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.

Boost esteem with kindness

clip couple looking at cardWhen someone treats you with kindness, how do you feel?  Does it fill you with warmth and happiness?   How about when you treat someone else with kindness?  Does it produce the same results?  Kindness has benefits for both the receiver and the giver.

Research shows that acts of kindness can actually cause a “helpers high” due to a release of endorphins which are the body’s natural pain-killers.  After the rush of euphoria, there is a period of calmness and feeling of emotional well-being.  This can improve health issues, lower stress, increase energy and create a positive outlook on life.

Kindness is a good way to help boost esteem in others.  If we say kind words and do nice things, it will make people feel good about themselves.  It shows that we care about them and that they have value.  Here are some ideas:

  • Smile and say hello
  • Make a sincere compliment (Your hair looks lovely today/I like your outfit.)
  • Send them a handwritten card or letter
  • Give a meaningful touch (gentle hug, pat on the back, handshake)
  • Say something good about the person in front of others (John did such a good job helping me clean the garage today.)
  • Be encouraging and supportive
  • Help them with a task

Kindness can also boost esteem in yourself.  Always use positive words when talking to yourself (either out loud or in your mind).  Never criticize or tear yourself down.   Here are some ideas:

  • I’m not very fast but always do the best I can
  • Helping other people makes me feel good
  • I made a mistake, but I learned something new and I’ll do better next time
  • I may not be good playing sports, but I sure like watching them.
  • People make fun of my clothing but I like my own styles and I feel comfortable

Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you – not because they are nice, but because you are.  ~Author Unknown
Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.  ~Mark Twain
Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns.  ~Author Unknown
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted” ~ Aesop
Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.  ~Seneca


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Our emotional addictions

4 hurt arguingWhen we hear the word ‘addiction’, most people instantly think about alcohol, drugs or tobacco.  However we can also be addicted to many other things including our emotions.

An emotion is a chemical response to something, a strong feeling that usually causes a physical effect such as excitement, fear or anger.  Every day we feel numerous emotions that may result in something positive happening or something negative happening.  Emotions are a natural and necessary part of life.   They are neither right or wrong, they just happen.  We can’t stop or control our emotions but we can control how we react to our emotions.

Positive emotions evoke feelings of happiness, excitement or peace.  Negative emotions evoke feelings of resentment, fear or anger.   However when we do not deal with our emotions properly, they can become out of control.  Emotions can become addictions that will start to control us.

So many people today are addicted to anger, fear, resentment, depression and other negative emotions.  This causes problems in our relationships, at work, at school and everywhere we go.

Ask yourself:

  • What emotions do I feel most strongly?
  • How do other people feel when I react badly from any negative emotions?
  • How do I feel when I react badly from any negative emotions?
  • Am I addicted to anger, fear, etc?
  • Are my emotions under control?
  • Do my emotions control me?

It is important that we try to overcome any negative emotional addictions so they don’t destroy us.  If you want to overcome a negative emotional addiction, you need to make a commitment to change.

  • take an honest evaluation of your emotions – which ones are hurting you and which ones are helping you
  • get others to support you – find people who are encouraging and understanding
  • find information from various sources on how to break bad habits – research, read books, talk to professionals
  • focus on the positives – say daily positive affirmations, use positive self-talk
  • when you have a negative emotion – stop and think before you react
  • write your thoughts and emotions in a daily journal – take a few minutes at the end of each day to reflect on them
  • create some positive emotional addictions (love, generosity, compassion)

Let’s not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives and we obey them without realizing it.  ~Vincent Van Gogh, 1889




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Re-wire your thinking

brainDid you realize that we are wired to have negative thoughts?  Research shows that we think about 50,000 to 60,ooo thoughts a day and about 80% are negative.  Wow!  That’s a lot of negative thinking!  No wonder our lives are so difficult!

Many of our negative thoughts come from what we have heard in the past.  Other people may have told us that we aren’t good enough and made negative comments about our looks and abilities which gets stuck in our brains.  Then we keep repeating these negative words over and over again like a tape recorder, saying many of the same words day after day.   These words become beliefs to us and in most cases they are not even true!

Negative thoughts are like poison, causing us to worry, complain, dwell on bad things, judge others, get upset, become angry and feel depressed or stressed among other things.  When we first get up in the morning, our minds are already processing negative thoughts and this will likely continue on for the rest of the day UNLESS we do something to change our thinking.

We can change our negative thoughts by:

  • focusing on our words
  • consciously being aware of what we are saying
  • challenging what we hear and not believing everything that is said to us
  • changing any negative words into positive words
  • practice saying positive statements
  • building confidence and increasing our esteem

We have to realize that people will always say things that are not true because they may not be thinking clearly, they might be angry, they might not realize what they are saying or they may have been hurt by something else.  Just think about how many times you have said something that you didn’t really mean.  I often said things to my children (and other people) that were stupid and insensitive mainly because I was angry or didn’t realize the impact my words would have.

It is important that we carefully choose our words both to others and to ourselves.  Negative words and negative thinking can be destructive, but positive words and positive thinking can be beneficial and provide peaceful, calming effects on everyone.

Changing your thinking isn’t an easy task.  It takes time and patience but it is certainly worth the effort.   When I allowed my negative thinking to control my life, everything was SO difficult (daily life, work, relationships, marriage, family).  Now that I work hard every day focusing on the positives, life is a lot easier.  I’ve noticed the following benefits:

  • less stress
  • more peace
  • better relationships
  • feel happier
  • like spending time with self
  • easier to deal with problems
  • don’t feel sick all the time
  • more energy
  • positive attitude
  • less complaining
  • accomplish more
  • able to influence others in a positive way

Do yourself a favour and re-wire your thinking!




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To Read When You’re Alone

This is a wonderful story about how a mother showed unconditional love to her teenage son. Our children need to know that we love them, are proud of them and that we are there for them no matter what. The teen years are especially difficult and we need to keep the lines of communication open. This is a wonderful way to connect when verbal communication has broken down.

Morning Story and Dilbert

Morning Story and Dilbert Vintage Dilbert
February 21, 1991

I was 13 years old. My family had moved to Southern California from North Florida a year before. I hit adolescence with a vengeance. I was angry and rebellious, with little regard for anything my parents had to say, particularly if it had to do with me. Like so many teenagers, I struggled to escape from anything that didn’t agree with my picture of the world. A “brilliant without need of guidance” kid, I rejected any overt offering of love. In fact, I got angry at the mention of the word love.

One night, after a particularly difficult day, I stormed into my room, shut the door and got into bed. As I lay down in the privacy of my bed, my hands slipped under my pillow. There was an envelope. I pulled it out and on the envelope it said, “To read when you’re…

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You can’t teach an old dog new tricks

clip dog & bookThis well-known quote was trying to convey the message that older dogs and people don’t learn as well as younger people.  This has a lot of truth in it because when we are younger we do tend to learn faster and easier.  However this doesn’t mean that you should stop trying to learn new things as you get older.  It may not be as easy but it is always possible and the learning process is very necessary if we want our minds and bodies to stay healthy.

Many people in their senior years take courses in a variety of subjects and often excel when they have a strong interest in a particular area.  People in their 50’s, 60’s and 70’s take singing or dancing lessons, interest courses and join fitness clubs.  Others pursue deeper topics and take courses in law, business or history.

It doesn’t matter what age you are, you should always try to learn something new every day.

  • Start reading some motivational and educational books so you can broaden your knowledge base
  • Think about what do you enjoy doing and join a group or take a course
  • Is there something that you wanted to do in the past but never got a chance to pursue it?  Would it be possible to do it now?
  • Check out some local organizations and see if you can volunteer some time.  This is a great learning opportunity with some valuable paybacks!

Learning is growing and we should never stop doing either.   You definitely can teach an old dog new tricks!



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Write it down

pencil and paperDo you have a habit of forgetting things?  I’ve always had a problem with short-term memory and I struggle to remember the simplest things.  Names, phone numbers, appointments, a medication, a location can become lost in the busyness of the day.  My mind constantly races from one thought to another and I get distracted easily.  Focusing on one thing at time is really hard.

In order to combat this problem, I’ve found it very helpful to write things down and I know from research that this has been a proven way to help organize your thoughts.

You can write your thoughts on a to-do list, in a journal or day book, on a calendar, on sticky notes, in your computer or on your phone.  Use whatever method or combination is best for you.

Writing things down has many benefits:

  • you won’t forget to do something
  • you can organize your thoughts
  • you will have less stress
  • you can analyze your words and make necessary changes
  • you can eliminate any unnecessary tasks
  • you can focus on what is important
  • easier to understand your thoughts

If you have trouble remembering or organizing your life, try writing things down for the next 30 days and see if it helps.  I’m sure you will notice some positive changes.

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I’ve had enough of facebook

lady watching videoFacebook is a great place to keep up to date with family and friends, sharing photos, interesting articles and important information.  However, Facebook can also be a place where people gossip about others, voice their anger and show inappropriate photos.   For myself, I keep a minimum of ‘friends’ and also ‘like’ a few pages with content that doesn’t need a rating to be seen by all ages.   Yet even though I limit my account, I still get information that I really don’t want to see.

A couple of days ago I watched a FB video that was done by a family member and it was the last straw for me.  I’ve seen enough sexual content, violence, rude pictures and coarse language.  I can just go anywhere in public and see enough of those things.  So I’ve closed my account until I decided whether or not to cancel it permanently.

People should be careful what they post on Facebook because it shows something about their character.   Everything we say and do is observed by others and it speaks volumes about who we are.  Making poor choices in posting inappropriate photos or saying rude comments at the expense of other people, will show that we are very selfish and don’t care if we hurt someone else.  Creating videos that can harm ourselves and be a poor example to other people will show that we lack responsibility and maturity.

We should always try to be a good example to others so we can influence them in a positive way, especially our children.   It doesn’t matter if you are in a public place surrounded by lots of people or sitting alone at your computer, people can be influenced by your words and actions.  Think carefully before you speak, write or take action.  Once words are released, they can’t be taken back.   Some things may seem like a good idea at the time or be funny in the moment, but several weeks, months or years down the road, you may not look at the situation in the same way.   Make sure you are saying and doing something that is of value and not something that can cause harm to yourself or other people.


The battle inside of us

wolfDid you know that we all have a battle going on inside of us?  It is a battle between right and wrong.  A battle between good and evil.  A battle between love and hate.  Every day we have to make choices that will affect our lives and influence others in a positive or negative way.

There is a well-known Cherokee legend about this battle that is raging inside.  In the legend, an old Cherokee grandfather is teaching is grandson about life.  He tells the boy that he has a fight going on inside himself, a terrible fight between 2 wolves.  One of the wolves is evil and full of anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.  The other wolf is good and full of joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.  Then he tells the boy, “You have the same fight going on inside of you and so does every other person.”

The grandson thought about what his grandfather said and then asks, “Which wolf will win?”

The grandfather simply replies, “The one you feed”.

We all struggle with negative emotions and they are necessary for our survival, however if we dwell too much on negative emotions they can destroy us.  When we hold on to anger or hatred it wears us down and hurts us more than the person it is directed towards.  It is like drinking poison and hoping that our enemy will die.  It changes nothing but it holds us hostage.  Instead of feeding the wolf that is full of hatred, anger and all those other negative emotions, we should feed the wolf that is full of love, peace and all those other positive emotions.

Which wolf are you feeding? The good one or the evil one?

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Are you insecure?

Insecurity is reaching epidemic proportions today especially among women.  Research shows that about 75% of women are insecure about themselves in some way.  Women worry about everything.  We worry about how we look.  We worry what other people will think of us.  We worry that we will fail or look stupid.  We are always looking at other people to see if we measure up.  Men also feel these insecurities, however the percentage is not as high as women.

looking in mirrorWhen you look in the mirror, what do you see?  Flaws and imperfections?  Most of us focus on the negative aspects and fail to see our positive aspects.  Our beliefs about ourselves are rooted in how other people have treated us.  We form an opinion about our worth through other people’s words and actions.  However, this gives other people power over how we feel about ourselves and it does not define who we really are.

We are all born with unique strengths and abilities and we all have value.   When we look in the mirror, we should see someone who is worthy of love.  If we have been treated badly in the past, we need to work hard to overcome our feelings of insecurity and try to build confidence and strong self-esteem.

Feelings of insecurity can be overcome by making positive changes in your life.  This is not easy and it will take time.  You must:

  • commit daily to making changes
  • focus on the positives in your life
  • stop comparing yourself to other people
  • work hard on changing your negative thoughts into positive thoughts
  • be patient, change doesn’t come quickly
  • find people who can support you (trusted family, friends or professionals)
  • never give on yourself

If you have spent the first 20, 30, 40 or 50 years being insecure, you don’t have to feel this way any longer.  Start building some confidence today and soon you will be feeling good about yourself!  I know you can do it because I did!  Visit my website at for more information on building esteem.

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Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day

dog and pancakesHow do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?  Is it a special day for you or is it just another day?

Every year on February 14th, many people give cards, candy, flowers or some special gift to show a loved one how much they care.   Spouses or friends may arrange to have a special meal or a night out to celebrate this event.  Images of hearts and red flowers are seen in stores, restaurants and other public places.  Some people even choose to get married on Valentine’s Day.

It is great to see people engaging in loving activities but it seems such a shame that it only lasts for a day or so.  Many people have to be reminded to show love to the people around them and once Valentine’s Day is over, the love gets put on the back burner until next year.  Love should be a habit that we live every day.  We should make our loved ones feel special every day, not just one day a year.

Everyone has a love language – something that makes them feel special and important.  We often give love to others using our own love language and this doesn’t work very well.   We may feel loved when someone gives us a gift, but they may feel loved when we do something nice for them.  So if we give them a gift, they may not feel the love we want to share with them.  We need to find out what their love language is and try to show love to them every day.  By showing continuous love, it will make your relationships stronger,  it will make your marriage better and you will be happier!  Here are the 5 different love languages (as found in the book by Gary Chapman, The 5 Love Languages):

  • words of affirmation – encouragement, supporting and caring words
  • acts of service – doing something nice, a helping hand
  • receiving gifts – choosing something they like
  • quality time – spending time
  • physical touch – hug, kiss, gentle touch, high-five, handshake

You can visit the following website to discover what your love language is…

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