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Live A Beautiful Life In 10 Easy Steps

Live A Beautiful Life In 10 Easy Steps

Life is beautiful! And even more so if you are living a life filled with happiness, peace and contribution. However, many people, including myself, have lived a life full of possessions, with a soul full of hatred, a job that sucks the very life out of them, and an emptiness inside.

Even with its struggles and difficulties life can be beautiful, depending what you focus on. A beautiful life is one that makes you feel fully alive, is full of inspiration and creates a deeper, more connected environment for us to live in. With this in mind I’ve come up with a few steps on how to live a beautiful life.

1. Always be grateful for the blessings and gifts you already have.

A must for all people who want to or who are already living a beautiful life. If you can do just one thing out of all of these steps, I’d recommend this one: being thankful for all that you already have is the key to a beautiful life. Taking time out to be thankful even through the tough times will set you up for a happier, more peaceful existence. It will not only touch your own life but also those around you. How wonderful is that?

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2. Try to know and understand yourself.

Most of us have an idea of ourselves, yet very few actually know or understand who we really are. To begin the wonderful journey of living a beautiful life this is very important. You’ll need to take a good, hard look at the stuff that you may have been denying for years and that which has been under wraps without you even knowing. This is a chance for self-discovery and will include rediscovering your passions, desires, fears and insecurities. It might not be as easy as you first thought, so I’d suggest involving a good, trusted friend to help you dig a little deeper. Either way, this process will open your eyes and help you to see how your life has the potential to be beautiful.

3. Work out what a beautiful life means to you.

If you don’t feel that your life is beautiful right now, perhaps it’s time to ask yourself what it is that you think is missing? Is it a purpose, inspiration, happiness, or something else? Questions that delve deeper are important here like asking: “What is it that is keeping me stuck in this cycle of unhappiness? Is it fear of failure, rejection, or making the wrong choices?” Whatever it is, none of these are good enough reasons to be unhappy or not living a beautiful life.

4. Start to make changes to towards living your beautiful life.

When you know that a beautiful life is there for the taking, it will mean changes will need to be made in some areas of your life. It’s no good doing the same stuff because you’ll get the same results. All it takes is a little time to work out what maybe missing from your life or what needs letting go of.

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For example, if you want to find your purpose in life, perhaps it’s time to surround yourself with people who inspire, lift and encourage you rather than spending time with the same friends who have always brought you down. It might also mean that you need to start standing up for yourself a little bit more and saying no a bit more often; it’s the little things that can make all the difference.

5. Give away love to feel more love.

In order to live a beautiful life, love is one of the things that make life worth living. The thing is, however, most of the time we expect it to be given in order for us to give it back. Instead of thinking this way, why not live your life with love being the principle aim in all that you do, especially when interacting with other people in your day-to-day life? Everyone needs love in their life, whether it’s from a partner, a friend, family or a perfect stranger. Make your beautiful life more meaningful by giving love to everyone you meet in the form of kindness, understanding, tolerance, acceptance and generosity.

6. Practice forgiveness.

How can you have a beautiful life if you are full of resentment and bitterness? You can’t, is the simple answer! However, when someone has wronged you or let you down, it can prove difficult to forgive and forget.

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Forgiveness, however, is not about letting someone of the hook: it’s more about letting yourself off the hook! You see, forgiveness not only takes tremendous stress out of any situation, but it also sets you free. Why? Because if you hold on to anger, bitterness and resentment, they will only eat away at you, keeping you a prisoner of your feelings and hurting yourself in the meantime. It does you no good, and it also ensures that any steps you take towards your beautiful life will be in vain. So do yourself a favor, forgive and then move on with your life.

7. Look at things from a new perspective.

In times of trouble, when your circumstances leave a lot to be desired, it can be difficult to see what you are going through as a gift. However, if you look at the struggle as a new learning opportunity and ask yourself: “What is this situation trying to teach me?” you’ll go a long way to living a more beautiful life.

It’s that change in perspective that makes the harder times seem less so because you are taking the situation and turning it around. This is a wonderful way to view your life because the more you are mindful of what you can learn in any given situation, the more you will breeze through your struggles with effortless grace. Now that sounds great, don’t you think?

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8. Be more flexible in your thinking.

When our thinking is rigid and inflexible, it gives little room for change or improvement. To live a beautiful life it is beneficial to have the kind of mind that can be open and flexible, so that new information or unexpected situations can be grasped with less drama or stress. It’s when we are flexible in our approach to life we can enjoy and experience it with unbound possibilities.

9. Expect the best not the worst.

Life can be a roller-coaster ride, with its ups and downs, as well as triumphs and disappointments. When we expect the very best from people and situations, we start to fill our lives with a more positive outlook, as well as creating a more compassionate and understanding environment. If you learn to expect the best, you’ll bring more situations to you that will only ever be the best!

10. Live a beautiful life to make a difference in the world.

This isn’t about preaching to others on how you’ve changed your life, but more about being the kind of person who inspires others to live a beautiful life too. As Mahatma Gandhi famously said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” In short, if you want to see a difference in the world and to make it a more beautiful place, then start with yourself!

So, are you ready to live a beautiful life?

Featured photo credit: Flickr sierra ryan 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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