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10 Chances Unhappy People Refuse To Take

10 Chances Unhappy People Refuse To Take

Happiness isn’t a destination. It’s a journey. And to succeed in this journey, you have to be brave enough to take some chances. Are you sick and tired of feeling down-in-the-dumps? If so, watch out for these 10 chances unhappy people refuse to take.

Take a chance on making a difference.

“I’m just one person! What could I possibly do to make a difference?” This defeatist question will halt your progress in its tracks. Yes, you are just one person, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t capable of leaving a mark. You know who else was “just one person?” Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and Alexander the Great to name a few. The history books are full of individuals who dared to take a chance. Be bold in your aspirations and unwavering in your efforts.

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Take a chance on helping people.

“I have so many problems. How could I help another person when I don’t have all of my ducks in a row?” I know it’s tempting to look at your problems and assume you’re in no position to help another person, but it’s just not the case. There is something “wrong” with everyone (and anyone who says otherwise is a pathological liar, or possibly a robot). Can I tell you a dirty secret? The articles I write here at LifeHack (like the one you’re reading right now)? I tend to write things that I need to hear myself. Does this make me a fraud? I don’t think so. I like to think it makes me human because it allows me to put my thoughts into words that you, the reader, will be able to relate with. In other words, never assume we self-help writers have it figured out; most of us are figuring this stuff out the hard way. And if I can help people despite my flaws, so can you. You’re not perfect, you never will be, and you know what? That’s totally okay because you are perfectly human just like the rest of us.

Take a chance on an imperfect idea.

How many projects have you given up on because it wasn’t “good enough?” Listen: there is no such thing as “good enough.” You invented this silly little non-existent benchmark in your head, so get over it and deal with the fact that nothing can be (or ever will be) perfect. Does this mean quality doesn’t matter? Of course not. The easiest thing to market is a useful product or service that helps people solve a specific problem. The more useful it is, the easier it will be to sell. Simple equation, right? But forget about this whole “perfection” thing because it’s nothing but a pipe-dream. Make it as good as you can (and make it better as time goes on).

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Take a chance on being yourself.

Why are you trying so hard to fit in? Conformity isn’t something to strive for–it is something to avoid. Forget any pre-conceived notions you have of how you should think, feel, or behave. Phonies can be detected from miles away, so the only person you are kidding is yourself. As Mark Twain said, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”

Take a chance on patience.

You know what’s really discouraging? Spending all of your time pursuing a huge goal that requires so much time and effort that victory appears to be light-years away. Yes, aim high in your aspirations, but make sure you pave the road to Victory with as many tiny victories as you can. Forget about losing 50 lbs (just lose the first 5). Instead of aiming to write a book, just write the first chapter. You don’t have to impress that cute waitress with witty banter yet: just tell her hi! Obsessing with the end destination will leave you sick-and-tired-of-every-thing before you can say “burn-out.” Knocking out a bunch of small victories on your way to success will offer you the motivation to keep moving forward.

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“He that can have patience can have what he will.” – Benjamin Franklin

Take a chance on changing your surroundings.

Who says you have to live in the same place for the rest of your life? I know moving is one of the most terrible, inconvenient things ever. But would you rather live through temporary inconvenience or a life-time of regret? Take an honest look at your community calendar, take a drive through your downtown area, consider the people you’re connected to, and ask yourself, “Is there anything here for me?” If you have no good answer to that question, it’s time to move on. Just because it’s scary doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.

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Take a chance on meeting new people.

If you could make new friends in elementary school, you can make new friends now. Look for clubs, groups, or meet-ups with people just like you. A life without friendship and socialization can make for lonely days (as someone who became a hermit for about half-a-year when he decided to pursue self-employment, I feel qualified to say this). You have nothing to be afraid of. People have a desire for human companionship just like you do, so I have no doubt there are people in this world who would be thrilled to have a healthy dose of you in their life.

Take a chance on forgiving the past.

As much as you might wish you could change the past, it’s just not going to happen. Regret is one of the nastier emotions you’ll ever experience, so please understand, I know this isn’t as simple as “just getting over it.” But whatever you did, no matter how wrong it might have been, cannot be undone. Stressing out over something you can’t fix is the opposite of productive. Just because you messed up doesn’t make you stupid, worthless, or a “bad person.” It just makes you human. Everyone messes up sometimes and life’s greatest successes are not exempt from this rule. The difference between long-lasting success and dismal failure is simple-in-theory but complex-in-practice: how do you react to a mistake? Do you learn from it, move on, and grow? Or do you beat yourself up, learn nothing, and repeat history over and over again? Forget the past and live in the present, because that’s where progress happens.

Take a chance on trusting your intuition.

Did you ever have a teacher tell you something like, “Never change your answers on a multiple-choice test!” They told you that because our first instinct tends to be right. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. If a person or place gives you a bad feeling, be weary. Just because intuition doesn’t always make sense doesn’t mean you shouldn’t trust it.

Take a second chance as much as necessary.

Never become discouraged, even when things aren’t going your way. You can have as many chances as you need to find fulfillment and success in your life. Isn’t it wonderful that every new day is like a clean slate, yet another opportunity to better yourself? I think so! Tell me what you think in the comments. Also, if you have any words that might be useful for unhappy people reading this, please share them below.

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Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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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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