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.

How to confidently deal with bullies

Being bullied is certainly no fun but there are ways you can confidently deal with bullies and not allow their words or actions to hurt you.  This can be done by completely changing your perspective about the situation and yourself.

When we look at things with a negative perspective, we are expecting to have problems and get hurt.   We believe that people will treat us badly so we live with unrealistic expectations and leave ourselves open to being a target for bullies.  If we want bullies to leave us alone, we have to feel confident about ourselves and be able to counter their attacks.

Ask yourself why you are being bullied.  Is it because you:

  • lack confidence in yourself?
  • present yourself to others as being weak and insecure?
  • stay away from other people and hang out alone?
  • react emotionally when confronted?
  • allow others to treat you badly?

Once you know why you are being targeted, then you can start making positive changes.  Now let’s look at why bullies bully so you can look at the situation with a different perspective.

  • bullies pick on people who they see as being weaker than they are
  • bullies are often victims of violence or abuse themselves and feel powerless over their lives
  • bullies live in negative environments that discourage love, kindness and empathy so they don’t know how to treat people properly
  • bullies are full of fear, insecurity and are often cowards
  • bullies need to feel power over somebody

There is no excuse for the actions of bullies, however if we can understand that they are just acting out because they are hurting themselves we can stop allowing them to hurt us and instead feel sorry for the bully.  There is rarely anything personal going on when a bully hurts you.  It is just because someone has hurt them and they are just looking for someone to dump their pain on.

If you can become confident knowing that the bully is just lashing out at the world and not targeting you specifically, it can make it easier to deal with.  You don’t have to feel bad about their words or actions.  However you should take action, whether they have hurt you emotionally or physically.

When someone bullies you, don’t react in a negative way (crying, running away, saying something back in anger).  Instead do the following:

  • tell yourself that the bully is hurting you because someone has already hurt them and that you don’t have to take it personally
  • stay calm and walk away
  • tell someone you trust about the incident

Never allow another person to hurt you.  If you have done something mean or acted out inappropriately, you might have been responsible for their bullying and you should try to resolve the issue.  However, in most cases, bullying is just the result of someone acting out due their own personal pain and their target is rarely to blame.

 

 

 

 

 

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12 ways to teach your kids to be thankful

Teaching our children to have manners is important but teaching them to be thankful can benefit them in more ways than just saying ‘please and thank-you’.   Being thankful helps us live a better life because we are looking for the positives in life instead of the negatives.

Studies have shown that people who are thankful tend to be happier and more confident.  They are able to deal with difficult situations in a positive way and make better decisions.  They have better relationships and treat others with respect.  They are less likely to be depressed or anxious.

When children are taught to appreciate what they have and are able to understand that everything in life doesn’t come easily, they are less apt to be selfish, self-centered individuals.

So how can we teach our kids to be thankful?  Here are 10 suggestions:

  1. Be a thankful role model.  Children learn best from our example.  They are always watching us and will often imitate what they see.  Show them that you are thankful for all the wonderful things in your life.  Be polite to others people and show courtesy and respect.  “Thank-you for listening to me.”  “I’m so thankful for my nice warm bed.”  “Thanks for cleaning up your room.”
  2. Expect your children to show good manners.  Children should say please and thank-you.  They should sit at the table until everyone has finished their meal.  They should be quiet when an elderly family member is sleeping.   They should write thank-you letters when they receive a gift.  Gently remind your children when they forget to be polite.
  3. Have a special ‘thankful’ meal every week.  Start the meal with a simple grace and then ask everyone to share something that they are thankful for.
  4. Keep a gratitude journal.  Encourage your children to write down things they are thankful for and then  have a gratitude day where everyone can share their thoughts.
  5. Make a gratitude jar.  Write down things you are thankful for on slips of paper and put them in the jar.  Pick a special time to pull them out and read them.
  6. Play gratitude charades.  Have everyone think of something they are thankful for and act it out.  If you are thankful for having a puppy, walk on all fours.  If you are thankful for having good food to eat, pretend you are cooking.  Be creative.
  7. Tell your children how thankful you are that they are in your family.  Tell them how thankful you are for their smile, their hugs, their special way of doing (something).
  8. Refrain from giving your children too many material things and encourage them to save their allowance or get a job to pay for any special items they may want.  This teaches them to appreciate the value of money and hard work.
  9. Encourage them to donate their time or money to help a worthy cause.   Help them understand that many people are struggling and need someone to help them.  Allow them to feel the positive energy of helping others.
  10. Catch them complaining and try to help them find something to be grateful for.  If they are complaining about not getting a new toy or the latest technology, have them make a list about the great things they already have.
  11. Read stories and watch movies about gratitude.  This will reinforce what you are teaching them and help them see things from a different perspective.
  12. Bake cookies for your neighbours, your school or place of work and attach a note telling them how thankful you are for knowing them.

 

It doesn’t matter if your children are 2 years old or 42 years old, you can still help them become more thankful by being a positive role model.

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Paris attacks: How to explain the horror to children, by Sally Peck

Great article. Thoughtful ways to explain horrible actions to children.

The Forever Years

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MANILA, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 16:  A young girl lights candles to honour victims of the Paris terror attacks at Alliance Francais Manila on November 16, 2015 in Manila, Philippines. 129 people were killed and hundreds more injured in Paris following a series of terrorist acts in the French capital on Friday night.  (Photo by Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX *** MANILA, PHILIPPINES – NOVEMBER 16: A young girl lights candles to honour victims of the Paris terror attacks at Alliance Francais Manila on November 16, 2015 in Manila, Philippines. 129 people were killed and hundreds more injured in Paris following a series of terrorist acts in the French capital. (Photo by Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***

As parents, there is a constant temptation to shield our children from bad news. But sometimes, and in particular with acts of terrorism, bad news is unavoidable – it’s in on television, it’s on social media, and it’s on our minds.

Like most people, I’ve been carefully following the news from Paris. My family has close ties to France, and my children’s ears perked up when news of the attacks came on the radio.

How to talk to children

For guidance on how to talk to my children about the attacks in Paris…

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Do you have hope?

This is a question that I can honestly answer with a definite yes.  I named my dog Hope so I would always be reminded that I do have hope in my life.  Of course, even though I do HAVE Hope, I don’t always FEEL like I have hope.  Most days are good, but with all the violence and hatred in the world, it is sometimes hard to see any hope for the future.

Hope is a feeling that things will eventually turn out for the best.  It is an optimistic attitude that expects positive outcomes. We may be facing obstacles in our lives right now, but hope allows us to believe that we will get through the storm and see sunny skies ahead.

Hope is a powerful feeling and it is vital to having a good life.  Our circumstances may look bleak at times but we can look forward to greater things happening in our lives.  This requires having a positive attitude.  We have to look for the good instead of the bad.  It certainly isn’t hard to see the bad in the world; it is hiding in every corner.  Sometimes bad things happen to us but they don’t last forever.  We can expect good to come out of a bad situation.  Difficult situations can actually be good learning experiences as to what we should be doing or not doing in our lives.

Having hope gives people a better quality of life.  People with hope have recovered from serious illnesses and overcome stressful situations.  Hope gives people purpose and brings meaning to life.

Never lose hope.  Focus on what is positive in your life and work towards your goals.  Don’t let your struggles hold you back from finding happiness and peace in your life.  Always hope for the best and keep a positive attitude.

Do you have hope?

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You can control the stress in your life

Stress has become a normal way of life for many people and sometimes it can be good for us.  It can provide us with the energy to overcome obstacles but too much stress can cause life-threatening health issues.  Everyday people die from stress-related illnesses such as heart disease and high blood pressure.

It isn’t possible to eliminate all stress from our lives, however we can learn how to control it.  We need to determine what is causing the stress in our lives and learn how to minimize or eliminate it.

When you feel stressed, try using the following STRESS method to analyze what is happening.

S – Stop what you are doing.  Don’t allow your emotions to control you.

T – Take note of the situation in your journal or notebook if possible and outline what is causing the stress.  If you aren’t able to write it down, keep a mental picture of the situation and write it down as soon as you can.

R – Review your notes.  Do this later on in the day when you are not so emotional or you won’t see the situation clearly.

E – Evaluate your reaction.  Was it proper, logical, realistic?  Was it necessary?  Did it help or hinder the situation?

S – Situation – can it be changed, minimized or eliminated.   YES___  NO___   HOW? _______________________

S – Set-up a plan of action for the next time this situation comes up.  Write it down to help you remember it.

Every day, write down your stressful situations in your journal or notebook using the STRESS method.   Seeing these situations written down will help you see any patterns and understand where the problem areas are.

Determine what situation causes the most stress in your life, how you normally react and what the outcome is.  Then you can consider ways to make positive changes so you can feel less stressed the next time it happens.

You CAN control the stress in your lives!

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Your past does not define you

The first recipe for happiness is:  avoid too lengthy meditation on the past.  ~Andre Maurois

Everyone has a past and it leads us to where we are today.  Our past leaves a mark on us and provides us with valuable lessons.   However, our past can become a huge burden on our lives if we allow our mistakes and failures to define who we are.  If we keep focusing on past events and drag them with us everywhere we go, we can become slaves to our past and not be able to enjoy our lives.

We have all done things in our past that we are not proud of.   We should accept our mistakes and learn from them.  We can’t change what we did but we can change what we do in the future.  Making a mistake does not make us a failure.  Quitting makes us a failure so we should always keep trying to better ourselves.  Dwelling on past mistakes will just stop us from living a full, rewarding life today.

Many people have been treated badly in the past and they feel that there is something wrong with them.   They define themselves by this event and think they are less valuable than other people.  This is wrong!  When people hurt us, they are hurting themselves and their actions are a reflection of their own pain.  It has nothing to do with us and it is wrong to believe that we are responsible for their actions.  We have to stop being slaves to these past events and refuse to allow them to keep hurting us.

Everything in the past has already happened and it does not have to affect our future.   We may have had a bad habit or addiction.  We may have hurt someone with our words or actions.  We may have been abused or abandoned.  We are definitely shaped by our past but we are NOT defined by it.  We CAN move past these things and into something that is much greater.

  • We need to stop focusing on the past and start focusing on today
  • We need to stop thinking negative thoughts and start thinking positive thoughts
  • We need to stop telling ourselves that there is something wrong with us and start telling ourselves that we are great just the way we are
  • We need to stop telling ourselves that we are a failure and start telling ourselves that even though we make mistakes, we are learning and growing

Many successful people today have gone through tremendous difficulties and pain in their past, but they were able to overcome their adversities and make a difference in their lives and the lives of other people.  Jim Carrey was homeless as a teen, Bill Gates failed in his first business attempt, Bethany Hamilton lost her arm in a shark attack, Oprah Winfrey was raped at 9 and became pregnant at 14, Richard Branson has dyslexia and I could go on and on.

Never feel that your past defines you.  It doesn’t matter what you did or what happened to you.  You have great abilities, strengths and characteristics.   Every day you can make a fresh start and work on developing a new character.  Build your confidence and increase your self-esteem so you can feel good about who you are.  Visit my website http://www.imconfident.com for more information on confidence building.

Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them.  They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals, rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them.  ~Jack Canfield

 

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Are you using toxic products

I keep reading books and articles about toxic substances that are in foods and products.  Let’s face it, the world uses all sorts of dangerous chemicals that are harmful to our health.  Many of the food items we eat contain additives and preservatives that we are not even aware of and many of the products we use contain chemicals that we should be avoiding.

It can be very hard to avoid everything that is dangerous to our health because there are toxins in the air we breathe and in many of the things we come into contact with, but we should keep informed so we can make healthier choices.  I’m certainly going to be more careful when I buy groceries and other products.

When it comes to food, we should choose natural, whole foods that are not processed to death.  Following is a list of foods that have toxins which can cause serious health risks.  For detailed information check out this link…..http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/10/9-unhealthy-foods.aspx

  • canned tomatoes – the lining of the can contains BPA
  • processed meats – have been given growth hormones and antibiotics, filled with sodium nitrate, preservatives and chemicals
  • margarine – contain trans fats, free radicals, preservatives and solvents
  • vegetable oils – highly processed
  • microwave popcorn – lining in bag contains chemicals
  • non-organic potatoes – treated with pesticides that absorb into the potato
  • processed table salt – we need salt but table salt is not like the natural salt we need
  • soy products – most are genetically engineered
  • artificial sweeteners – contains chemicals that can wreak havoc with your body

David Suzuki tells us that some of the ingredients in most beauty products contain industrial chemicals that can cause cancer and other serious illnesses. Here is a list of these ingredients.  Detailed info at this link…..http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/health/science/toxics/dirty-dozen-cosmetic-chemicals/?gclid=CLSKr4HVg8kCFYU5aQodG9AGtQ

  • BHA and BHT
  • Coal tar dyes: p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as ‘CI’ followed by a 5 digit number
  • DEA related ingredients
  • Dibutyl phthalate
  • Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives
  • Parabens
  • Parfum a.k.a. fragrance
  • PEG compounds
  • Petrolatum
  • Siloxanes
  • Sodium laureth sulfate
  • Triclosan

There is also an article that details certain dangerous products sold in dollar stores.  Following is a list.  Detailed information at this link….http://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/advice/g1798/the-10-most-toxic-items-at-dollar-stores/

  • electronic accessories contain chlorine
  • black plastic kitchen utensils contain bromine
  • flannel backed and vinyl tablecloths contain high lead
  • metal Christmas garlands contain bromine
  • silly straws contain DEHP
  • vinyl floor coverings contain chlorine and phthalates
  • holiday light strings contain cholorine and bromine
  • metal children’s jewelry contain lead
  • metallic beads contain bromine
  • window clings and removable wall stickers contain PVC

If you want to read about more dangerous chemicals in everyday products, check out these links…..

http://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/1009710-12-dangerous-chemicals-avoid-everyday-products/

http://www.breastcancerfund.org/clear-science/environmental-breast-cancer-links/household-products/

 

 

 

 

 

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How you talk to yourself?

It is very important that we think about how we talk to ourselves.  Words are very powerful and they can affect us in a positive or negative way.  If we are speaking to someone and want to make a good impression, we are usually very careful with our words.  We don’t want people to think we are insulting them or criticizing them.  Yet when we speak to ourselves, we often use words that are demeaning, unkind or damaging.  We tell ourselves that we are stupid, worthless and insignificant.  The voice in our mind keeps reminding us that there is something wrong with us.  Over and over again we repeat these false beliefs until they are so ingrained in our brain that the truth is obscured.

We should never use negative words when we talk to ourselves.  Telling ourselves that we are stupid or worthless is just not true.  We all have our flaws and imperfections and of course we do things wrong and make mistakes.  However, we are all in the same boat and nobody is any worse or better than anyone else.  There are enough people in the world that will tear us down because of their own insecurities, so we don’t have to help them.  Instead of tearing ourselves down, we should be telling ourselves what awesome abilities and characteristics we have.

  • Make a list of your abilities, strengths and positive character traits.  Focus on these instead of your weaknesses and negative character traits.
  • Then create some positive statements or affirmations that you can repeat every day.  Start them with ‘I’ (I am a good friend, I like to smile, I am going to be nice to someone today,  I am going to have a good day).  Say these statements first thing in the morning and also during the day so you can create a habit of positive thinking.
  • Pay attention to your thoughts.  Catch any negative thoughts and stop them from becoming negative words or actions.  Think of a positive thought that can replace the negative thought.

Changing your thinking will also change the way you talk.  It isn’t easy and it takes time but once you start thinking positive thoughts, you will stop hurting yourself and be able to enjoy your life.

So, how do you talk to yourself?

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