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39 Small Things You Can Do Every Day To Make A Better World

39 Small Things You Can Do Every Day To Make A Better World

We would all like to live in a kinder, greener, less stress-filled world, right? A world where our kids can thrive and be happy. But the world in general is bogged down by real struggles against poverty, disease, crime, violence, environmental degradation, ignorance and so on, which constitutes much pain.

Anyone can complain, point fingers and shift blame for the problems that plague our world today, but it takes a difference maker to initiate a positive change in the world. It takes a better man or woman to acknowledge the issues in our world and take small steps toward making a positive difference.

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Small actions done with care and a pure heart every day have tremendous value and can influence the world around you, as well as the world at large. While the contents of this list might not be new, they bear repeating. Sometimes it takes a few reminders for things to sink in.

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Here are 39 little things you can do every day to make it a better world.

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  1. Say hello to people you meet on the streets. 80% of the people you meet are generally good, decent people

  2. Laugh and give others the benefit of a doubt. You might be wrong, but so what? Laughter is contagious

  3. Give free hugs. Apart from reducing stress and tension, it’s a gift that is immediately reciprocated and will make people feel great, even long after

  4. Smile at the cashier, waiter, barista, parking ramp attendant etc., and ask them how they are doing. Everyone wants to feel love, connection and affection

  5. Really listen to what people have to say (intently) without interrupting or waiting impatiently for your turn to speak

  6. Find some aspect to appreciate in the people you meet and pass along compliments

  7. Offer directions to people who seem lost

  8. Support someone who’s striving for a goal with your money, advice, presence or other form of support

  9. Babysit for free

  10. Provide a foster home for an animal in need

  11. Feed domestic animals and birds (if you have any) and give them enough water to drink

  12. Water your plants, lawn and or garden early in the morning before any moisture is lost to evaporation

  13. Leave treats out for pets, wildlife and other furry friends to enjoy, such as nuts for the squirrels, a salt lick for the deer or simply fill up the bird feeder

  14. Be patient, kind and respectful to people who are older than you

  15. Respect people’s property and don’t take it without permission, trespass or damage maliciously. Instead protect and keep it safe

  16. Hold doors for people carrying heavy things, pushing strollers or just immediately behind you

  17. Offer to return grocery carts for those who are leaving when you are going toward the store entrance

  18. Refer your friends, family, relatives and or acquaintances to qualified service providers

  19. Help a neighbor with a task, such as taking trash to the curb, raking extra leaves or running an errand

  20. Share a special meal with those you care about

  21. Create necessity packs and give them to those unsure of where their next meal or shelter is going to come from

  22. Drive responsibly, making sure to obey stop lights, traffic rules and keep a safe distance between you and the car ahead

  23. Give preference to pedestrians, motorists or other road users at intersections. The person behind you might not approve, but kindness starts with you

  24. Offer your seat to someone who needs it

  25. Read to the kids, the elderly and or the shut-ins

  26. Donate what you don’t need in your house to shelters, the Salvation Army, or other institutions serving those in need

  27. Let someone off the hook for a mistake or misdeed and see how it makes both of you feel

  28. Save your recyclable trash till you find someplace to recycle them

  29. Turn off your computer instead of leaving it in sleep mode. You can save 40 watt-hours per day

  30. Turn off the lights and faucet when not in use

  31. Turn on the oven only when you put the dish in to save energy. Don’t pre-heat the oven unless you are making bread or pastries of some sort

  32. Use one less napkin a day. More than a billion pounds of napkins could be saved from landfills each year

  33. Use both sides of paper, and set your printer’s default option to print double-sided (duplex printing). You’ll be saving many trees

  34. Recycle your daily newspaper. Recycling just the Sunday papers would save more than half a million trees every week

  35. Ban bath time! Take showers instead. Baths require almost twice as much water and inflate energy costs for heating the water

  36. Brush without running the water. You’ll conserve up to five gallons per day if you stop running

  37. Shower with your partner. Not only will you have made a wise choice for the environment, but you may notice some other pleasant… benefits

  38. Take a shorter shower. Every two minutes you save on your shower can conserve more than ten gallons of water

  39. Make art—paint, sculpt, sketch, write, compose music, create dance moves—whatever it is. Do it and finish it. It will add color to the world

Remember every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play to make this world a better place.

Featured photo credit: World In Your Hands via stokpic.com

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More by this author

David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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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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