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.

Are you teaching your children to worry?

Let’s face it – life IS difficult and there are so many things that we can worry about – our families, our jobs, our friends, our finances, our future.  However, what value does worrying have?   The answer is – absolutely none! Worry doesn’t make anything better and it won’t resolve any problems.  Worry is just a major cause of stress and we know that stress can kill us.

So if we are worrying about everything in our lives, then we are impacting everyone around us, especially our children.  Think about it – our children are watching everything we say and do and will likely pick up any bad habits we have, like worrying!  We are giving them a terrible gift, one that will harm their health and possibly destroy any close parent/child relationship.

Are you teaching your children to worry?  If you are a worrier, take some steps to change this bad habit.  Write down your worries and try to change your perspective on them.  Ask yourself why you are worrying so much.  Try to focus on a positive solution and have faith that things will usually turn out okay.  The fact is, about 95% of the things we worry about never happen!

 

 

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Use your energy to build confidence

Everything we do takes energy.  It takes energy to get up, get dressed, go to work/school, cook, eat, clean, take care of the family and the list could go on and on.   How we feel about ourselves also uses energy; emotional energy.  Feeling good about ourselves is positive energy and it will give us the confidence to move forward in life.  Feeling bad about ourselves and looking at life with a negative perspective takes an enormous amount of energy.  It literally sucks the energy right out of us and destroys our confidence.

Do you have positive energy or negative energy?  Answer these questions:

  • Do you complain a lot?
  • Are you critical about yourself and others?
  • Do you blow little things way out of proportion?
  • Do you look for the bad things instead of the good things?
  • Do you believe that you can’t change or control your life?
  • Do you blame others for what happens to you?
  • Do you feel like nothing ever goes right in your life?

If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, you have negative energy. Your confidence and self-esteem could use a good boost.  This can be done by changing your perspective.

Instead of using your energy to dwell on your problems and feel bad about yourself, use your energy to work on building confidence and increasing your self-esteem.  It takes the same amount of energy to feel good or bad about yourself but the results are much different.  Feeling bad results in stress.  Feeling good results in peace.  Try to surround yourself with positive people, places and things and focus on what is good in your life, not what is bad.

Visit my website at http://www.imconfident.com for ideas on how to build confidence and increase your self-esteem.

 

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What is a habit?

A habit is a behaviour that you do repeatedly until it becomes automatic.  Once you have done the same thing over and over again for a period of time, you don’t even think about it anymore.  We develop good habits and we develop bad habits.  The good habits push us forward so we can enjoy a happy and successful life.  The bad habits are the ones that hold us back and cause problems in our lives.

If you want to stop your bad habits, you need to:

  • clearly define your bad, negative habits
    • make a list
    • number them in priority sequence starting with the one you would like to change the most
  • determine what new, positive habits you can develop to overcome your bad habits
    • stopping a bad habit is hard unless you have something to replace it with
    • thinking about new habits will fill up your time with positive energy
  • create an action plan
    • decide which new habit you are going to work on first and the steps you need to take
    • write down the steps in a journal, daybook or calendar for 21 consecutive days (research shows it takes about 21-30 days to develop a new habit)
    • each day, follow these steps until you feel confident your habit is well established
    • if you slip backwards or miss a day, keep going and don’t give up
    • at the end of 21 days if you haven’t reached your goal, continue for another 21 days until the habit is set
  • celebrate your successes
    • at certain points (weekly, biweekly, monthly) reward yourself with a small treat or special event as a motivation to yourself

Do you know what your bad habits are?   Maybe some of these sound familiar?

  • being late for work, school, appointments, meetings
  • hitting the snooze button more than once before getting up in the morning
  • procrastinating on paying bills, filing taxes, keeping house clean, working on projects
  • talking instead of listening
  • not spending time with family, friends
  • forgetting important dates and occasions
  • not returning phone calls and emails
  • not eating proper meals
  • avoiding regular exercise
  • not keeping promises
  • answering cell phones and texts continuously
  • surfing the internet, playing video games
  • trying to control everyone around you
  • biting nails, tapping fingers

Changing a bad habit can be very difficult but also very possible with commitment.  Developing new, positive habits can transform your life.   Replacing bad habits with good habits will improve your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self.   Having good habits will increase self-esteem and help you overcome:

  • feelings of worthlessness
  • fears and insecurities
  • addictions
  • poor behaviours
  • pressures and stresses
  • depression and anxiety

 

 

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Is it your birthday or your birth….day?

Have you ever thought about your birthday as being a birth…day?  I mean, the day you were born it was your birthday, but it was also the birth….day of your mother.   She celebrated the birth of her amazing child – YOU!!!

Every year most of us celebrate our birthdays with our family and/or friends, enjoying food and presents.  But do we celebrate the day that our mother gave us birth?   I know, we have a special day set aside just for mothers.  We celebrate Mother’s Day every year and I think this is silly because we should cherish our mothers every day, although it is good because it reminds us.

I think we should have a celebration on our birthday for our mothers who spent hours in labour and years taking care of us.  Mothers are seldom appreciated the way they should be and this is often the reason that they become stressed and burnt out.  If children would take the time to show love and appreciation for their mothers, it would help mothers feel worthy and valued.

This year on my grandson’s 3rd birthday, I wished my daughter a happy birth….day.  She went through a lot to bring her wonderful son into this world and she deserves to be appreciated.

Appreciation is a wonderful thing.  It has a positive effect on people.  Show appreciation for the people around you and watch the results.   Even if you have never been given appreciation before, there is no time like the present to get started on your own mission of appreciating others.

  • wives appreciate your husbands
  • husbands appreciate your wives
  • children appreciate your parents
  • friends/co-workers appreciate each other
  • employees appreciate your boss
  • bosses appreciate your employees

Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”   ― Voltaire

 

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De-stress your life

Cmas mouse and candy caneChristmas can be a stressful time of year.  People rush everywhere trying to get things done and by the time Christmas Day comes, they are so exhausted and stressed out that they don’t even enjoy the holiday.

Stress is a normal part of life and can affect us in a positive or negative way.  When stress motivates you in a positive way, it can fill you with positive energy.  However, when stress motivates you in a negative way, it can literally suck the life right out of you.

Since it isn’t possible to eliminate stress from life, it is important that we learn how to control it.   It is important to determine what causes the stress in your life and learn ways to minimize or eliminate it.  When you are stressed, try the following STRESS method:

  • S top what you are doing.
  • T ake note of the situation in your journal or notebook.  Outline what is causing stress in your life.
  • R eview your notes.  Do this later on in the day when you are not so emotional or you won’t see the situation clearly.
  • E valuate your reaction.  Was it proper, logical, realistic?
  • S ituation – can it be changed, minimized or eliminated.  Yes  No  How?
  • S et-up a plan of action for the next time this situation comes up.  Write it down to help you remember it.

Every day, write down your stressful situations in your journal or notebook.  Use the above STRESS method as a guideline.   Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What situation causes the most stress in your life?
  2. How do you react in this situation?
  3. Is it possible to change, minimize or eliminate this situation?     Yes      No    How?
  4. Could you change your reaction to the situation?         Yes      No     How?

Try to figure out what causes you the most stress during the holiday season and make some positive changes.

  • check your to-do list and cross out anything that isn’t absolutely necessary
  • spend less money on presents and spend more time with your family and friends
  • get help putting up decorations
  • share in meal preparation and cleanup
  • get rid of any grudges that you have about anyone
  • lower your expectations about a perfect Christmas
  • show love to everyone you meet
  • relax and enjoy yourself during the holiday season

 

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Time is precious

sitting on top of hourglassDo you realize how precious your time is?  From the day you were born until the day you die, you only have a certain number of years here on this earth.

Most of us spend our time working, eating, spending money and sleeping.   There isn’t anything wrong with that unless that is all we are doing with our time.

Do you spend time with your family, especially your children?  Do you take time to build strong relationships?   Do you stop to help others?   Do you just take some quiet time for yourself?

When we are young, we are swept up in this fast paced world, trying to achieve everything all at once.  We work hard and make lots of money, not paying much attention to our physical, mental and spiritual health.  We don’t always take the time to relax and we end up getting stressed and depressed.  Life passes by quickly and soon we are in our later years wondering where all our time disappeared to and thinking about all the things we missed out on.  At that point we would gladly give back all the money we made in exchange for more time and good health.

Remember how precious time is.  Once a day is gone, it can never be re-lived.  Make sure you use your time to build good relationships and great memories.

What are you going to do with the 24 hours ahead of you?

 

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How do you stop from thinking negative thoughts?

holding stop signMost people tend to have more negative thoughts than positive thoughts and this is what causes problems in their lives.  Negative thoughts result in negative words and actions which result in negative results.  On the other hand, positive thoughts result in positive words and actions which result in positive results.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand this concept.  So which would you rather be – positive or negative?

Negative thinking can cause anxiety, fear and stress about situations in life.  In order to feel positive and peaceful, we have to work on changing those negative, anxious thoughts into positive, peaceful thoughts.

Here are 6 steps for stopping negative thoughts.

1)  Be aware that you are having a negative thought.

2)  Choose a way that will make you stop this thought.

  • Say ‘STOP’ (out loud or in your mind)
  • Keep a rubber band on your arm and snap it gently
  • Picture a bright red stop sign
  • Put your arm out in front of you and say ‘halt’(out loud or in your mind)
  • Shake your head and say ‘no’ (out loud or in your mind)
  • Stop moving and stomp your foot

3)  Consciously change the negative thought with a positive, peaceful thought.

4)  Say your positive thought out loud if possible, or in your mind.

5)  Keep focusing on that positive, peaceful thought by repeating it until the negative thought is completely gone.

6)  Do this every time you have a negative thought.

Think about the things that make you anxious or stressful.  Here are some common issues:

  • meeting new people
  • your future
  • talking with friends
  • what you look like
  • performing in front of others
  • your athletic skills
  • religion
  • being asked out/asking someone out
  • money
  • whether or not people like you
  • your body
  • illness or injury

What makes you anxious or stressful?  What things bring out negative thoughts?  Make your own list.

Then determine what you could use as a peaceful thought to overpower that negative thought.  Here are some ideas:

  • say a positive statement or affirmation
  • play with a pet
  • listen to music
  • go for a walk or run
  • watch a sunrise or sunset
  • watch a funny movie
  • talk to a friend
  • take a nap
  • read a good book
  • go shopping
  • sing or dance
  • meditate
  • write in a journal
  • exercisesmile1
  • draw or paint a picture
  • admire some beautiful scenery

What would make you feel positive and peaceful? 

Cram your head and heart full of positive, peaceful stuff and you will crowd out all the negative, anxious thoughts.

 

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Simplify your life

Many of us live very complicated lives today.  We are always in a hurry, but where exactly are we going?  Every day we rush to work, rush home, rush to eat, rush to meetings, rush to take our kids somewhere – rush, rush, rush!  We try to accomplish way more in a day than we possibly can and it just results in stress and frustration.

Until a few years ago, I lived my life on the fast track.  Every minute of every day had to be full of activity or I felt like I wasn’t doing enough.  I was the typical ‘superwoman’, trying to fit 60 hours into 24 hours and I was never successful.  After working a full day, cooking meals, cleaning the house, doing laundry, chauffeuring the kids, looking after pets, going to meetings and so on, I didn’t have any time left for myself.  My own health was neglected because I was so busy looking after everyone else.

I now realize that my to-do lists were way too long and not even realistic.  Nobody could have possibly accomplished the tasks that I expected to do in just one day.   After burning out a few times, I started to take a closer look at my lists and really began thinking about each item.  What really needed to be done that day?  What could I do another day?  What could I just not do at all?

Taking the time to think helped me realize that a lot of those “important’ tasks were not really important at all.  I had just convinced myself that they were all necessary or I wasn’t doing my job as a wife and mother.  Of course, society is a big culprit by pressuring us to do more and do it as quickly as possible.

Now I simplify my life by making shorter to-do lists, reviewing them and crossing off anything that isn’t important for that day.   If it needs to be done, it gets done.  If it can wait until another pencil and paperday, I write it down on the next day’s list.  If it is something that isn’t even important, I cross it right off.  Now my life is a lot less stressful and I can actually enjoy some quiet, alone time every day.  It’s a good idea to include some personal time on your daily to-do list.

What is on your to-do list?

What can you put off until another day?

What can you totally avoid doing?

Do you have some personal time on your to-do list?

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Are you a people pleaser?

What exactly is a people pleaser?  This is someone who tries very hard to make other people happy because they are afraid that if they don’t, then nobody will like them.  This happens when people have little confidence and low self-esteem.  People pleasers do not stop to think about their own needs and will agree to do almost anything so they don’t disappoint anyone or hurt their feelings.

It is natural to want other people to like us.  However, when our main goal is to please everyone around us, it can create a lot of stress and anxiety in our lives.

  • Are you always trying to please other people?
  • Are your decision based on what others think?
  • Do you value yourself?

Here is a cute story about a grandpa and his young grandson who are going into their village with a donkey to buy some supplies.  I’m not sure where I heard this one – if you know the origin, it would be great if you would share it with me.

Grandpa and his grandson were walking along the path into the village leading their donkey.  Grandpa put his grandson up on the donkey and kept walking.  grandpa and boy on donkey

Some villagers passed by and made a comment, “How inconsiderate of that young boy to ride and make his grandpa walk”.   Grandpa took the boy off the donkey and climbed up on its back.  The grandson kept walking alongside.

Some villagers passed by and made a comment, “How inconsiderate of that old man to ride and make his grandson walk.”  Grandpa pulled his grandson up behind him on the donkey and they kept riding”.

More villagers passed by and made a comment, “How inconsiderate of those two to make that poor donkey carry such a heavy load”.  Grandpa and his grandson got down off the donkey.  By the time they reached the village, they were carrying the donkey.  What?!! 

No they weren’t carrying the donkey, but I’m sure you get my point.  You can’t please everyone.  Just do what you know is right and don’t worry about what everyone thinks.   There will always be someone who doesn’t like what you do and that is okay.  You won’t always like what other people do either.  That’s reality!

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Controlling stress

Signature:baed3687aecc9fc02b05e033f52ab04b5ac34144c6f0702c4e0cfe36f9d34041Since it isn’t possible to eliminate stress from life, it is important that we learn how to control it.   Stress can actually give you positive energy, which can benefit you on your journey to becoming more confident.  It is important to determine what causes the stress in your life and learn ways to minimize or eliminate it.  When you are stressed, try the following STRESS method:

S top what you are doing.

T ake note of the situation in your journal or notebook.  Outline what is causing stress in your life.

R eview your notes.  Do this later on in the day when you are not so emotional or you won’t see the situation clearly.

E valuate your reaction.  Was it proper, logical, realistic?

S ituation – can it be changed, minimized or eliminated.  Yes  No  How?

S et-up a plan of action for the next time this situation comes up.  Write it down to help you remember it.

Every day, write down your stressful situations in your journal or notebook.  Use the above STRESS method as a guideline.

What situation causes the most stress in your life?

How do you react in this situation?

Is it possible to change, minimize or eliminate this situation?     Yes      No    How?

Could you change your reaction to the situation?         Yes      No     How?

SOME QUOTES ABOUT STRESS

Stress should be a powerful driving force, not an obstacle.  ~Bill Phillips

Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness.   ~Richard Carlson

For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.  ~Lily Tomlin
Give your stress wings and let it fly away. ~Terri Guillemets

Stress is an ignorant state.  It believes that everything is an emergency.  ~Natalie Goldberg, Wild Mind

There is more to life than increasing its speed.  ~Mohandas K. Gandhi

God didn’t do it all in one day.  What makes me think I can?  ~Author Unknown

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another. ~William James

 

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