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8 Reasons Why Asking Yourself ‘Why’ Is Important To Life

8 Reasons Why Asking Yourself ‘Why’ Is Important To Life

As a child you are encouraged to ask questions, to be curious about life, and to find out what you love and do that. However, as you grow into an adult your curiosity diminishes, you stop asking questions, stop challenging, and become more concerned with fitting in than questioning certain things in life. As you grow and develop, your fears, doubts and worries grow too, the questions stop, and your childhood individuality and uniqueness disappears.

Life is a journey—an experience like no other—and with that change and growth will happen, but only if you embrace it. Asking yourself ‘why’ is part of that journey, as it helps you to understand yourself, those around you, and society’s expectations. It’s time to step forward, challenge and question. Here are a few reasons why asking why is so important to your life.

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1. It is essential to your happiness

Have you asked yourself recently if you are doing the things you love in your life? Have you stopped for a moment and checked that where you are is where you want to be? If not, then you are probably going through the same routine every day. You’ve been doing stuff on automatic pilot, not even stopping to wonder whether it even makes you happy. It’s so important to check in with yourself regularly, to check if you are on the same page with your loved ones and ensure you are going in the right direction. It might be a good time to make some changes, take a new direction, or talk to someone who matters to you just to see if they are happy too. What’s most important is that you are following your own bliss. So ask yourself regularly, “Am I happy with this?” and then see where it takes you.

2. It is important for your growth

Growth is important, it’s that part of you that is ever-changing, it’s mindful of your actions and it teaches you about yourself, your motivations and purpose in life. When you question things, asking why regularly, it can move you in a new direction and get you thinking about your core values and beliefs. It can make you reassess what you’ve been taught since childhood, get you to think for yourself and help you work out what is important to you. Asking questions of others can also spark interesting conversations and help others to grow too. It’s perfect for opening new doors to opportunities and provides a new and conscious existence to your life, making it even more beautiful than before.

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3. It’s required for a healthy mind

If you’re not asking yourself why on a regular basis, then you’re merely existing instead of living. Imagine if you habitually drank a lot of alcohol or overate and you asked yourself why you did those things, what do you think the answer would be? Sometimes, the question why is avoided at all costs because you already know the answer. Perhaps you have some damaging habits because of your past, or some kind of fear or pain that you hold deep within. When you ask why, you are looking at your life, your habits and learning about yourself. To question yourself will provide you with a better outlook because you will know why you do these things and it’s down to you to carry on or change. Your mind is essential for your well-being, so learn to ask why more and challenge yourself daily; your mental health will thank you later on in life.

4. It inspires others to ask why

Fear stops a lot of people from asking why, mainly because they don’t want to know the answer, are too afraid of the answer, or feel guilty if they know the answer and they don’t do anything about it. If you ask why more and openly challenge things, it will inspire others to do the same. If they see that you are growing and progressing through life because of your curiosity and fearlessness, they will want to have the same kind of life. Remember, you are a teacher, as I am a teacher to you, so be the inspiration for others to get what they want out of life too.

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5. It encourages good, honest relationships

Communication is important to any relationship, especially personal ones; however, fear can stop you asking vital questions, which can hinder rather than develop relationships. Asking why of your partner will open up conversation and steer you to the truth of any problem or situation that occurs. It’s good to be honest, and asking why will bring up any doubts or worries. It is then up to you to decide what can be done once the information has been shared. If you want an honest relationship, learn to ask questions rather than jumping to conclusions.

6. It will keep you young

Asking questions, especially why, will keep the mind active as you grow older. Being aware of what’s going on around you, around the world and so on, will keep you in tune with younger members of society, which can keep you feeling just as young as them. It shows that you are interested and interesting to be around, plus as you grow older you tend to think you know it all, so to keep that childlike quality ask why more and you’ll learn something new every day.

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7. It will make other people happy

When you show genuine interest in another human being you make them feel important and worth something. Asking why will encourage good intellectual conversation and will lift the other person. Knowing that someone else is interested in what you have to say is a wonderful feeling; it breeds enthusiasm and motivation. Plus if you are the one asking why, you’ll get to find out a lot more about someone else and feel good about it in the process.

8. It could make a difference to the world

If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got. When something changes, in this instance by asking the question why, it can make all the difference to someone else and in turn a difference in the world. When you ask why, you are asking because it matters and the answer will shape what you do next. Asking why about important topics such as famine, war, poverty, animal cruelty, human suffering and environmental issues will highlight them more, bringing awareness and change.

The question why so important because life can change in an instant. Are you willing to step up, be courageous and ask why?

Featured photo credit: Flickr/ Paul McRae (Delta Niner) via flickr.com

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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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