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15 Things Only People With Wanderlust Would Understand

15 Things Only People With Wanderlust Would Understand

There exists a feeling of intense desire, an urge of unrelenting potency which seemingly pulls on every thread of your being to manifest it as reality. A feeling where the border between escape and exploration becomes a blur, and where unendurable frustration finally pushes you from motion into action. This is the feeling of wanderlust, and it can lead to the most life-changing experiences of your future. Here are 15 things only people with wanderlust would understand. Do you have the feeling?

1. You Hate Being Tied down in One Place.

Whether you are in your hometown or a city far far away, when the feeling of wanderlust strikes you’re ability to remain comfortable in one environment is thrown out of the window. Everything around you ceases to stimulate you, and instead the stagnation of routine and an overly-familiar environment takes over. Your sense of imprisonment grows and eventually you find yourself looking for any means of escape. But don’t sweat it, though this feeling is a curse in the moment, it is a blessing in disguise as it will motivate you to follow your heart and explore.

2. You Wonder Why Everybody Isn’t Travelling.

It’s easy to get swept away in the rift that is wanderlust, even to the extent that you forget that there is a world which needs running. You ask yourself why everyone around you is doing the same monotonous things day after day, why don’t they just get up and go, right? Wanderlust doesn’t strike everybody equally, if at all. Besides, all the earth-conquering and soul-exploration isn’t for everyone. Just be thankful that Lady Wanderlust has graced you with her presence.

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3. You Live Vicariously Through Others.

Whether it’s Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, magazines (yes they still make those) or other forms of media, those with wanderlust find themselves lost in a torrent of scenic and envy-inducing images, thumbs autonomously swiping away, eyes locked onto footage of other people’s experiences. It’s as if your brain wants to live vicariously through the travel images of others until it finds itself there in reality. Surprisingly, this is a great method for staying motivated to make that your life, just don’t get content with watching others make it.

4. You Try to Find Variety in Daily Life.

Remembering back to the feeling of stagnation, you’ll find yourself seeking variations in the minutiae in an effort to wring any last excitement from your current environment. Whether you take a new path on the way to work, change the order of your daily activities or try different foods, one thing which becomes apparent is that all of these things and others like them are fundamentals in travel, new paths, no set structure to days, new cuisines. You can see the connection. Could this be a subconscious primer for travel?

5. You are Mistaken for a Hermit.

Sometimes people just don’t understand. The desire for you to escape is mistaken for a desire to leave civilization entirely and to live solo in some beach hut in mexico. Quite the contrary, you wish to escape so you can feel more connected to the world and its inhabitants. To travel is to bond, to explore is to embrace change. Ironically, we know that we are most disconnected from civilization when we’re trapped in the lightening pace of our lives.

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6. You Feel Like a Nomad Amongst Settlers.

This goes back to point 2, but it becomes more personal when you feel as though you’re the only one wearing rose-coloured glasses. You are a fork placed amongst knifes. Sometimes it’s easy to doubt yourself and your need to explore when those around you have no interest in such things. We are the average of our peer group after all. Don’t mistake the feeling of isolation for individuality. You know what you wan’t, don’t let the motives of others deter you from getting it.

7. You Embrace Escapism.

When you wan’t to escape but your current circumstances won’t permit it, you’ll often find yourself getting lost in other forms of release. You daydream a lot, this is something I call Walter Mitty syndrome, the tendency to get lost in your ideal life, all within the confines of your imagination. Like point 3, this can be a great tool for visualisation but only in moderation. Don’t forget to turn your dreams – or daydreams for that matter – into reality.

8. You Wish to Meet People Like Yourself.

Global exploration is known to be one of the greatest means of meeting those with similar interests to yourself. People prone to travel tend to be the more outlandish and open-minded types, often a product of travelling itself. You know this, you want to be this, and you know if you can just get on a plane and go, you’ll be happier than ever before. Leading me onto my next point.

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9. You Feel Like Your Life Would Be Complete If Only You Could Travel.

Yes, we all know how this feels. You have a slice missing from your heart and travel is a perfect match. You know that if you were to travel you’d be the most complete, fulfilled and well-rounded version of yourself. This is what many people call “finding themselves”, an inaccurate term since we are all products of our environments in the first place. However, you know you’d be a warmer, kinder and less frustrated person, and that is a great reason to go in itself.

10. You Can’t Decide Where You Want to Go First.

Planning your trip is difficult when all your focused on is trying to leave where you are. Ironically, planning where to go takes up a lesser portion of your time, but when you do eventually get round to it you may face great difficulty. Where do you begin? South America or SE Asia? Europe or Africa? You know you have research to do, don’t let yourself get to your golden opportunity to begin with no plan in mind.

11. Your 9-5 Feels Like a 9-9.

When you realise how amazing our planet is, having to work in a routine based job day after day becomes nearly impossible. You loath it. You want to run away from it and never come back. Wanderlust changes you, it’s powerful, and it can often have major impacts on how you live your life.

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12. You Start Saving a Travel Fund.

Small things here and there become trivial. You equate the price of those new pair of shoes, or that new sweater into how many extra days you could travel. It’s funny to notice yourself doing this, “$60 for that? That’s 2 more days on the road, no thanks.”

13. You Start Taking Micro-Adventures.

A bus ride here, a train ride there, and you find yourself 50 miles from home, testing out the water to see how you feel in the wild unknown. This is an important moment for any would-be traveller because it’s when you find out if you’re cut out for the travelling life. If you don’t panic when you feel lost, or when you have no signal on your phone, you just flow with it. You are a nomad through and through.

14. You Feel at Home Wherever You Go.

When your mind gets used to the idea that you won’t be hanging around in any one place for a prolonged period of time, everywhere starts to feel like home. You no longer crave that secure base you once did when you first left, but instead you fit right into place no matter the country, the language or the culture.

15. You Become Willing to Try Anything.

Bungee jumping? Sure. Weird looking cuisine? Why not! When wanderlust strikes, your mind opens up like a flower to the world around it. Anything becomes your everything. You realise that you are the most open-minded, wise, and outgoing version of yourself, and that you are the happiest you have ever been. You couldn’t trade it for the world, because the world gave it to you in the first place.

Featured photo credit: PixaBay via pixabay.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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