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10 Ways To Achieve Your Goals Even When You’re Bored

10 Ways To Achieve Your Goals Even When You’re Bored

Starting an activity for the first time is perhaps the most fun you can ever experience; it’s new, completely out of the ordinary, exciting to take part in, and is hardly ever boring. But there will ultimately come a time where that excitement begins to wear off and the shine is no longer what it used to be when you first started.

You’re now going through the motions. Perhaps reaching a competent level and no longer feeling a sense of challenge with what you’re doing. This is something I’ve experienced one too many times in my own personal journey when doing new activities.

You’ve reached a stage that Seth Godin calls “The Dip.” Things aren’t progressing, nor are they diminishing. It’s gruelling and ultimately frustrating. It’s at this stage where you’re at a crossroad, and deciding whether to push through or to give up.

So how do you overcome this?

Here are 10 techniques I’ve personally used to keep going when things were boring and frustrating.

1) Push yourself to work when the work isn’t easy or fun to do.

The most common reason I failed in the past was because I failed to “take the first step” when it came to doing what I set out to do. I underestimated the power of momentum and instead focused on the end goal, which made me realize how overwhelming it all was. Instead, focus on what you need to do in the present to get the ball rolling.

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If it’s to hit the gym and do your daily workouts, focus on simply packing your gym equipment and leaving your house, then entering your car and starting the engine. Before you know it, momentum will occur and you will have no other choice but to keep moving forward.

2) Focus on the process and not the end goal.

While goals are important, focusing purely on the final outcome will always leave you feeling stressed and frustrated. Yet we simply fail to realize that getting there doesn’t require us to make a giant leap, but to simply take things one step at a time.

Break down what you need to do for that day and start working at it. A year from now, you will look back at the work you did and realize how far you’ve gone.

3) Develop rituals and commit to them daily.

We are the sum of our daily habits‒this is something I never quite understood until recently. I never realized that habits could apply to your working activities and not just to bathroom etiquette, like brushing your teeth or washing your face.

In short, your success is defined simply by what you do on a daily basis and not just how you do it. Figure out what needs to be done daily in order to move you forward and make it a daily ritual. In time, this will turn into a habit that will simply be unable for you to stop doing.

4) Set something up to make you accountable.

If you find it quite hard to push yourself, set something up that will make it inevitable.

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If your goal is to wake up early, try something like parking your car in a “no parking zone,” which will force you to wake up at 6:30 in order to move it since you know that a parking attendant will give you a ticket if you fail to do so. Or try something simple, like paying a friend $100 for failing to reach your goal on a given week.

Accountability is very powerful and will help you develop motivation if you seem to be lacking it in the early stages.

5) Make a list of benefits that you will gain from doing it.

When doing our daily activities, we sometimes forget why we’re doing it in the first place, which is what drove us to develop the will and drive to pursue it.

Write down all of the benefits you will gain from doing what you’re doing and have it stuck on your wall where you see it in front of you on a daily basis.

6) Make a list of pains you will experience if you don’t do it.

If #5 doesn’t work, write a list of consequences you will face if you don’t do it. Will not doing it make you feel overweight and unhealthy? Will you still be stuck at your dead-end job for another 5-10 years? Will you still stay single and alone for a year?

Use the pain as strength to help you push through. Nothing worthwhile is easy to do, and sometimes, it can be extremely boring as well.

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7) Have a higher purpose that motivates you to keep going.

Besides having goals, you need to have a higher reason to doing what you’re doing that goes above and beyond anything financial or personal.

Perhaps it’s to leave a legacy behind so that others can follow in your footsteps, or to change common misconceptions and redefine norms for the better. Or maybe it’s to end world hunger by providing a beacon of hope for others to follow in order to make it happen.

Have a reason higher than yourself that makes you come alive. A purpose that’s in true alignment to you will provide you with a defined life goal that will make you feel obliged to follow.

8) Make your goals public.

There is nothing more motivating than to tell other people about what you’re going to do. The more people you announce it to, the more powerful it will be; it will force you to take action, since you’ll know that if you don’t do it, you will be branded as a failure or someone who doesn’t stay true to their word.

Set yourself a challenge to announce your goals on all of your social media accounts and put a target date to have it all achieved.

9) Set more challenging tasks in order to push yourself further.

If you’ve been doing something for long enough. There will come a point where you will reach comfort and familiarity with what you’re doing. It will seem monotonous and robotic to the point where you’re no no longer thinking about the motions.

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It’s at this crucial stage in your development where you know you need to set new challenges in order to push through and reach the next level. There is never a complete level of mastery in whatever it is you do and there is always another level.

Create a list of higher and more challenging goals for yourself that will make things more fun and interesting again. Perhaps you could try taking more advanced classes or setting higher target numbers in your sales job, for example.

10) Mix up how you do things to rekindle the fun factor.

Doing the same things over and over again is never fun and can lead to boredom and frustration. Try doing the same things in different ways in order to create variety and inspire creativity.

Mix up your training plans, work on your activities in a different way or perhaps change it up completely!

The more I’ve experienced boredom, the more I’ve realized how much of a gift it is. You have an opportunity now to try something different and to think outside the box, an opportunity to develop even bigger character and perseverance when things aren’t compelling, and a quality, which very few people have, that will serve you greatly moving forward.

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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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