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10 Quotes From Audrey Hepburn That Will Teach You Valuable Life Lessons

10 Quotes From Audrey Hepburn That Will Teach You Valuable Life Lessons

Where does one begin to describe the timeless and classic Audrey Hepburn? Femininity is reclaimed for a moment’s time as her soft eyes and genuine smile captivated the camera time and time again. Audrey Hepburn has remained an icon not only because of her career as an actress or her exquisite taste in fashion, but because of the inner beauty, charm, and wisdom she possessed within. She gracefully shared with the world some of the most valuable life lessons. How does one become such a beloved icon? Below you will find 10 of the most valuable life lessons on what it takes to channel your inner Audrey. Yes, you too can be a classic icon.

1. They speak as eloquently as their clothing

Audrey avoided conflict and was a pleasure to work with during her career as an actress. Famous stars including the handsome Carey Grant gushed over the opportunity to work with Audrey. He once was quoted saying, “All I want for Christmas is another picture with Audrey Hepburn.” Yet as she explains,

“You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than what others say about him.”

How she spoke about others in a positive light is what mattered most and it was reflected back in the high praise other celebrities and producers had of her. She spoke as eloquently as her clothing. Regardless of how people talk, act, or treat you, the important thing to remember is that we are all a constant work in progress. How we speak about others is a true reflection of how we feel, view, and treat ourselves. What have you been saying lately?

2. They are not defined by worldly standards or definitions

It is posted all over the internet; they sell it on the cover of magazines, and display it on our social media devices. The media has us believe that a woman’s charm is something that can only be measured by her physique and ability to lure a man into the bedroom. Audrey eloquently counters the ongoing struggle woman face in these three simple sentences.

“There is more to feminine charm than just measurements. I don’t need a bedroom to prove my womanliness. I can convey just as much femininity, picking apples off a tree or standing in the rain.”

To this day famous women of all ages, shapes, and sizes carry on her feminine charm in their style and attitude from Anne Hathaway to Sandra Bullock. Human sexuality and women are both gifts and in the purest sense expressions of feminine love; rather than believing that it is the only way to express ones womanliness think about all of the beauty and warmth you have seen and felt from the women in your life in platonic contexts. Did you feel the presence of a charming woman? Numbers on a scale or a definition in a dictionary do not define one’s ability to express feminine charm. Women are lovely and feminine by simply being, and that is the genius of being a woman- undefined by worldly standards.

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3. They are forgiving

They say it was the most devastating experience in her life. Audrey’s parents divorced when she was six years old. Her father left the family as a supporter for the Nazi regime. Yet, years later, Audrey found it within her heart to find her father after World War II and financially supported him. Her humility and grace once again shines for all to see. Famous people all have difficulties in their lives just like everyone else. Miley Cyrus watched her parents divorce and felt its crushing stings. As a bystander we cannot judge, but we can only hope she too is able to see the wisdom passed down by past stars such as Audrey. Audrey explains,

“People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.”

No human in our lives should ever be cast aside. We are all on a journey and it is in our forgiveness that we are able to welcome others to its same redemptive powers.

4. They possess a childlike innocence and are optimists.

She had a playfulness that had people wrapped around her every sentence. The photographs on Telegraph.com and the words she spoke prove her childlike innocence. Who would not be smitten with a woman who says,

“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”

It often reminds one of the optimism of her optimism continues to inspire us all. Happiness is found where the optimist resides, and often we see that with the innocence of a child playing, skipping, kissing, and hugging. Those who accept what is placed before them with joy and sense of humor, believe in brighter days to follow, and of course wear a little pink will surely see the greatest miracle unfold; the miracle of living a fulfilling life as a child in every stage of their life.

5. They value the importance of family

Audrey never got caught up in the glitz and glamor of show business. She took on a few major roles that had brought her much fame, but as they say there is no business like show business; which only meant work would come and go. She, however, had her priorities straight as she firmly stated,

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“I may not always be offered work. But I will always have my family.”

Although it is rare, there are still celebrities who value the importance of family, regardless of their other choices in life. Our careers should never define us. They put bread on the table and hopefully give us the chance at enjoying some of the luxuries of life, but at the end of the day the only thing that really matters are the ones we build our lives with.

6. They have a go-getter’s attitude and a believer’s faith

Audrey was passionate about dancing, particularly ballet. Though she did not become a career ballerina her first role as an actress was as a prodigy ballerina in the hit movie Secret People in 1952. She was discovered on set by famous Hollywood director, William Wyler who went on to cast her as the leading lady in the classic film Roman Holiday. The rest is history – or as she concluded,

“How shall I sum up my life? I think I’ve been particularly lucky. Does that have something to do with faith also? I know my mother always used to say, ‘Good things aren’t supposed to just fall in your lap. God is very generous, but he expects you to do your part first.’ So you have to make that effort. But at the end of a bad time or a huge effort, I’ve always had – how shall I say it? – The prize at the end. My whole life shows that.”

We all have dreams of a certain career or vocation sharing our gifts and passions. As Audrey shows us, these gifts can be used in more ways than one. God is able to work through us as long as we are open and act with conviction to see our story unfold. Never stop working towards your goals and with faith everything will fall into place.

7. They are open and receive with gratitude

Her life was not always charming as she openly stated,

“I decided, very early on, just to accept life unconditionally; I never expected it to do anything special for me, yet I seemed to accomplish far more than I had ever hoped. Most of the time it just happened to me without my ever seeking it.”

She suffered greatly during World War II from malnourishment, anemia, and edema (swelling of the legs). The cards she was dealt did not stop her from living life with an open grateful heart. Our current circumstances do not dictate our future. A prime example is the brilliant author of the “Harry Potter” series, J.K. Rowling. She was a single poor and destitute mother who through an open mind to what was placed before her was able to produce one of the greatest series of books turned movies. Do not allow doubts or fears build a barrier between you and living life. We can accomplish much in our lives; sometimes we must seek it out, but more times than not it will seek us at the right time and place.

8. They are nurturers

Audrey had an empathy and fiery passion for her humanitarian work as an ambassador for UNICEF. It was here she supported the needs of children of third world countries. Audrey admitted,

“I was born with an enormous need for affection, and a terrible need to give it.”

There are countless examples of famous people supporting a  favorite cause from the great Oprah Winfrey building a leadership academy in South Africa to Angelina Jolie and her humanitarian work to help refugees in war ravaged nations. What Audrey explains however, is so very precious. All of us need to receive as much as we give affection. The nurturer knows inside it feels as good to receive but far better to give. No human should go through life without feeling the love, warmth, and care of another. It brings more faith, more hope, more trust, and more love into our much thirsting world. We are born to love and be loved in turn and nurturing is one way in which we can share this love with one another.

9. They give genuine eye contact and smile

They show the undoubtedly beautiful Audrey in photographs in her younger years. Celebrities such as Taylor Swift continue to find inspiration in her aesthetic appeal. What was most attractive, however, was her ability to woo the onlooker with her smiling eyes. Something special was behind that gaze, and here she reveals what that was to us explaining,

“The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart. That is where love resides.”

She was sharing the doorway to her heart, where her love resided. It is inspirational to look at a photograph of a woman and immediately be captivated by her eyes. There is not greater fashion statement than a woman who gives eye contact and smiles. The mysterious beauty and love within each and every woman can heal the most broken of hearts. When woman look away in shame, fear, or lack of confidence we are robbing the world of the love we have to share. Give a little more eye contact and smile and feel its heart melting powers.

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10. They find their beauty routine in other places than the makeup aisle

The forgiveness of her father after the war, the smiles she brought to an innumerable amount of children suffering in poverty, and the adoration Hollywood continues to have of her; we know her beauty routine was more extensive than a little mascara and rouge. Many celebrities that grace the cover of magazines and walk the red carpet also hold that special something that enhances their already external beauty and charm. An article on www.CNN.com  on America’s current sweetheart, Sandra Bullock make Audrey proud. She too has been through hardships, but continues to give back to the community, speaks with kindness, and values her privacy living life with her family. It fully exemplified  what Audrey most famously said,

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”

Once again we learn the beauty and poise of a woman cannot be bought, but rather fully discovered in her words and actions. No better beauty advice has ever been given.

It is no easy task to be as iconic as the lovely Audrey, but as she fully reminds us;

“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I’m possible.”

Featured photo credit: Audrey Hepburn/Skeeze via pixabay.com

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Kathryn Connors

Personal Trainer and Lifestyle Coach

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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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