The Power Of Self-Awareness Is The Key To Happiness

The Power Of Self-Awareness Is The Key To Happiness

You can't find true happiness without self-awareness.

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I made it a goal of mine to be more self-aware in 2019, and I've become so much happier because of it.

Self-awareness is something I never paid much attention to because it was never something I thought I struggled with.

At the start of the new year, when I was feeling super inspired by the classic "new year, new me" posts I decided I would pay extra attention to myself in 2019. This didn't mean I was going to give up all my other obligations to work on myself, it meant I would make it a conscious effort to be mindful and check in with how I was feeling.

This is when I realized that I was not very self-aware.

I thought I was, I pretended to be but I wasn't truly, authentically aware of my personality and emotions.

Self-awareness is so important to master while you're carving the path for the rest of your life.

Being self-aware means knowing your strength and your weaknesses, analyzing your beliefs and figuring out what motivates you.

My thoughts had been contacting each other for so long but it was time for me to figure out what was important to me, and separate that from what was important from those around me.

Self-awareness allows you to grow in the best way. I've always considered myself an empathetic person but since developing self-awareness I've been able to foster better personal and professional relationships in ways I never had in the past.

Being self-aware allows me to clearly see other people's perspectives on issues, without taking them on as my own in an attempt to please someone. I'm able to take feedback without viewing it as criticism.

Having a better understanding of myself has helped me grow as a person. I am at peace with the past because I've reevaluated times where I only viewed myself as a victim.

There is no changing the past and I no longer want to.

I've learned that there is strength in forgiveness, of both yourself and others.

I've accepted that I have made mistakes, but I have also learned from them.

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PSA: Keep Your Body-Negative Opinions Away From Little Girls This Summer

But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with.

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It's officially swimsuit season, y'all.

The temperature is rising, the sun is bright and shining, and a trip to the beach couldn't look more appealing than it does right now. This is the time of year that many of us have been rather impatiently waiting for. It's also the time of year that a lot of us feel our most self-conscious.

I could take the time to remind you that every body is a bikini body. I could type out how everyone is stunning in their own unique way and that no one should feel the need to conform to a certain standard of beauty to feel beautiful, male or female. I could sit here and tell you that the measurement of your waistline is not a reflection of your worth. I completely believe every single one of these things.

Hell, I've shared these exact thoughts more times than I can count. This time around, however, I'm not going to say all these things. Instead, I'm begging you to push your insecurities to the side and fake some confidence in yourself when you're in front of others.

Why?

Because our negative self-image is toxic and contagious and we're spreading this negative thinking on to others.

We're all guilty of this, we're with family or a friend and we make a nasty comment about some aspect of our appearance, not even giving a single thought to the impact our words have on the person with us. You might think that it shouldn't bother them- after all, we're not saying anything bad about them! We're just expressing our feelings about something we dislike about ourselves. While I agree that having conversations about our insecurities and feelings are important for our mental and emotional health, there is a proper and improper way of doing it. An open conversation can leave room for growth, acceptance, understanding, and healing. Making a rude or disheartening remark about yourself is destructive not only to yourself, but it will make the person you are saying these things around question their own self worth or body image by comparing themselves to you.

My little sister thinks she's "fat." She doesn't like how she looks. To use her own words, she thinks she's "too chubby" and that she "looks bad in everything."

She's 12 years old.

Do you want to know why she has this mindset? As her older sister, I failed in leading her by example. There were plenty of times when I was slightly younger, less sure of myself, and far more self-conscious than I am now, that I would look in the mirror and say that I looked too chubby, that my body didn't look good enough, that I wished I could change the size of my legs or stomach.

My little sister had to see the older sibling she looks up to, the big sis she thinks always looks beautiful, say awful and untrue things about herself because her own sense of body image was warped by media, puberty, and comparing herself to others.

My negativity rubbed off onto her and shaped how she looks at herself. I can just imagine her watching me fret over how I look thinking, "If she thinks she's too big, what does that make me?"

It makes me feel sick.

All of us are dealing with our own insecurities. It takes some of us longer than others to view ourselves in a positive, loving light. We're all working on ourselves every day, whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally. But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with, our struggles and insecurities should not form into their own burdens.

Work on yourself in private. Speak kindly of yourself in front of others. Let your positivity, real or not, spread to others instead of the bad feelings we have a bad habit of letting loose.

The little girls of the world don't need your or my negative self-image this summer. Another kid doesn't need to feel worthless because we couldn't be a little more loving to ourselves and a lot more conscious of what we say out loud.

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It's Okay To Not Have It All Together

Nobody is perfect.

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In this day and age, it's easy to compare yourself to others. With social media in our faces 24/7, you're exposed to everyone else's lives and what they are doing. There is no such thing as privacy anymore. What we put out there is subject for the world to see.

On Instagram, you may see someone from high school you despise studying abroad. On Snapchat, you may see an old friend landing their dream job. On Facebook, you may see your cousin getting engaged. On Twitter, you may see your best friend announce their commitment to a university for sports. While you may be happy for some of these people and their accomplishments, it can be hard to not feel unhappy about yourself. This can cast insecurity and doubt on yourself.

Stop comparing yourself to others. Social media is only a highlight reel, not the whole film. Although people post about good things on social media, they don't expose the truth. The truth is that not everyone's lives are full of sunshines and rainbows all the time. In fact, it is normal for people to have cloudy and stormy days among them.

The point is this: it's okay to not have it all together. If you feel lost or confused, don't worry. These feelings are only temporary. Everyone walks down the path of life at their own pace. If you're too busy comparing yourself to others, you're not going to get to where you want to be.

Whether if you don't know what to do as a career, or you're not always happy-go-lucky, don't put yourself down for it. It's part of being human. You're beautiful no matter what. The best experiences usually stem from the darkest of times. All you need is to light the spark that sets the flame. Don't ever give up despite how challenging it gets.

What's wonderful about this world we live in is that it's okay to make mistakes. You learn from them. No human is perfect after all. We weren't put on this planet to do everything right the first time. Everything happens for a reason. Trust that.

Even the ones you admire most once did not have a grip on what they wanted. They too started from scratch. They too felt uneasy about the future. They too were not sure that they were going to make it. Did they tear themselves apart,and tell themselves they were unworthy? Did they say that they were incapable?

No. They rose up. They fought against the odds. They did everything in their power to move forward. It took them soul searching, hard work, and persistence to get them to where they are today. They took the road less traveled, and it paid off. They built their lives on their own; brick by brick. They took their dreams and made them a reality.

You too can do that. Don't ever make yourself believe that you are not capable of living your best life. Don't ever belittle yourself. Don't be negative to the point that it becomes who you are. Don't be the one standing in your way.

What's stopping you from being okay with not being okay? Not having other people's approval? Not getting a million likes on social media? Not receiving praise, "good job", and "way to go"? This isn't kindergarten where everyone gets a participation trophy. If you feel stuck, and want to be unstuck, only you can change your outcome.

In the meantime, appreciate where you are today. I am sure that you are doing great. You're amazing. You can get through anything. Tough times and uncertainties are what will make you a better person at the end of the day. Those who didn't lift a finger to achieve their goals will soon learn the consequences.

You're doing the best you can. Don't be so hard on yourself. In fact, you may be doing wonderful, and you may not even see it. Life is too short to not appreciate the good with the bad; the dark with the light. It is what brings balance in our lives.

From this day forward, don't complain that you aren't where you want to be. Don't moan that your situation isn't your ideal. Get up, and do whatever it is that will point you in the right direction. Fall in love with yourself before, during, and after the process. Good things don't come to those who wait. Good things come to those who take control of their destiny.

But for now, take a few deep breaths. Relax. You're going to be okay. It's okay to not have it all together.

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