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.

An island shaped like a dolphin??

gallo lungo, the dolphin island, italyI saw a picture of this island on Facebook and my curious mind had to do some research.  This dolphin shaped island is part of an archipelago of little islands called the Sirenusas (sirens) or Gallos (roosters).  They are located off the Amalfi Coast in Southern Italy.  Greek mythology says that several sirens inhabited the islands having bodies of birds with human heads or mermaids.

The biggest island, Gallo Lungo, originally hosted a monastery and then a prison.  Over the years, responsibility of the island passed from hand to hand, including 2 Russian dancers who built their own private villas.   Apparently Elizabeth Taylor stayed there for 15 years with her many husbands.

Today the islands are home to 3 villas that are available to guests who are looking for an extravagant vacation.  If you are looking for something special and have several millions dollars to spare, the island is for rent or sale!




Not enough love as a child?

Do you feel that your parents didn’t give you enough love when you were a child?  Did they ignore you or treat you badly in any way?  Did they criticize everything you did or push you too hard to accomplish things?

Parenting is a difficult job and most parents are ill-prepared for being a parent.  They don’t take classes, read books or go to parenting seminars.  They aren’t being a bad parent intentionally, they just don’t know how to parent.  Most of us just “fly by the seat of our pants” using whatever methods we learned growing up, often making the same mistakes that their parents made, not really thinking about what we are doing.

If we haven’t received enough love as a child, we won’t understand how valuable we are and won’t be able to love ourselves.  This creates insecurities and fears that we carry with us through life and causes problems in our relationships.  If we don’t have love, we can’t give love and love is the key ingredient to a happy and successful life.

Did you receive love as a child?  Are you receiving love now?  Are you giving love?  If your answers are ‘no’, then you need to start building your esteem.   How?

  1.  Become aware of who you are.  Discover your abilities, skills and personality traits.   What do you enjoy doing?  What do you do well?  You are a unique and special individual.
  2. Accept your imperfections and flaws.  Focus on your positive qualities and not on the things you don’t like about yourself.   Everyone is flawed and imperfect, even those people that you think has everything all together.  Never compare yourself to anyone else, just be the best person you can be.
  3. Maintain a positive self-image.  Show other people that you are an awesome person and that you like yourself.   Be nice to other people and always be friendly especially with those who seem unhappy or withdrawn.  If you show confidence and give love to others, people will feel comfortable with you and you will get love back.

Just because you didn’t get love from other people, doesn’t mean you can’t start loving yourself and giving love to other people.  Treat yourself with respect and kindness.  You deserve it!

For more information on building esteem, visit my website at


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Next time

How often have you said this phrase?  If you are a procrastinator, you have probably said it a million times.  I know I have.  “I’ll do this next week.  We will go there next summer.  I’ll buy it next time.  I’ll come to your next game.”  Of course, next time usually doesn’t come.  It is always in the future.

We get so busy filling our lives with work and activities that we often ignore what is most important – our families, our close friends and even our quiet time.

When you are constantly thinking that you can accomplish something next time, it causes problems in your life.   You are always late.  You don’t show up.  You miss opportunities.  You promise that it will be better next time, but it isn’t.  You disappoint people and it often results in damaged or broken relationships.

Instead of filling your life with unmet future promises, don’t wait until the next time.  Determine what is really important in your life and DO IT NOW.

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What kind of habits do you have?  Good, bad, annoying?  Do they help you navigate life easier or do they cause you to stumble and fall?

Many of our habits are bad habits that stop us from having a happy and successful life.  They block us from achieving our goals, stop us from developing good relationships and cause harm to us physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Think about the habits that you have.  Some of our habits are not very obvious, but others are.   Do your habits help you or harm you?   Sit down with a pen and paper draw 2 columns titled good habits and bad habits.  Then determine which of your habits are good for you and which ones are bad for you.  For example:

Good habits – staying fit, eating healthy, being considerate, showing compassion, donate clothing, volunteer for a local organization, giving hugs, smiling at others, remembering special occasions

Bad habits – smoking, biting nails, getting angry, yelling at my kids, always being late, eating junk food, not sleeping enough, feeling depressed, using negative self-talk

Your list could be endless because we have so many habits that we never even think about.  But that is the problem.  We NEED to think about what we are doing and what we are saying.  Being consciously aware is the first step to making positive change.   Don’t stay stuck in bad habits.  Start thinking and work on eliminating those bad habits.

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Our false beliefs

Most of us live our lives believing things that are not true.   From early childhood, we hear and see things that are presented as the truth.  If you tell a small child that all dogs will bite, they will develop a false fear of all dogs.   If you tell a child they are stupid, they will grow up believing they can’t accomplish much in life.  If you tell a child that they have to get top marks in school or they will be a failure, they will have insecurities about their abilities.

We develop distorted ideas about ourselves and we search endlessly looking for the perfect life, when there is no such thing.  Nobody or nothing in this world is perfect!   We fill our days with endless activities, trying to accomplish as much as we can and accumulate as many possessions as we can cram into our houses.

Some of our false beliefs include:

  • Nobody loves or accepts me.  WHO doesn’t?  Everybody in the world?  Of course not, there is always somebody in the world that loves and accepts you.  Maybe the people around you right now don’t seem to, so get involved in a group with similar interests and make some new friends.  Besides, those people who you are trying to impress – you probably won’t even be around them in 5-10 years or even remember who they were.  Most people we want to like us are not even worth bothering about.
  • I’m too stupid to make it.  Make what?  What is IT referring to?  We all make this statement, but do we really think about what we are talking about.   And who told you that you were stupid?  Was it a response to a mistake you made or was someone just being mean?  Try to determine why you have labelled yourself this way and change your thinking.  We all do stupid things, but we are NOT stupid.  Find something specific (a goal) and then determine HOW or IF you can reach this goal.   When you know what the “IT” means, you can take action.
  • I just can’t measure up.  To who or what?  Are you playing the comparison game?  This is a dangerous game you can never win.  There will always be someone ahead of you at school, work or in the community.  Just remember, there is always someone behind you too.  So just work on building your own skills and don’t give up.
  • I’ll never be a success.  What do you consider to be a success?  Have people told you that you need to have a great job to be a success?  Lots of money?  Expensive cars?  Possessions?  The world pressures us into believing that we need to accumulate wealth and treasure to be successful but this isn’t true at all.  We can build up our own rich empire and be poor in relationships.   Or we can live on a modest income and be surrounded by people who love and support us.  It all depends on how you measure success.

What are your false beliefs?

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Sad, mad or glad?

Every day we are faced with choices.  In every situation, we have to decide what our reaction will be.  We can be sad; we can be mad; or we can be glad.

I’m sure we would all choose to be glad so why do we keep making bad choices that cause unhappiness or anger?  Often it is because we have developed a habit of looking at things from a negative perspective.  We may be so stuck in a negative rut that we don’t even know we can change how we feel.    The truth is, we can’t control our feelings but we can control how we react.   We need to be aware of our feelings and learn to manage them.

When a difficult situation arises, we need to stop for a few seconds and think before we just react.  The key is thinking and being aware of how we feel.  If we suddenly feel unhappy or angry, we can stop ourselves and think about the situation in a positive way.  This could prevent us from reacting badly and causing harm to ourselves and those around us.

So what choice will you make?  Will you choose to be sad, mad or glad?

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What is beauty?

If someone asked you to think about something beautiful, what would come to your mind?  A movie star, a shiny new car, a pair of shoes, a sunset, a baby?   There are many beautiful things in the world, but we often miss seeing them because of a universal image of beauty that is put in our minds through the media.

The dictionary describes beauty as something that is pleasing and impressive, a fine example or an excellent aspect.  Yet society has a different description, telling us that beauty is how someone looks on the outside when real beauty comes from within ourselves.

Both men and women have a twisted concept about what real beauty is and this creates most of our issues with self-esteem and body image.  We spend countless hours and lots of money hoping to attain an unrealistic image of something that is considered beautiful when all we have to do is appreciate the beauty that we already have.

Beauty is everything about a person that is pleasing and impressive.  Beauty is not perfection and perfection is not attainable in this imperfect world.  Beauty is not just how we look on the outside but also how we look on the inside.  A beautiful character is much more important and is reflected through our words and actions.  When we  have inner beauty, it shines brightly for everyone to see and shows people that we have confidence and good esteem.

We are ALL beautiful in our own way and have something that is pleasing or excellent about us.  Some of us have shiny hair, expressive eyes or a beautiful smile.  Some have warm personalities or amazing talents.   Some of us have an excellent way of communicating with others or making them feel loved and special.   No matter what you have believed in the past or what people have told you, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!!  Don’t believe the lies that society is telling you.  Start building confidence and increasing your esteem.   Believe in yourself and start helping others believe in themselves.

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. ~Confucius

Don’t let insecurity ruin the beauty you were born with. ~Author Unknown

If you feel beautiful, then you are. Even if you don’t, you still are. ~Terri Guillemets

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What is a friend?

The dictionary describes a friend as ‘someone you like and enjoy being with, someone who helps and supports you’.   I agree with this definition if it refers to a casual friend but there is a lot more to being a real friend.

Friendship is something that we all treasure and it is important to have friends but you have to be careful who you surround yourself with.   Having ‘good’ friends will give you positive energy and help you feel good about yourself.  Having ‘bad’ friends will give you negative energy and make you feel bad about yourself.

So what is a real friend?  It is someone who:

  • loves you despite your flaws and imperfections
  • you can completely trust
  • you enjoy spending time with
  • helps you feel good about yourself
  • can share secrets that are not repeated to anyone
  • disagree with you but still talk about things
  • encourages and supports you
  • you have fun with
  • sticks up for you even when others try to hurt you
  • is always there for you even when you are sick or hurt
  • accepts the differences you both have
  • admits they are wrong and makes amends
  • forgives you when you do something wrong

Relationships are tough and you will never find a perfect friend that totally fills this description.  There will be times when even a real friend hurts you with their words or actions and you will do the same thing.  However all of these things are important in a friendship and we should always try our best to be a good friend.

Think about your friends and see how close they fit this description.  If they don’t fit at all, then they probably aren’t a good friend and you shouldn’t be spending a lot of time with them.  Surround yourself with people who have positive attributes like kindness, respect and integrity.  Good friends are sometimes hard to find but it is better to have 1 good friend who cares about you and makes you feel good than 25 friends who put you down and make you feel bad.


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Do you hide behind a wall of pain?

When someone asks how you are doing, what is your answer?  Fine, okay, doing good?  Or do you really tell them how you feel?

Many people are good at putting on a happy face and telling others that everything is okay, when really they are falling apart inside.   They hide behind a wall that covers up their emotional pain and don’t allow anyone to know how they are feeling.  They isolate themselves to avoid the risk of getting hurt again.

Emotional pain comes from having negative beliefs about ourselves.  We can feel worthless, rejected, abandoned, misunderstood, unloved, disrespected, inadequate, stupid and unappreciated.   These negative beliefs can cause us to have insecurities, fears, lack of trust, resentment, bitterness, relationship issues and a general inability to cope with life.

Instead of hiding behind a wall of pain, we need to try to understand why we allow others to hurt us and change the way we look at life.  Most people are not ‘out to get us’ or cause pain in our lives.  They have likely been hurt themselves and are just passing on their pain.  We do NOT have to allow them to treat us badly.   We need to express how we feel and ask for respect.  Hiding behind a wall WILL keep others out but it is also keeping us trapped inside our self-imposed prison of pain and stopping us from having any good relationships.

We allow others to hurt us but we don’t have to.  This is a decision we make.  We can run from our feelings, hide our feelings or deny our feelings but this will never give us freedom.  We need to face our pain and work through it so we can tear down any walls we have made.

There is no way we can avoid pain in our lives.   People will always hurt us with their words and actions because we are all different.  Try to be understanding of what other people are going through.   We have to be confident and learn to look at life with a positive perspective.

Do you hide behind a wall of pain?




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10 Important things to remember

There are lots of important things in life, but some are only important in the present and will have no importance in the future.  When you only focus on things that are important right now, you will likely have regrets.  Here are 10 things that I have found to be very important:

  • be a positive role model
  • watch your words, they can hurt or heal
  • you cannot change others, only yourself
  • always try to do the best you can
  • show love and kindness to others
  • appreciate the differences in people
  • take time to help others
  • start your day with positive affirmations
  • be thankful for what you have
  • use positive self-talk

What are some of the things that are important to you?

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