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.

Which child feels more loved?

This is a story about 2 little girls called Sarah and Sally.  Their parents love both of them dearly but one of them doesn’t feel very loved.  After reading this story, you can decide which one I am talking about.

Sarah is 9 years old and is a very easy-going child.  She is bright and attentive and likes to help the rest of the family.  Sally is 8 years old and is a very active and curious child.  She is always trying new things and gets very frustrated when they don’t work out as she expected.

Here is an example of what happens on a school morning.  Mom calls both of the girls to get up and get dressed.  In about 10 minutes, Sarah comes downstairs all dressed and ready to go.  Her mom butters her toast and asks if her sister is up.  “No, I haven’t heard her moving around yet”, Sarah replies.

Mom has to leave for work soon, so she runs upstairs to Sally’s room.  “Sally get up now.  You are going to be late again!”  Sally sits up in bed and rubs her eyes.  10 minutes later, she drags herself to the kitchen table.   ‘My goodness Sally!  Did you sleep in your clothes?  Why can’t you look neat and tidy like your sister.  Go upstairs now and put on a clean blouse.  And hurry up or you won’t have time for breakfast!”

Finally Sally comes down looking fairly nice, grabs a piece of toast and sits down.  “Sally, put on your shoes while you are eating.  The school bus will be here in a few minutes.  Your sister is already waiting on the porch.”

Which sister do you think left the house feeling loved?

It is pretty obvious.  The mother feels frustrated at her one child and rightly so.  But a little patience and encouragement would have helped the situation a lot better and created a positive environment for the children and the mother.  Comparing children is a really bad idea and it will create bad feelings between them.  All children are different and should be treated with respect.

What could the mother have done that would have had better results?

  • Instead of yelling at the child who has difficulty getting up, mom could have just come into her room and gently woke her up with a “Good morning, see you downstairs in a few minutes.”
  • Instead of getting angry with the rumpled clothing, mom could have said, “I think your blouse needs to be washed, it looks a bit dirty.   Why don’t you drop it in the clothes hamper and run up to your room and grab a clean one from your closet”.
  • Instead of pointing out that her (perfect) sister Sarah was all ready and waiting for the bus, mom could have said, “Can you quickly put on your shoes while eating your toast and then join your sister on the porch, please?”

It is difficult to watch what we say to our children, especially when we feel tired and stressed.  However, our words can have a terrible effect on our children if we aren’t careful and we can get stuck in a habit of negatively talking all the time.

Developing a habit of positive self-talk takes a lot of time and patience but it will benefit everyone around us: our families, our children, our friends and even ourselves.

 

 

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Depression is a liar

People who are depressed do not have good confidence and they have low esteem.  Depression doesn’t allow a person to feel good about themselves; instead, it destroys self-confidence.  Depression is a great liar.  It poisons our minds with the idea that we have no value, nobody likes us and our life doesn’t matter.  We doubt our abilities, we can’t see our great characteristics and we can’t use our skills.  We are critical about everything we do and don’t believe that we can accomplish anything.

Depression is a bad habit.  We feel that everything is hopeless and that nothing will ever change.  We spend our lives being angry, frustrated and upset believing that nothing will ever get better.

It is important to realize that being depressed is harmful to our health and we need to try hard to make positive changes.  Being depressed keeps us stuck in a negative mindset.  The good news is we can do something about it.  We CAN increase our confidence AND decrease our depression.

Here are some ideas:

  • Spend time with people who are encouraging and supportive.  We tend to think and act like the people we spend the most time with, so the more time you spend with positive people, the more positive you will become.  There are many different types of groups that can use your talents and skills.  Doing things you enjoy will help build your confidence.
  • Change your self-talk.  Many of us talk to ourselves in a negative way which will just bring us down.  Focus on using positive self-talk and stop putting yourself down.  Starting each day with a positive statement or affirmation is powerful.  “This is going to be a good day.”  “I am a good person”.  “I like to help people.” “I CAN do this.” “I have good friends.”
  • Write down all the good things in your life.  It may be hard at first but with practice it becomes easier.  This will help you create a new habit of positive thinking and increase your confidence.  Even if you are experiencing difficulties, you can always find something good if you look hard enough.
  • Do things for other people.  When you are focused on other people, it is hard to feel depressed.  Volunteering is a great way to help people and build your confidence.

If you are continually depressed, it is important that you seek medical help.  Therapy and medications are often necessary to help you cope and learn how to deal with your own personal issues.

Everyone has value and purpose.  Don’t let depression’s lies destroy your life.  Learn how to build confidence and increase your esteem.

 

 

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Do you look your best today?

When we get dressed, we try to pay close attention to what we are wearing so we will look good.  Sometimes, we will try on several outfits until we find the one that looks the best.  But does wearing nicely matched clothing and accessories really make us look our best?

What happens if we wake up with a bad attitude?  Does looking nice cover up any nasty thoughts that might be rolling around in our head or stop us from making unkind comments?

If we spent as much time working on changing our attitude as we do changing our outward appearance, we could make a positive impact on the people we meet and also become a lot happier.

So, do you really look your best today?  Does your attitude look as good as your appearance?

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What are you teaching your children?

When a child is born, their mind is like a blank slate just waiting for a story to be written.  Everything they see and hear makes an impression on their small, innocent minds.  Parents are their first teachers and can have the biggest impact on a child’s life which can lead to future success or failure.  As a child grows, they are also impacted by other family members, friends and teachers.  Even the media plays a large part on how a child learns and grows.  It is important that we show a positive example to our own children and anyone else we are in contact with.

What story are you writing on the blank slate of your children?

 

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Stop dieting and start losing weight

Most people approach dieting in the wrong way.  Once we realize that we have gained a few pounds too many, we search for quick and easy answers.  The problem with this is that we didn’t gain weight overnight and we can’t lose it in a few weeks or months.  There is NO quick fix and anyone who promises this is just leading you down the wrong path.

When you look at losing weight by counting calories or watching the scales, you are defeating yourself because this is a negative approach to dieting.  In fact, stats show that about 90% of everyone who diets will fail.  This is certainly not an encouraging fact but people keep trying over and over again in the hopes that something magic will happen.

Instead of focusing on a diet plan, we need to focus on healthy eating combined with regular exercise.  This is a positive approach and one that is far more likely to succeed.  In my second book of the Grandma’s Notes series, I have written a short, easy-to-read book on the healthy way to lose weight.  It is a practical, logical and realistic way that has worked for me.  Check out my bookstore at http://www.imconfident.com or go right to the Blurb bookstore.

 

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What kind of seeds are you planting?

Do you know how many thoughts humans have each day?  Research says that we have between 12,000 to 60,000 and about 80% of these thoughts are negative.  Therefore it is important that we develop a habit of positive thinking so we don’t wear ourselves out with defeatist negative thinking.

When we are born, our thoughts are self-centered and negative.  Everything we see and hear has an effect on our emotional, mental, social and spiritual growth.  This is why it is so important that we plant positive seeds in our children and others around us, so they will learn and grow in a positive way.

What if we have grown up in a negative environment and nobody has planted positive seeds in our lives?  It is never too late to change and we can start planting our own positive seeds so we can become a good role model and have a positive effect on the people around us.

Everything we do is a reflection of how we think. Our positive and negative thoughts are shown in our words and actions. If we could all start planting positive seeds in the people around us, think about how beautiful this world could be.

How many positive seeds can you plant today?

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Do you compare yourself to others?

Many of us play the comparison game.  You know the game where you are always looking at other people and wishing you had their lives, their family, their house, their possessions, their looks, their money, their job and whatever else they have that you don’t have.  It is natural for us to look to others and see what they have but when we start comparing our lives with their lives, we almost always come up short.

The problem with this game is that we can become trapped in a negative mindset of bitterness, resentment and unhappiness.  We strive to become like other people and gain what they have at great cost to ourselves.  We live frustrated and  unfulfilled lives. not even realizing that it is a losing battle.

If we could see into the lives of those people we compare ourselves to, we would be surprised to see that they are also comparing themselves to others and wishing for something they didn’t have.  People who have lots of money are often lonely because they put money ahead of their personal relationships and have distanced themselves from family and friends.  People who have more possessions are often in debt and are struggling to pay their bills.  People who have better jobs often hate their work and wish they could do something else.

There will always be someone who is richer, smarter and better looking than we are.  We should celebrate our own strengths and abilities and look to others for inspiration and motivation.   We were created as unique individuals and we should never compare ourselves to others because this is a game we can never win and we will always feel empty.

Instead of comparing ourselves to people who have more than we do, we should compare ourselves to people in the world that have less than we do and be thankful for what we have.  Almost half the world lives on less than $3 day, many of them jobless, homeless and hungry.  It is sad that we want to have what other people have when we have so much already.  Being thankful is a great positive habit to develop and the only way to win the comparison game.  When we think about others instead of ourselves, we will find true happiness and peace.

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Worry is a waste of time

I used to worry about everything.  I was a real worrywart.  If you haven’t heard this term before, it refers to someone who worries without a cause.  We worry about almost anything; our families, our health, our job, money, the weather and everything in between.

Worrying is normal but some people carry it to an excess.  They may even avoid certain places, people and activities because they are worried about getting hurt or sick.

Excessive worrying can lead to stress and anxiety and make you physically ill.  It can also affect your appetite, your sleep, your relationships and your work.  This can lead to harmful lifestyle habits such as alcohol, drugs and smoking. Better to try and work on changing one bad habit (worrying) instead of adding more bad habits.

When we are faced with a situation that causes us to worry we need to consider whether or not there is anything we can do to change the situation If there is, then we should take action so we can stop worrying about it. If we can’t change the situation, then we need to try to release our worry by focusing on doing something positive.   Worrying will NOT change the outcome.

Write down your worries in a journal and forget about them. Writing things down is a great way to relieve stress. Then at the end of the day, sit down in a comfortable place and review your worries. How many actually turned out the way you expected?

Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.  Erma Bombeck

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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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