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7 Important Things You Shouldn’t Ignore When Accepting The Ice Bucket Challenge

7 Important Things You Shouldn’t Ignore When Accepting The Ice Bucket Challenge

Ice bucket challenge fever is sweeping the country. People are dumping buckets of ice water over their heads in record numbers. There are those taking simple videos on their cell phone cameras or, like some celebrities, going all out for the challenge. It’s a fun thing to do but don’t forget what the ice bucket challenge is really about! Here are some important things to remember when accepting the ice bucket challenge.

1. It isn’t about you, it’s about ALS

The whole point of the ice bucket challenge is to raise awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. You may know it as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. It’s a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerves, the brain, and the spine. People who have ALS slowly lose motor function over time. It usually starts in their legs and hands and gradually works its way inward. There is no cure for ALS and it is eventually fatal. The sole intention of the ice bucket challenge is to raise awareness of ALS and to get people to donate to ALS research so they can find a cure. It’s not a fad that you’re doing for fun. It’s a cause that you’re being a part of. When Charlie Sheen is a shining example of what to do and Hugh Jackman isn’t, you know something isn’t right.

2. When you take the ice bucket challenge, you’re supposed to donate to charity

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    Perhaps the worst part of the ALS ice bucket challenge are people who do it and don’t donate. What’s the point of dumping a bucket of water on your head and nominating other people to do it if you’re not giving to the cause? It’s kind of like going to a fundraiser, eating all the food, and then leaving without raising any funds. It’s a cop out. A fundraising endeavor that goes viral like this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a serious disease to get some serious funding. Don’t wimp out on donating because you’re a cheapskate. You’ll make back that $25 on your next paycheck. If you’re doing the ice bucket challenge and you’re not donating, you’re doing it wrong. To donate, click here.

    3. You are spreading the word of a cause

    If you did your ice bucket challenge without mentioning ALS’ official donate site, ALS in general, or anything regarding those two things, you have failed the challenge. The whole point of the ice bucket challenge is to raise awareness and donate money to a good cause. If you fail to raise awareness and you don’t tell people where to donate, have you actually done anything helpful? No, you haven’t. That’s why if you don’t have this link and a short explanation right alongside your ice bucket challenge, you have failed the challenge. In this video Yahoo Sports’ Puck Daddy blog editor in chief Greg Wyshynski has a near flawless ice bucket challenge video. He donates, he brings awareness, he has some fun doing it, and at the end, he posts the website where people can go to donate.

    4. Don’t judge the challenge by the people who are doing it wrong

    Even if people don’t ignore ALS and don’t forget to donate money, there is still the problem of people forgetting that this is a charity event. It’s not a fad, like the cinnamon challenge. It’s not a viral trend like #throwbackthursday or #caturday. This is supposed to be helping people. Like all large events that a lot of people are allowed to participate in, there are some bad eggs that are trying to ruin the whole bunch. The whole thing has had a surprising number of people spouting negative things about the ice bucket challenge because they are only exposed to people doing it the wrong way. That’s unfair to ALS and to the ice bucket challenge. If you don’t like it, you should seek out people who are doing it right and see that this is meant to be nothing more than a charity event to raise money for a terrible disease.

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    In short, people not mentioning ALS, donations, or any of that jazz does not signify a failure of the ice bucket challenge. It signifies a failure of those people to not understand or communicate the point.

    5. The math says that it works

    At the last count, there have been over $80 million in donations to ALS research. That’s up from just under $2 million last year. That is a significant growth of over 4000% and that figure grows every day. Yes, there are some people who just don’t get the ice bucket challenge and yes there are idiot celebrities who don’t mention anything about ALS or donating money. However, the overall numbers don’t lie. The ice bucket challenge is a force for good.

    6. Remember that there are also other charities

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      Rich and famous people shouldn’t have to pour water over their heads to get people to donate to charity. ALS is a problem that’s not going away any time soon so any time you can donate a few bucks is good. There are other charities for other diseases, humanitarian efforts, educational efforts, and practically any other cause you can think of. Those charities need money too and they don’t have the benefit of a viral charity event like the ice bucket challenge. If you go donate money to ALS, take some time and find another charity and donate to that charity, too. We have the capacity to be better people. Or if you’d rather stick to ALS, sign in every now and then and donate a few more bucks. More than $80 million is impressive but it likely won’t be enough. They’ll need more to kill off this disease eventually.

      7. It’s all in good fun

      Last and certainly not least is that this is supposed to be informative and fun. I know the last several paragraphs seem like it’s this huge, serious deal. The truth is that ALS is a serious deal. People who are diagnosed with that disease know exactly how they’re going to die and they have a rough estimate on when. That’s how serious it is. That said, you should have fun with the ice bucket challenge. Something like this requires enthusiasm and you really are helping out a good cause (assuming you’re following the advice posted above). That’s something that should make you feel good when you hit that donate button and post your ice bucket challenge video.

      The big thing people hate about the ice bucket challenge is that many people don’t see the ice bucket challenge as being helpful or important. Like I stated earlier, this weird, viral charity event has raised over six times the amount of the funding ALS received last year and that’s what is most important here. If you get nominated, remember the important information listed above, have fun, and don’t forget to donate! If you want to donate, that link again is http://www.alsa.org/donate/

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      Featured photo credit: Hot Gossip Italia via flickr.com

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      Joseph Hindy

      A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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      1 Why an Attitude of Gratitude Is Essential (And How to Develop It) 2 Procrastination Is a Matter of Emotion, Here’s How to Stop It 3 What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It) 4 How to Get Unstuck in Life and Live a More Fulfilling Life 5 What Will Happen When You Surround Yourself With Positive 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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