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14 Harsh Life Truths You Need To Know To Be Stronger

14 Harsh Life Truths You Need To Know To Be Stronger

Life is no picnic. All too often, we have to overcome obstacles in order to survive. Study these 14 harsh truths of life to help you get stronger and be more self-confident.

“We spend much of our lives going about completely blind to reality, and yet we still have the gall to act victimized when it invariably catches up to us.” – Nenia Campbell

1. You cannot always rely on friends.

You will need certain life skills when nobody else is around. In this way you can rely on yourself to get out of trouble. It is a sad fact of life that we cannot count on other people most of the time. Make sure you have the following skills:

  • You can cook
  • You can drive
  • You know about the power switches in your home
  • You have a spare set of keys in a secret place for when you get locked out
  • You can manage your time
  • You learn something new about information technology every day to become computerate.

2. Make time for your passion.

Whatever you love doing, make sure you do it at a set time. This is important because you find that friends, family, your boss, and your pet will be constantly yapping at your heels trying to steal your time. You have to build in the following defense mechanisms to stop people making unreasonable demands at the wrong moment:

  • Switch off your phone
  • Turn off the computer
  • Go out and do it or lock yourself in
  • Leave Post-its to remind these intruders. (Yes, I know your pet can’t read but the others can!)

3. You accept challenges.

In order to grow in being sociable, stronger both physically and mentally, you have to accept challenges on a regular basis. You are pushing yourself to get better and stronger.

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4. You like being alone but you are not a loner.

“If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.” – Jean-Paul Sartre

It is impossible to exist without social contact. You can be as strong and self-sufficient as you like, but at the end of the day you need to interact in a real, personal and meaningful way, which is neither Facebook nor Twitter. You need to be in contact with real people for this.

At the same time, you can enjoy quiet time alone and you are comfortable with that. The health benefits range from increased creativity, less depression and improved memory.

5. Lower your expectations.

“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” – Bruce Lee

Don’t think that people will always be there when you fall or fail. The phone will go silent. Many friends will suddenly be very busy with their own problems. When I was recovering from a fall, not one person in my condo offered to help me with carrying the shopping!

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6. Prepare for bad times.

Stuff happens and it can get nasty! You will have to learn to be stronger and not give up. But the good news is that adversity and suffering will make you appreciate life afterwards. Those who endured hardships, like being homeless, divorced or ill, found that they been able to develop better coping strategies and were more socially active.

“Hope for the best and cope with the rest.” – Anon

7. You cannot be popular with everybody.

It’s just chemistry. There are people who will rub you up the wrong way, will be bitchy, and will be downright unhelpful in the workplace. You can adopt a few avoidance strategies to reduce the fallout. Get over it and enjoy the company of the real friends you have.

8. You learn from failure.

Everybody screws up. You know that perfection is impossible. Every time you have a disaster, do not beat yourself up. Just ask yourself how you could have avoided the trap or planned it better. In this way you can learn a few life lessons from failure.

9. Nobody else will praise you.

Time to give yourself a pat on the back for all your achievements. Don’t be afraid to list them in your head when you get discouraged. Give yourself a score for each finished task. This keeps you strong when facing life’s harsh realities.

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10. Toxic company is bad for you.

You know the people I mean. These are the whiners, the pessimists, the miserable ones, the cheap ones, the nasty types, and the prejudiced. They make a lousy team. Try to gravitate towards the optimistic and passionate people who will help you see the brighter side of life.

11. Money is tight.

Nobody wants to be stalked by debt or creditors. You have to work out how best to stay within your budget. Think of ways to save, like having packed lunches. Never go shopping without a list. Avoid impulsive buys. Use cash as much as you can. Leave the credit cards at home as they tend to lull you into a fantasy world.

12. Invest in kindness.

Doing acts of kindness every day to people at work or those in difficulty will pay handsome dividends. People will return the kindness. Investing in kindness is like having savings in the bank. They will always earn a little interest. What goes around comes around. There is also an added bonus in that it makes you feel good for a while.

13. Be accountable for your behavior.

If you behave badly, rudely or take unnecessary risks, then you have to be totally accountable for what you have done. You have to take the responsibility for your behavior. Another harsh lesson from the life arena! Taking the consequences, not blaming others and apologizing for harm done have to be on your to do list.

14. Look forward.

There is no escape. Life is wonderful but it is really hard work. Now is the time to start afresh.

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“All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.” – Helen Keller

“Yesterday ended last night.” – John Maxwell

How have you coped with life’s harsh truths? Let us know in the comments below.

Featured photo credit: Hard Life/ farm9 via farm9.static.flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on January 16, 2020

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.

However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.

“Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous

Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.

1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.

When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.

Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success.[1] As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’

2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).

That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”

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Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.

3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.

If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.

For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.

People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.

This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.

4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.

Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.

Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!

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Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.

Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

5. Crack a smile.

If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.[2]

Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?

6. Break a sweat—with exercise.

Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.[3]

And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.

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7. Groom yourself.

This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.

A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

8. Dress nicely.

Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.

While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.

9. Do activities you enjoy.

Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.

You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.

10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.

Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.

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Why?

Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.

Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.

Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.

Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?

Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.

12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!

Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.[4]

The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.

Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com

Reference

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