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15 Things You Keep That Stop You From Moving On With Life

15 Things You Keep That Stop You From Moving On With Life

You are your own worst enemy. Yes, you may claim you want to be happy, but you’re holding on to a whole lot of stuff that blocks a smile from reaching your face. Let go of these 15 things to get moving on with life.

1. The Shiny New Thing

iphone5s

    There will always be a newer, better, more expensive version of everything you own. Does your cell phone, laptop, or video game console get the job done? If so, get over it and be happy with what you have. Life should be full of experiences (not things).

    2. Ancient Artifacts

    How many toys do your children actually play with? How much of your stuff do you actually use? If your answer is “not much,” then it’s time to cut the clutter. A clean home free from distractions will make you feel happy and satisfied with your surroundings.

    toy

      3. Faux Friendships

      Sure, you might have 2,000 friends on Facebook, but how many of them do you actually talk to? If you have any negative people cluttering up your feed, or acquaintances so unfamiliar they might as well be strangers, give them the boot with a quick unfriend.

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      friends

        4. Undialed Numbers

        Take a half hour when you have nothing else to do and scroll through your contacts list. If a phone number hasn’t been dialed in the last year (and you don’t plan on calling again), delete it without a second thought. Remember: quality over quantity.

        calling

          5. Neglected Attire

          If the question “when is the last time I wore that?” results in a 30 second pause while you deliberate, it needs to go.

          wear

            6. Excuses

            While you’re making excuses, other people are hustling hard in the direction of their hopes and dreams. Stop making excuses and start finding solutions. There is no problem so difficult you can’t solve it.

            excuses

              7. Baggage

              We all have a little baggage so don’t feel like you’re alone, but a lighter load will help you carry yourself forward with life. Carrying remnants of a relationship gone wrong into new love will put a damper on your new life, so it’s time to let it go.

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              come from

                 

                go

                  8. The “Right” Time

                  There is no “right” or “perfect” time to do anything. The more you keep telling yourself you’re waiting for the “right time,” the harder it will be to take action, so get started now.

                  time2

                    9. Insecurity

                    Your feelings of inadequacy will reflect in how you carry yourself. In other words? Being insecure in your words and actions will merely create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Look people in the eye, take their hand (firmly!), and speak to them with confidence.

                    scared

                      10. Unresolved Conflicts

                      Is there a difficult conversation you’ve been putting off for a while now? Things held in have a way of intensifying, so it would be in your best interest to get it off your chest.

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                      not perfect

                        11. Thoughts About Your Ex

                        If you’re going to linger on thoughts of love lost, let your mind consider the positive experiences or lessons learned (not the past regrets you can’t do anything about). Whether you were in the right or wrong, holding on to negative thoughts about your ex will not magically make your life any better. Do you want to find another person who is a better match, who will make you feel happy and loved? Then you need to drop it and move on.

                        ex

                          12. The Need to Be Right

                          What a person learns from being correct: Nothing. What a person learns from being wrong: A lot. Failure is a teacher who will drive its lesson home better than all of your college professors combined.

                          need to be right

                            13. Fear of Trying New Things

                            Holding on to your fear of new experiences will shut a lot of doors. Challenge yourself to explore as many new opportunities as you can. Growth happens when we evolve (not when we’re stagnate).

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                            fear

                              14. 24/7 Human Companionship

                              By the time you go to work, school, and back home… do you spend any time by yourself (and no, the car drive doesn’t count)? Humans are usually fun to be around but everybody could use a breather to relax and be alone. Make time for yourself and drop your need for constant companionship. Become your own BFF.

                              alone

                                15. The Belief That It’s All About You

                                NEWSFLASH: It is not all about you. Earth is a home for 7,023,000,000 (that’s 7.023 billion) people who face challenges and hardships just like you do. The next time a banker asks you for your ID and you start to complain because you’re a regular and they should recognize you, imagine how many people they see in a day (hint: you times a thousand). The next time you get mad because you’re stuck in traffic, let the fact that you’re not alone register (and if there’s a wreck, be glad you’re at the back of the line instead of in the mangled wreckage in front).

                                all about you

                                   

                                  Do you see anything familiar that’s stopping you from moving on with life? If so, how are you going to fix it?

                                  More by this author

                                  Daniel Wallen

                                  Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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                                  Last Updated on January 15, 2021

                                  7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                                  7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                                  The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

                                  Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

                                  Posture

                                  First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

                                  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
                                  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
                                  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
                                  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

                                  All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

                                  Facial Expressions

                                  Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

                                  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
                                  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
                                  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

                                  If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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                                  1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

                                  A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

                                  The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

                                  This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

                                  2. Relax Your Face

                                  New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

                                  The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

                                  To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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                                  3. Improve Your Eye Contact

                                  Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

                                  The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

                                  To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

                                  3. Smile More

                                  There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

                                  Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

                                  4. Hand Gestures

                                  Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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                                  It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

                                  5. Enhance Your Handshake

                                  In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

                                  “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

                                  It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

                                  6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

                                  As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

                                  Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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                                  Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

                                  Final Takeaways

                                  Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

                                  If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

                                  More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

                                  Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

                                  Reference

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