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.

Not enough love as a child?

Do you feel that your parents didn’t give you enough love when you were a child?  Did they ignore you or treat you badly in any way?  Did they criticize everything you did or push you too hard to accomplish things?

Parenting is a difficult job and most parents are ill-prepared for being a parent.  They don’t take classes, read books or go to parenting seminars.  They aren’t being a bad parent intentionally, they just don’t know how to parent.  Most of us just “fly by the seat of our pants” using whatever methods we learned growing up, often making the same mistakes that their parents made, not really thinking about what we are doing.

If we haven’t received enough love as a child, we won’t understand how valuable we are and won’t be able to love ourselves.  This creates insecurities and fears that we carry with us through life and causes problems in our relationships.  If we don’t have love, we can’t give love and love is the key ingredient to a happy and successful life.

Did you receive love as a child?  Are you receiving love now?  Are you giving love?  If your answers are ‘no’, then you need to start building your esteem.   How?

  1.  Become aware of who you are.  Discover your abilities, skills and personality traits.   What do you enjoy doing?  What do you do well?  You are a unique and special individual.
  2. Accept your imperfections and flaws.  Focus on your positive qualities and not on the things you don’t like about yourself.   Everyone is flawed and imperfect, even those people that you think has everything all together.  Never compare yourself to anyone else, just be the best person you can be.
  3. Maintain a positive self-image.  Show other people that you are an awesome person and that you like yourself.   Be nice to other people and always be friendly especially with those who seem unhappy or withdrawn.  If you show confidence and give love to others, people will feel comfortable with you and you will get love back.

Just because you didn’t get love from other people, doesn’t mean you can’t start loving yourself and giving love to other people.  Treat yourself with respect and kindness.  You deserve it!

For more information on building esteem, visit my website at http://www.imconfident.com

 

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The Cheerios Effect

box232Cheerios has been my favourite cereal since I was a child and it is still one of the most popular cereals sold today.   Growing up I ate the original Cheerios with sugar and milk but now I really like Honey Nut Cheerios just with milk because it is sweet enough without adding sugar.  I also like eating it as a snack, dry and right out of the box. As I was eating breakfast, I read the back of the box.  This is something I haven’t done for a long time.  As a child, I would sit and eat and read every side of the box over and over again.  There were interesting ads, colourful pictures, puzzles, contests, offers of free items inside the box, cut-outs and offers for stuff that you could send in for like badges, rings and games. On the back of my cereal box, it explains what the Cheerios Effect is.  Do you know that when you take 2 cheerios and drop them in a bowl of milk, the result is that eventually they come together?  Isn’t it amazing!  Scientists apparently call this the ‘Cheerios Effect’ and it is even more amazing when it brings 2 people together.  People love to connect and we were all created to be in relationships with other people. So try creating your own Cheerios Effect and start connecting with other people!

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People are like mosquitoes

I was reminiscing about a time in my childhood when I attended an annual summer church camp.  For a period of 10 years I enjoyed going camping with my friends and taking part in all the exciting activities.

One particular summer, when I was about 12, I remember settling down in my cabin for the night.  The day had been hot and sticky with no relief in sight as darkness fell.  Needless to say, it didn’t take long for those nasty bloodsuckers to start buzzing around my head but I was armed and ready for them.  I grabbed the can of mosquito repellant sitting on the shelf beside my head, spraying my body and in the air around me.   However, for some crazy reason, the buzzing didn’t stop and actually got worse.  I sprayed again and then finally gave up and covered my head with the sleeping bag.   Sweating profusely, I finally fell asleep from exhaustion.

The next morning, I opened my eyes and rolled over to see a can of spray deodorant sitting on the shelf beside me.  My mosquito repellant was nowhere to be seen!! Now I understood why the mosquitoes were having a party around my head the night before.  Instead of chasing the mosquitoes away, I had invited them with the sweet scent of my deodorant.  Yikes!!

People are like mosquitoes.  They buzz around trying to get close to people and make friends.  But when we buzz around people who feel insecure or have been hurt, we might just get sprayed – not with mosquito repellant but words that are negative and full of self-pity.  This just chases us away and often leaves the person wondering why nobody likes to be around them.

So put away your mosquito repellant and join the mosquitoes.  Instead of chasing people away, start chasing people.  Become more confident and start spraying out love and kindness.  A confident person will attract lots of mosquitoes.  Sorry, I mean friends!

 

 

 

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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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Home alone

Will you be spending home alone for Christmas?  Sadly there are millions of people around the world who spend the holiday season feeling alone amidst the hustle and bustle going on around them.  Some of us have recently lost a loved one or maybe Christmas is a reminder of something unpleasant that happened in the past.  Others are struggling with depression or feeling that nobody cares about them.   We may attend festive parties and sing cheery songs but inside we may be crying out in pain.

There are so many families that don’t even spend time together at Christmas because of distance, being too busy or just because they just don’t want to.  This is a shame because Christmas is such  a wonderful time to share traditions and create memories.

Take some time to consider your friends, neighbours and co-workers and determine if they are receiving any love during the Christmas season.  If you are fortunate enough to be spending Christmas with your loved ones, why not consider doing something special for someone who may be feeling alone:

  • invite them to spend some time with your family
  • stop in for a visit
  • buy a Christmas gift
  • call them on the phone
  • send a cheery Christmas card

If you are spending Christmas alone, don’t allow any negative thoughts to bring you down.  We are conditioned by society to believe the lie that there is something wrong with us if we don’t spend Christmas with family and friends.   In reality, there is nothing wrong with spending any day alone.  Being alone can be very peaceful if we have a positive perspective on life and realize our true worth and value.   Solitude can be a wonderful break from our lives of constant pressure and stress.   There are lots of things that you can do to enjoy spending time alone:

  • watch a Christmas movie
  • listen to some music
  • read a good book
  • take a walk
  • nap
  • meditate
  • do some puzzles
  • organize closets

If you really don’t want to be alone at Christmas you can:

  • attend a Christmas church service
  • feed the homeless at a local shelter
  • go to a park and say hello to anyone you meet
  • pick up some Christmas cards, sign them ‘from a friend’ and deliver them to the mailboxes around your neighbourhood
  • call people you know and wish them a ‘Merry Christmas’
  • try inviting some friends over to watch TV – you might find someone who is just as lonely as you are and wants companionship

Whatever your situation, try to have a good Christmas and spread some love around!

 

 

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Our messed up lives

Our messed up lives

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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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Can Facebook users become nice?

Personally, I don’t think we will ever be able to eliminate bullies and cyber bullies.  However, I do think that educating people can do a lot to help reduce the problem and Arturo Bejar is in agreement with me.

Who is Arturo Bejar?  He is an employee of Facebook and his job is to help teach its users how to be nice to each other and respect their feelings.  Some people may think this is an impossibility but he is actually making some progress.  His team has designed some tools to help people give feedback on any posts or photos that are harmful in any way.  By letting people know that their feelings have been hurt, users have been removing posts.

Social media certainly has its bad points as anything else in life, but it also has a good side.  Being able to send messages, express our thoughts and share pictures is a wonderful way to keep in touch with our families and friends as long as we don’t use it to harm other people or become so immersed in social media that we forget there is a real world out there.

We have to remember that when we are typing a message into a computer screen or cell phone, it is easy to take the human component out of our thoughts.   We can’t see the shock or pain in someone’s eyes.  We can’t see a tear running down their face.  We can’t read their body language.  We can’t hear a sigh or see them fall to the ground in complete despair when they read cruel words or see damaging pictures.  We are not connecting with each other on a human level and we lose our compassion.

When we send a message or picture, we should always make sure that we are not hurting anyone in any way.  Ask yourself these questions:

  • How would I feel if I received this post?
  • Will this person feel good or bad after seeing the post?
  • Am I sharing valuable information or just spreading gossip?
  • Am I trying to be helpful or hurtful?
  • Am I reacting in anger to a comment or action?
  • Should I think first and wait before sending this post?
  • Will there be any consequences to sending this post?

Always make sure you think carefully before pushing the send button.  I know how easy it is to say something and then regret doing so.  Once words are written or spoken, they can’t be taken back.  It only takes a few seconds to cause damage that takes a lifetime to repair.  Sometimes reparation isn’t even possible.

Here is the complete article……http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/23/fashion/Facebook-Arturo-Bejar-Creating-Empathy-Among-Cyberbullying.html?_r=0

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What does it mean to be a good mom?

Parents love your children.   When they become adults and leave home for school, work or marriage, you will wish that you could turn back the clock.  Time is so precious and so are your children!

  • Spend time with them and show them how much you care about them.
  • Surround them with love and support.
  • Encourage them to always do the best they can.
  • Create special memories to hold in their hearts.
  • Help build their confidence
  • Listen to them and show them how valuable they are
  • Teach them solid moral values and guide them to make good decisions
  • Be a positive role model

Here is a video that shows what it means to be a good mom – not a perfect mom, just a good mom!

 

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Our emotional needs

Everyone has basic needs.  The need for food, water, clothing, shelter.  We can exist if these basic needs are filled, but these needs only sustain our bodies, they don’t meet our emotional needs.

What are our emotional needs?

  • We need love and acceptance.
  • We need to feel that we are loved, that we are important and have significance to someone else.
  • We need to feel accepted, that what we do isn’t as important as who we are.
  • We need to feel secure and know that we have worth and value.
  • We need to feel that we have a purpose in life.
  • We need to have confidence and good self-esteem.

Many of us grow up in an environment where something is lacking, an environment that doesn’t meet our emotional needs the way it should.  Our parents, other family members and friends may love us very much and have the best intentions, but may not know or understand how to fill our emotional needs.  We may be subject to rejection, disrespect, neglect or abuse.   Poor parenting methods may have been passed on for generation to generation without anyone being aware that any positive changes can be made.

We have to realize that our past does not define who we are today.  No matter what has happened to us in the past, we do not have to keep making the same mistakes that our parents and other significant others have made.  We have the power to completely change our lives in a different direction.

In order to change the way we think about ourselves, we have to change our beliefs.  If we have been hurt by others, we do not have to believe that everyone will hurt us.  Instead we should believe that we have value and that we are worthy of love.   We need to see the good in others and accept them for their imperfections.  We also need to see the good in ourselves and accept our flaws and imperfections.

Always remember that you have value.  What other people have done to you in the past or present reflects their character and does not reflect the person you are.   Believe in yourself and try to connect with people who are loving and supportive.  Join a support group, organization or local church that makes you feel comfortable and accepted.  There are a lot of awesome people in the world just waiting to meet someone like you!

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