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.

National Girlfriends Day

Have you  heard about National Girlfriends Day?   I didn’t realize there was such a day until someone brought it to my attention.   Apparently it is an annual celebration of friendships between women that is commemorated every year on August 1st.   I tried researching this to see when and where it originated but couldn’t find much, so if you know any further details, I would really be interested in finding out.

In our busy lives, we often forget to think about what is important to us, so it is good that we are reminded by special days set aside like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparent’s Day and now Girlfriend’s Day.   We should celebrate the special people in our lives every day, so we need to try to focus on the people who are important to us each and every day.   Nothing in life is certain and we can lose a loved in an instant through illness or injury.

Tomorrow is National Girlfriend’s Day so let’s remember to cherish all the women in our lives.   There are many things we can do to celebrate:  have a party, go for lunch, go shopping or plan some other event, but let’s also consider thinking about our health and how important it is to live a healthy lifestyle.  Women often are so busy taking care of their families and other people, that they ignore looking after themselves and this can result in serious health issues.   We should start having regular conversations about the importance of having regular checkups, eating healthy foods and daily exercise.

Let’s encourage and remind each other to stay healthy and take care of ourselves properly. Oscar Health Insurance has created a list called “The Woman’s Roadmap to Health”.   Use it as a guideline to keep track of important issues. Oscar is also a great resource for all health information. They have a team of trusted nurses and professional on call for any questions or concerns you may have. Check out more on their New Jersey and New York health insurance plans.

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Toxic people

What is a toxic person?  How can you tell if someone is toxic and how do you deal with it?

A toxic person is someone who has been badly hurt and are not able to take responsibility for their feelings and actions.  They will blame others for their problems and try to get their needs met in unhealthy ways.   They may be controlling, critical of themselves and others, complain constantly, harm themselves with substances or in other ways.  They may gossip and spread false rumours, bully or treat others badly.  Toxic people are stuck in bad behaviours and often aren’t even aware that they have a problem.

You can tell if someone is toxic by these signs:

  • you are uncomfortable in their presence
  • you feel like they are trying to control you
  • your energy is drained
  • you feel bad about yourself
  • you feel like you have to try and help them
  • you are affected negatively by their actions and words
  • you don’t feel respected by them
  • you want to leave as soon as possible

 

When you are in a toxic relationship:

  • focus on your priorities and consider what you want to get out of the relationship
  • don’t compromise your values just to make peace
  • set realistic boundaries and make sure you stick to them
  • try to talk to the person and tell them how you feel (I feel hurt when you say this.  I need you to think about why you act this way.  I would like our relationship to get better but we need to start talking about these issues.)
  • stop trying to fix them
  • start being a positive example
  • encourage them to find professional help
  • pray for them

If you have been trying to repair the relationship and nothing seems to be changing, you may have to end it.  Tell the person that you love them and want to be a part of their life, but for now you are unable to continue the relationship until they are willing to make some positive changes.  If possible, stay in touch with them from time to time and continue to be a positive example.

 

 

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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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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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Which is more powerful – the spoken word or the written word?

All words are powerful and can have a huge effect on people, either in a positive or a negative way.  Positive words show love and support.  They can motivate, encourage and heal broken minds, bodies and souls.  Negative words tear down and destroy.  They can start arguments, cause relationship breakdowns and damage our minds, bodies and souls.

It is really hard to decide whether the spoken word or the written word is more powerful.    I think it all depends on the message that is being communicated and who you are trying to reach.

  • Spoken words impact the people close around you.  Written words can reach people all around the world.
  • Spoken words combine with body language to express emotions.  Written words are limited in expressing emotions, however some statements can bring out powerful and emotional reactions.
  • Spoken words are clearly communicated and written words can be misread and misinterpreted.
  • Spoken words are more personal and written words are impersonal.

When it comes to personal relationships, I think the spoken word is more powerful and we can impact someone more when we are face-to-face and using our body language to convey a message.  In a positive way, if someone is struggling and needs to feel our love and encouragement, we can do this much better with our spoken words.   In a negative way, our words can also tear someone down very quickly.

If we are trying to send a message to many people, I think the written word is more powerful.   We can communicate our words with thousands of people through writing books or blogging.

In any case, words are powerful and we need to be careful how we communicate with others.   Choose your words carefully and always try to be positive even if you have a differing opinion or have to discipline or correct someone.

In your opinion, which is more powerful – the spoken word or the written word?

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Stop digging debt ditches

We live in a society that promotes spending.  Everywhere you look, someone is offering products and services that are sure to make you a better person.  Or do they?  How many of those products and services gave you lasting happiness?  And how many caused you to dig a deeper ditch that put you in deeper debt?

Spending money can be fun.  Buying clothes, enjoying a nice meal or taking a vacation are great.  But what happens when you overspend and find yourself in trouble?

“The American consumer is facing dire financial straits……..As a people we have forgotten how to delay pleasure”.  These words are found in a book by Dave Ramsey, a man who knows what it’s like to have it all and lose it all.  He was a millionaire by age 26 and lost it all by age 30 due to many foolish decisions about money.   In his books, he tries to help people get debt-free using tough but successful methods that have worked for him.  He promotes having Financial Peace, which is the name of one of his best-selling books.

We have to stop digging debt ditches and pay cash for things we want.  That shiny new car, expensive wardrobe or must-have vacation should be something to save towards instead of paying on credit and enjoying it right now.  When you get to the bottom of your ditch and there isn’t anywhere else to go, does that new item still look good?  Not likely.  I’ve already been to the bottom of my ditch and I wish I had made better choices.

Buy what you need and save for want you want.  Remember, your wants are not the same as your needs.   Plan for a vacation or those expensive ‘toys’ that you want and then start saving.  Believe me, you will get much more satisfaction and joy when you pay cash and don’t have all the bills coming in.

STOP DIGGING THOSE DEBT DITCHES!

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Do you like yourself?

This is a question that many people will respond with a resounding ‘no’.  Society today makes people feel bad about themselves by constantly pointing out their imperfections and flaws.  We are never good enough!  We don’t measure up!  There is always someone who is more attractive, has lots of money and possessions, is smarter, more powerful or just better in some way.   This just causes us to become discouraged, defeated and depressed.  No matter what we try to do, nothing brings happiness or success in our lives.

Nothing is worse than spending time with people you don’t like.  Everyone has a family member, friend or co-worker that they don’t like, but are forced to spend time with.  This can be a person who is very negative, complaining, critical and judgmental.   In these situations, we do have a choice as to whether we remain in their company or try to avoid seeing them.

However, what if the person you don’t like is yourself?  You can’t ever get away from yourself – everywhere you go, there you are.  When you eat a meal, you have to eat with yourself.  When you go to work, you have to go with yourself.  When you go to the bathroom, you are right there!  So it is important that you work hard to become a person that you would like to spend time with.

We are all special in our own way.  Each of us is unique.  There is nobody in this world that is exactly like us and that is what makes us special.  We have our own strengths, abilities and skills and we need to work on building confidence in ourselves so we can feel comfortable spending time with ourselves.  When we have confidence, it shows others that we know our valuable as a person and this makes us look attractive and approachable.

Please visit my website at http://www.imconfident.com  for ways on how to become more confident.

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Have you done something nice today?

Doing nice things for other people is a sure way to feel happiness.  When you put a smile on the face of a person who is feeling bad, it always makes you feel good.  Research shows that doing acts of kindness has many health benefits.

Every day I try my best to do something nice for another person and it is becoming a wonderful habit that usually brings great happiness into my life.   I rarely find someone who is not accepting of a kind act and it usually brings a smile to their face.

Today I was the recipient of not one but two acts of kindness!  We had a bad snow storm this morning and got a lot of snow dumped on us.  My husband was at work and I trying to shovel my car out of the driveway to get to my doctor’s appointment.   I looked across the street where my neighbour was also shovelling and wondered if I would get stuck in the drifts on the road.  We used to have a jeep and I was never concerned about getting stuck, but a car is a different matter.

The first act of kindness happened when I asked this neighbour if he thought my car would get stuck in the drifts.  He didn’t think I would get through and offered to drive me to my appointment.  Being on the recipient end of an act of kindness is a really awesome feeling!

The next act of kindness happened when my husband drove me home from my appointment and we got stuck in the drifts at the end of our street.  Two other neighbours, whom we had never met, came up the street and helped dig us out.  Another warm, fuzzy feeling!  Maybe the snow brings out the niceness in people and the need to work together.  Whatever the reason, it is nice to be on both ends of an act of kindness and we should all do our best everyday to help someone.

Have you done something nice today?  If not, why?  Do your small part to make this world a better place:)

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A junkyard of dreams

Everyone likes nice things.  I certainly do.  But sometimes getting nice things takes priority over the more important things in life.  Have you ever driven by a junkyard or landfill and looked at the piles of stuff that has been thrown away?  Did you ever think about where the stuff came from?  Most of it came from people’s houses:

  • worn out furniture
  • ornaments that are no longer wanted
  • old clothing
  • appliances that don’t work
  • electronics that have been traded for the newer model
  • broken toys

People probably worked long hours to pay for all these obsolete items that no longer have any value to them.   Some of us are even considered to be workaholics and put our work and the desire for money and possessions ahead of everything else.  We don’t spend enough time with our families or have any quiet time for ourselves because we are just too busy.  But at what cost?

Instead of investing in things that don’t really have any value, we need to spend more time creating and keeping good relationships with our families, friends, neighbours and co-workers.  We also need to take time each day to relax and take care of our bodies and minds.  Don’t spend your time building up a junkyard of dreams.  Spend your time creating a beautiful world around you.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

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When I was young…..

WHEN I WAS YOUNG….. Families ate meals together.

NOW……Families rarely eat together.

WHEN I WAS YOUNG…..Young girls dressed like girls.

NOW…..Young girls dress like adults.

WHEN I WAS YOUNG…..Stores were closed on Sundays.

NOW…..Most stores are open Sundays.

WHEN I WAS YOUNG…..Many families attended church together.

NOW…..Many families don’t bother going to church.

WHEN I WAS YOUNG…..You seldom heard about divorce.

NOW…..Divorce is common and expected.

WHEN I WAS YOUNG…..Teen pregnancies were uncommon.

NOW…..Teen pregnancies are accepted and on the rise.

WHEN I WAS YOUNG…..Most children respected their parents.

NOW…..Many children don’t respect anyone.

WHEN I WAS YOUNG…..Families watched 1 TV together.

NOW…..Many families have a TV in every room.

WHEN I WAS YOUNG…..Homes had 1 phone.

NOW…..Many people have their own cell phone.

WHEN I WAS YOUNG…..Clothing was fairly modest.

NOW…..Clothing is sexy and often too revealing.

WHEN I WAS YOUNG…..People waited until they could pay cash for stuff.

NOW…..People want everything now, charge everything and get into debt.

WHEN I WAS YOUNG…..Violence was disturbing.

NOW…..Violence is accepted as the norm.

WHEN I WAS YOUNG….Schools were fairly safe and didn’t require lockup.

NOW…..Schools are dangerous and you need a code to get in.

WHEN I WAS YOUNG….Well that was over 40 years ago and so many things have changed.  But have they changed for the better?  What will this world look like 40 years from today?  If we don’t start making some better choices…..

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