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.

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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What is growing in your garden?

Most people know that if you want a garden to look beautiful, it requires a lot of care.  You have to plant good seeds in fertile soil and water them regularly.  Once the plants, flowers, shrubs, bushes and trees start growing, you have to provide them with continuous care, pulling any weeds out and pruning back any overgrown branches.  It takes work and you can’t neglect caring for the garden or it will soon become overgrown with weeds and lose its beauty.  Then it will slowly wither and die.

People are like gardens.  If we have had good seeds planted in our lives and have been cared for regularly, we will flourish and grow.  As a child, our parents and other people around us start planting seeds that will either make our garden of life beautiful or unattractive.  Positive seeds of love, encouragement and support will help us create a beautiful character that will help us achieve success in our lives.  Negative seeds of neglect, abuse and despair will help us create an unattractive character that will hold us back from reaching our goals or even having any.

What is growing in your garden?  Have positive or negative seeds been planted?  Are YOU planting positive or negative seeds?

It doesn’t matter what has been planted in your garden up to this point.  If positive seeds have been planted, that is awesome!  Keep growing!  However, if negative seeds have been planted, don’t despair.  YOU can start planting positive seeds in your own life and the lives of others.  How?

  • determine where those negative seeds came from so you are aware of why you think and act the way you do
  • start changing the way you talk to yourself – stop that negative thinking and replace it with positive thinking
  • say positive affirmations to yourself every day and learn to appreciate yourself
  • write down a list of your strengths, abilities and skills
  • increase the time you spend with positive people and decrease the time you spend with negative people
  • always look for the good in people and situations instead of the bad

Work hard to create a more positive perspective on life and build your confidence so you can find the happiness and success you are looking for.  Visit my website at http://www.imconfident.com for more information.

 

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Your past does not define you

The first recipe for happiness is:  avoid too lengthy meditation on the past.  ~Andre Maurois

Everyone has a past and it leads us to where we are today.  Our past leaves a mark on us and provides us with valuable lessons.   However, our past can become a huge burden on our lives if we allow our mistakes and failures to define who we are.  If we keep focusing on past events and drag them with us everywhere we go, we can become slaves to our past and not be able to enjoy our lives.

We have all done things in our past that we are not proud of.   We should accept our mistakes and learn from them.  We can’t change what we did but we can change what we do in the future.  Making a mistake does not make us a failure.  Quitting makes us a failure so we should always keep trying to better ourselves.  Dwelling on past mistakes will just stop us from living a full, rewarding life today.

Many people have been treated badly in the past and they feel that there is something wrong with them.   They define themselves by this event and think they are less valuable than other people.  This is wrong!  When people hurt us, they are hurting themselves and their actions are a reflection of their own pain.  It has nothing to do with us and it is wrong to believe that we are responsible for their actions.  We have to stop being slaves to these past events and refuse to allow them to keep hurting us.

Everything in the past has already happened and it does not have to affect our future.   We may have had a bad habit or addiction.  We may have hurt someone with our words or actions.  We may have been abused or abandoned.  We are definitely shaped by our past but we are NOT defined by it.  We CAN move past these things and into something that is much greater.

  • We need to stop focusing on the past and start focusing on today
  • We need to stop thinking negative thoughts and start thinking positive thoughts
  • We need to stop telling ourselves that there is something wrong with us and start telling ourselves that we are great just the way we are
  • We need to stop telling ourselves that we are a failure and start telling ourselves that even though we make mistakes, we are learning and growing

Many successful people today have gone through tremendous difficulties and pain in their past, but they were able to overcome their adversities and make a difference in their lives and the lives of other people.  Jim Carrey was homeless as a teen, Bill Gates failed in his first business attempt, Bethany Hamilton lost her arm in a shark attack, Oprah Winfrey was raped at 9 and became pregnant at 14, Richard Branson has dyslexia and I could go on and on.

Never feel that your past defines you.  It doesn’t matter what you did or what happened to you.  You have great abilities, strengths and characteristics.   Every day you can make a fresh start and work on developing a new character.  Build your confidence and increase your self-esteem so you can feel good about who you are.  Visit my website http://www.imconfident.com for more information on confidence building.

Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them.  They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals, rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them.  ~Jack Canfield

 

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How to help your teen build esteem

We should never measure ourselves against other people because we are all unique individuals.  We can’t possibly be the same as somebody else and we are not supposed to be.  Many of the people we are comparing ourselves to, are often very insecure about themselves.

Teens need to develop confidence and increase their self-esteem so they will be able to stand up to negative peer pressures and make good choices in life.  As parents, we can help our own children and any teens we are connected to.  Here are some ways that we can help them build esteem:

  1. Show love – Take very opportunity to show how much you love your children.  No, they don’t just know!!! You have to tell them and show them.  A child who feels loved at home won’t go looking for love in all the wrong places.
  2. Be encouraging – Life will always have problems and teens are very sensitive when they fail or do something wrong.  They need to be encouraged to keep going and know that you will support them.
  3. Have an open mind – Teens need to know that you that you are listening to them and that you are not going to judge everything they say.   You may not always agree with what they are saying, but they aren’t you and they will think differently.  Be honest and open.  Teens will talk to whoever with listen, so make sure that person is you.
  4. Be a positive role model – Teens always watch the people around them to see how they speak and act, so we need to make sure we are presenting a positive example for them to follow.  Be the person you want your teen to be.
  5. Choose your words carefully – Your words have the power to impact your teen in a positive or negative way.  Once your words are spoken, they can’t be taken back, so be very careful you don’t say something that is damaging.  Say things that remind them of their great abilities and strengths.
  6. Spend time with them – Teens do like to spend time with their parents as it makes them feel valued.  Plan some special times as a family and also one-on-one, to build a closer relationship.  Make sure you aren’t spending time criticizing them or they will prefer to spend time with someone else.

The teen years are very difficult and your teen really needs your love and support.  Be there for them and help them navigate through all the challenges they face.  You will face obstacles and often feel like nothing is working, but if you keep the lines of communication open and keep trying to maintain a good relationship, your teen will feel your support and know how much you care.

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Think nobody likes you? Wrong!

Never assume people won’t like you.  There are literally millions of people in the world who wish they could have a friend just like you.  Research shows that about 75% or more of the world’s population is lonely and would love to have someone reach out and talk to them.   Like you, they also believe that nobody could possibly like them or want to be their friend.

If you lack confidence and have low esteem, it can be difficult to even try to talk to other people.  Fear of rejection can hold you back from taking that first step and initiating a conversation with someone you don’t know.  It takes courage to approach people but it is well worth the risk as most people will respond in a positive way.   Look around and find someone who seems lonely, smile and say hello.  If you have time, start a conversation.  Be friendly, ask them some basic questions.   It might just brighten their day and lessen the load they are carrying.

Of course, there is the possibility that some people will ignore you or reject you because they may feel so bad about themselves and have closed themselves off to forming any friendships at all.   Their negative response shouldn’t stop you from continuing to try to connect with people.   And there will always be people who won’t want to be your friend because of personality conflicts, jealousy or other issues.   You can never hope to win everyone’s approval.

So if you think that nobody likes you, you are wrong!  If you believe this, then you probably don’t like yourself and you are sending out negative vibes that tell people not to like you!

  • Learn how to build your confidence so you can feel comfortable initiating a conversation.
  • Increase your esteem so you will feel good about yourself.
  • Discover your strengths and abilities.
  • Be thankful for everything you have.
  • Say positive statements or affirmations every day.
  • Show love and kindness to everyone you meet.

When you feel good about yourself and send out positive vibes to other people, they will feel comfortable and enjoy being in your presence.   If you want to have friends, you have to be a friend.

If you would like more information on building confidence and increasing your esteem, visit my website at http://www.imconfident.com.

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Help your children build esteem

It is so important that we teach our children how to build their confidence and maintain a strong esteem.  Young people struggle today with their body image, feeling insecure and having distorted ideas about their appearance.   Media pressures are extremely powerful and can have disastrous effects on a child who lacks confidence in their abilities and has very little esteem.   They need the support of parents who can be positive role models that demonstrate through example how to feel good about their own self-image.

When your children are small, start helping them build confidence by working alongside them to master their abilities and skills, supporting them when they fail and encouraging them to try again.  When children feel that they are loved and valued, they will become confident and this will build their esteem.    If you are a parent who lacks confidence and has low esteem, work hard to make positive changes in your own life so you can help your children become confident, responsible adults.  Don’t let your children struggle with feelings of insecurity, believing what the media tells them and allowing bullies to have a negative effect on their thinking.   The article below shows the devastating effects that bullies have on insecure teens.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/apr/16/bullied-teenagers-increasingly-want-to-have-cosmetic-surgery-says-survey

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Writer’s Blogging Tour

A few weeks ago, I was asked by Christine at Our Soul’s Purpose to join her on a Writer’s Blogging Tour.  I have never been on a tour before but I am always open to trying something new, especially if it involves writing.  I have been following Christine’s blog for several months now and have enjoyed reading her interesting and thought-provoking posts.  She tries to encourage people to become the best they can be by writing about gratitude, forgiveness and love, things that will improve the quality of our lives.

Here is some information about my own writing:

1.  What are you currently working on/writing?

My current project is writing more workbooks on building self-esteem.  In my workshops and coaching I have been using my first workbook ‘Caterpillar to Butterfly’ and it has served me well.  However, when I am working with different age groups it doesn’t always meet their specific needs.  I am planning on creating one for teens and one for younger children with more hands on activities to keep their interest and help them learn better.  I will also be writing a Christian self-esteem workbook that will fill in the last important step that is critical to building esteem.   It took me 2 years to write the first workbook, so it won’t be coming out for a little while.  I am hoping to have the teen workbook ready in the next few months.

Since I have a very active mind, I am always working on several projects at a time.  In the works are more short, informative books on different topics under the series called “Grandma’s Notes’.  My first attempt was on parenting advice: gathering information from experts and combining it with personal experience into a book called ‘Grandma’s Notes on Parenting’.  I’ve started one on relationships and have a list of other ideas including: esteem, healthy living and communication.

I also have been writing articles at Ezine Articles since August 2013.

2.  How is what you write different from others of the same genre?

My writing is different from others because I always do extensive research on the topic and then combine it with my own personal experience.   Once I have collected my thoughts, I try to write in a simple, logical way so that everyone can understand exactly what I am trying to say.

3.  Why do you write what you do?

I am very passionate about helping people learn how to build their esteem, communicate more effectively and become a better parent because I personally struggled with low esteem and depression throughout my life.  I know how difficult life can be when you feel worthless and believe that nobody really cares about you.  I know what it feels like to look at the world from a negative perspective and believe that life will never get better.  I know how distorted our thinking can be and how much it can destroy us if we don’t have good esteem.  I also know what can happen when you learn how to change your perspective and become more positive because I have been on both sides of the coin.  I have learned how to turn my life totally around and I want to share my thoughts with others in the hopes of inspiring them.

4.  What is your creative process?

My family is all creative in some way, so I’m sure my creativity came naturally.  We have writers, artists and crafters in the family.  I have always enjoyed reading, writing and creating for as long as I can remember.  My mind never stops working; it takes in everything I see around me.  When I see people or hear about events, I am inspired to write a story.  When I hear a quote, hear a statement or read a story, I am inspired to share the information with the world.  Sometimes I am inspired by my grandson and the amazing things he does.

Thanks again to Christine for inviting me on this tour. Please take time to visit her blog at Our Soul’s Purpose and have a blessed day!

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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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Are you building walls?

wallWhat is the purpose of building a wall?  We build walls to provide a shelter or security by defining a certain area.  This can be a good thing when you are talking about properties.

However when people start putting up personal walls, it is a different matter.  Many of us build walls to protect ourselves from being hurt.   Some of us started building these walls in our childhood, others started later in life when relationships became difficult.  We try to wall people out and become tough so we can’t get hurt.

The problem is, when we build a wall to keep people out, we are also keeping ourselves in.  We may be protecting ourselves from being hurt or rejected but we are closing the door to forming any positive relationships.   It is better to risk getting hurt than to avoid having any relationships at all.  Instead of building walls, build strong self-esteem so you aren’t sensitive to negative comments or actions.

Nothing we do can stop people from hurting us.  People who are in pain will hurt other people and the best thing we can do is respond with love and kindness.   Many times this will have a positive effect on both parties.

Are you building walls or building friendships?

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Is childhood becoming extinct?

Many child psychologists and therapists are in agreement on one thing – children today are becoming adults too soon.  In reading various articles and also from personal observation, I am in total agreement with this.  Everywhere I go, I see young children dressing provocatively, using language that is inappropriate and acting in ways that would have embarrassed me at their age.  Instead of enjoying the few short years of their childhood, they are trying to be mini adults.

So why is this happening?  It is because many parents are pressuring their children to become responsible for themselves at a young age.  They allow them to make their own choices and often try to be a friend instead of a parent.  In many homes there are no restrictions as to what children watch on TV or the computer.  Children often watch the same programs and movies as adults do which causes them to be exposed to sex and violence at a very early age.   Children can’t handle this information emotionally, physically and spiritually and the result is early sexual activity, teen pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and violent behaviour.   This results in relationship issues, problems in school, low esteem, eating disorders, addictions, depression and possibly even suicide.

Children are a gift and we should treat them with special care.  We don’t need to show other people that our children are smarter, faster or better looking.  We don’t need to tell our children that they are better than someone else.  We  don’t need to help them grow up any faster than they need to.  Children need to be children.  They need to play and explore.  They need to be loved, appreciated and respected.

Do your children a favour and allow them to be a child.   We have enough adults in the world.  Don’t let childhood becoming something that is extinct.

Which child would you rather have?  The one that looks like a serious model or the one that looks like she is having fun being a kid?

tots in tiaras1happy girl standing on hands

 

 

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