success in life depend on your level of self-esteem.

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Let’s take a look now at seven ways you can increase your self-esteem (without becoming an egomaniac!).

Never, ever, expect perfection.

Have you noticed that when you constantly seek perfection – life often disappoints you? While it’s certainly a good idea to aim high, don’t get caught in the ‘perfection trap’. It can prevent you from taking advantage of new opportunities, as well as blocking your ability to finish things.

As an example, think of a time when you were seeking a new job. You may have overlooked the ideal role simply because it didn’t tick all your preconceived boxes.

Contribute to society.

If you’re too busy helping others less fortunate than yourself, then you won’t have time to worry about your low self-esteem. In fact, by contributing to society, you’ll definitely boost your self-esteem. Helping others makes you feel good about yourself.

So, why not put this into practice by finding ways to contribute to society? These could take the form of voluntary work or random acts of kindness.[1]

Live healthily every day.

You’ve no doubt come across sloppy people who don’t seem to care about their appearance or their lives. Don’t be like them. If you want a happy and successful life, you need to focus on your health. Through correct diet and exercise, you can not only look good – but feel good too. It’s amazing how much you can raise your self-esteem through this method. You’ll have more energy, more confidence and will begin to attract success to you.

The key is to make small changes that you can stick to. For example, don’t go immediately from eating meat daily to a strict vegan diet.[2] Instead, gradually wean yourself of meat by reducing your weekly intake.

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Recognize triggers to low self-esteem.

Difficult events like separating from a partner or losing a job can trigger a rapid fall in your self-esteem. It’s critical at these times to make an extra effort to maintain your balance, poise and self-belief. Eliminate thoughts such as: “I always mess things up,” and replace them with positive imagery such as one door closing… and another one opening.

Focus on what you do well.

If you look around at others, you’ll instantly see that they can do many things better than you. If you allow this comparison, you’ll inevitably feel weak and inferior. However, you don’t need to think like this.

Every one of us is unique. This means that we also have unique talents. Your boss may be great at decision making, whereas you might excel at customer service. The trick is to find what you’re good at and focus on this. Don’t try to be a jack of all trades![3]

Set challenging goals.

How many times have you been told to set goals, but have chosen to ignore this advice? Lots of times no doubt. I sympathize with you, as I used to be like that too. Goal setting seemed liked a good idea, but I never got around to doing it! Fortunately, in recent years I’ve learned that goal setting really does work.

To convince yourself of the power of goal setting, start off with a few easy goals such as: walking or cycling to work a few days a week, adding a few extra dollars a month to your savings account, and giving more of your time to loved ones.

Do what you love and have fun!

Low self-esteem can be associated with lethargy, anxiety and even depression. Don’t get dragged down into these ‘joy-killers’. Instead, make an effort to have fun at all times – and lighten up your life!

There are countless ways to have fun, but here are some of the best ones: spend time with friends who know how to laugh, watch a funny movie, seek humor that’s hidden in serious situations. By learning to laugh and enjoy yourself, you’ll naturally boost your self-esteem. You’ll also have a positive influence on people you interact with.

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So, there you have it.

I’ve revealed what self-esteem is, why you should value it – and how to boost it.

Now, it’s over to you.

Focus less on how many likes and shares you’ve received today, and instead, focus on the things that really matter in life. As you raise up your self-esteem, you’ll find new energy and purpose.

Life is a journey. Just make sure you’re traveling in the right direction.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

[1] Random acts of kindness
[2] The Vegan Society: Definition of Vegan
[3] Wikipedia: Jack of all trades, master of none

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Craig J Todd

UK Writer who loves to use the power of words to inspire and motivate.

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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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