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.

It’s the thought that counts! Really?

I’m not sure where this statement originated but I’ve heard it many times and have even used it myself without considering what it really means.  Dictionaries tell us that it refers to gift giving and that it isn’t really important how much a gift costs; the importance is found in the feeling or thought from the giver.

However, I’m not sure I totally agree with this idea.  I do believe that cost is unimportant when it comes to gift-giving and that someone can give me a gift that is right from their heart.  People spend way too much money on stuff they don’t need today and I certainly don’t like when someone spends a lot of money on me.  Yet, when I get a gift from someone, how do I know how much thought is behind it.  Unless someone shows me how they feel through their actions or words, I certainly can’t read their mind, so I obviously have no idea how they feel.  Maybe they did think a lot about the gift or maybe they didn’t.  People can easily pick up items without much thought or effort.

What we truly care about another person we need to express what we are feeling.  Just assuming that they know we love and care for them is not enough.  Our thoughts are just our thoughts and nobody will even know what is going on in our minds unless we express ourselves.  Children especially need to be reminded of our love or they will not build confidence or see their value.

So next time you give someone a gift make sure they know how you feel.  The thought doesn’t count – people do.

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Who are you trying to impress?

Many of us spend our entire lives trying to impress other people.  We spend money on things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like or even know.  We want to look good so we can be well received by others at work, school or anywhere we go in the community.  There is certainly nothing wrong with wanting to do good job and get positive feedback from other people but when we place our value on what other people think, we are never going to feel good about ourselves.  Trying to impress others is giving our power to them and will ultimately lead to stress and frustration.

Our value does NOT come from what we have or what we do.  Our value comes from who we are!  Getting validation or acknowledgment from others is nice but this should never replace how we feel about ourselves.  Instead of wasting time and energy trying to impress others, we should be trying to impress ourselves.  This means we should just try to be a better person than we were yesterday.  Be authentic to yourself and work on improving your character and building confidence.  When you accomplish something, give yourself a big pat on the back and tell yourself what a great job you did.  Don’t wait for others make you feel valuable – do it yourself!  You are worth it!

 

 

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Increasing minimum wage in Ontario

I’m listening to Kathleen Wynne talking about labour changes and increasing minimum wage.  Yes, people would certainly like to make more money but there is no mention of all the problems this will cause.

  • There will always be a minimum wage no matter if it is $15 or $50.  Someone will always be at the bottom of the scale and there will always be people struggling to make ends meet.
  • When wages increase, prices increase so people will have more income but will be spending more on food, services, rent, etc, etc. – so they really won’t be any further ahead
  • Many small companies who pay minimum wage are barely making a living themselves and if the wages increase they will be forced to close their companies and then they will be struggling to make a living
  • Employees working for small companies will likely be facing unemployment and be getting less money than working at minimum wage
  • The government will be have a higher percentage of people collecting unemployment and welfare which will add to debt

Who wins by raising the minimum wage??

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How to have a good day

Almost every day can be a good day if you put your mind to it.  You can get up every morning and walk through the day without really thinking about anything OR you can get up every morning and live purposefully by actually thinking about what is going on and taking positive action.

What is on your mind when you first wake up in the morning?  Worries, doubts, fears?  Why not replace this with anticipation, purpose?  Pursue happy thoughts before you even get up in the morning.  Say positive statements or affirmations that will help put you in a positive mindset.  Don’t let all those negative thoughts put you in a bad frame of mind or you will most certainly have a bad day.

  • “This is going to be a good day!”
  • “I am going to sing all the way to work today!”
  • “I am full of energy!”
  • “I can make a difference in someone’s life today!”
  • “I have an awesome family and friends!”

Never put yourself or anyone else down with negative thoughts or words.  They will come naturally as we are wired to be negative-minded.  But don’t let those negative thoughts float around in your head.  Be aware and catch them quickly before they become negative words and actions.

You CAN have a good day.  Make sure you put your mind to it first thing in the morning!

 

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Focus on the good, not on the bad

Whatever you focus on in life, whatever you put most of your attention towards, this will become the direction of your life.  If you spend most of your time focused on the world’s problems, you will never notice all the good things in life.   There are so many things that can bring us joy:  a child’s laughter, a friendly smile, a beautiful flower, raindrops, a powerful song, a kind word.

We should always be aware of what is going on around us but we should not spend most of our time focusing on our problems.  What does this accomplish?  Absolutely nothing.  It just keeps us feeling overwhelmed with unrest, bitterness, grief, frustration and undoubtedly a lack of hope for anything better.

Instead of wasting our energy focusing on negative things, we should use our energy on trying to become a better person and helping those around us who are struggling.  This is how we can find happiness in our own lives and bring happiness into the lives of others.  Don’t just accept all the problems in the world, try to do your part to make things better.  Here are some ideas that can help you:

  • make a list of things that make you smile
  • think of someone who makes you feel good and give them a call today
  • take someone out for coffee
  • watch a funny movie
  • write down your accomplishments (work, school, volunteering)
  • take a walk and admire the beautiful flowers and scenery
  • take some time to visit a lonely neighbour
  • tell a family member that you love them
  • sit in a quiet place and remember happy past events
  • find out about some local fun events and make plans to attend
  • join an activity group
  • get up and dance!!

Focusing on the good stuff in life will help bring happiness.  Focusing on the bad stuff in life will bring misery.  How do you want to live?

 

 

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Are you an elephant?

If you have ever been to a circus, you may have noticed the elephants just standing passively with a small rope tied around their front leg.   Did you wonder why these large creatures don’t run away and find their freedom?

When elephants are going to be used for a circus, they start conditioning them to believe a lie.  When they are very young and small, they tie them with a rope that is strong enough to hold them and when they try to walk away, they can’t.  They naturally try to pull but they aren’t strong enough to break the rope so eventually they stop resisting and stay within the bounds of the rope. As they grow, the elephants could easily break free from their bonds but their self-defeating beliefs keep them prisoner.  They do not realize how powerful they really are.

Many of us are like these elephants, held back by a self-defeating belief that simply is not true.  We hear things when we are children like: “You aren’t good enough.  You aren’t smart enough.  You will never amount to anything.”  We get stuck in these false beliefs and they often hold us back from using our abilities and pursuing our goals.

Are you an elephant?  Are you being held back by a limiting belief?  Many of our beliefs about ourselves are not true at all.  Discover your own abilities, skills and characteristics and fly like a butterfly!

 

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A game plan for happiness

If you could have anything you want in the world, what would that be?  A new car? A better job? An all-expenses paid vacation?  Do you really think any of these will bring happiness and success into your life?  Sadly none of these things can provide you with lasting happiness.  They may temporarily put a smile on your face and some excitement in your life but these will be short-lived.  Nothing in this world can provide you with happiness and success unless you create a game plan for happiness.  What does this involve?

  • Change any negative thinking into positive thinking.  When you have negative thoughts, they will keep you from enjoying your life.  Negative thinking is very destructive and can result in physical illnesses, mental issues, workplace problems and relationship breakdowns.   Thinking positive thoughts will change the way you see other people and help you deal with difficult situations.  Saying positive affirmations or positive statements on a daily basis is a great way to create a habit of positive thinking.
  • Join an activity group or take a course where you can keep your mind and body active.
  • Volunteer for a local organization.  Helping others has been proven to benefit your mind, body and soul.
  • Lower your expectations.  We tend to expect more of others than they can give and then we are disappointed. We also expect more of ourselves than we can do and this leaves us frustrated.  By lowering our expectations to a realistic level will help us feel less stressed.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others and just try to be the best person you can be.  Use your unique abilities and special strengths and be the confident person you were created to be.
  • Love other people.  When we feel anger, bitterness , resentment or hatred towards other people, we cannot be happy.  If we can try to love everyone we know, we will feel happier and have a more successful life.  This can be hard when people are difficult or hurtful but it is possible when we make it a habit to be loving and forgiving.

Happiness is possible when we have the right attitude towards life.  Make a commitment to developing a positive perspective and work at it daily.  You will reap the rewards!!

Positive thinking will let you use the ability which you have and that is awesome.  ~Zig Ziglar

 

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Create a more positive environment

What are you surrounded with?  Are you aware that our environment can have a huge influence on the way we feel about ourselves and life in general?  When we are surrounded by people and things that make us feel bad or remind us of some unhappy event, we are more likely to feel sadness or frustration.   Think about a time when you were with someone who constantly complained about something.  Did it have a positive or negative effect on you?  Think about a time when you were forced into attending a family event where you knew there would be a lot of gossiping and arguing.  Did it have a positive or negative effect on you?

Sometimes we are unable to do anything about the environment we live or work in.  However, we can take steps to increase the positives and eliminate or decrease the negatives.  Here are some ideas:

  • Choose carefully who you spend time with.  Do a checklist of your family and friends.  Which ones encourage you and make you feel good?  Which ones drag you down and make you feel bad?  It isn’t always possible to detach yourself from negative family members but you can cut down on the time you spend with them.  As for your friends, if they are causing pain or distress, it may be time to cut ties.
  • Always try to be a positive influence on those around you.  There may be negative people who attend school with you or work with you but you can try your best to provide a smile and a friendly attitude.  Joining their negativity will just keep everyone around you in a bad mood.
  • Is your living space comfortable, cheerful and bright or is it dark and cluttered?  When you go into your home do you smile or feel stressed?  Decorate with bright colours.  Put up pictures that make you smile and plaques with positive statements.
  • Does your workspace help you focus on being positive?  Ask if you can put up some pictures, wall plaques or wall decals or add some colourful accessories to your office, a lunchroom, a hallway, a washroom.  Get your co-workers involved and see how it affects the attitude of everyone where you work.
  • What do you see when you first open your eyes in the morning?  An inspirational wall decal at the bottom of your bed is a great way to uplift your spirits!  There are thousands to choose from.  Here are a few: ‘Be the reason someone smiles today.  You are amazing and don’t forget it.  Never give up on your dreams.  You are stronger than you think.’

You can do a lot of things to make your environment more positive.  All it takes is a little imagination and some effort.  Do whatever you can to brighten up your life!  You deserve it!

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Can’t Won’t Shouldn’t

How often do you say these negative words?  I can’t….  I won’t….  I shouldn’t.  You can fill in the blank but I’m sure you will catch yourself saying these words if you pay attention to what you are thinking and what comes out of your mouth.

  • I can’t help that I am feeling depressed.
  • I won’t try to do that because it will make me look stupid.
  • I shouldn’t be here because I don’t know anything.

Many times we say things that are causing us to think negatively and we don’t even realize it.  We say words that are defeating and discouraging.  Our brains are wired to have a negative bias, so unless we work hard to become more positive in our thinking, we will become stuck in a bad habit that will have a negative effect on our lives.

Try changing the way you talk to yourself.  Take a look at the above examples reworded:

  • I feel depressed but I CAN try to change the way I think.
  • I feel stupid but I WILL try my best and if I fail, I will try again.
  • I don’t think I know much but I SHOULD be here because I want to learn and grow.

Which set of statements push you forward and which drag you down?  If we convince ourselves that we are unable to do something or change the way we feel, there is a 100% chance that we will stay stuck in a pattern of negative thinking.  However, if we change the words we use and develop a positive perspective, we have much better chance of something good happening.

 

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Stamp out that bad habit!

We all have bad habits.  Some are just annoying like nail-biting or leaving wet towels on the floor but some are serious like smoking or taking illegal drugs.  The more you focus on a bad habit, the stronger it has a hold on you and the more difficult it is to get rid of.   However, every habit can be broken if you have a deep enough desire to break it. Here are the steps to breaking a habit:

  1. First you need to figure out why you have this habit.  Does a person or situation cause you to do this?  When did it start?  How did you feel when you started doing this?  How do you feel about yourself now?  It is important to know if there are any triggers that keep you doing this habit.  Be consciously aware of what you are doing and when you are doing it.
  2. Then you should record your thoughts in a journal.  Write down your habits, the attached emotions, events, people, anything that pertains to the habit.  What needs to be changed or eliminated?
  3. Find a replacement for your habit or create a reminder that you can’t avoid.  If you bite your nails, keep gum  handy for when you realize your fingers are in your mouth.  If you leave wet towels on the floor, put a note on the bathroom mirror to remind you to pick them up.  If you click your pen, buy straight pens instead of ones that click.  If you are constantly talking or texting on your cell phone, keep it in your pocket or purse instead of carrying it around with you.

The more action you take to stop those bad or annoying habits, the sooner you will be able to break them.  You can either take control of your habits or allow them to control you.  The choice is yours.  Stamp out those bad habits!!

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