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Published on January 2, 2020

13 Things to Remember When You Need More Motivation

13 Things to Remember When You Need More Motivation

I am naturally an optimistic person and I like to think of myself as a motivated person – but not all of the time. There have been many times in my life where I have struggled with motivation. It takes a lot of energy to be motivated and some days, I just can’t be bothered. I just want to hide away and do nothing.

Having these feelings where you just want to do nothing is actually an okay thing to do because there are times when you need to rest and recover. The danger is when you let this occasional feeling of laziness and procrastination take over your life. When this happens and trust me, it can happen very quickly, you will find yourself making excuses as to why you can’t get off the couch and start exercising, or start the new project, or finish off the old project. This is a dangerous place to be and one to avoid at all costs.

So, when you are at the point of low energy and need motivation, consider using these 13 motivation tips to help you get your mojo and your life back on track.

1. Take Time to Quieten Down Your Mind

Having no motivation is energy-draining and one consequence of having low energy is that your mind starts to get very noisy and very cluttered.

Practising mindfulness on a regular basis is a great way to quieten down the noise in your mind. There are many mindfulness activities that you can choose – meditation, exercise, listening to classical music, going for long walks. Choose any activity that gives your mind breathing space and some peace.

2. Use Your Power of Choice

Your power of choice is the only thing that you have that enables you to control how you react to events and experiences in your life. You can choose to live your life languishing, or you can live a flourishing life.

Nobody else has that power over you and so if you want to become more motivated about life, then use your power of choice to make the change.

3. Remove Negative People from Your Life

Surrounding yourself with negative people drains your energy and with no energy, the chances of you living a motivated and active life is pretty close to zilch.

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Choose instead to surround yourself with positive people and when you do, you will find that your energy for life starts to flow.

4. Choose to Take Small Steps First to Get Your Energy Flowing

Going from feeling low energy and no motivation to where you have lots of energy and motivation can seem impossible to achieve. In fact, so overwhelming we don’t know where to start and we end up giving up or not even starting.

The key to moving forward and achieving any goal that you set is to focus on taking one step at a time until you reach your goal.

Jenny Blake in her book Pivot – said that to change your life:

“The only move that matters is your next one.”

If you want to get your mojo back in your life, figure what the first few actions or steps are for you to start moving forward, and then stick to the plan – one step at a time.

5. Let Go of the Things in Your Life You Can’t Change

When we are feeling low in energy, we tend to dwell on the events in our life that have not gone so well for us. These difficult and challenging events belong in the past and we can’t change the outcome.

Focusing on these events drains our energy and therefore, makes it even harder to start taking action to change our lives. Focus on the events in life that went well for you, and use those positive feelings to help you move forward.

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6. Practice Gratitude and Show Appreciation on a Daily Basis

Commit to showing gratitude and appreciation to strangers and people you know every day for a month. Once the month is up, don’t stop, keep going for the rest of your life.

Practicing gratitude and appreciation on a daily basis brings joy to your life and with joy comes hope and high energy – which is what leads you to live a motivated life.

Here’re 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude.

7. Focus on Doing Activities That Bring You Joy

Eliminate the activities in life that drag you down. When we are feeling low, we tend to focus on the tasks that use a lot of negative energy.

To get motivation back into your life, focus on activities that are helping you to move forward not drag you down. Use your power of choice to help you decide those activities, which will support you to live a more motivated life.

8. Embrace Patience into Your Life

This may seem a bit of a strange action to consider if you want to live a more motivated life; however, embracing patience into your life is not about you “sitting back and waiting” – it is about you taking the time to consider and reflect on what you need to do to keep moving forward.

Changing your life does not happen overnight, it is a personal journey that takes time. Patience helps you keep on track and helps you to have a more positive perspective on your life.

Learn How to Be Patient and Take Charge of Your Life.

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9. Take The Time to Figure Out Who You Are And What You Want

To change one’s life takes commitment and purpose. You need to know what it is you want and why you want it. These two things are important drivers for you wanting to change your life.

If you know what you want and why you want it, then you have a clear purpose to focus on. If you have no direction or vision as to how you want to live your life, then your journey of change can become directionless and the chances are very high that you will give up.

If you don’t know what living a motivated and positive life is like, then how will you know what to aim for?

Figure out what you truly want and regain motivation with this guide: How to Get Motivated Every Day When You Wake Up

10. Keep Learning

Highly motivated people love to learn new things. It is learning that brings energy into their lives. Learning opens up your mind and challenges you to think about different perspectives.

Take every opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and learn new things on a regular basis. Living a comfortable life with no challenges will only drain your energy and leave you very demotivated about your life.

Try these 10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Overcome Your Fear.

11. Help Others

Helping others, especially those in need is one of the best ways for you to bring energy and motivation into your life. The more you help people in need, the more joy you will find in your life.

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An act of kindness is powerful and can change your life when you make a positive impact on someone else’s life.

12. Exercise Regularly

Staying active improves the energy levels in your body, soul and mind. Exercise maintains positivity, optimism and hope at levels where you experience high energy and motivation on a regular basis.

Regular exercise is key to you staying motivated and positive about your life – even in the tough times. Exercise helps to release the negative energy that builds up within you. When you are feeling really down, going for a walk in the bush, at the beach, in the park or even around your neighbourhood is the best medicine ever.

13. Work Hard at Maintaining a Positive and Hopeful Attitude

There is nothing worse than giving in to all the bad things that are happening in your life. If you focus on the negative things in your life, your energy and motivation will reduce dramatically.

Sure things in life can get very tough and there are times when you will make mistakes. However, the tough times are in the past.

Stop thinking about the negative and focus on the positives in your life such as what is going well? What is working well? What great things have you to look forward to? These are the questions that you should focus on – the ones that build up your belief, your positivity and hope for the future. From here comes the motivation and energy to live a joyful life.

Applying any one or all of these 13 practical tips will help you to live a more energetic and motivated life. Take a deep breath right now and choose one and start your journey now!

More Motivational Tips

Featured photo credit: Holly Mandarich via unsplash.com

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Kathryn Sandford

Career Resilience Coach passionate about supporting others to grow and thrive in a complex world.

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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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