imconfident

I sincerely believe that it is far more beneficial and far less costly to help a child build confidence than it is to fix an adult who has little or none.

A dangerous weapon

Did you know that you carry a very dangerous weapon with you? Most people don’t even realize that they carry a weapon that is so destructive it can tear apart families, destroy relationships and even cause death.

Our tongue is a huge weapon. It is a very small part of us but it holds the power of life and death. It can be more dangerous than guns or knives and cause a mountain of damage in our lives.

We can choose to use positive words or negative words. Positive words can impart valuable information, be encouraging or bring happiness to others. Negative words can spread lies, discourage and hurt others. Words can also hurt ourselves when we are using negative self-talk and repeating the lies that others have said to us.

There is a reason why we have 1 tongue, 2 eyes and 2 ears. We SHOULD listen more and see more than we speak. Sadly many people lash out at others before they even consider the consequences of their words. Bullying is a good example of how words affect people.

We need to be very careful with our “dangerous weapon” and try to “kill” people with kindness instead of destroying them with our words.  Think carefully before you speak.  Practice changing any negative thoughts into positive thoughts and create a habit of positive thinking.

 

 

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Do you play the blame game?

We have all played the BLAME GAME but have you ever won?  You know, the game where we transfer our faults to someone else so we can avoid responsibility for our own actions.  If we can just make someone else look bad or get them to accept fault, it will make us feel better and excuse any bad behaviour on our part.  The only problem with this is that it doesn’t solve anything and can actually make things worse.

Why do we play the Blame Game?  It isn’t really much fun and people usually get hurt, including ourselves.   It is because we lack confidence and we are afraid that if we do something wrong, people won’t like us.  If we can point the blame in another direction, we think it makes us look better.

How many of us have said:

  • You ruined my life
  • I’m late because of the kids, husband, traffic….
  • You are the problem in this relationship
  • I’m overweight because you give me too much food
  • My boss is holding me back from getting a better position
  • Your overspending got us into debt

Do you take any responsibility for what happens in your life?  Blaming others is a negative action that eventually makes us feel worse and causes a lot of stress for everyone.  Nobody is perfect and others can cause problems for us, but many of our problems are the result of our own poor choices and how we respond to others.  We need to take responsibility for our part and choose how we respond in difficult situations.

 

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Do you have an addiction?

The truth is we are all addicted to something.  Most of us believe that an addiction is being addicted to drugs, alcohol or cigarettes.  However, the dictionary defines ADDICTION as 1) the quality or state of being addicted 2) a compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance known by the user to be harmful;  characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal.

In simple terms, anything our body craves on a regular basis and we can’t do without, is an addiction.  Besides substances, we can also be addicted to behaviours, emotions, activities and stuff.  Behavioural addictions can include gambling, exercise, sex and eating.   Emotional addictions can include anger, depression and sadness.  Addictions to activities can include watching TV, playing video games and playing sports.   Addictions to stuff can include excessive buying of things you don’t really need (hoarding) and often go into debt to pay for them.

What are you addicted to?  Do you overindulge in any activity that is causing serious problems for you, your family, friends and anyone else in your life?  If so, try to take steps to take charge of your life and make some positive changes.  You can be addicted to positive things like reading, walking, singing, playing solitaire, eating healthy foods and doing good deeds.  Take charge of your life and work on building some positive addictions.  Don’t let your life control you.  Talk to a trusted family member or friend and ask them to help you eliminate those negative addictions.  Seek professional help for the ones you can’t seem to control and start enjoying your life.

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Helping your child become successful

It is the responsibility of every parent to help their children become confident and successful adults.  Unfortunately many parents struggle with little or no confidence and are unable to be a positive role model for their children.

Having confidence and strong self-esteem is important to a child, as it will help them become a successful adult.  Children learn the concept of success very early in life.  Think about when a baby starts to roll over, or walk, or puts those square pegs in the round hole.  Children don’t give up easily. They will try something and fail, then try again and fail and keep trying until they are successful.   Without even being taught, they have already learned how to fail successfully.  When they finally master what they are doing, they feel good about themselves, especially if they receive praise for their efforts.  This is when their confidence and esteem start to grow and develop.

If you are struggling as a parent and feel you are not a good role model for your children, you are not alone.  Most parents feel this way, including myself.   Building my own confidence was the first step in becoming a better parent and this led me to a greater awareness of what is necessary in raising a child.   Following are some of the ideas that I found in various books by leading child specialists.  These ideas are not just for parents but for anyone who is involved in raising a child such as other family members, friends, teachers, peers, etc.  We can ALL influence children in a positive way.  Sadly, there are many children today who do not have any positive role models.

  1. Provide your children with a warm, loving, safe environment.   Children need to know they are safe and loved.  They need hugs and outward signs of affection.  They need to know that they are always welcome in their own home no matter what has happened.
  2. Be a positive role model.  Children learn by what they see and hear.  We need to be careful with our  words and actions and try not to criticize or belittle them.  We need to be the person we want our child to be.   Showing respect for ourselves and the people around us will help them learn to respect themselves and others.
  3. Encourage your children. Encourage your children to try new things and when they have succeeded, give them praise.  Help your children to feel proud of what they have accomplished and be patient if they have problems.
  4. Allow your children to make mistakes.   Parents often try to help their children avoid making mistakes and only praising them when they succeed.  It is important to teach your child that life is not perfect and that they will fail sometimes.  When they make mistakes, discuss what lessons they have learned and encourage them to try again.
  5. Communicate and listen.  Spend time with your child so you can listen to what they are saying and respond in a positive, non-judgmental and non-critical manner.  Acknowledge their feelings and when they are frustrated or upset, don’t dismiss or ignore them or tell them they are being silly.  Be open to discuss whatever they want to talk about as it will keep the lines of communication open.  Give compliments on how they look.  Help them discover their strengths and weaknesses.  Be there when they need you.
  6. Involve children in positive activities.  Being active will help children keep fit, increase their confidence and they will form good relationships.  Get them involved in some type of activity such as sports, music, exercise or an activity group.   This will keep them from becoming overly immersed in the media which can result in serious problems.  However, don’t get them involved in too much activity as this will just create stress for the entire family.  Volunteering is a great positive activity for children.  It teaches children the value of helping others and builds esteem.
  7. Discipline with love.  Children need to have reasonable boundaries that are enforced.  Discuss these with your child and make sure they understand what the consequences of their actions will be.  Always be fair, open-minded and loving.  When discipline is necessary, separate the child from the action and punish the action, not the child.
  8. Help set  realistic goals.  Goals give purpose to life for both children and adults.  Goals will help your child work towards what they want to achieve and keep them focused.
  9. Teach your children about self-image.  Body image often becomes the main focus of a child’s life, which can be harmful and damaging to their esteem.  Discuss how society creates an unrealistic image of beauty and help them understand that real beauty is not just how they look.  Teach your children to be confident about who they are.
  10. Support your child.  Your child is a unique individual and you may not always agree with their choices.  Being supportive will help them build confidence and allow them to become independent.

It is certainly a difficult task to be a parent, but when we become a parent we are responsible for the life of another human being.  We need to take this seriously and be the best role model we can so our children can grow up to be positive parents themselves.  This does NOT mean that we should frustrate ourselves trying to become a perfect person because nobody can be perfect in an imperfect word.  We just need to take a look at our life and see what we can do to become a better role model for our children, our grandchildren and everyone else around us.

Start making some positive changes today!!  Read some books on positive parenting.  If you want something simple and easy to read, I can suggest my book, “Grandma’s Notes on Parenting”.  Visit my website at http://www.imconfident.com for order information.  Following is a review by Reader’s Favourite.

BOOK REVIEW

Reviewed by Nonnie Jules for Readers’ Favorite

Grandma’s Notes on Parenting by Brenda Silveira is about the difficulty of being a parent for the first time and how unprepared all new parents are for the responsibility of another human being’s future. It will appeal to parents-to-be as well as new parents alike. The book contains a few short chapters on the traits and behaviors needed by every adult who wishes to be a positive role model so their children will learn how to become responsible adults. The author beats herself up a bit but I think it’s her way of showing others where she failed so they don’t make the same mistakes she did. I thought it humanized her. 

I really enjoyed reading Grandma’s Notes on Parenting because it was a very well written book about the trials and tribulations this grandma faced while raising her now adult daughters. We all know how loving and wise grandmothers are so, from her point of view, Brenda Silveira details the main traits needed to raise well-rounded, responsible children. She is very candid and honest in pointing out her mistakes as a mother and how, as a grandmother, she is much better equipped to help her daughters parent their children. There was a nice fluid flow to the writing and it made you feel as if you were sitting in Brenda’s living room, while she passed along some much needed advice. This is a good book that I would recommend to all.

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Are there S..words in your words?

Are your words sharp and cutting?  Do they hurt people?  Are they critical and harsh?  If you aren’t careful with your words, they can be like swords and cut right into the heart of another person.

Many of us go through life not even knowing the effect of our words.  We have to really listen to ourselves and hear what is coming out of our mouths.  Then we have to try to stop any words that are negative and hurtful.  Our words come from our thoughts and we can’t stop our negative thinking but we CAN stop speaking negative words.

It is a choice as to what we say to others and ourselves.  Just as when we pour coffee into a cup, we can also pour dirty water into a cup.  It is the same for our words.  We can pour out our negative thoughts and create pain or we can pour out positive thoughts and create possibilities.   Negative words can tear down and discourage.  Positive words can lift up and encourage.

We have the power to change our words.  All we have to do is create a habit of positive thinking.  It takes time and effort but if we are consciously aware of our thoughts, we CAN change.  When those negative thoughts come floating into our heads, we can stop ourselves from letting them become negative words.  Challenge those thoughts; change them into something positive or just let them float away and say nothing.

Are there s..words in your words?  Stop using your words to hurt and start using your words to heal.

 

 

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You can be alone AND happy on Valentine’s Day!

We all need love and the purpose of Valentine’s Day is to share our love with each other.  Unfortunately, some people are alone at this time of year, either by choice or circumstance.  They may be dealing with a failed relationship, the loss of family members or a move to a new location.  Whatever the reason, some people find themselves without someone who can give them love or receive love and this can result in feelings of loneliness, unhappiness, unworthiness and even failure.

Society certainly doesn’t make it easy for anyone to enjoy the day without feeling that something is missing.   Big red hearts and advertising are everywhere.  But you don’t have to feel lonely and sad on Valentine’s Day.  You can celebrate the day by looking at things with a different perspective.  Here are some ideas:

  • First, realize that this is just another day.  It is nice to be reminded about love because we don’t always take time in our everyday busy lives to even think about it, but we shouldn’t just focus on one day to show our love for others.  Take this day to think about the people in your life who could use some love – family, friends, co-workers, neighbours – and consider how you can show some kindness to them.  Actually sit down and make a list of things you could do throughout the year to make their lives better.
  • Call someone you haven’t talked to for a while.  Is there a family member that you haven’t communicated with recently.  What about an estranged friend?  If you live close by, invite them to meet you for coffee.  Maybe they are as lonely as you are.
  • Celebrate the day on your own and enjoy your own company.  You really don’t have to be a couple on Valentine’s Day!  This is just something that we are led to believe that isn’t true.  There is nothing wrong with being alone sometimes.  People who are super-busy with family and work would love to trade places with you for a few days and have some peace and quiet.   Read a good book or watch a movie.  Do something you like!  Or take a nice walk and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
  • Buy yourself a Valentine gift.  Yes, you can indulge yourself in a box of chocolates or candies.  Just don’t go overboard and spend too much money or overeat those sweets.  Get some colourful flowers to brighten your kitchen table.  There is nothing wrong with being good to yourself.   We are all special and we should be nice to ourselves as well as others.

Keep in mind that many people who buy gifts for their loved ones are just doing it because it is expected and not because they are showing their love.  Soon after Valentine’s Day is over, the love is gone and they have gone back to their old habits of being inconsiderate and unkind.  Showing love for just one day is so unimportant, showing love everyday is what is important.

YOU can be alone and happy on Valentine’s Day.  It is all a matter of perspective.  Don’t be upset if you are alone for this one day of the year.  There are 364 more days coming where you can work on building some great relationships.  YOU can be the Valentine in someone’s life every day of the year.  Be the person who is able to love and accept themselves for who they are and pass that love on to other people.

So what are you doing on Valentine’s Day?

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What does love mean to you?

February is the month when we are reminded to love each other.  We see Valentine cards, candy, flowers and all sorts of advertising that penetrate your thoughts with ideas of love.  Even if we are angry or upset with our loved ones, we often overlook these things for a short period of time to bring them gifts or give them a much-needed hug.

So why do we need something to remind us that we should be showing love to others?  We should be walking in love every day of the year, not just Valentine’s day.

Love is powerful and it has a positive effect on ourselves and others.  Love is the glue that can hold families and friendships together.  Love allows us to help other people and this creates a feeling of happiness for everyone.

Let’s start our love walk today!  Let’s start showing kindness to everyone we meet.  Let’s start a kindness ripple in the world.  Are you walking in love?  Are you putting the needs of others before your own?

Love is patient, love is kind………….

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Patience is a virtue

When we plant a garden, we place tiny seeds into the ground and then we wait for something wonderful to happen.  During that time of waiting we water those seeds to make sure they get proper nourishment.  As they grow, we pull out any weeds that may hinder growth and do any necessary pruning.  The end result is a beautiful garden, full of colourful flowers and plants.

But do we have the same patience in our lives as we do when we plant a garden?  Do we wait for things to happen?  Do we take care of our health with the proper nourishment?  Do we try to remove anything that is causing a bad influence or inflicting pain?  The answer is ‘NO’.  We don’t take care of ourselves with as much care because we lack patience.

Society pressures us to want things NOW.  We learn early in life that we need to be surrounded with lots of stuff and spend money on whatever we want because we deserve it.  So what happens?  We spend lots of money believing that we will find happiness and all this does is put us in debt and results in misery.

Patience is a virtue.  It is the ability to wait for something without getting angry or upset.   Learning to be patient is a process that takes time and effort but it is well worth the effort.   Life would be a lot less stressful and we would be a lot happier if we could just learn to be patient.   

Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.
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Stop making those new year’s resolutions

Why do we make New Year’s resolutions?  Because we know that our lives are in chaos, that changes need to be made and deep down we want to be a better person.  The problem is – we don’t keep those resolutions and we slip back into old habits again.  Why does this happen?

When we make a resolution, it is trying to change something that is superficial.  We want to lose weight so we start dieting or exercising.  We want to quit smoking or another bad habit so we promise ourselves that we will stop.  We want to get our houses cleaned up so we try to sort and organize.  We want to stop spending more money than we make and we try to follow a budget.  But this is just the tip of the iceberg.  There is something deeper going on that we should be addressing.  We should ask ourselves why we are doing the thing we don’t want to do.

  • Why are we gaining weight?
  • Why are we smoking?
  • Why are we biting our nails?
  • Why is our house so cluttered?
  • Why do we spend too much money on things we don’t need?
  • Why do we have this bad habit?

We need to check deep inside ourselves and figure out what is causing the problem in the first place.  Is there a relationship issue that needs to be resolved?  Is there an emotional issue that requires professional help?  Do we need an attitude adjustment?  Do we lack the confidence needed to make positive changes?  Do we have supportive people who can give us the push we need to move ahead?

Making change is difficult and we need to understand who we are and why we do the things we do before we can make any lasting changes.  Forget those New Year’s resolutions that you won’t likely keep.  Spend time doing some searching and making positive changes.

 

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Ontario minimum wage increase already causing problems

Is this a surprise for anyone?  It certainly doesn’t surprise me.  Everything is happening as I expected.  Raising the minimum wage in Ontario was not a good idea.  It is unfortunate that people are struggling to make ends meet but this was not the answer.  Someone will always make minimum wage even if they raised it to $100 hour and they will still be at the bottom of the wage scale.

Increasing wages from $11.60 to $14.oo is a big jump and it sounds really appealing but it really won’t make any difference in the long run.  People may have an extra $50 a week in their pockets but where do they think this extra money comes from.  Businesses certainly aren’t covering this increase themselves.  It will come from changes within companies.  Prices will increase and there will be cutbacks.  That extra $50 will be needed to cover an increase in groceries, clothing and everything else with a price tag.

Small companies will be hit hard by this increase and some are already cutting out paid breaks and benefits.  Others will shorten hours which will result in smaller paychecks.  And of course some companies will be forced to close causing employees to lose their jobs and be forced to survive on unemployment while trying to find work.  And what kind of burden will be put on the government and our taxes to support more unemployed people?

On the news this morning, they had great news.  Unemployment rates are down.  Yeah, this is wonderful for today BUT the minimum wage increase is predicted to cost Canada between 60,000 – 90,000 jobs by 2019!  So who wins?  Employees who have a bigger paycheque but spend it all because of increased costs?  Employees who make less money because their hours are cut back?  Employees who lose their jobs?  Companies who are forced to close because they can’t afford to pay more wages?  Seniors and others on limited income who have to pay more for products and services?  Personally I don’t see how anyone wins.

Following is an article that outlines the coming problems.  http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/bank-of-canada-minimum-wage-1.4469912

 

 

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