Honestly, it sounds like you have problems with reassurance. As you said, you want to better yourself, which is great, but it really means you are not
satisfied with yourself. You may not even be happy with yourself. So my advice is to start focusing more on yourself, and less on your friends. They
are an important part of your life, and you shouldn't just drop your relationships, but what's more important to your life than 'your life'.
Start devoting more time to bettering yourself. Exercise if you don't. That is the first thing I would emphasize. It releases endorphins, plus getting
into shape makes you feel better about yourself. I feel that a big problem with situations similar to yours is that people feel negatively judged.
People are going to judge you, it's their nature, albeit a messed up one, but that's just the way it is. So do things to ensure they will judge you
positively. Start getting into better shape, and clean up your appearance. It doesn't take much, just start somewhere, and every week try to do a
little more. I started doing push-ups a couple months ago because they are easy and you can do them anywhere when you have some free time. I started
doing twenty-five per set, and I tried to do at least four sets a day. After a week, I wasn't as tired doing the twenty-five, so I did thirty, then
thirty-five, and so on. Now I do sixty in a set at least four times a day, and I'm throwing in sets of ten while in a handstand against the wall. Now,
in an average week I do around 2000 push-ups!
You can do it with anything. Quitting smoking, eating less food, I even read an article about using it to start flossing. People who didn't floss were
told to just floss one tooth a day, and no more. Everyone did the one tooth because it was so easy and most people started doing more teeth just
because they felt since they were already doing one, they might as well do a few more. Getting started is the hardest part, so just do the easiest
thing you can to at least get started.
Now that you know how start something, you need to figure out what you want to start. Make a list of thing you want to better in your life. The basic
one I would suggest is your body and your smile. People notice these things first, so if you want to feel like people are judging you positively, do
what you can to better these things. If you don't brush twice day, try to start. I found that most people don't brush for long enough, so now I just
grab my toothbrush with some toothpaste when I want to watch some TV. I brush for a full segment between commercials, usually at least five minutes.
Then I grab the floss for the rest of the show. The thirty minutes I used to waste watching TV, I now use to better myself. If the show is an hour, I
use the first half hour to bust out a bunch of push-ups during commercials using the "quality TV time" for my rest period.
Other things I would suggest are mediation or some kind of controlled breathing to help with your stress. Stress is caused by negative thoughts, so if
you are able to eliminate those negative thoughts by clearing your mind, you will eliminate the stress. Meditation is something you need to pull time
out of your day for, so maybe start with the controlled breathing, since you can pretty much do that anywhere.
I'd also recommend learning music theory, if you don't already know it, and pick up an instrument. Piano would be the best to begin with, if you can
afford it, as I feel it is the easiest to learn music with. Otherwise, a guitar will do. This will help greatly with your dexterity and coordination.
I also would suggest drums it you can afford them. They integrate the full body and really allow you to go all-out when you're jamming. Instruments
can also be used as a form of meditation.
The last thing I would recommend is to start doing things that scare you. Now, I don't mean get in your car and go try to weave through oncoming
traffic. I mean simple things that freak the sh!t out of you. Go talk to that pretty girl, preferably not the one you really like as you'll be a
hundred times more nervous. Just find a random girl you're attracted to and try to talk to her. Don't go up to her with the intention of hooking up
with her or getting her number. Just try to have an honest conversation with her. Try to find something that you are both interested in and talk to
her about it at least five minutes, or longer if you can. When you feel like you are out of stuff to say, just look at your watch and tell her that
you have to go.
...And if you really want a challenge, try stand-up comedy. That's pretty much the scariest thing I can think of.
Anyway, I hope this helps, I know it helped me.
ETA: Other things I've done to better myself are not eating fast-food. I still hit up Taco Bell or In-N-Out once or twice a month, but I haven't been
to a McDonald's in well over a year. I also stopped drinking soda and coffee with about the same fail rate as fast-food. I drink tea instead. And,
since I don't have great posture, I try to keep my shoulders back whenever I can think of it. The more I try to think of it, the more I think of it,
so the more I do it. I also write a lot of things down. I usually have so much stuff whizzing through my mind that I forget stuff. And there's nothing
more frustrating than trying to remember something lost in your mind. So now I just write things down on my computer if I'm at it, on some paper if
I've got it, or in my phone otherwise.
edit on 6/9/2011 by scojak because: (no reason given)