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How to Endure and Overcome the Worst of Life’s Hardships

How to Endure and Overcome the Worst of Life’s Hardships

I’m sure at some point in your life, you’ve had to endure some form of hardship. We all have.

It could be personal 

Maybe you’re having trouble with a your spouse or partner, and you just can’t seem to get it together. Maybe it’s from being complacent for too long and a need for change begins to build inside you. After all, that’s what we do right?

We’re human. We change. We can get comfortable in our environment, but sometimes we get too comfortable and the desire for change kicks in. It’s a good thing, but it can also be your enemy, if you allow it.

It could be financial

Maybe your job doesn’t bring in the kind of money you need to do anything more than survive, so when you suffer a setback, you really struggle. You not only struggle with the financial issues, but you also struggle with your emotions. Not having the amount of money you need to live without the fear that comes along with being broke, sucks.

You can be feeling great mentally and physically and able to perform at your best, but if you are struggling financially, there’s a good chance you’re causing more harm to your body with the stress, worry, and anger that comes along with it. This also plays a role in your personal life as well, doesn’t it?

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We let our financial frustrations affect ourselves and the personal relationships around us. This brings with it more problems and and suffering, and pretty soon, we’re left with only two options.

1. Change

You can change your circumstances to get out of your unwanted situation. It can be difficult to do this, especially when nothing but negativity surrounds you, but if you decide willingly to change your circumstances, you can. It’s just a matter of knowing how.

2. Be forced into change

It’s human nature to need to be constantly growing, evolving, and changing. If you are stagnant and stick in a routine for too long, what happens? Well, most of the time, you get a feeling of boredom, a desire for change, or despair that comes from being in a stalled state of progression. That’s just you telling yourself that you need to change something.

If you were to learn the process a little better, you could really help yourself when it comes to understanding how to endure and overcome the very worst of your life’s hardships. Knowing that there is a specific reason you are in a hardship will help you to learn how to get through it in a positive way vs. a negative one.

So what’s the process for being able to endure and overcome, you might ask? Well, as you probably already know, no one process will work for everyone, just as there is (usually) no quick-fix solution for the various hardships that come into your life. There are, however, certain ways you can choose to perceive the realities you’re hit with.

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Perception

Perception is in the eye of the beholder, so if I’m perceiving my life in a negative way, I’m more than likely going to be dealing with all of the emotions and thoughts that come from that perception. In other words, thinking negative thoughts—in any situation—is going to bring out negative emotions. This can get you stuck in a tailspin, and you’ll find it very difficult to get past emotions such as anger, sadness, and low self-esteem, which go along with negative perceptions.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t want to feel those negative emotions—they are a valuable part of progressing and moving forward in your life. The negative emotions are there so you can overcome them. Let’s look at just how you can change your feelings of suffering when hardships hit into a new perspective on your life, which will allow you to endure when there is suffering, and overcome when it’s time.

Enduring

When hit with any kind of hardship, it’s difficult to know which types of emotions will surface. Of course you will be experiencing suffering, so the bad emotions that follow are going to be entering your world. One of the worst things you can do, (other than hurting yourself or another, of course) is try to hide or not acknowledge your feelings.

  • Accept

It is very important to accept what is, both in terms of the external reality and your internal reality, with thoughts, emotions, etc.

  • Feel

Allow yourself to feel, and also allow yourself to listen to what comes through while you are allowing your emotions to go through their natural process.

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  • Listen

When was the last time you truly sat down with no distractions, (technologies, cell phone, Facebook, e-mail, television, etc.) and listened? Take a moment each day to look inside yourself and hear what your higher consciousness has to say. Don’t think, don’t wonder—just listen.

Overcoming

After you’ve taken the time to sit back, reflect, and gain clarity on your current circumstances, it’s time to start moving forward. After all, how can you expect to overcome a challenging situation in your life if you don’t move? It does require a little inspirational push, but if you want to get over a hardship, you need to let it in. Here are some ways to overcome any difficult situation when you just can’t escape your own thoughts and feelings.

Find inspiration in your life – Inspiration brings hope and desire, which also bring positivity. These are all good things and can offer you the tools you need to move forward, away from the depths of despair that haunt you when experiencing hardship.

Strategy – Once you have a positive attitude and desire inside you, it’s the perfect time to come up with an escape plan from your current situation. When you see the vision of where you want to be, you can start to fill in the details with a direction to start moving in. The key here is to make the decision to consciously move forward, and have a solid action plan to follow.

Take Action – This is one of the most obvious pieces of advice people can give. You know it, I know it, we all do, but it’s easier said than done though, isn’t it? It’s easy to say “take action”, but it’s not as easy to follow that advice. Why is that?

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Many factors can come into play here, but beyond the obvious, (that you may be stressed, tired, moody, and depressed) there is another reason, a deeper reason that holds most people back. Almost everyone should be able to picture some form of positive outcome in their minds, but when it comes to taking action and making an actual change, very few of us follow through. We just end up enduring until our emotions settle down and we continue on the same path, which led to our current circumstances in the first place.

If you really want to overcome it, not just endure, you need to start changing your status quo. Discover and pursue a life that brings progress and positive changes to your world. Surround yourself with people who care about you, want the best for you, and believe in you. The most important factor is to remember that you’re not alone. Sometimes, it may seem easier to just cope and put on a happy face, but it’s not.

The true change happens, when you fully embrace the relationships and connections around you. 

 

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6 Reasons Why Your Comfort Zone Is Holding You Back In Life How to Stop the Cycle of Anger, Sadness, and Guilt During Hardships How to Be Awesome at Life How to Endure and Overcome the Worst of Life’s Hardships 3 Highly Effective Ways to Become Happy, Awake, Fulfilled and Free

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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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