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10 Reasons Waiting is Good for You

10 Reasons Waiting is Good for You

We live in a society based on instant gratification. Hungry? A microwave will have you eating in minutes. Getting your dream car is a simple matter of signing up for debt. And months of pining for a perfumed reply from your true love is replaced by a simple click on send/receive. Life has become convenient, but are we better off for it? Here are 10 things we miss out on by not be willing to wait.

1. Priorities become clear

More than ever, we find ourselves bombarded with opportunities and possibilities. It’s easy to get sucked into too many activities that have nothing to do with your purpose and drain your energy, time and resources. Waiting is the perfect vaccine for those things that have no place in your life. The ‘meant-to-be’s’ have built-in staying power that distractions don’t. Given time, temporary things will drop out of your life effortlessly, leaving you free to focus on that which is truly you. Time has a beautiful way of sifting the important from the fluff.

2. Develop perseverance

With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable -Thomas Foxwell Buxton

Perseverance is defined as “persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success”. Did you catch the sneaky little keyword there? A swimmer builds muscles by putting in hours in the water, a body builder pushes ever-increasing weights and us…we stick at what we want to do. Then we get up tomorrow and do it again. We keep on until we reach our goals. Persevering builds our emotional, physical and spiritual muscles so when we crack the goal we’ve been aiming at, we are equipped for the demands of the new season. We’ve been trained by the process of persevering. That kind of toughening up cannot happen in a day, or by popping a pill. It takes time.

3. Productive habits

Whatever you are waiting for–whether it be a spouse, a book deal, or a promotion–your waiting time need not be wasted time. Start making the changes now. Rearrange your schedule to accommodate what you are working towards. Don’t be scared to shift priorities, move furniture, set your alarm an hour earlier each morning. Do whatever you feel would help position yourself for the breakthrough you are waiting for.

4. Understanding yourself

There are high and low points in all our lives, yet these are not what define us. The best place to find out who we really are, is in the sticky bits in between the two. It’s in the slog of daily living that we discover our greatest strengths and weaknesses. Embrace normal life; don’t fight it. Knowing who you are while you’re up to your elbows in soap suds and floating leftovers will keep you grounded when success comes.

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5. Rest & regroup

Allow yourself downtime. Sleep until you’re finished; take walks in the fresh air. Ride a bicycle and read a book. Recharge your soul with things that feed you. Learn a new recipe, plant a tree. Break out of the mold that life has you trapped in. Waiting creates space in your life, precious time to get in touch with what is going on inside you. It creates space to come to grips with what makes your heart beat faster–what is important to you. Don’t waste it by filling it with rushing or busyness.

6. Patience

Did you grow up wearing hand-knitted sweaters made with love by your granny? It’s becoming more rare by the generation. Knitting takes patience, and there are few things left in our highly efficient society that are geared towards growing patience in us. Waiting is one of them. Like any classroom full of scholars, there are some who resist learning and others who embrace it. If life has you in a headlock and you know you’re going to be there for some time, use your energy wisely–don’t fight it; embrace it.

7. Resourcefulness

The process of waiting is often linked to lacking something. Think about it. If you’re waiting to meet your life partner, you are missing having a significant other. An empty fridge is a sure sign of someone waiting for payday, and someone hankering after a promotion does so because they are hungry for a challenge, a boost in self-esteem, or a bigger paycheck. Waiting forces us to work with what we have in hand. This sounds terrifying, but once you shift your mind, it becomes liberating. Start to see things around, and inside you, with different eyes. It’s an adventure to make do with what you have, and not rush out to buy something new at the first twinge of lack. Try it! You’ll surprise yourself with your resourcefulness.

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8. Tolerance and empathy

Getting exactly what you want, when you want it, is not always a good thing. Ask any mom. Continual immediate gratification over a long period of time can sow seeds of entitlement and pride. When these mindsets are allowed to take root and grow, the end result is not pretty. On the other hand, waiting is a great humbler. A humble person is aware of the struggles of others and can empathize with their troubles. In short, waiting can make you a better person.

9. Capacity

Waiting will lead you through situations you don’t believe you can cope with. You will come out the other side stronger, more capable and with a shot of Vitamin C to your self-confidence. We are not built to be rescued at the first sign of discomfort. How would we have learned to walk if those caring for us had been too worried to put such strain on our leg muscles? Waiting is hard. It is uncomfortable, inconvenient, and makes us face things about ourselves that we’d rather avoid. But if we let it, it stretches us beyond what we think our limits are, and there we discover there was a whole lot more to us than we ever knew.

10. Gratitude

Once you bend your head around the fact that waiting is your friend, and not your enemy, some important things will shift in your head. Instead of being frustrated by delays, you can be grateful for them, make the most of each one and soar through your time of waiting. On the other side of it, you will see how much has been grown in your character even though it felt like nothing was happening at the time. Now that is something to be grateful for.

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Featured photo credit: beautiful young girl resting in a cafe via shutterstock.com

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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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