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5 Hazardous Habits That Kill Your Life’s Dream

5 Hazardous Habits That Kill Your Life’s Dream

“Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die, Life is a broken-winged bird, That cannot fly.”  ― Langston Hughes

The aspiration to achieve our dreams some day keeps us going even during the hopeless hours of life. Yes, we all know this but still we keep on piling habits into our daily life, that unknowingly become the killer of our own Life’s Dream. These habits and behavior patterns become so involved within our personalities that they become our inherent traits, making us weak and fragile, always providing us with an excuse to let go of our dreams. So read on to know these five hazardous habits. If you can feel connected with the given characteristics, hold on and beware, you totally need to get out of these vicious habit that is killing your Life’s Dream:

1. Fear of the unknown

Characteristics: Such a person is always surrounded by various kinds of fears, i.e. fear of rejection, fear of separation or loss, humiliation and even fear of extinction. These fears are always in his mind which prevent him from taking certain steps towards his dreams, from taking risks and he is always enjoying his own comfort zone.

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Reason: Fear of the unknown is a mind condition which is conditioned from our childhood. For example, you have been constantly told in childhood to “not to go outside otherwise a white-bearded man will take you with him.” It sounds funny now but as a kid we were really scared of such things. So slowly and slowly our mind starts fearing things which earlier were fun like screaming for joy, dancing ridiculously or loving someone. We are afraid of being ridiculed or being termed crazy by normal society. And this fear becomes our inseparable attribute that sometimes we feel frightened to cross the boundaries in our banal life. We dare not to start anything afresh, killing our dreams to rest.

2. Addiction of pain

Characteristics: Such a pain addict no longer follows his heart’s voice, the inner conscious. He lives just to perform certain social responsibilities but his inner joy is no more. Everything around him is fake and useless, including human emotions. His dreams have no meaning and are mere fantasies.

Reason: The suffering caused by our daily stressful and busy life enhances the pain in our body, which we mostly try to resist but sometimes we become so prone to distress in our life that we start dwelling in our own pain delightfully. We start rejoicing in the sympathy arising from our pain. In a way we become addicts to pain that generates sympathy for us either from others or from ourselves. This addiction can become so hazardous that it can lead us to total hopelessness or dismal for life.

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3. Procrastination

Characteristics: Such a person is always waiting for a convenient time to fulfill his dreams. He is never certain of the present time and delays his dreams and goals for the future. He is the one always waiting for the right opportunity rather than creating one.

Reason: Procrastination has become a part of everyday life now. We ward off certain things for tomorrow, but with time procrastination can become second nature. We keep on delaying our hopes and dreams for the future as if we are certain that tomorrow would be a better time in spite of the fact that we are not even certain of our existence in the coming moment. This is because we are not confident enough in the present moment (sometimes it is due to laziness). We feel tired, exhausted or we might be looking for perfection. But whatever the reason may be, procrastination is avoiding our present problems and saving them for our future life.

4. Living with the Ego

(Note: please don’t confuse ego with pride.)

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Characteristics: Such a person is living with a false identity of himself. He connects his possessions, whether tangible or intangible, as his own self. For example, his latest smart phone, his collection of high-end clothes and accessories, his relationship with his loved ones etc… Such a person feels hopeless even in the thought of losing his possessions as these are his extended self and without which he is no more, taking him further away from his life’s dreams.

Reason: With the start of our lives we acquire this thing called ego. At first we connect our identity with our toys, this is my toy and if that got broken we would start crying because we perceived that toy as our extended self. And with time this ego started widening the boundaries of our perceived self not only in objects but also in relationships, knowledge and our physical appearances. And the moment someone tries to attack our egos we become aggressive, which is also the cause of various arguments (because our opinions are our perceived self and we can never be wrong). For some people this ego takes a larger-than-life form. As these people put their dreams on a backseat even if they are very well aware that the present moment is not what they expected out of life, they live in the pain of not fulfilling their dreams instead of following them. These people foresee themselves as weak and sometimes quit their current situation, thus moving miles away from their dreams.

5. Dwelling in the past

Characteristics: Such a person in always living his past. He is never in the present moment. His absent-mindedness is his starkest personality trait. He is always busy thinking about something that happened before and how he reacted or someone else thought about what he said to him.

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Reason: We all have certain conversations in our mind about past events but when it becomes so frequent that we are always engrossed in thoughts about why he said that, why I reacted like that or why I should have done this over that, then you are totally dwelling in your past. You are more concerned with what already happened and this could take you away from the present moment. Dwelling in the past moments, good moments or bad, frequently can be hazardous for your future dreams as it will not spare any time to make an action plan for your future endeavors. Your aspirations and dreams depend on your action plans that need to be made in the present not on the past moments.

The above five behavior patterns or habits are present in either smaller or bigger form in all of us. And the first step to bring such hazardous habits under control is through awareness in ourselves. The moment we become aware of them and effects in our life, we consciously become free of their ill effects. So pursue your dreams with full awareness and let success befall your life with joy.

Featured photo credit: ‘Dandelion wish’ courtesy John Liu via flickr.com

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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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