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Here are the 7 Things You are Not Doing that Make You Feel Miserable and Unfulfilled

Here are the 7 Things You are Not Doing that Make You Feel Miserable and Unfulfilled

We do a lot of things to be happier and more fulfilled. We try climbing the corporate ladder or building businesses here and there. We go to new places and have more adventures. But, no matter what we do or how much we accomplish, we still feel miserable and unfulfilled. Being happier and more fulfilled is not just about doing more. It’s about doing more of the right things. Here are the 7 things you probably are not doing that are making you feel miserable and unfulfilled:

1. You Are Not Discovering Your Purpose

The happiest and most fulfilled people are those who wake up knowing what they will do each day. They don’t feel stuck in the wrong job and don’t think about what ifs because they already found what they love to do. They know the one thing that they’re good at, that excites them, and that gives them purpose each day, regardless of the pay check. They know the one thing that only they can give to the world.

If you’re still feeling miserable and stuck in your job or in what you do, you probably haven’t tried enough, explored enough, and failed enough to find your one thing. The good news is it’s never too late to try new things, to meet new people, to take more chances, and to do more things that excite you until you find it. But, try new things with a purpose of finding your one thing. Finally, don’t be afraid to start all over again, make mistakes, and look silly just to find it.

2. You Are Not Realizing Your Potential

Knowing your purpose is one thing. Acting on it is another. No matter how grand finding your purpose seems, actually pursuing it is not always a bed of roses. There will still be days when you don’t feel like working, get discouraged by your results or the lack thereof, and doubt or regret pursuing your passion. That’s why many people give up on their purposes. Sadly, their potential remains just that – potential.

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In order to become the great person you know you are meant to be, have the courage to follow your dreams, the discipline to stay the course, and the persistence to weather the storms that come your way. Don’t go to the grave with your greatness still in you and without ever realizing your potential. Unfulfilled potential is one of the most miserable things in this world.

3. You Are Not Receiving Love

Many people feel miserable because they seek love and approval from other people. They wait for Mr. or Ms. Right to come into their lives. They struggle to move on from a lover who left them. They seek affirmation from bosses, colleagues, and other people. They even wait for Facebook friends to “like” their posts. They search constantly for love in the wrong places that they do not receive the love already around them.

If you feel miserable because the person you love doesn’t love you back no matter what you do, remember that there are people who already love you like your family and friends. Open yourself and receive the love that’s already available to you and you’ll realize how blessed you truly are. There are people who love you more than you know and they love you unconditionally. You just have to look in the right places.

4. You Are Not Giving Love

Unlike most of us, athletes and celebrities have no problem receiving love from other people. But, many of them fall into depression and addiction. Even at the height of their careers, many athletes and celebrities become miserable. Why? Because like balloons receiving air, they receive so much love that they just burst. People are not designed to just receive love but also to give love. People have a deep need to matter and to make a difference.

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If you are receiving so much love from your family, your friends, or even your significant other but still feel miserable, maybe it’s time to share that love with other people. Volunteer. Join a meaningful cause. Join a community near you. Love your bosses or colleagues without expecting anything in return. Love is not meant to be kept to yourself. It’s meant to be shared with the world.

5. You Are Not Taking Responsibility

We used to depend on our parents for major decisions in our lives like what school to enroll in or what course to take. Then, we depended on the education system to tell us what what we should learn. Now, we depend on social media to define what success is. Heck, we even depend on our bosses to give us direction for our lives. Then, we ask why we feel miserable and blame it on other people, including the president! But the reality is, they did not take control of our lives. We gave them the control.

Happy and fulfilled people take back that control from other people.They take back responsibility for their lives. They make their own choices and their own decisions. They take action and they live the lives they want, not what others want them to live. If you want to be happier and more fulfilled, know where you want to be. Don’t allow anyone or anything to stop you from pursuing your purpose. Set your own path and define your own success. Do not pattern your life after other people’s lives. Only you can live your life for yourself.

6. You Are Not Letting Go Of Limiting Beliefs And Self-Imposed Responsibilities

Most of the time, it’s not other people who are preventing you from achieving the greatness inside of you. Most of the time, it is you who prevents yourself with your self-doubt, discouraging self-talk, and self-imposed responsibilities.

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Let go of your limiting beliefs. Things may not be as easy as they seem to be. But, they are not as hard as you think are. You will most likely succeed at what you try. Only if you try.

Also, let go of your self-imposed responsibilities. The world does have so many problems. But, it’s not up to you to solve each and every one of them. Just do what you can to make a difference today. Take life less seriously and you’ll be surprised at how happy you can become. Life’s more fun than you think it is.

7. You Are Not Staying In The Present Moment

Many people are miserable because they are too caught up in the past or are living too far ahead in the future. They are stuck in their past hurts or past glory, worry too much about things that will probably not happen, or are too focused on future success that they cannot enjoy what they already have.

You may not yet be where you want to be, but the present moment is really all you have to enjoy now. Yesterday already had its moment and you have tomorrow to enjoy, well, tomorrow. The only way you can live a happy and fulfilled life is to live it to the fullest one day at a time. Do what you can for today, love the people already around you, appreciate who you have become, and just experience every minute of today. If you feel great today, there’s no reason you can’t feel the same again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day. Before you know it, you already lived a great life.

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Make A Plan And Put It On Paper

Knowing is half the battle. Actually doing it is the other half. If you’re serious about living a happier and more fulfilled life, make a plan and put it on paper. Make a plan to discover your purpose, to work on it, to receive the love available to you, to give love, to take responsibility, to let go of limiting beliefs, and to stay in the present moment. Put it on paper and then execute your plan.

Featured photo credit: Todd Quackenbush via unsplash.imgix.net

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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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