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10 Things You Need To Commit Yourself To If You Have Low Self-Esteem

10 Things You Need To Commit Yourself To If You Have Low Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is perhaps one of the most misunderstood elements that people fail to recognize. It often gets mistaken for self-confidence, and yet is one of the most important things to focus on to live a fulfilled life. Self-esteem is different, because it involves your core values and the inner workings of your mind that essentially define who you are. Self-confidence, on the other hand, is the belief you have in yourself that typically involves things you aren’t familiar with.

Improving your self-esteem is hard, as it’s never constant. However, there are a number of fundamental principles you can follow that will give you a good foundation to help improve it.

1. Don’t compromise on your happiness just to please others.

You have to be willing to stay true to yourself at all times. This includes not being afraid to speak your mind without fear of losing someone’s approval.

You begin to realize that there is really no reason for you to change yourself, since you are who you are. As long as you’re a nice person at heart and socially congruent, then there’s really no reason for someone to want you to change.

2. Become responsible for everything that happens in your life.

Looking at this in perspective, if there is anything in your life that you personally aren’t happy with, would you say it’s due to the things external to you or because of the decisions you made?

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This is the first step to becoming conscious as you start looking at things in a more objective manner. Do you place blame on others or do you take responsibility?

Taking responsibility means one thing — you’re in complete control of the results you create in your outside world.

3. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes.

Making mistakes is what we all have to go through if we’re to become better. Andrea Walz bases her book Go for No on this key principle. If you’re not failing, you’re not growing.

Be willing to embrace failure and to fail as fast as you can and as often as you can. The key difference between a success and a failure is due to this key point: a successful person isn’t afraid to try and fail.

4. Learn to say “no” more often.

Don’t be a “yes” person all the time. There may be times where you feel pressured by friends to do certain things that you don’t want to do. This is usually the perfect opportunity to demonstrate your discipline and personal boundaries, which is essential for building your self-esteem. Say “no” and be willing to stand your ground.

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Your friends or family may not like it, but they certainly will respect you for it.

5. Don’t worry about the choices you’ve made.

Whatever choices you’ve made in your life is all due to your personal values and boundaries. This is further solidified if you better understand what your values and boundaries actually are.

The more about yourself you learn to understand, the less worry and anxiety you’ll experience in the long term. Learn to accept and trust in the choices you make and to push forward regardless of the outcome.

6. Learn to accept the way things are.

Be willing to accept your successes and failures before moving on to change and improve them. As long as you live consciously as stated in point #2, you will always have the ability and the opportunity to change course.

It’s also a very effective way to develop a humble character.

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7. Write down things you’re grateful for.

It is quite common to overlook the nice things around us and to take things for granted. In most cases, we are more fortunate than we believe we are. Are you able to walk, talk and move normally? Are you a hard worker? Do you have friends who like and respect you? Are you a good person?

However bad your current situation may be, there will always be someone who is worse off than you who may well look at you and see you as the type of person they’re striving to be in the future.

8. Accept your flaws and understand that you’re not perfect.

The reality is, nobody is perfect. Sure, you could work very hard toward perfection, but realize that no matter how hard you work, you will always fall short. It’s simply the nature of the beast. As humans, we’re designed to be imperfect, to make mistakes, to fail countless times and to strive.

There is no real growth without self-acceptance.

9. Be willing to embrace rejection.

Rejection comes with the territory and happens on a daily basis. The key thing to understand is that rejection only becomes significant the minute we place value on it. Was it a big deal to you if the burger you wanted at McDonald’s was unavailable?

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Learn to detach yourself from the outcome and to see rejection for what it is.

10. Learn to tackle the good times and the bad.

Regardless of what happens to you in your life, you will face good times and bad. This is a given and the reality of life. But the key to good self-esteem is in recognizing the situation for what it is and to simply learn to deal with it in the best way you can.

Because just like the good times, the bad times will also pass.

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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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