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30 Things To Remember To Help You Become Successful In 2015

30 Things To Remember To Help You Become Successful In 2015

A single perspective, a quote, even a statistic, can be all you need to make start your journey to improvement 2015, the year when everything changes. Just one of these insights could point you in a new direction. Read with an open mind and ask yourself, “How can this idea move me closer to success?”

Attitude: Develop The Success Outlook

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor E. Frankl (1905–1997), author of Man’s Search For Meaning.

1. Know that your mind can be your greatest asset but you have to manage it.

It’s been said that a mind is a terrible thing to waste. That’s true. If you have a bad attitude about life, your potential will be limited. Do you need encouragement? I recommend reading and studying John C. Maxwell’s book, The Difference Maker: Making Your Attitude Your Greatest Asset.

2. Remember that choosing a growth mindset – that you can grow and develop yourself – makes a huge impact.

Think about the last time you attempted to learn a new career skills (e.g. a new Excel technique). Did you see it as an opportunity to grow? If so, your growth mindset will help you to keep working longer and reach success. Read Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

3. Treat every day as a fresh start.

Yesterday, good or bad, is over. It’s up to you to make the most of today. Set one goal for today – read for 30 minutes, write a list of 10 places you want to visit or three conferences you’re interested in – and achieve it. Achieving goals improves your attitude FAST.

4. Show gratitude all year ’round (Not just Thanksgiving).

Did you know that gratitude improves productivity? This simple action, which requires no money, improves your attitude. Make it a daily habit and you’ll be impressed by the results.

5. Take responsibility for your life.

“Freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness. That is why I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast.” – Viktor Frankl

From time to time, we suffer setbacks and frustrations. With enough disappointments like that, it is easy to slip into the victim mindset. Fortunately, you can choose the personal responsibility attitude right now.

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Truths about wealth

For many people, obtaining wealth is a key part of success. Given that we live in a market economy, this perspective makes a lot of sense. If you’re interested in attaining wealth, a few key principles make all the difference.

6. Most American millionaires are self-made.

What if your family is not blessed with wealth? Don’t worry. The majority of people on the Forbes 400 billionaire list earned their fortunes from scratch.

7. The immigrant wealth advantage.

You might wonder if starting over in a new country puts you at a disadvantage compared to the native born. Businessweek reports: “Immigrants have started 52% of Silicon Valley’s technology companies and contributed to more than 25% of our global patents.”

8. Own a business to achieve wealth.

Have you ever thought about starting a business? Owning a successful company is one of the best ways to become wealthy. Jaime Tardy interviewed dozens of millionaires to learn how they achieved their success. She found that starting a business is essential.

9. Think twice about that new car.

The way you approach and manage the money you already have makes a great impact on your success. According to The Millionaire Next Door, most millionaires purchase used cars.

10. Manage risk with an emergency fund.

As you work toward your improvement 2015 plan, experts recommend building an emergency fund for unexpected problems like unemployment. Author Dave Ramsey suggests by beginning with a $1,000 starter emergency fund, as described in 9 Ways to Build Your Emergency Fund.

11. The lottery is not a wealth strategy.

Did you know that many lottery winners actually go bankrupt? “The big winners who ended up bankrupt could have paid off all of their debts but chose not to,” explains economist Alex Tabarrok in Lottery Winners Do Not Avoid Bankruptcy.

12. Spend money on experiences and giving.

Researchers have found that spending money on experiences makes a difference. That could mean something like saving up and spending money on a long anticipated trip somewhere. For more insights, read The Atlantic‘s excellent article, Buy Experiences, Not Things.

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Health: The foundation for happiness and success

All the wealth in the world doesn’t mean much if you lose your health. You’ve probably read that idea before. Yet, what are you actually doing to maintain your health? Consider the following ideas to keep your health on track.

13. If the president can make time for exercise, so can you!

Are you one of those people who claim not to have time for exercise? Do you feel that your life is “too busy” for exercise? President Obama, who has one of the most challenging roles in the world, includes several hours of exercise time in his schedule (source: Obama’s Way).

14. Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every day.

Sleep is the silent partner in your success. And it doesn’t cost a dime! Learn how to improve your sleep with Gretchen Rubin’s article Fourteen Tips for Getting More Sleep – and Why It Matters.

15. Start one new health habit this year.

Habits are one of the most powerful ways to pursue success in 2015 or any other time. Once an important behavior (e.g. bedtime or daily exercise) becomes a habit, you no longer have to worry about it. Learn how to avoid habit failure from entrepreneur James Clear.

16. Get more energy by taking a nap during the day.

A nap is one of the best ways to improve your energy. Author Michael Hyatt finds that naps of 10-20 minutes make a positive impact on his success: My Secret Weapon for Extra Energy at Work.

17. Maintain your smile for success.

Taking care of your teeth, gums and the rest of your oral health makes life better. According to The Daily Mail, sparkling healthy teeth make you look younger and even improves your employment prospects.

18. Visit your doctor!

When was the last time you visited your doctor? If you can’t remember, you’re probably overdue. A key part of success involves adopting a proactive stance for your life and that includes your health. Don’t be one of those people who only seeks medical care in the emergency room.

Learn the art and science of goal setting

Setting and achieving goals are one of the best ways to seek improvement. 2015 can be a blockbuster year if you implement these ideas and strategies.

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19. Dream big dreams for your life.

One of the most fun and exciting aspects of goal setting is to dream big dreams. Write down a list of 10 things you want to achieve in life. Get inspired with The Ultimate Bucket List: 60 Things You Should Do Before You Die if you’re not sure where to start.

20. Writing down your goals makes a HUGE difference.

Writing down your goals makes a big difference. “Writing down your goals you are 42 percent more likely to achieve them. Why? Because writing it down brings clarity and declares purpose” (Source: What the Science of Goal Setting Tells Us about Accomplishing More of What Matters Most)

21. Meet up with your friends if you miss them!

Learning makes more interesting and enhances your career. Find successful people in your field and ask about their skills. Then, you will know what skills you need to learn for career advancement.

22. Grow your network.

Relationships are a very important part of happiness. Set a goal to have lunch out each week with someone in your network.

23. Decide how much money you want to earn.

Like it or not, having more money makes many aspects of life easier. That’s one of the reasons why it matters so much to set money goals. I suggest by starting with a money goal that can be completed in less than a year (e.g. save $1,000 dollars or earn $5,000 in freelance income).

24. Track your Goals.

To stay on track, review your goals once per week and make notes on your progress.You’ll look forward to recording your progress!

25. Plan to celebrate your goals.

Celebrating your achievements makes success even sweeter. Set a budget (e.g. $50) or choosing a type of activity (e.g. dinner at your favorite restaurant with a bottle of wine) in advance so that you can enjoy the process.

26. Get resources on goal setting.

Goal setting is a skill you can learn. I have personally used resources by Brian Tracy and Michael Hyatt with good results.

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Books To Read For Success in 2015

“The difference between where you are today and where you’ll be five years from now will be found in the quality of books you’ve read.” – Jim Rohn

27. Feed your mind with success books.

Our culture is filled to the brim with negative news. Fortunately, there are great books available to help you. Check out 25 Self-Improvement Books That Will Make You A Better Person for ideas. I’ve read several of the books on the list and consider this to be a good starting point.

28. Get work done with Getting Things Done by David Allen.

David Allen’s classic business book Getting Things Done is one of the most practical and useful productivity books I have ever read. If you are feeling overwhelmed and unfocused, this book will help! If you have read it before, consider reading it again for new insights.

29. Read Fiction To Understand People Better.

Reading fiction is one of the most leisure activities available. Reading fiction also supports your self improvement goals (and business – see The Business Case For Reading Novels from Harvard Business Review). Read non-fiction most of the time? Get ideas – The Top 10 Fiction Books for Non-Fiction Addicts.

30. Read About Successful People Throughout History.

The experiences of successful people throughout history is available to you. You can learn about how athletes trained for challenging competitions, how scientists came up with their discoveries and much more. Reading a well-written biography can inspire you for years to come.  Last year, I read Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller Sr. by Ron Chernow – it was a sweeping, epic biography.

To get started, I have to recommend Ryan Holiday’s article 25 Recommendations For Life Changing Biographies For The Voracious Reader In You: pick a title and get started!

Featured photo credit: Success/Geralt via pixabay.com

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Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is a Project Management Professional and Founder and CEO of Project Management Hacks.

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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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