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.

Give a smile away

Whenever I go to one of the local malls, I always see people sitting alone in the common areas.  Most of these people are seniors who probably don’t have a lot of contact with family and friends.  They come to the mall to sit and watch people so they can at least feel like they aren’t alone.  But does this really help?  Does it make them feel less alone?  I’ve often been in a crowd and still felt very much alone, so just being around people doesn’t fill in that empty space inside.

I feel bad for the people I see sitting alone in the mall but I give them credit for getting out of their house or apartment.  Just the fact that they are getting their bodies moving, breathing some fresh air and socializing at a distance does help them in a small way.  Many people who are lonely just stay inside and rarely venture out except for a doctor’s appointment or to quickly pick up a few groceries.

This is a great opportunity to give a smile away.  When you see someone sitting alone and looking forlorn, make a point of getting their attention and giving them the biggest smile you can manage.  I try to say hello and maybe mention something positive about the day or even compliment them on what they are wearing (if suitable).  If you have a few minutes, maybe you could even sit down beside someone for a quick rest and try starting a light conversation.

Whether you give away a smile, a few kind words or a short conversation, it can make a difference in someone’s life.  You may be the only one who has taken the time to acknowledge them in a long time and it could positively impact them.

Don’t pass up the opportunity to give away a smile.  It costs you nothing but it can have huge rewards!

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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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Get yourself off your mind

When we think about ourselves constantly, it causes a lot of problems.  If we are thinking about ourselves in a negative way, we will dwell on our imperfections and flaws and spend our time feeling miserable and unhappy.  If we are thinking about ourselves in too high a regard, we will develop an ego that is hard to keep fed and we will have unrealistic expectations of ourselves and others.  In both cases, relationships will be very difficult.

Seriously, we have to get ourselves off our minds if we want to be a happy camper and have good relationships.  This means that we have to start thinking about someone else or something else other than ourselves.  This doesn’t mean that you are not important but it does mean that your problems do not define who you are and you will never find happiness until you can stop focusing on yourself.

Research shows that doing good deeds is very beneficial.  It helps us physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  Helping others actually relieves stress and we can sure use some stress-relief in this stress filled world!  Stress is killing us and we need to start doing something that will help improve our health.

Start reducing your stress by getting yourself off your mind!  Don’t focus on your problems: past, present or future.  It won’t help you!  Focus instead on what you can do to make someone else’s life better and take action.   I did and it certainly improved my life!

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Are you selfish or selfless?

Selfishness is the root of so many problems in our lives and in our world today.  We want to have money;  we want nice things; we want to be pampered; we want to have fun; we want to have power; we want to control everyone and everything around us.  It is all about my needs and ME, ME, ME!!!

Some of us realize that we are selfish but many of us aren’t even aware of it because it has become a habit.  We go through every day of our lives believing that we should have everything we want and if we do we will be happy.   WRONG!!  Being selfish will never make us happy except for a very short period of time.  We might be happy when we get that new car, big house or promotion but when the initial excitement dies down, other problems in our lives bring back our unhappiness and discontentment.

Selfishness keeps you focused on yourself and stops you from focusing on others.  If you want to be truly happy, you need to start focusing on other people and finding out what their needs are.   Get your mind off yourself and look around for someone you can help.  Become selfless instead of selfish.

Today think of some ways that you can help other people around you.  Don’t go to bed until you can help at least 1 person every day.  This can be a family member, a friend, a co-worker, a neighbour or even a stranger.  Here are some ideas.  Please add some of your own.

  • cook a meal for a neighbour who is ill
  • visit a sick friend
  • babysit for a single mom or busy family (without getting paid)
  • treat someone who is having financial difficulties to coffee or lunch
  • shovel snow or cut grass for an elderly neighbour
  • send a ‘thinking of you’ card to someone who needs some encouragement
  • invite a hurting friend to a church service or small group meeting
  • volunteer at a nursing home
  • give a gift certificate to a co-worker who is struggling
  • fill a Christmas gift basket for a needy family
  • smile and say a friendly hello to everyone you meet
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SELFISH or SELF-CENTERED?

Are you selfish or self-centered?  These words are similar but they do have different meanings.  To be selfish means that you lack consideration for others and are mainly concerned with your own profit or pleasure.  To be self-centered means that you are more preoccupied with yourself and your own affairs than you are about other people.   Both words start with ‘SELF’ and this little word can cause so many problems when it becomes the focus of our lives.  Thinking about ‘SELF’ can be dangerous to our health if we think too highly or too lowly of ourselves.

If we think too highly of ourselves and want everything in our lives to bring us profit or pleasure, we will often fail to find the happiness we are looking for.   A high opinion about ‘SELF’ can be very damaging to our relationships and also a very lonely place to be.

If we think too lowly of ourselves and don’t feel that our lives have value, we are struggling with self-pity and feel that our lives have little or no value.   A low opinion about ‘SELF’ can also be very damaging to our relationships and our self-esteem.

We need to have balance in our lives.  It is okay to think about ourselves but it is far more important to think about the people around us starting with our families, children and friends.  Being selfish or self-centered will stop you from receiving the joy that comes from being a blessing to others.  Selfish people often do donate their time or money to help others but they are doing it for the wrong reason and just want to make themselves look good.   When your good deed or act of kindness come from the heart, it will bring unexpected joy and happiness to everyone involved.

 

 

 

 

 

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What kind of words are you using?

Our words are very powerful.  Even a couple of words can do a lot of good or a lot of harm.  When you communicate with others, what kind of words are you using?  When you communicate with yourself, what kind of words are you using?    We should always be aware of what we are saying and try to use words that are kind and caring.   Be careful with your own words so you can show your children by example how to communicate with love and kindness.   Kindness is very contagious and it is a good habit to develop.

2 boys whispering

 

 

 

 

 

2 kids arguing

 

Words can either:

  • encourage or discourage
  • repair or destroy
  • lift up or put down
  • start a fight or stop a fight
  • heal or hurt
  • put a smile or a frown on someone’s face
  • pacify or anger
  • build up or tear down

What kind of words are you using?

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Depressed? Here are some self-help tips that work.

Depression is a horrible illness that brings pain and loneliness.  It can cause people to withdraw from others and stop taking part in regular activities.  This is self-defeating because it is important to keep busy and get support from other people when you are depressed.  Having struggled with depression all my life, I’ve found ways that can help beat the blues.  Here is a list of some ideas that have worked for me.   Try them and see what works best for you.  There is nothing to lose, but a lot to gain!

  1. Get out of bed at a regular time every morning.  Yes I know it is hard when you feel bad about yourself and the world.  Many times, I’ve just pulled the covers over my head and gone back to sleep which just made me feel worse.  Set your alarm to get up at the same time every day and put it across the room so you can’t just hit the snooze button.Slide15
  2. Make a healthy breakfast.  Eating healthy is good for your body and will help give you energy.
  3. Make a to-do list.  Think about what you want to accomplish that day but don’t just keep thinking and wishing it would happen.   Write it down and you will have a better chance of following through on your thoughts.   Just make sure it is a realistic list.  I made impossible lists and then felt bad because I couldn’t finish everything.
  4. Start with an action that gets your blood moving.  Look at your list and do something.  Even if you have only decided to call a friend, clean your kitchen or take the dog for a walk, this will get you energized.  Then keep working on your list until everything is done.  You will be surprised what you can accomplish and you will feel better!
  5. Compliment yourself.  Every time you accomplish something, no matter how small, tell yourself what a good job you did and encourage yourself to keep going.  It always feels good when someone else gives you an honest compliment but you should also feel good when you give yourself a compliment because you deserve it!
  6. Get support from your loved ones.  Find family or friends who you can trust to support you and encourage you.   Even just one person is a good start.   Set a specific time to talk to someone every day and this will also benefit your loved one because they will feel needed.  Consider family and friends who live far away and have them call, email or write letters to make sure you are keeping on track.
  7. Join a support group.  People who are going through similar challenges can help you navigate your way and become more confident.   You will find support from them and also be able to give them support in return.  However, make sure you test out a group for a time or two and see if the other group members and leaders are being supportive and caring.  Some groups are great, but I’ve attended a few that made me feel play with topsworse than I already did.
  8. Join an interest group, club, church group.  It can be very hard to be sociable with people when you are depressed, but it is very necessary.  Find something that you enjoy doing and give it a try!  Or do something different and have some fun!
  9. Make a nice meal and invite family and friends.  If you already live with someone, they will really appreciate the time you took to make a meal.  If you live alone, they will appreciate being invited.  If you don’t like to cook, it doesn’t have to be a gourmet meal, just make something simple and pick up a dessert or special treat.
  10. Meet a friend for coffee, lunch or a movie.  Call someone who you enjoy spending time with and ask them to meet you.   Be pleasant and enjoy a nice conversation.
  11. Never talk about your depression when socializing.  This is a sure way to drive people away from you.  This is something that I learned from experience.   It’s good therapy to talk about what is bothering you and the more you talk, the easier it gets, but you should be careful who you share your problems with.  Only talk about your depression with your trusted family members and friends, in a support group or with your counsellors.  When you are in a social setting, this is not the time to share your problems.  It also opens yourself up to people who like to gossip and spread your personal issues with other people.
  12. passing stickExercise.  Yes, I know, this is not a word that people like.  However, exercise is good for your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self.  It helps you in so many ways and will lift your depression.  Sometimes when I was feeling really depressed, my husband would encourage me to go for a walk or bike ride and after I came home, I was feeling energized and the depression was gone.
  13. Volunteer.  There is nothing that is more rewarding than helping someone else.  Doing acts of kindness not only benefits the receiver but also the giver in many ways.  Every time I have volunteered it has helped me in so many ways.
  14. Surround yourself with positive people, places and things.  Make a habit of being positive as much as possible.  It isn’t easy in a negative world but if you keep working on it, it becomes a good habit.  I used to be negative most of the time, but I keep working very hard on being positive and have eliminated as much negativity from my life as possible, and now I’m positive most of the time.
  15. Make an appointment with a counselor, therapist or pastor.  Some people need professional help to get them started on recovery.  Don’t just sit and wait for help to come.  Go and get the help you need.  I did and it really helped me.

When you are depressed, you can only see the world from a negative perspective.  If you want to enjoy life and find happiness, you have to work hard at becoming positive.  This will help you build confidence and increase your esteem which will overcome your depression.  Pay attention to your moods and start looking after your health.   You are an awesome person and you deserve to be happy!

Check out my website http://www.imconfident.com for information on building confidence and increasing esteem.

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Attitude is important

The kind of attitude we have predicts the kind of life we will live.  If we have a positive, cheery attitude we will have a life of joy and peace.  If we have a negative, critical attitude we will have a life of misery and turmoil.  We often think that other people and things are causing us to be unhappy but it is really our bad attitude.  Here are some of the bad attitudes that will keep us stuck in the same place and struggling through our lives:

  1. AN IRRESPONSIBLE ATTITUDE – believing that someone else is responsible for their problems
  2. A CRITICAL ATTITUDE – finding fault with everything
  3. A QUITTING ATTITUDE – believing that everything is just too hard and failure is inevitable
  4. A NO HOPE ATTITUDE – living in the past and believing that our future will be just as bad
  5. AN IMPATIENT ATTITUDE – wanting things to happen immediately and having no patience to wait
  6. A SELF-PITYING ATTITUDE – always feeling sorry for yourself
  7. A ENTITLEMENT ATTTUDE – believing that you deserve everything you want

Having any of these bad attitudes will keep us from enjoying the wonderful life that we deserve.  If we want to find happiness and success in life, we need to develop a positive attitude and be thankful for what we have.

What kind of attitude do you have?   Is it on the list above?  Don’t worry, it is never too late to change.  You can ditch that bad attitude by making some positive choices.

  • Choose to look for the good in your life instead of the bad
  • Choose to think positive thoughts instead of negative thoughts
  • Choose to live in the present and not in the past
  • Choose to be kind and helpful to others
  • Choose to be patient and wait for good things to happen
  • Choose to care about other people first before yourself
  • Choose to accept your mistakes as learning experiences
  • Choose to keep going towards your goals instead of quitting
  • Choose to be responsible for your own actions
  • Choose to accept yourself as a unique and wonderful individual

 

 

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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…. http://psychcentral.com/news/2011/08/01/positive-activities-help-to-relieve-depression/28223.html  (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  http://www.imconfident.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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Teach your children moral values

Happy Family Laughing in BedLearning is a passion of mine and I’m always searching for new books and looking up information.  My lending library is over 500 books now and still growing.  Many of these books are about parenting and they have really helped me become more aware of how we should be raising our children.  I seriously wish that I had done this research before my children were born because I was totally unprepared to raise child.

There are so many things that we need to think about, especially what kind of example we are setting for our children.   They are watching and imitating almost everything we say and do.  Our words and actions have a huge impact on them, either in a positive or negative way.  We don’t even realize how much influence we have on their adult lives.

It is very important to teach your children good moral values.   Children need to have strong morals in a world that is becoming more violent every day.  Youth violence is on the rise and many violent acts are being committed by children as young as 6 years old.  Stats show that peer cruelty is increasing and an estimated 160,000 children miss school in the states every day because they fear being picked on or physically injured by their peers.  Drugs and alcohol are easily accessible in the schools.  Weapons are being used on the playground.  Kids are cheating on their exams or stealing from stores with absolutely no remorse.  These things are happening because children are not being taught moral values.

Parents should start teaching their children moral values as soon as they are able to understand.  Teach them how to say ‘please’ and ‘thanks’, how to be nice to their siblings or friends, how to show respect to other people.   Society will without a doubt have a negative effect on your children, but if they have learned strong moral values and have developed a sense of right and wrong, they will be able to withstand any negative pressures and be empowered to do the right thing.  When parents do not teach their children about morals, they are most likely to develop destructive negative habits that could potentially destroy any change of happiness or success in their lives.

Teach your children to:

  • be loving and kind
  • be respectful and show consideration
  • be empathetic (understand how others feel)
  • be fair and just
  • be tolerant and appreciate the differences in other people
  • have self-control and not act out in anger or frustration
  • make good choices and always do the right thing

Are you teaching your children good moral values?

 

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