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7 Things You’ll Regret Taking The Shortcuts In Life

7 Things You’ll Regret Taking The Shortcuts In Life

If you’ve ever seen the film The Social Network (the one about the creation of Facebook), you’d be correct in assuming that Mark Zuckerberg’s big idea became an overnight success.  However, in reality this wasn’t the case at all; as Zuckerberg put it during a speech to a group of 8th graders, “it couldn’t be further from the truth.” He also pointed out that it takes years and years of hard work and practice, and that a lot of building a company or product like Facebook is just about determination and believing that you can do it. “There’s no shortcuts.”

If you want to do something worthwhile, whether it is a relationship, a business or life in general, it is so important to see it through and never give up, no matter what obstacles come up. Of course you can look at ways to make it more efficient and create avenues to get you to where you want to be. However, you’ll find that most success stories that appear to have taken off overnight will have taken years of dedication and commitment to get it to that point.  It’s the blood, sweat and tears that make anything of any real importance worth it in the end.

In any area of your life, it’s so important not to sell yourself short, so I’ve put together a few pointers on what shortcuts you’ll want to avoid taking.

Settling for an arranged life.

Who wants a boring, mediocre life?  This is what happens if you settle for just about anything, like your job, your relationship and your life.  We’re all here for a pretty short period of time, so why waste it doing things just because that’s how it is.

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I’m guessing you don’t want to look back at your life and wish you’d done it differently; hopefully you’ll want to glance back in wonder and amazement over what you have achieved.  You’ll realize that the best things in life, the worthwhile things, took guts, determination and hard work.

It’s not about fixing something; it could be about creating something new and starting fresh.  Sadly life can become a bit of a habit, doing the same old thing, day after day and until one day it dawns on you that you’re not really living at all–you’re existing.  As the great man Anthony Robbins once said “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” So grab life NOW and don’t settle.

Are you a Tiger or a Sheep?

At school, you’re taught a certain way in life, to go to college, university, get a job, get married, have kids and live happily ever after.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but try looking at it differently.  Why do what everyone else is doing? Why do what’s expected of you just because there’s some unwritten manual in life that everyone else seems to be following?

Each of us was born unique.  We were all created to be who we were and that’s being YOU.  There’s no one else like you on this planet, so why are you trying to be like everyone else?  Find the courage to be yourself and follow your heart. Don’t be ashamed of how you feel. Go out and do it, and you’ll inspire others to do the same.  And remember, “a tiger doesn’t lose sleep over the opinion of sheep”–so what are you, a tiger or a sheep?

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Taking the “easy route.”

Life can be a struggle, but if you are settling because you are afraid of what it might throw at you, then don’t! It’ll throw stuff at you anyway!  If you give up on yourself and your dreams, you are giving up on life, and what a waste that would be.  It’s so easy to take the “easy route,” except aren’t you worth more than that? Don’t you think you’ve got something more powerful inside of you, more capable at beating all the odds if it came to it?

Each struggle is a chance to learn and provide you with a great new experience. If you want an awesome life, adversity will be around every corner, but that’s what makes it so wonderful.  Remember sometimes you’ll have to take a step backwards to take 100 steps forward; it’s that journey that makes it all the more worthwhile. Never give up on yourself.

Forgiving people instead of ignoring their existence.

Forgiveness isn’t about letting the other person “off the hook.” It’s more about ending the suffering for yourself. Forgiveness provides you with peace of mind, a way to move forward and provide yourself the gift of freedom. Without it, happiness can be limited. When you forgive someone else, you are giving yourself permission to forgive yourself, which makes healing your own life that much easier to do.

People come and go in our lives. They each teach us something about ourselves.  Whether someone hurt, betrayed or loved us, each provide a valuable lesson to learn from.

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Putting things off until tomorrow.

This is something most of us can relate to and let’s be honest, when we say, “I’ll do it tomorrow” we usually mean, “I can’t do that” or “I don’t want to do that” and it rarely ever happens. But if you want to make an immediate impact on your life, this is where you need to pull your socks up and take some action.  Choose one thing that you’ve been putting off for months and do it today. Roll those sleeves up and really dive in. You will feel wonderful once you’ve started, and imagine how you’ll feel once it’s completed!

“Actions speak louder than words” which is absolutely true here, if you put things off they’ll only come back to bite you later on, so why not just get it done today.  It’s a choice you have to make, the choice to live by your word, and you’ll be amazed at how those around you will follow suite. If you start each day being intentional, you’ll become a lot more productive and heaps happier!

Leaving everything to chance.

When you get up every morning, what do you dedicate your life to that makes a difference to the world?  If you’ve no idea what that is, then you need to work out what it is you want.  Once you work out your true feelings and desires, and take action in line with that, you’ll end up getting more from life than you ever expected. Opportunities and possibilities will start flowing your way, as long as you’ve known what it is you want.

You’ve got to have some kind of plan for your life or a purpose. Then you’ll know that what you do every day is aimed towards that.   Don’t just wait for life to happen to you; make it count, because once it’s gone it’s gone, and you’ll want to leave some kind of legacy for the world to aspire to.  Make sure every moment counts!

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Keeping quiet instead of speaking up.

If you’ve ever experience unrequited love, you’ll understand why sometimes the fear of rejection will stop you from saying those three important words.  In life, there are no guarantees, and if the fear of saying “I love you” outweighs the fear of not saying it, then you could be in for one of the biggest regrets of your life.

You know people will come and go from your life, some quickly taken from you and some because you realized they were worth your time.   Try not to take important people for granted; you’ll never know how long you have got them here for. The best gift you can give is your full attention. Be present at all times and always say how you feel.  There is nothing worse than wishing you’d said something when you could, so always remember to speak up.

So what shortcuts have you taken in your life so far and are you willing to give them up?

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Paula Lawes

Paula loves people and connecting. She writes about communication and relationships tips on Lifehack.

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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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