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.

A game plan for happiness

If you could have anything you want in the world, what would that be?  A new car? A better job? An all-expenses paid vacation?  Do you really think any of these will bring happiness and success into your life?  Sadly none of these things can provide you with lasting happiness.  They may temporarily put a smile on your face and some excitement in your life but these will be short-lived.  Nothing in this world can provide you with happiness and success unless you create a game plan for happiness.  What does this involve?

  • Change any negative thinking into positive thinking.  When you have negative thoughts, they will keep you from enjoying your life.  Negative thinking is very destructive and can result in physical illnesses, mental issues, workplace problems and relationship breakdowns.   Thinking positive thoughts will change the way you see other people and help you deal with difficult situations.  Saying positive affirmations or positive statements on a daily basis is a great way to create a habit of positive thinking.
  • Join an activity group or take a course where you can keep your mind and body active.
  • Volunteer for a local organization.  Helping others has been proven to benefit your mind, body and soul.
  • Lower your expectations.  We tend to expect more of others than they can give and then we are disappointed. We also expect more of ourselves than we can do and this leaves us frustrated.  By lowering our expectations to a realistic level will help us feel less stressed.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others and just try to be the best person you can be.  Use your unique abilities and special strengths and be the confident person you were created to be.
  • Love other people.  When we feel anger, bitterness , resentment or hatred towards other people, we cannot be happy.  If we can try to love everyone we know, we will feel happier and have a more successful life.  This can be hard when people are difficult or hurtful but it is possible when we make it a habit to be loving and forgiving.

Happiness is possible when we have the right attitude towards life.  Make a commitment to developing a positive perspective and work at it daily.  You will reap the rewards!!

Positive thinking will let you use the ability which you have and that is awesome.  ~Zig Ziglar

 

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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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Can’t Won’t Shouldn’t

How often do you say these negative words?  I can’t….  I won’t….  I shouldn’t.  You can fill in the blank but I’m sure you will catch yourself saying these words if you pay attention to what you are thinking and what comes out of your mouth.

  • I can’t help that I am feeling depressed.
  • I won’t try to do that because it will make me look stupid.
  • I shouldn’t be here because I don’t know anything.

Many times we say things that are causing us to think negatively and we don’t even realize it.  We say words that are defeating and discouraging.  Our brains are wired to have a negative bias, so unless we work hard to become more positive in our thinking, we will become stuck in a bad habit that will have a negative effect on our lives.

Try changing the way you talk to yourself.  Take a look at the above examples reworded:

  • I feel depressed but I CAN try to change the way I think.
  • I feel stupid but I WILL try my best and if I fail, I will try again.
  • I don’t think I know much but I SHOULD be here because I want to learn and grow.

Which set of statements push you forward and which drag you down?  If we convince ourselves that we are unable to do something or change the way we feel, there is a 100% chance that we will stay stuck in a pattern of negative thinking.  However, if we change the words we use and develop a positive perspective, we have much better chance of something good happening.

 

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Finding happiness

Are you on a mission to find happiness?  We search for happiness everywhere and we often come up empty.  We think that special someone will make us happy and they do for a while but the initial excitement soon wears off and we start looking for someone else.  We think that new job will make us happy and it does for a few months but then it gets too difficult, so we quit and look for another job.  We think that expensive dream vacation, new car, new house or new trinket will make us happy and it certainly does for some time but then when the bills come in and we have trouble paying for them, we soon lose our happiness.

Why do we have so much trouble finding happiness?  It is because we are looking for other people and things to make us happy.  This is a selfish desire and when that person or that thing doesn’t provide us with the happiness we want, we just give up and look for something else.  It is like an addiction.  We crave happiness so we look for a quick fix somewhere.  This is why there are so many relationship and marriage breakdowns today.

If you want to find real happiness, you have to bring happiness to others.  Instead of thinking about what someone can do to make you happy, think about how you can make their life better.  Instead of believing that ‘stuff’ will make you happy, think about what you can give to someone else to make their life better.  When you bring happiness to other people, this is how happiness comes to you.

We live in a selfish world.  One that teaches us to think about ourselves first and try to fill our lives with things that don’t matter.  Loving others and trying to spread happiness around is the only way to find happiness.

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Christmas repost from 2012

We all have different holiday traditions and we celebrate according to our beliefs.  Many families gather together to share a meal and open presents.  Others travel to a vacation spot to reChristmas Elflax and forget about the stresses of everyday life.   Some people don’t celebrate Christmas because of various reasons and it is just another day for them.  Then there are those who don’t have anyone to spend Christmas with because their families live too far away, they have no family, there is conflict or all their loved ones have passed away.

Most of us have high expectations of Christmas.  We want to spend time with family and friends, enjoying the season.   When this doesn’t happen we feel like something is wrong and we react in a negative way, often hurting ourselves in the process.

Christmas can be a difficult time if you are alone.  However, being alone does not have to result in unhappiness.  Many people spend Christmas alone by choice and they are not lonely or miserable.  It is all a matter of perception.

Instead of feeling bad about the season, try making a list of things you like to do and then take action.   Here are some ideas:

  1. Watch some favourite movies, read some books, listen to music.
  2. Call some friends and invite them to come for coffee.  They might feel lonely too and enjoy the company.
  3. Consider getting a pet if you don’t have one.   They are great companions.  Find one that suits your needs and is easy to care for.  Having a dog is a great excuse for taking a walk.
  4. If you belong to a church, make sure you attend Christmas services.  If you don’t, consider attending one as it will help you feel part of the celebration.
  5. Organize your home or start a new project.
  6. Do something creative.  Starting writing, drawing or do some crafts.
  7. Play a game like solitaire or do crossword puzzles.
  8. Visit a mall while they are open and watch people.
  9. Help volunteer at a soup kitchen or visit a senior home and share yourself with others.  This is guaranteed to bring happiness to all.
  10. Always be positive about life.

These ideas are great for anytime of year.  If you fill your life with positive activity and surround yourself with positive people, you won’t have time to feel lonely.  Treat yourself like the special person you are and have a very merry Christmas!  Love to everyone!  🙂

This is the message of Christmas:  We are never alone.  ~Taylor Caldwell

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Laugh

Laughter is the best medicine.  Laughing has many benefits to your health.  It can improve your physical, mental and emotional health.  It lessens stress, increases immune cells, fights infections and helps resist disease.  Laughter is very beneficial to relationships and produces a general sense of well-being.  It is almost impossible to be anxious or worried  and laugh at the same time.

The best thing about laughter…it is free!  You don’t have to get a prescription, go to the drug store and pay money for something that might make you feel better.  Laughter costs nothing and in my opinion, it works better than a lot of medications.  People who are sick or in hospitals have been known to have improved health due to laughing.  In the Cancer Treatment Centres of America, they are using laughter therapy to help their patients.  You can read the article here.

Maybe you haven’t laughed in a long time because of situations in your life.  Maybe you don’t feel like there is anything to laugh at.  You might be struggling with health issues, emotional problems or relationship breakdowns.  Life can be very discouraging and depressing at times when all you can see is the negative side.  This is why you need to try to look at things with a positive perspective instead of a negative perspective.  Laughter can really help. Read this article from the Mayo Clinic about the benefits of laughter.

Here are some ways to add laughter to your life:

  • surround yourself with funny and encouraging people
  • watch a funny movie
  • read a funny book
  • schedule time for laughter each day
  • laugh when you make a mistake
  • try to see things from a positive perspective
  • get a coach who can help you change your perspective

You can laugh about a lot of things in life that may not seem funny.  It takes a lot of practice if you are normally negative and serious, but you can do it.  One time I was walking downtown and I felt my slip sliding down my legs right in the middle of a busy sidewalk.  I was starting to feel embarrassed and my brain was telling me to leave the slip on the ground and walk away quickly but I chose to just reach down and pick up my slip, stuff it in my purse and smile at the people around me.  It was much more comfortable feeling amused than upset.

So put on a smile, develop a positive perspective and laugh!!

A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.

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Are your words powerful?

Have you ever stopped to consider how powerful our words can be?  Everything that we say can have a huge impact on other people and even ourselves.  Just one little word or phrase can heal a person’s life or it can destroy it.  When we use words that are kind, loving and supportive we can lift people up and make them feel good.  On the other hand, when we say words that are mean, nasty and vindictive we can tear people down and make them feel bad.

Think about words that people say to you:

  • When you felt lonely and a family member said something loving to you, how did it make you feel?
  • When you were feeling down and a friend said something encouraging, did it lift you up?
  • When you were having a bad day at work and your boss told you that you did a good job, did your day go better?

Remember those times when a family member spoke to you in anger or someone at work criticized something you did or a friend told you they were too busy to have coffee with you.  How did those words make you feel?

We should always be careful with our words and choose them carefully.  Don’t let unkind, careless or cruel words come out of your mouth.  Think before you speak especially when you are stressed, tired, angry or upset.  Those are times when even the nicest person can be thoughtless and let words slip out that should never be spoken.

Saying unkind words to ourselves is also a bad thing.  We can be very cruel to ourselves, speaking words we have heard other people say to us or about us.  We need to challenge our self-talk and make sure we are not hurting ourselves with our own words.  What other people say is only a reflection of who they are and not who we are.  We believe a lot of things that are just not true.

We need to understand how powerful our words are and make sure we use them to lift people up, encourage them, support them and show our love.

 

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Who is the media?

The media gets blamed for a lot of the problems in the world and rightly so.  Every day we are bombarded with images that influence the way we think about ourselves and others.  We see images of beautiful people living perfect lives that make us feel like there is something wrong with us.  We see ads that tell us we need to buy certain products in order to be accepted and loved.  Our confidence takes a hit and we become a person who feels unworthy and inferior to everyone else.

So, who is the media?  Who is telling us the lies that we are not good enough, that we don’t measure up and that we have no value?  It is not just a screen or an image that we see.  The media is comprised of people just like you and me.  It is people who are creating these images that have a profound influence on us.  We are influenced by everyone and everything that goes on around us.  These influences can be positive or they can be negative.

The ads that promote beauty products are most often created by women.  It is women that are tearing other women down!  Did you ever consider this?  The ads they create tell us:

  • we don’t look good enough (FOR WHAT?)
  • we are too fat, too skinny, too tall, too short, etc….(COMPARED TO WHAT RIDICULOUS STANDARD?)
  • we don’t measure up (TO WHAT?)
  • we need to buy their products in order to have friends and be successful (WHY IS OUR FUTURE DEPENDENT ON THEM?)

We need to stop believing what the media tells us. Next time you want to believe something that the media is telling you, stop and consider who is really speaking to you.  The media is just a bunch of strangers who don’t know anything about you and don’t really care who you are.   All they want is to make you feel bad about yourself so they can line their pockets with your hard-earned money.   Don’t believe their lies.   We DO have value.  We ARE good enough.  We DO measure up.  We DO NOT need their products to be a productive and successful human being.  We are fearfully and wonderfully made.  Our value lies in who we are, not in what we look like or what we have.

 

 

 

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Simplify your child’s life…and your own

We live in a world that is complicated.   Daily pressures cause us to try to do way more that we should.  We try to pack so many things into 24 hours that we are exhausted at the end of the day.  Work, family, daily chores, meetings, sports, other activities….it is all too much for many of us to handle.  The stress we feel is handed down to our children when we place our own expectations on their little lives.

Children are not allowed to be children anymore.  They are pressured into growing up quickly and filling their time with endless activities.  When I was small, life was simple.  I spent hours playing by myself and using my creativity to do projects like painting, sewing and knitting.  Toys and games did not fill my room and I wasn’t bored.  Instead of spending hours playing on a computer or an i-pad, I was outside riding my bicycle or having adventures in my backyard.

I see children today who are involved in so many things that they don’t have time to enjoy their childhood.  Their schedules are so full of activities like sports, dancing, martial arts, video games, parties and other events that they don’t have time to use their own creativity.  Then when they do have down time, they go to rooms full of toys and games and are bored because they have nothing to do.

Parents often smother their children with too much, thinking it shows love.  We all want our children to have nice things but when it is overdone, it can result in emotional problems.  Kids feel frustrated, stressed, unsatisfied and feeling entitled to having everything they want.   We should give our children less stuff and allow them to have more free time to build their creativity.  We should give our children less activities and more family time.  More is not better.  More is stressful.  We need to simplify the lives of ourselves and our children.

Here is a great article I just read that explains more deeply what happens when we simplify life.http://raisedgood.com/extraordinary-things-happen-when-we-simplify-childhood/

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Do you have integrity?

Can people count on you?  Do you keep your commitments?  Are you honest?  Do you do what is right?

People with integrity have strong values, beliefs and principles.  Their character is consistent and they always try to do the right thing even when it is hard or it goes against what society believes.

How can you tell if someone has integrity?

  • they are truthful
  • they keep their promises
  • they are there for you even in tough times
  • they are more concerned with giving than receiving
  • they always do their best and care about what they are doing
  • they accept responsibility for their mistakes
  • they are forgiving
  • they don’t blame others
  • they don’t try to hurt others, instead they try to help others

Do you have integrity? Are you teaching your children to have integrity?

 

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