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25 Things To Let Go Of Before Your Next Birthday

25 Things To Let Go Of Before Your Next Birthday

Imagine what we’d all look like if we wore our worries on the outside. If there were some physical manifestation of our emotional baggage and hang-ups, we’d all be unrecognizable. If you find yourself thinking sometimes that you’re not who you should be, it’s time to explore ways to kick that feeling to the curb and look at how to change things in a healthy way. Here are 25 things to let go of that we could all stand to ditch by our next birthdays.

1. Let go of anything that doesn’t make you a better or happier person

We were built to pursue greatness and to perform to the best of our abilities. Anything that doesn’t serve our search for self-improvement needs to be swept aside – though not at the expense of our happiness.

2. Let go of other peoples’ burdens

We’re all our brother’s keepers in one way or another, but letting the burdens of others consume and rule over your own life isn’t healthy. Help others within reason, but also know when to let them help themselves.

3. Let go of what other people think about you

Most of us tend to think that other people judge us much more harshly than they actually do.

4. Let go of your pursuit of an unrealistic body image

body image

    It’s almost a cliché by now to point out how badly our body images have been warped by the media. We constantly see barely clothed models in advertisements, telling us on an unconscious level that we’ll never measure up. The only person your body needs to please is yourself.

    5. Let go of avoiding your problems

    You might think that your attempt to sweep your problems under the rug could be healthy, but nothing could be further from the truth. Nothing will improve if we don’t actively pursue practical solutions to our problems.

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    6. Let go of regret

    Regret is like a poison; left untreated, it can kill you. There are things in each of our lives that could have gone differently, but losing sleep over them isn’t healthy.

    7. Let go of lazy attitudes and unproductive days

    cat couch

      There’s something to be said for slowing down and enjoying a lazy day here and there, but when these days become the rule rather than the exception, you’ll fall into a pattern that’s tough to escape.

      8. Let go of your insecurities

      All you need to remember is this: we’re our own harshest critics.

      9. Let go of crying about life’s inherent unfairness

      Some of us learn as children that there will always be somebody better off than we are. If you’ve lost sight of that fact, it’s time to relearn it.

      10. Let go of setting your sights too high

      It’s good to have dreams and ambitions, but it’s important to keep them grounded as well. Expecting too much of ourselves is never healthy.

      11. Let go of the belief that everything arrives in its own time

      Maybe you believe in fate, destiny, or providence. That’s well and good, but it’s no substitute for taking charge of your life and making a positive change. If there’s something you want, it’s up to you to seek it out. Don’t wait for it to come to you.

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      12. Let go of your penchant for procrastination

      We all have responsibilities. Trying to shirk them or put them off until another day will do nothing for you except to pile the stress ever higher.

      13. Let go of dwelling on your mistakes

      Maybe you took a wrong turn somewhere. Maybe you chose not to pursue that career in the military, turning your back on the military scholarships that could have saved you tons of money. Instead of dwelling on your mistakes, resolve instead to make things right.

      14. Let go of stress

      man stressed out

        We all give in to stress from time to time, and the truth is that it can be a great motivator. The problem is this: there’s nothing worse than hanging on to the same sources of stress for months or years at a time.

        15. Let go of trying to change the people around you

        Maybe people can change, and maybe they can’t. If they can, they’re the only ones who can make that change happen. You can be a source of inspiration for the people you care about, but don’t try to become a direct instrument of change; they’ll only learn to resent you.

        16. Let go of your worries about money

        Most of us have worried about money at one time or another. Keeping our eyes open for new opportunities or better careers is one thing, but if you’ve got a roof over your head and food to eat, don’t let money rule over you.

        17. Let go of trying to become a different type of person

        To be clear: we all have room in our lives for improvement. We can become better people, but seeking to conform to somebody’s prescribed notion of who you ought to be isn’t a healthy pursuit.

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        18. Let go of obsessing over your schedule

        Planner

          Planning is great, but flexibility is even better. Don’t worry so much about adhering to a strict schedule. As long as you’re being productive, your to-do list will take care of itself.

          19. Let go of your obsession with “stuff”

          If you’ve ever stood outside in a line to get your hands on a new electronic gadget before everybody else, you probably need to reexamine your priorities. Don’t let the pursuit of “stuff” control your life.

          20. Let go of your fear of speaking your mind

          Life is too short for us to keep our feelings walled off from the world. Tell that person you have feelings for them, or talk to your significant other about what’s bothering you. You’ll feel so much better after you do.

          21. Let go of your anger

          The evolutionary purpose of anger, and its place in psychology, will probably always be under examination. In terms of our everyday lives, however, anger is a pointless distraction that’s not worth hanging on to for any length of time.

          22. Let go of excuses

          If you have trouble taking responsibility for your actions, it’s time to own up.

          23. Let go of your jealousy toward the people in your life

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          not jealous (2)

             

            Is there anything more pointless than jealousy? Don’t hate your ex for finding love elsewhere, and don’t begrudge your neighbors their new yacht. Instead, make the most of what you do have.

            24. Let go of your worries about the future

            The future will get here. All we can do is make sure we’re prepared for when it does. Worrying about what’s to come will only serve to distract you from the present.

            25. Let go of the belief that it’s too late to start over

            never too late

               

              Whether you’re leaving an unhealthy relationship or setting out to explore new opportunities, never let the passage of time interfere with the pursuit of your dreams.

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              Courtney Gordner

              Courtney is a passionate writer who shares about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

              10 Good Skills to Put on a Resume When You Change Careers working from home 10 Creative And Effective Ways To Make Money From Home, Doing What You Love candles on a cake 25 Things To Let Go Of Before Your Next Birthday thumbs up sign 10 Things You Can Do to Make Your First Week on the Job Successful 15 Habits of Highly Fulfilled People

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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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