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.

Do you look your best today?

When we get dressed, we try to pay close attention to what we are wearing so we will look good.  Sometimes, we will try on several outfits until we find the one that looks the best.  But does wearing nicely matched clothing and accessories really make us look our best?

What happens if we wake up with a bad attitude?  Does looking nice cover up any nasty thoughts that might be rolling around in our head or stop us from making unkind comments?

If we spent as much time working on changing our attitude as we do changing our outward appearance, we could make a positive impact on the people we meet and also become a lot happier.

So, do you really look your best today?  Does your attitude look as good as your appearance?

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Do you compare yourself to others?

Many of us play the comparison game.  You know the game where you are always looking at other people and wishing you had their lives, their family, their house, their possessions, their looks, their money, their job and whatever else they have that you don’t have.  It is natural for us to look to others and see what they have but when we start comparing our lives with their lives, we almost always come up short.

The problem with this game is that we can become trapped in a negative mindset of bitterness, resentment and unhappiness.  We strive to become like other people and gain what they have at great cost to ourselves.  We live frustrated and  unfulfilled lives. not even realizing that it is a losing battle.

If we could see into the lives of those people we compare ourselves to, we would be surprised to see that they are also comparing themselves to others and wishing for something they didn’t have.  People who have lots of money are often lonely because they put money ahead of their personal relationships and have distanced themselves from family and friends.  People who have more possessions are often in debt and are struggling to pay their bills.  People who have better jobs often hate their work and wish they could do something else.

There will always be someone who is richer, smarter and better looking than we are.  We should celebrate our own strengths and abilities and look to others for inspiration and motivation.   We were created as unique individuals and we should never compare ourselves to others because this is a game we can never win and we will always feel empty.

Instead of comparing ourselves to people who have more than we do, we should compare ourselves to people in the world that have less than we do and be thankful for what we have.  Almost half the world lives on less than $3 day, many of them jobless, homeless and hungry.  It is sad that we want to have what other people have when we have so much already.  Being thankful is a great positive habit to develop and the only way to win the comparison game.  When we think about others instead of ourselves, we will find true happiness and peace.

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Worry is a waste of time

I used to worry about everything.  I was a real worrywart.  If you haven’t heard this term before, it refers to someone who worries without a cause.  We worry about almost anything; our families, our health, our job, money, the weather and everything in between.

Worrying is normal but some people carry it to an excess.  They may even avoid certain places, people and activities because they are worried about getting hurt or sick.

Excessive worrying can lead to stress and anxiety and make you physically ill.  It can also affect your appetite, your sleep, your relationships and your work.  This can lead to harmful lifestyle habits such as alcohol, drugs and smoking. Better to try and work on changing one bad habit (worrying) instead of adding more bad habits.

When we are faced with a situation that causes us to worry we need to consider whether or not there is anything we can do to change the situation If there is, then we should take action so we can stop worrying about it. If we can’t change the situation, then we need to try to release our worry by focusing on doing something positive.   Worrying will NOT change the outcome.

Write down your worries in a journal and forget about them. Writing things down is a great way to relieve stress. Then at the end of the day, sit down in a comfortable place and review your worries. How many actually turned out the way you expected?

Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.  Erma Bombeck

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Do you play the blame game?

We have all played the BLAME GAME but have you ever won?  You know, the game where we transfer our faults to someone else so we can avoid responsibility for our own actions.  If we can just make someone else look bad or get them to accept fault, it will make us feel better and excuse any bad behaviour on our part.  The only problem with this is that it doesn’t solve anything and can actually make things worse.

Why do we play the Blame Game?  It isn’t really much fun and people usually get hurt, including ourselves.   It is because we lack confidence and we are afraid that if we do something wrong, people won’t like us.  If we can point the blame in another direction, we think it makes us look better.

How many of us have said:

  • You ruined my life
  • I’m late because of the kids, husband, traffic….
  • You are the problem in this relationship
  • I’m overweight because you give me too much food
  • My boss is holding me back from getting a better position
  • Your overspending got us into debt

Do you take any responsibility for what happens in your life?  Blaming others is a negative action that eventually makes us feel worse and causes a lot of stress for everyone.  Nobody is perfect and others can cause problems for us, but many of our problems are the result of our own poor choices and how we respond to others.  We need to take responsibility for our part and choose how we respond in difficult situations.

 

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Do you have an addiction?

The truth is we are all addicted to something.  Most of us believe that an addiction is being addicted to drugs, alcohol or cigarettes.  However, the dictionary defines ADDICTION as 1) the quality or state of being addicted 2) a compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance known by the user to be harmful;  characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal.

In simple terms, anything our body craves on a regular basis and we can’t do without, is an addiction.  Besides substances, we can also be addicted to behaviours, emotions, activities and stuff.  Behavioural addictions can include gambling, exercise, sex and eating.   Emotional addictions can include anger, depression and sadness.  Addictions to activities can include watching TV, playing video games and playing sports.   Addictions to stuff can include excessive buying of things you don’t really need (hoarding) and often go into debt to pay for them.

What are you addicted to?  Do you overindulge in any activity that is causing serious problems for you, your family, friends and anyone else in your life?  If so, try to take steps to take charge of your life and make some positive changes.  You can be addicted to positive things like reading, walking, singing, playing solitaire, eating healthy foods and doing good deeds.  Take charge of your life and work on building some positive addictions.  Don’t let your life control you.  Talk to a trusted family member or friend and ask them to help you eliminate those negative addictions.  Seek professional help for the ones you can’t seem to control and start enjoying your life.

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Stop making those new year’s resolutions

Why do we make New Year’s resolutions?  Because we know that our lives are in chaos, that changes need to be made and deep down we want to be a better person.  The problem is – we don’t keep those resolutions and we slip back into old habits again.  Why does this happen?

When we make a resolution, it is trying to change something that is superficial.  We want to lose weight so we start dieting or exercising.  We want to quit smoking or another bad habit so we promise ourselves that we will stop.  We want to get our houses cleaned up so we try to sort and organize.  We want to stop spending more money than we make and we try to follow a budget.  But this is just the tip of the iceberg.  There is something deeper going on that we should be addressing.  We should ask ourselves why we are doing the thing we don’t want to do.

  • Why are we gaining weight?
  • Why are we smoking?
  • Why are we biting our nails?
  • Why is our house so cluttered?
  • Why do we spend too much money on things we don’t need?
  • Why do we have this bad habit?

We need to check deep inside ourselves and figure out what is causing the problem in the first place.  Is there a relationship issue that needs to be resolved?  Is there an emotional issue that requires professional help?  Do we need an attitude adjustment?  Do we lack the confidence needed to make positive changes?  Do we have supportive people who can give us the push we need to move ahead?

Making change is difficult and we need to understand who we are and why we do the things we do before we can make any lasting changes.  Forget those New Year’s resolutions that you won’t likely keep.  Spend time doing some searching and making positive changes.

 

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Make volunteering a priority in 2017

There have been many studies done on the benefits of volunteering.  Without a doubt, it has proven to have positive effects on our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health.  Volunteering can bring happiness and fulfillment to your life.  It helps you become more confident, connects you to other amazing people, may help advance your career and give you a sense of purpose.

Volunteering not only benefits you, it also benefits the people you are helping.  It brings encouragement and makes them feel more valuable.  By feeling that someone cares, it can change the entire direction of their lives

Families and friends also benefit from your volunteering efforts.  It lets them see love in action and it shows them how volunteering makes a difference.  Anyone who notices your acts of kindness will be affected in a positive way.

However, even if nobody notices what you have done, it still makes a huge difference in your own life.  The real purpose of volunteering is doing something and expecting nothing in return.  We should never volunteer just to get recognition.  Working for an organization that answers calls from people in distress or writing letters to lonely people far away can go unnoticed by others but it will still bring positive benefits to you.

Start the New Year with a resolution that will make an important and valuable difference in your life and the lives of others.  Resolve to volunteer for a local organization and bring in the happiness!  Even 2 hours a month can make a difference to someone.  I have volunteered for years and I know the benefits it brings!

Here is an article on the benefits of volunteering for teenagers.  Being a volunteer and showing a good example to your children will teach them valuable lessons that will enrich their lives.  Get them started young and help them become responsible, caring adults.  https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320432.php

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What are you doing to change the world?

There are certain topics that I am very passionate about.  These include confidence-building, relationships, children, faith, poverty, injustice, violence.  It breaks my heart when I read about people hurting other people, especially when it comes to children.  Every day I hear something that brings a tear to my eyes and sends pain through my heart.  People can be so cruel to each other and even to themselves.  Where is all the love and compassion?

  • We need to examine our lives and figure out what we can do to help people instead of hurt them.
  • We need to watch our words carefully and think before we speak.
  • We need to stop ourselves before we do anything that we might regret later.
  • We need to put ourselves in the shoes of others and try to understand who they really are instead of making a quick, incorrect judgment.
  • We need to support, love and pray for each other.

People often think they can’t do much to change the world by themselves but if we can do just one small thing it can have a ripple effect.  We might never see the end result when we show kindness to another person.  Just a few encouraging words spoken to someone who is broken and defeated can lift them up and help them make positive changes in their lives.

The world is so full of anger, hatred, violence and despair.   We need to do what we can to stop this negativity from growing by showing love to everyone around us.  What are you doing to change the world?

 

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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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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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