Advertising
Advertising

Be Lovely In The Audrey Hepburn Way

Be Lovely In The Audrey Hepburn Way

Most people know Audrey Hepburn for her works in classic films like “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, “Sabrina”, and “My Fair Lady”. Born in Belgium, Audrey spent most of her childhood in Belgium, England, and the Netherlands studying ballet. Audrey shot to stardom after landing a role in the Broadway play “Gigi”, which led to her first substantial film role in “Roman Holiday”. Audrey Hepburn received many awards throughout her career, and  is still one of the few stars to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony Award. While her work in Hollywood is infamous, after age 40, Audrey appeared in fewer films and began working heavily with UNICEF. For the rest of her life, she worked in poor, developing areas of Africa, South America, and Asia. Audrey Hepburn proved that gorgeous women can be powerful and intellectual, which was particularly unique during the 1950’s to 1970’s. In addition to her career and humanitarian accomplishments, Audrey Hepburn spoke English, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish and German. Such a diverse and skilled woman truly lived her life in a way all of us can learn from. The following 15 quotes from Audrey Hepburn are sure to rouse you to be the best you can be.

1. Live Your Life

“The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters.”

audrey-hepburn-395110_640

    In a world full of greed and power-hungry public figures, it’s refreshing to be reminded that life is simply meant to be lived.

    2. Don’t Forget About Others

    “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands: one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

    4986345196_6bc7419610_b

      This poignant way of looking at ourselves reminds us that somewhere out there someone else has it worse off than you. However, this quote also speaks to how important it is to take care of yourself in order to be in a position to help others.

      3. Solitude Can Be Healthy

      “I have to be alone very often. I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That’s how I refuel.”

      Advertising

      Audrey_Hepburn_-_1964

        It’s rare to hear famous figures express the benefit of stepping away from attention. Though all of us want to achieve our goals in life and at work, everyone functions better when we’re properly rested and approaching life in a balanced way.

        4. Actions Define Us

        “You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him.”

        Audrey_Hepburn_in_Charade_5

          This succinct summary of how to approach other people is an elegant reminder that actions speak louder than words.

          5. The Journey Is What Matters

          “Success is like reaching an important birthday and finding you’re exactly the same.”

          Audrey_Hepburn_black_and_white

            Much like focusing on enjoying our life, this brilliant quote about success highlights the importance of enjoying the journey rather than obsessing over your destination.

            6. Too Much Attention Can Be Bad

            “There are certain shades of limelight that can wreck a girl’s complexion.”

            Advertising

            Audrey_Hepburn_a_Breakfast_at_Tiffany's

              Audrey was one of the few stars to approach their public life with a balanced perspective. This lovely quote reminds all of us that attention is temporary. Moreover, no one should sell out their character in order to seek approval.

              7. Be Selfless

              “It’s that wonderful old-fashioned idea that others come first and you come second. This was the whole ethic by which I was brought up. Others matter more than you do, so ‘don’t fuss, dear; get on with it.’”

              Audrey_Hepburn_Roman_Holiday_cropped

                Increasingly, today’s world of social media drives us to be concerned with ourselves more than ever. This energizing quote reminds us that sometimes it is sincerely more important to consider the greater good.

                8. Happiness Is Simple

                “I heard a definition once: Happiness is health and a short memory! I wish I’d invented it, because it is very true.”

                5280988853_80fa20fb86_b

                  Similarly, this wonderful definition of happiness reminds us to appreciate the great things in our lives while we have them.

                  9. We’re All The Same Inside

                  “I’m half-Irish, half-Dutch, and I was born in Belgium. If I was a dog, I’d be in a hell of a mess!”

                  Advertising

                  audrey-hepburn-399789_640

                    In the era Audrey Hepburn lived, racism was largely acceptable, mainly institutionalized, and even falsely propped up by erroneous “science”. From someone perceived to be from one race, such a bold statement that each of us is simply a mix of humanity is truly a stirring approach to what can be an ugly, judgemental subject.

                    10. Appreciate The Moment

                    “Living is like tearing through a museum. Not until later do you really start absorbing what you saw, thinking about it, looking it up in a book, and remembering – because you can’t take it in all at once.”

                    Audrey_Hepburn_screentest_in_Roman_Holiday_trailer

                      This beautiful metaphor is another impressive way to think about our life’s journey. Especially in a world where we take pictures first and experience second, this electrifying reminder to live in the moment is one we should all remember more often.

                      11. Value Your Voice

                      “Why change? Everyone has his own style. When you have found it, you should stick to it.”

                      audrey-hepburn-396262_640

                        This motivating quote illustrates why you should celebrate your unique qualities. Each person has their own voice, and Audrey Hepburn understood that sticking to this inner compass is what really makes life work for you.

                        12. Seize Each Opportunity

                        “I’ve been lucky. Opportunities don’t often come along. So, when they do, you have to grab them.”

                        Advertising

                        1539333846_8dd9b28b48_z

                          Another impassioned approach to life, each of us should be unafraid to go after the things we want.

                          13. Never Give Up On Someone

                          “People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.”

                          Audrey_Hepburn_and_Cary_Grant_1

                            A powerful view of forgiveness, this encouraging reminder to treat people kindly and with understanding is more applicable today than ever.

                            14. Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself

                            “I don’t take my life seriously, but I do take what I do – in my life – seriously.”

                            War_and_peace

                              Another impressive reminder to enjoy life without becoming overly stressed out, this quote illustrates the difference between taking your goals seriously and becoming too critical of ourselves.

                              15. Aim High

                              “I tried always to do better: saw always a little further. I tried to stretch myself.”

                              AudreyHepburn_leggings

                                Ultimately, the path to success requires each of us to work harder and push further each and every day. If Audrey Hepburn’s life is any indication, there really is no limit to what you can achieve.

                                More by this author

                                Alicia Prince

                                A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

                                25 Killer Sites For Free Online Education 10 Things You Should Do If You’re Unemployed When You Start to Enjoy Being Single, These 12 Things Will Happen common words 18 Common Words That You Should Replace in Your Writing Wondering Why K Pop is So Popular? Here are 10 Reasons

                                Trending in Communication

                                1 Why an Attitude of Gratitude Is Essential (And How to Develop It) 2 Procrastination Is a Matter of Emotion, Here’s How to Stop It 3 What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It) 4 How to Get Unstuck in Life and Live a More Fulfilling Life 5 What Will Happen When You Surround Yourself With Positive People?

                                Read Next

                                Advertising
                                Advertising
                                Advertising

                                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.

                                Advertising

                                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.

                                Advertising

                                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.

                                Advertising

                                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.

                                Advertising

                                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

                                Read Next