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3 Steps to Take Back Your Power!

3 Steps to Take Back Your Power!

Have you ever felt powerless or immobilized? Have you ever felt that life kicked out your teeth?

Don’t despair. You are not alone. The universal answer to that question is YES and by universal I mean that everyone answering that question will say yes. The reason for this is simple. When life throws one of her curveballs you want to be with helmet and all.

What do you need in order to prepare for the curveballs? Does this mean I should hide away in my closet just in case I get kicked?

Let us discuss three ways you can use to take back your power and still enjoy a happy fulfilled life.

1. Let go

Almost every self-help guru has talked about letting go. You can let go in different scenarios. For example you can let go of an abusive relationship or aThe way of letting go that I am talking about is more brutal. This letting go will dump you in all sorts of personal conflict. However, if you can let go successfully it will mean that you feel truly free.

How can you achieve being free and springboard you to take back you’re power?

You can do this by letting go of your past. Humans tend to worry a lot about their past. What if I decided to take that job? What if I did not sell that house? What if I just asked that girl’s number? What if I made peace with my father before he died?

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These and other questions plague us day and night. The truth is that we have absolutely no control over our past actions and decisions.

So how do I let go of my past? Simply by deciding that from today onwards I am not bound by the decisions I made in the past. It can be difficult because our minds enjoy reflecting on the past and making judgements. Realize that your mind exist to serve you. Not the other way around. So make that decision now.

What helped some people let go of the past is to have a little ceremony to signify the act of letting go. List down some of the things in your past that stole your power. Make a fire. Throw the paper in the fire and see how the fire burns it into oblivion. You can also say out loud as the paper is burning: “today I am letting go of my past and it will no longer have a hold on me!” truly believe what you are saying. Say it straight from the heart. Say it with conviction. You can also create your own ceremony.

After making the decision to let go it is important to be aware of thoughts and feelings as it manifests in your mind. Don’t judge the thought and do not judge yourself. Just be aware of it and decide that you will not enter into any engagements with this thought. To create this new habit you will need repetition and time. Do it anyway because it will give you a feeling of freedom and it will help you to take your power back.

2. Create a compelling future

Now that you are free from your past it is time to create a compelling future. According to the dictionary the word compelling means:” evoke interest, attention, or admiration in a powerfully irresistible way“.

You need to create a future that you will excite you.

How do we create this irresistible future?

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First, we need to know what gets us excited. What makes our blood curl? So take some time now and write a couple of things down that really gets you going and that turns you on. Example: being able to help and influence young people.

Then ask the question: “What opportunities exist that I can do more of these things?”

Example: Give career speeches at local schools.

The next thing is to decide what it is that you must do to create more opportunities to do the thing that makes you excited.

Example: I need more time. I need to become self-employed.

Now write in full what a day will be like doing the thing that excites you. Take time and really flesh it out. What sights do you see? What smells do you hear? What textures can you feel under your fingertips? Got it?

Good. Now you need to put actions in place. What actions can I put into place in order to reach my compelling future? Example: Buy that book about how to become an entrepreneur. Remember that your actions should be specific, measurable, realistic and time-bound.

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Work continuously on this action plan and feel the excitement burning day by day.

3. How do you see yourself?

Another method to stand up and demand more power is to have a look at how you see yourself.

This can be a touchy subject. We are usually very quick to judge other people. I do it too, however it is awkward to turn those laser eyes on ourselves. In many cases the reason we feel powerless is because we have low self-esteem. How can we rebuild our self-esteem?

First, we need to take stock. Ask the following questions and list the answers. Be sure to respond as honestly and truthfully as possible.

  • What do like about me? This can also be physical things. Example: I am crazy about my legs.
  • What do others like about me? Here you might need to ask your friends or colleagues.
  • What is one thing that I think will make my self-esteem grow? Example: I need to stand up for myself.

 

Then pick someone that you think have good self-esteem (example: Oprah, or anyone that you can think of) and ask the following questions:

  • What in my mind constitutes a person with BIG self-esteem?
  • Is it because they share their opinions without fear?
  • What qualities can I see that makes me think this person has a lot of self-esteem?
  • Make a list of those qualities.

Take a look at the list you created about yourself. What areas do you lack in? What are the qualities that will grow your self-esteem? You now have a couple of qualities that you have identified as problem areas. Work on those problem areas by tackling one area at a time. Also share this with your friends. They will be able to tell you if it is working or not.

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Having self-esteem does not mean that you have the right to be vain and self-centered. Self-esteem will focus you on your path and you will be able to be yourself in every sense of the word.  If you consistently build your self-esteem it will ensure that you take your power back.

 

We should never be fearful of life and hide away in the closet.

You now have some tools to help you take your power back. The onus is on you. The only thing that will hold you back is if you don’t do something to change your situation.

You need to take steps to apply this in your life. Start today. Don’t let anything stop you.

 

Take action and reclaim your power!

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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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