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.


Creating lists is a habit for some, an annoyance for others.  For me, I need lists to keep me focused on what I have to do.  Without lists, I am lost.  I forget appointments, ignore important tasks and miss a lot of details that need to be addressed.

Lists can jog our memories and help us deal with things from the past.  Lists can help us focus on the tasks at hand today and ensure that important things get done on time.  Lists can help us dream about the future and create simple goals.

Try these lists or make up some of your own.

1)  List all your accomplishments and how they made you feel.

2)  List the situations that make you laugh.

3)  List what you think about before you go to sleep at night.

4)  List all the qualities you like about yourself.

5)  List what you like to do when you are alone.

6)  List what you can’t live without.

7)  List the best gifts that you have received.

8)  List the things you’d like to do before you die.

9)  List the biggest turning points in your life.

1o) List the people who have influenced your life the most.





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Being positive may help beat depression

Depression is a growing problem that causes problems in every area of people’s lives.   The World Health Organization estimates that there are more than 100 million people in the world who suffer with depression and many of these are not receiving the proper treatment, if any at all.

Medications are the most common way to treat depression and in some cases it can be effective.  However, there are many people who don’t respond well to medications and others who don’t want to take anything at all.  Studies show that about one-third of patients will still remain depressed even while on medication.

Cognitive therapy has been known to help some people who are depressed.  This type of therapy helps people to recognize the negative thinking that is fueling their depression and correct their false beliefs through realistic thinking.

Other types of treatment for depression include acupuncture, exercise programs, herbal medicines and relaxation therapy.   These have limited success.

In studies done at the University of California and Duke Riverside Medical Centre, researchers have discovered a new treatment that has the potential to help people who don’t respond to medications.  This treatment is low-cost, less time-consuming, has no stigma, carries no side effects and has proven effective.  The treatment is named PAI for Positive Activity Interventions and it is based on the differences between happy and unhappy people.  It teaches people how to practice optimism, be thankful, meditate on positive feelings and perform acts of kindness.   They are still doing research but the results are very promising.  You can read about the study at the following link….  (sorry clicking on the link doesn’t work but you can copy and paste it)

From my own personal experience, I can say that positive thinking does work.  I was depressed for most of my life and looked at life with a negative perspective.   Medications helped me stay balanced for many years but I was still extremely unhappy.  I never expected anything good to happen in my life and had little hope for the future.  When I started practising positive thinking, I was able to see life from a different perspective and have developed a habit of being positive.  This has built my confidence and increased my esteem and led to the creation of my self-esteem project, I M Confident Niagara Canada.  Now I am able to help others develop their esteem through workshops, Confidence Coaching and written materials.

If you are feeling depressed, work hard at becoming more positive.   Visit my website for more information






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Falling is not fun

Did you know that falls are the second-leading cause of unintentional death? Not many people do.  Every day people fall in their homes which often leads to injury and possible death.  Working with seniors has made me very aware of how many things can cause a person to fall – loose or uneven flooring, slippery mats, loose railings, cracks, clutter.

In the United States, June is National Safety Month and they work hard to educate and encourage safe behaviour so slips, trips and falls can be avoided.  In Canada, we don’t have a specific month for safety awareness, however there are specific weeks during the years that bring safety issues to light.  In May we have the North American Occupational Safety and Health Week and in November we have Seniors Safety Week.

The American Recall Center has created a graphic that outlines how to prevent falls and possible traumatic injuries.  With help, we can educate our loved ones to keep their homes in a safer condition and live a healthier lifestyle.  Below is the graphic or you can read more by clicking on the following link…


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Misery loves company

misery loves companyThere is a lot of truth in this expression.  When people are miserable, they often gain some degree of comfort knowing that others around them are miserable too.

Being around negative people can often cause us to be negative ourselves if we are codependent on other people’s behaviour and don’t have control over our emotions.

We should never allow anyone to make us unhappy.   Many people do not even realize that they can control their emotions and remain happy even in difficult situations.  Just because a family member or friend is unhappy, it does not mean that we have to be unhappy.   We have the choice as to what kind of attitude we will have and it doesn’t have to be the same as the people around us.    We have to change from a negative mindset to a positive mindset.

When confronted by negative people who are angry, upset or miserable, remain calm.   Let the person know that you love them and will support them, but that you will not allow their negative thinking to affect your life.   They have to realize that they cannot control your emotions and understand that they need to try to control their own emotions.

Try to surround yourself with positive people, places and things so you can build your own confidence and strengthen your esteem.   Replace any bad habits with good habits and keep practicing every day.   Then you can be a good example for the negative people around you and have a positive influence on their attitude.

What kind of attitude do you have?  Are you a miserable person or a joyful person?  Do you need an attitude adjustment?  Attitudes can be catching.  What are people catching from you?


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Successful relationships

What is the key to a happy and success relationship or marriage?  The answer is simple, but not always easy to manage.  All it takes is a total commitment to meeting the other person’s needs while maintaining your own physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

couple - not communicatingThe world focuses on commitment to self and trying to make ourselves happy, but this leaves us empty and continually searching for something that is missing from our lives.  If we focus on helping other people and making them happy, we will feel fulfilled  and happiness will just come to us.couple - communicating

This does not mean that we have to be another person’s doormat and cater to their every needs, especially if we are allowing them to hurt us in any way.  We have to always make sure we are doing the right thing both for them and ourselves.

Any successful relationship depends on how much love and respect is shown by both sides.  Sometimes this is not always in balance but if we continue to be loving and set a good example, it often affects the other person in a positive way.

We are all different and sometimes we are annoying and irritating to each other so it is important that we don’t allow these differences to destroy our relationships.

What do you focus on?  Yourself or others?  Your answer will tell you what kind of relationships you have.



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Getting into the debt trap

It is so easy today to get into debt.  Buying on credit, careless spending and improper financial planning can easily cause damage to your finances and throw you into the debt trap.  Once you are caught, it is very hard to get back on track again.

Many people get into debt because they have developed an entitlement mindset.  They believe that they deserve to have everything they want.  It doesn’t really matter if they have enough cash to pay for what they want, they will just put it on credit and pay for it later.   Some people will even ignore the needs of their families and waste money on things they don’t need instead of buying food and paying the bills.

The world tries to trap us with these encouraging statements:  you deserve the best, shop till you drop, just charge it, treat yourself, pay later.  This sounds like a good idea until the credit card statements come and you can’t even pay the minimum amount.

Many of the things we buy are things we don’t even need.  I’ve bought things in the past that I’ve put in a cupboard or drawer and forgotten about.  Then years later when I’m cleaning, I find the item with the price tag still attached and wonder why I even bought it.

Have you ever considered how much money you spend on stuff you don’t really need?  There is a huge difference between needs and wants.  We sometimes confuse these 2 words.  Often we say we need something and believe that it is important when actually it is only something we want and could do without.   I wanted to see how much money I spent on things I don’t really need and this is what I figured out:

  • COFFEE – If you buy 2 coffees a day at $1.60 – in one year you will spend $1168.00.
  • EATING OUT – If you eat out at a restaurant once a week and spend $80.00 – in one year you will spend $4160.
  • TAKE OUT – If you bring home food once a week and spend $40 – in one year you will spend $2080.
  • CLOTHING – If you buy 1 new item of clothing each week and spend $50 – in one year you will spend $2600.
  • GROCERIES – If you buy extra snacks, sweets and treats each week when you buy groceries and spend $40 – in one year you will spend $2080.

These are just a few of the things that I used to buy that I didn’t really need, but I was convinced that they were necessary.  It didn’t seem like much money was being spent, but when I started figuring out the costs for a year, I was amazed.  The total was over $12,000!!!  For items like food and clothing!!  Then you also have to consider the interest being paid on these items.

Digging yourself into debt is not fun and it takes a long time to recover.   Make sure you are spending your money wisely.   Don’t get yourself into a debt trap.

For great financial advice, check out Dave Ramsey, who is a radio host and a trusted voice on money.  He is a best-selling author and his books are awesome.  Check out his website at





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Who is your worst enemy?

Everyone, at some point in their lives, has had at least one or more persons that they would consider to be enemies.  If I asked you who your worst enemy was, what would be your answer?

Actually, you may not realize it, but your worst enemy is probably yourself.  Other people hurt us with their words or actions but we hurt ourselves more than anyone with our own negative thinking.  Just listen to the way you talk to yourself.  Do any of these sound familiar?

  • I’m a loser
  • I’m stupid
  • I’m worthless
  • I can’t do anything right
  • Nothing good will ever happen to me
  • Nobody likes me

I’ve said all of these things to myself and I actually believed them.  Why?  Because people in my life said them to me – parents, friends, bullies.   I didn’t realize that I didn’t have to believe what people said to me.  Sadly, I thought they were right and I was wrong.   These people became my enemies and I didn’t know that my worst enemy followed me around everywhere I went.

Thankfully I finally discovered that none of these things were true.  By building my confidence and increasing my self-esteem, I learned to accept myself for who I was.  Now I realize that I have a lot of great abilities and skills that make me a person of value.  We all need to realize that what people say to us is not always the truth and we should not just allow their careless words to penetrate our minds and hearts.

So who is your worst enemy?  If the answer is YOU, then you need to make some positive changes in your life.  Replace your negative thoughts with positive thoughts.   Accept yourself despite your flaws and imperfections.  Surround yourself with positive people, places and things that lift you up.    Need some help?  Visit my website at for information about building confidence and increasing esteem.   For some hands-on information and exercises, go to the Bookstore page where you can order my Caterpillar to Butterfly Self-Esteem Workbook.


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Are you an honest person?

girl thinkingIf I asked you whether or not you were an honest person, what would your reply be?  Yes.  No.  Maybe.  I’m not sure.

The dictionary states that honesty is:

  • a quality of being upright and fair
  • being truthful and sincere
  • having freedom from being deceitful or fraudulent
  • having integrity and honour

Do you fulfill all these qualities?  Some people think they are honest but if they really looked deep inside themselves they would discover some things that really don’t measure up to being totally honest.

Here is a short quiz on honesty.

  1. Have you ever called in sick to work when you were feeling okay?   O Yes   O No
  2. Have you ever cheated on a test?  O Yes  O No
  3. If you got home after buying groceries and discovered that you had not paid for an item costing $10, would you just be happy that you saved some money?  O Yes  O No
  4. Are you a business person who does cash jobs to avoid paying taxes?  O Yes  O No
  5. Would you keep a wallet that you found containing $100?  O Yes  O No
  6. Do you take home pens and other items from work?  O Yes  O No
  7. Do you cheat on your income tax?  O Yes  O No
  8. Do you tell lies about yourself to get other people to admire you?  O Yes  O No
  9. Have you ever used someone else’s unprotected internet access?  O Yes  O No
  10. If a cashier gave you too much change would you just leave and not say anything?  O Yes  O No

Count up the YES and NO answers.  How did you score?  The more NO answers you have, the more honest you are.   The more YES answers, the more dishonest you are.  Did your answers surprise you?  Did you think you were an honest person and now have doubts?

What would you do if you found out your child had cheated on an examination?  What if your child was caught stealing or lying?  Would you accept this as being OKAY??   Your children learn their behaviours and attitudes from the people around them.  Are you teaching them how to be honest and are you following your own advice?

It is hard to be totally honest in a world that promotes deception, half-truths, white lies, exaggerations, cheating, lying and stealing.   We are led to believe that we have to be dishonest sometimes and that small things are unimportant.  We follow the example of others and compromise so we can fit in and be accepted.   We lose ourselves in a sea of dishonesty which just destroys our confidence and our ability to make good choices.

We have to stop ourselves from doing things that seem to make life easier and create a good habit of being honest.    This takes discipline and the ability to look at life from a positive perspective.   Being dishonest takes a lot of energy that can wear us down but being honest gives us positive energy.

Honesty makes you a more loving, responsible and reliable person that will gain the respect of other people.    Always try to be honest with yourself and others.


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Happy father’s day

father and sonHappy father’s day!  Today is a good day to celebrate being a father and having a father.  It is also a good day to reflect on what kind of father you are.

Do you set a good example for your children?   What are you teaching them through your words and actions?

Do you show:

  • love or hate
  • kindness or meanness
  • respect or disrespect
  • tolerance or intolerance
  • honesty or dishonesty
  • calmness or irritability
  • patience or anger
  • responsibility or irresponsibility

Children are listening to our words and watching our actions.  They are greatly influenced by what they hear and see.   Our bad habits can become their bad habits.   Our bad behaviours can become their bad behaviours.

Consider your own words and actions and make any changes so you can become the example that you want your children to follow.





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The value of reading books

Ever since I was a small child, I have enjoyed reading.  I’m sure this came naturally as my family were all readers.  Sometimes when I’m reading a book, I remember my father sitting in his rocking chair, reading a book.   He had an entire bookcase in his room, filled with books that he enjoyed reading over and over again.

Grandmother Reading with GranddaughterBooks can fill you with information.  They can take you to far-away places.  They can help you dream.  They can fuel your imagination.

Many people do not read books today and instead are just using the internet to find out information.   However, research clearly shows that reading books has advantages and when you teach your children to read, you are giving them a wonderful gift that will enrich their lives.  Reading will help your children:

  • become better readers
  • get better grades in school
  • help them use their imagination
  • become confident
  • become independent
  • understand emotions
  • increases their attention span
  • learn about other people and the world
  • learn how to relax and enjoy quiet time

When  your children are small, start reading stories to them.  This provides your child with a positive role model to follow.  Children love sitting close to you and listening to your words.  This tells them that they are important to you and that you enjoy spending time with them.  It establishes a close parent/child relationship and increases their self-esteem.