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20 Things 20-Somethings Need To Stop Doing Now

20 Things 20-Somethings Need To Stop Doing Now

Having reached the end of my twenties, I realized that looking back, there were a lot of things I did that made me lose focus and not make the most of my youth and energy.

Many 20-somethings make the same mistakes and don’t tend to realize it until the very end, upon reflection of how they spent their last 10 years.

Here are 20 things 20-somethings need to stop doing now in order to kickstart their lives and make rapid progress.

1) Putting off tasks that are boring.

You never seem to realize until much later that the things that are worthwhile in life are often very boring. The things that improve you as a person tend to be difficult and boring to do. Embrace the boredom and do it anyway. It’s a brilliant way to build character and perseverance.

2) Putting off your career in favour of traveling.

While traveling is a brilliant way to build your worldliness, many youngsters use it as an excuse to put off the fact that they need to establish themselves. Being young and energetic is great, but it doesn’t last. Use the time to do something that’s of a higher purpose, while you still have the energy.

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3) Ignoring parental advice.

Your parents might not make sense to you and seem against you right now, but that doesn’t mean they don’t know what they’re talking about. Its always advised to follow their advice even if it doesn’t make sense at the time‒you will thank them when you’re older.

4) Putting off going to the gym in favor of drinking and partying with friends.

As with point #1, going to the gym can be grueling and painful. It is very rarely fun to do the same things over and over again. It may feel like a waste versus going out with friends on a bender. But you will thank yourself 10 years from now when you see your friends overweight while you’re still youthful and in great shape.

5) Complaining that life is too difficult.

Life is difficult for a reason. It is designed so that we work hard for it and appreciate the things we eventually get. Getting things for free is hardly ever worthwhile and rarely ever valued. The harder you work, the more grounded you become as a person. You might as well embrace it.

6) Comparing yourself to your friends and peers.

While it’s good to have role models and ideals, it’s never healthy to frequently compare yourself with other people. Everyone has their own path to follow with different goals and ambitions. In the end, the only person you’re really in competition with is yourself.

7) Not keeping a healthy diet.

Your diet becomes increasingly important as you age as your metabolism starts to slow down. What you can typically get away with eating when young isn’t necessarily the same as you get older, since what you eat makes a longer term impact. Start getting used to eating more healthily and investing time in educating yourself on healthy nutrition.

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8) Excessive sleeping.

Too much sleep is just as unhealthy as too little of it. It also makes the days far shorter, which could otherwise be spent doing more productive things. Develop a healthy sleeping schedule and try to stick to it on a daily basis.

9) Practicing poor time management.

Time is the most valuable thing we have. Once it’s gone, you can’t get it back. It’s therefore imperative to know how to manage your time effectively and to not waste it doing things that won’t benefit you moving forwards.

10) Putting off your passions.

If you’re currently lacking motivation to do anything, it is precisely because of putting off your passion. Maybe its because you just don’t know what it is yet. You should use your 20s to discover what you really enjoy. Once you’ve found it, spend time developing it. It will be of great value for you in the future.

11) Looking for quick fixes and shortcuts.

The media tends to convince us that there are easy fixes to difficult problems. But you don’t tend to realize the truth until you see that it was all designed to get you to ‘buy their products.’ The real solution is often a bitter pill to swallow‒it’s hard work and effort that will provide you with long term solutions.

12) Looking at life in black and white.

When you’re young, you think you have life all figured out, only to end up seeing something that tarnishes that belief a few months later. This happens throughout your entire life, and you eventually realize that there really is no set belief or construct that governs the world.

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Everything is open to interpretation. What’s important is how you personally define it for yourself.

13) Managing your money badly.

When you get your first taste of money with your first paycheck, it’s very easy to splash it out on things you once were not able to afford. This is a big mistake and will build bad habits toward your relationship with money.

Instead, learn the difference between assets and liabilities and focus on investing your money in places where you’re likely to make even more. The sooner you learn to do this, the sooner you’ll experience financial security. And another thing‒lay off the credit cards!

14) Watching too much television.

Television is perhaps the biggest influencer of all the media. It instills beliefs and values without you even being aware of it. While some TV is good, limit it as much as you can in your daily activities and replace it with things that are designed to mentally stimulate you.

15) Being influenced by friends.

Your friends will seem like your backbone in your 20s. They’ll appear to have your back during tough times. As a result, you won’t want to let them down and will do anything to conform to their ways. The truth is this: they will all move on and start their own families. You will see less and less of them as you get older.

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You will come to realize that no one else really has your back besides you and your own family. Learn to count on yourself and be the one to judge your current state in life.

16) Not focusing on the big picture.

Whatever it is you do when you’re young will make a dramatic impact on your life later on. In general, life gets harder as you age. People will no longer go easy on you because you’re young and inexperienced and will begin to expect more from you.

The sooner you focus on the outcome of your future, the better equipped you’ll be at preparing yourself and becoming focused.

17) Doing things with no thought of where it will lead you.

As with point #16, it’s important to know where your actions will take you prior to doing them. It might seem fun in the beginning, but it’s always wise to weigh things up before taking the plunge.

18) Worrying about what other people think of you.

When all is said and done. No one really cares whether you succeed or fail. All that matters is what you think of yourself‒are you happy with what you’re doing? If you are, stay on track. In the end, that’s all that’s really going to matter.

19) Not focusing on your talents.

Spend time discovering what you’re really good at and nurturing it as much as possible. By the time you reach your 30s, you will have acquired 10 years of expertise and have developed a skill you can market and sell moving forward.

20) Not giving it your all in the things that matter.

Whatever you do, DON’T dabble. If you decide to do something in your life. Give it your best shot and become ambitious. You will feel a lot better about yourself and move your life towards a more prosperous direction.

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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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