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8 Outstandingly Successful People: 8 Outstanding Reasons Why

8 Outstandingly Successful People: 8 Outstanding Reasons Why

Some people achieve outstanding success and make it look so easy.

How do they do it—and what can they teach us?

Because sometimes that dream, that ultimate success, can seem so far away. There are days when the only light we can see at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming express train. It can be easy to see bad luck or failure as our destiny rather than a learning curve. At those times we need to remember that we are not alone; the brightest and the best have been there before us, and sometimes what it takes to finally reach the very top is not to catch a break, but to get the right attitude.

Here’s how eight of the most successful people of this century and the last have won their dreams.

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1. Steve Jobs

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know of avoiding the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

How many of us are held back by thoughts of what we think we have to lose? But guess what? We came into the world naked and we’re going out the same way. Everything we think we have is just a loaner. The only thing we have to lose is that possible feeling of bitter regret when the curtain comes down for the last time. If you don’t follow your dreams, then what’s the point of it all?

2. Mark Cuban

“The beauty of success, whether it’s finding the girl of your dreams, the right job, or financial success, is that it doesn’t matter how many times you have failed, you only have to be right once.”

And really, it’s true, isn’t it? We worry about failure, about not getting that dream job, about that business venture that fell over, that beautiful girl or gorgeous guy who blew us off. But failure and rejection really don’t matter at all because the truly liberating thing is this: you only have to be right once. And when you have your go-ahead business and a loving partner, how many times will you remember all the times you didn’t succeed? You won’t, because they won’t matter.

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3. Oprah Winfrey

“What other people label failure I have learned is just God’s way of pointing you in a new direction.”

Whether you’re religious or not, you have to say, Oprah has a point right there. Think back on how many times you’ve hung your head when something didn’t go right. You didn’t make the football team, but then your uncle took you rallying to help you get over the disappointment and you found out you were a hotshot driver. You lost your job slaving away in a hotel restaurant and a month later a friend asked you to take over in the kitchen in their new uptown restaurant. Is it failure? Or is it a new start?

4. Thomas Edison

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not know how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Oprah Winfrey was fired from one of her first jobs as a television reporter because she was “unfit for television news.” Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. The Beatles were rejected by one record company with the words: “We don’t like their sound and guitar music is on the way out.” What would have happened if they had given up too soon? Persistence is more important than raw talent every single time.

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5. J.K. Rowling

“I was set free because my greatest fear had been realized. And I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which to build my life.”

And most people never know what rock bottom is like, so they never reach the very top. You hit rock bottom often when you shoot for the moon. It’s the place reserved for those who put everything on the line. But if you don’t put everything out there, you will never get to be as rich or as famous as J.K. Rowling.

6. Jeff Bezos

“I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but the one thing that I would regret is not trying.”

Failure is nothing. Failure is what happens sometimes when you try. All outstandingly famous people have failed. It’s how they learn to do it right. The only failure that is forever is when you fail to try.

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7. Michael Jordan

“I have taken more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I have been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I have failed over and over again in my life; and that is why I succeed.”

Everyone knows that another great sportsman, Babe Ruth, held the record for home runs during his career. Did you also know that for decades he also held the record for strike outs? When asked about it, he said this: “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” That’s why Michael Jordan succeeded; that’s why you can too.

8. J.P. Morgan

“The first step towards getting somewhere is deciding you are not going to stay where you are.”

And that step is often the hardest: leaving a poorly paying job you hate to take a risk on something you love; to move away from the safety of a steady job to chase down a dream. There are so many good and great reasons not to move. But once we decide it’s really not enough, we are on our way. Because as these eight outstanding successes show us, nothing stands in the way of the man or woman who dares to dream, who dares to risk and who dares to try until they succeed.

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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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