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Starting Today You Can Live A Unique Life If You Take These 10 Steps

Starting Today You Can Live A Unique Life If You Take These 10 Steps

You’ve dreamed about it. You want it. You wonder if it’s really possible. You worry about being realistic. You worry about failing miserably. You worry about missing out. In your heart, you know you’re ready to live a different life. It doesn’t matter that it might seem odd to everyone around you to want something out of the norm. Your heart is calling you to reach for a life that is unique. Well, it’s possible. You can do it.

Here are 10 steps to help you start living a unique life – right here, right now, starting today!

1. Define Unique

Most people have never thought about what a unique life would look like for them. Think about it. If you designed a unique life for yourself, what would that life be? Define how unique would look like is the first step to living it. Your unique life is like your fingerprint. It was not meant to be exactly like anyone else’s life. It’s yours and yours alone. Describe it in detail. Write it down right now. Who knows, you might already be living your unique life and didn’t even realize it.

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2. Decide To Make It Happen

Ok, so maybe your current circumstances don’t exactly measure up to your unique life. That’s okay. Today is the day you begin to live a unique life if you decide to make today the day you begin to live a unique life. It may sound like an oversimplification but it is not. You have more control over the life you live than you may realize. Right now, today, make the decision to live a unique life. Now, don’t get ahead of yourself with the excuses and challenges. Just say ‘Yes’ to doing everything within your power to live your unique life.

3. Stop Making Excuses

If you’re going to live a unique life, you must stop making excuses. Yes, even the really good reasons and real problems. Excuses, all of them. Each reason you have not to live the unique life you were meant to live is a terrible excuse born out of your doubt, fear and uncertainty. Think about it again, YOUR unique life. Custom-made, designed especially with you in mind. Those reasons to delay beyond today are just excuses. Don’t settle for anything less. Stop justifying and rationalizing your fears. You don’t even need to fight them. Just set them down right over there. We’ll come back to them in a moment.

4. Allow Your Heart To Guide You

Part of living your unique life is understanding your true heart’s calling. Shhh. Listen. Tune into your inner wisdom. The more clarity you have about your heart’s calling the easier it is to find the focus, courage and consistency to pursue it. If you are going to start living your unique life, you’re going to need to hear what your heart is telling you. Rational has it place. Right now, let’s work with the emotional. Visualize your unique life. Notice how it’s making you feel. Focus on the courage, joy, the peace, the excitement. Turn up the volume on the love and peace that swells in your heart. Pull out the courage and wisdom that is growing there. Let it spread. Love is stronger than fear. Focus on your heart guidance and the joyful feelings grow until they overshadow your fears.

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5. Feed Your Curiosity

Did you realize you are built to follow your heart? Even without knowing or fully understanding your purpose, you have had moments when you were living your unique life. When you feed your curiosity, you allow your authentic self to gravitate to the things that give you life and happiness. Feed your curiosity. Follow that rabbit down that hole and see where it takes you. Your most powerful purposeful self is guiding you to stumble upon that unique life. How can you build space in your day to pursue something you are curious about? The more you feed your curiosity, the more you can see the trends and patterns in what interests you. Passions and purpose are tied to your curiosity. Explore what interests you.

6. Keep Learning

Don’t just feed your curiosity, go deeper. Explore nuances. Pursue theories. Sit and think. Google it. Become an expert on whatever it is that makes your unique life unique. Learn everything and anything you can about it. Find your community. You might not know anyone else in the world who shares your interest but they are out there. Learning is a life long pursuit. Allow your most powerful purposeful self to encourage you to keep learning more about the things that are interesting about the unique life you have decided to live.

7. Do More Of What You Love

Where your attention goes, energy flows. Spend time doing more of what your most powerful purposeful self loves to do. Build your life around it. It’s not enough to talk about living this life, get up, get out and start living. Take a step in the right direction. Even if it isn’t a perfect step, you are moving in the right direction. Each day you take a step toward your unique life, the closer you get to it being your consistent reality. Life is too short to spend time doing things you don’t love.

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8. Stop Doing What You Don’t Love

This is simple. If you don’t love it, if it is not purposeful and pulling you toward your unique life, stop doing it. Now sometimes we do things we would rather not do because it facilitates something we love. That’s maturity. Don’t discard necessary steps on your long range path to design your unique life. This is why clarity about your unique purpose is so important. If you are clear on your direction, you can make better decisions about what you love and why you love it.

9. Be Courageous

When you make a decision to go against the grain or do something purposeful, life will test you to see how serious you are. Challenges will pop up to test your resolve. Obstacles and risks will block your path. Living a unique life calls for the courage to enforce your personal boundaries and set priorities. You cannot live your unique life if you are busy living a life someone else decided they wanted you to live. It’s said if you don’t take risks, you’ll live your life working for someone who will. Be bold, be courageous with your priorities. Say yes to things that challenge you. Say no to things that distract from your unique life.

10. Check Back In To See How You’re Doing

If you decide today is the day you are going to start living your unique life, don’t forget to check back in later today and again tomorrow to see how you’re doing. What’s the difference between the life you wanted to live and the life you are living? Are you getting closer? Did you get distracted? Be accountable to your bold courageous declaration and stick to it! When you check your progress, each day becomes another chance to get closer to your unique life or to jump up out of bed to live it all over again!

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Featured photo credit: mgf26.jpg/GaborfromHungary via mrg.bz

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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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