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 an elephant?

If you have ever been to a circus, you may have noticed the elephants just standing passively with a small rope tied around their front leg.   Did you wonder why these large creatures don’t run away and find their freedom?

When elephants are going to be used for a circus, they start conditioning them to believe a lie.  When they are very young and small, they tie them with a rope that is strong enough to hold them and when they try to walk away, they can’t.  They naturally try to pull but they aren’t strong enough to break the rope so eventually they stop resisting and stay within the bounds of the rope. As they grow, the elephants could easily break free from their bonds but their self-defeating beliefs keep them prisoner.  They do not realize how powerful they really are.

Many of us are like these elephants, held back by a self-defeating belief that simply is not true.  We hear things when we are children like: “You aren’t good enough.  You aren’t smart enough.  You will never amount to anything.”  We get stuck in these false beliefs and they often hold us back from using our abilities and pursuing our goals.

Are you an elephant?  Are you being held back by a limiting belief?  Many of our beliefs about ourselves are not true at all.  Discover your own abilities, skills and characteristics and fly like a butterfly!

 

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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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What are you investing your time in?

what-do-you-invest-your-time-in

 

 

Everyone invests their time in something, usually in whatever they are interested in the most.  Unfortunately, we don’t always invest our time in the things that are important.  Then when we get older, we realize that we have wasted a lot of time doing things that don’t matter and we have regrets.

Many people go through life trying to achieve success by obtaining power or making lots of money.  Others spend their lives wasting all their time and money pleasing themselves and just having fun.  Then one day they need support from their family and friends and wonder why they are all alone.

I certainly have regrets and wish that I could turn back the clock.  Many hours, days and weeks were wasted doing things that don’t even matter now.

  • Time spent working extra hours to make more money instead of going home and spending time with my family
  • Time spent working on projects that didn’t pan out and have long been forgotten
  • Time spent feeling sorry for myself instead of feeling sorry for other people and helping them out
  • Time spent reading books that filled up time and didn’t teach me anything valuable
  • Time spent watching TV programs and movies that filled up my mind with total garbage

Think carefully about what you spend your time doing.

  • Is it something that has value or something that is wasting your time?
  • Is it something that makes you a better person or does it lead you away from the important things in life?
  • Is it something that blesses other people or does it only please yourself?
  • Is it something that leads you where you want to be or is it leading you down a dead-end street?

Whatever you surround yourself with now will likely be what surrounds you in the future.   Make some positive changes in your life now and invest time in things of value.

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Do you have a perfectionist complex?

Do you feel that you will never measure up and are always comparing yourself to others?

Do you feel that you never do anything well or can never please anyone or yourself?

Are you always driven by the expectations of others?

Are you often frustrated or feel like a failure?

Have you ever stopped to wonder where these feelings come from?  We form our opinions of others and ourselves mainly from the environment that we grow up in.  This is reinforced by the people we surround ourselves with and how much we immerse ourselves in the media.  Perhaps you grew up in a home where criticism was the norm and whatever you did was never good enough.  When you cleaned your room and it wasn’t perfect, were you praised for what you did or criticized for what you didn’t do?  When you brought home a report card with 5 B’s and 1 D, were you praised for doing a good job and encouraged to beat that D or were you just criticized for getting a D?  When you brought home friends to enjoy some fun times, did your family welcome them and talk nicely about them when they left or did they pick out all their bad points and tell you that you didn’t choose your friends very well?

Growing up and living in an environment of criticism and negativity will have profound effects on how you live your life.  Feeling that you never do anything right and thinking that all your choices are bad ones, will create a need to find perfection.  Everything you do will be geared to pleasing someone else.  The result is feeling like a failure because you can never measure up to anyone else’s expectations.  The world continually promotes perfection and the need to succeed.  We should always do our best but we can never be perfect in a world that is far from perfect.

We need to understand that we all have strengths and weaknesses and not be critical of our imperfections and flaws.  We ALL are imperfect and we ALL have weaknesses.  We just can’t be the ‘super’ person that everyone expects us to be.  Even the expectations we put on ourselves are way too high and can never be reached.  Accepting ourselves for who we really are is important.  We all have unique value and worth.   Discover your own amazing abilities, strengths and personality traits.  Make a list and review them often to remind yourself what an awesome person you are!

 

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One day at at time

 We often try to set goals or make a promise to do something that will happen in the future.   This might be to quit a bad habit, start a new venture or plan a big event.  It is great to plan for the future but trying to focus on something that isn’t happening right now, can often be too overwhelming to manage.

What we can do is focus on just ‘one day at a time’.   Tell yourself, you can get through today and don’t think about tomorrow or next week or next month.  Most of us have enough will power to commit to doing something or not doing something for just one day.   Then the next day, you focus on another ‘one day at a time’ and keep going.  This is a positive way of working towards your goals and dealing with your struggles.  Write your daily goal in a journal or on a calendar so you can keep track of your progress.

  • Are you trying to stick to a diet?  You CAN eat healthy foods just for today.
  • Are you trying to stop smoking?  You CAN go without cigarettes just for today.
  • Are you trying to stop criticizing?  You CAN go for just one day without criticizing.
  • Are you trying to exercise?  You CAN exercise just for today.
  • Are you trying to de-clutter your house?  You CAN work on it today.

Just focus on doing something for one day.  You CAN do it!  When you reach the end of the day, put a big check mark in your journal or on your calendar.  Make sure you congratulate yourself for doing a good job.  Then tomorrow, do it again ‘one day at a time‘ and remember to pat yourself on the back.  See how many days you can keep going.  The more you manage, the easier it gets.

If you just can’t make it through one day, don’t be discouraged.  Some days we will fail at meeting our expectations but this just means we are human.  Everyone slides backwards sometimes but when we do, we should just keep going and try harder to accomplish the task.  Give yourself a pep talk and start again the next day!  Slow and sure wins the race.

Remember, just one day at a time!!

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A new beginning

We are almost at the beginning of a New Year.  Are you ready for a new beginning?

Think back over the past year.  What has happened to shape your life?  What memories were made?  Were they  happy or sad, rewarding or disappointing, powerful or pitiful?

We will always remember the really good times and the really bad times because they make a huge impact on us.  The problem is, when we focus on the bad times more than the good times, we are going to feel bad and not live our lives to the fullest.  We will hold ourselves back from trying something new or enjoying an event because we fear failure and want to protect ourselves from getting hurt.

Try hard to focus on the good things that have happened and treasure them in your heart.  See the bad things from a positive perspective and treat them as learning experiences.  What can you change in your life and how can you face these problems with confidence the next time they happen?  How can you treat people in a different way and not allow them to hurt you?

Each year we have an opportunity for a new beginning.  Start thinking about the changes you can make that will improve your relationships and your outlook on life.

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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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Do you feel like a failure?

Do you avoid doing things because you don’t know how it will work out?

Do you hesitate in making changes because you are afraid things might get worse?

Do you avoid situations because you are afraid you will say or do something wrong?

Many of us avoid doing anything that might result in failure.  We are so afraid that we might do something wrong, that we miss out on some great opportunities.  None of us likes to fail but failure is part of being a human.

Everyone makes mistakes.  We are not alone in our failures.  All successful people have failed during their lives but they just use failure as a learning tool to achieving their success.  They keep trying and working through their mistakes until they find a solution that works.

What we have to do is learn how to fail successfully.  Nobody else can succeed for us, so it is important that when we do fail, we just pick ourselves up and try again.  Don’t blame others for your mistakes, don’t make excuses and don’t give up.

Failure isn’t a problem unless you dwell on your failures and stay stuck.  Learn from them and try hard not to make the same mistake again.  We can learn a lesson from everything we do in life.

Failure is just a stepping stone to success.

Step 1 – Analyze your failure.  Why did this happen?  What did I do or say that didn’t work?

Step 2 – Determine what you could do differently the next time this situation comes up.

Step 3 – Write down a plan of action and start moving ahead.

Step 4 – Don’t focus on what happened, focus on what you are going to do.

Step 5 – If you can’t seem to come up with an answer that works, talk to someone you trust and allow them to help you.

Step 6 – Write down your successes, big and small and go over them regularly to remind yourself that you CAN succeed.

 

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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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Self-fulfilling prophecies

A self-fulfilling prophecy is a positive or negative expectation about people, circumstances or events that causes itself to become true because a person believes it will come true.  We can literally cause some things to come true just because we believe it.  Self-fulfilling prophecies are often false and can influence people in a negative way.

If a self-fulfilling prophecy is a positive expectation, it can help us reach our goals.  However, if it is a negative expectation, it can stop us from reaching our goals.

For example, a child is struggling in school and his goal is to become a doctor someday.   His parents want him to reach his goals so they encourage him and tell him to study hard.  They are very supportive and make sure he gets all the help he needs to improve his grades.   They proudly tell everyone that someday their son will be a doctor.  Their child will try to make this prediction come true because he believes it about himself.  His self-fulfilling prophecy of achieving his potential may possibly come true.

Now, let’s look at the same situation in a different way.  The same child is struggling in school and his goal is to become a doctor.  His parents never went to college and they don’t believe their son has the capability of becoming a doctor.   They tell him that he is too stupid to become a doctor and they continually discourage him.  They tell people that their son thinks he will become a doctor and then laugh about it.  Their child will likely try to make this prediction come true because he believes that he won’t be successful.  He will probably get a minimum wage paid job and be frustrated with his life, thus fulfilling his self-fulfilling prophecy of being a loser.

Self-fulfilling prophecies can be self-defeating if we are expecting something bad to happen.  If we believe we can’t do something, we won’t even try even if we do have the capability.  If we believe that everyone is going to hurt us, we will allow them to hurt us even if they don’t intend to.  If we believe we are clumsy, stupid or useless we will fulfill this prophecy and respond to people and situations with the wrong perspective.  We may very well be capable of achieving something great, but if we are told that we are a failure, we might not even try.

Have you ever gone for a job interview and already told yourself that you won’t get the job?  Have you ever gone to a party and already told yourself that nobody will talk to you?  Have you ever written a test and already told yourself that you wouldn’t get a good grade?   Have you ever woken up and just knew it was going to be a bad day?  You are probably fulfilling someone’s false prophecy about you.

Parents and other adults often say things that will dampen our enthusiasm or stop us from doing what we enjoy doing with negative words.  We have to build confidence in ourselves and not allow others to influence us in a negative way.  We should never allow the expectations of others to defeat us in any way.

I saw an instance a few weeks ago that could result in a negative self-fulfilling prophecy.   A young child was playing a game with plastic bowling pins and balls.  He was throwing the ball and also throwing the pins, which is quite normal for his age.  There was nothing bad about what he was doing, just a very active boy learning how use his arms.   However, his grandmother started telling him that he was going to be a bully.  I immediately wondered where she got that idea because he was playing alone and to be a bully you have to engaged with another person.  Now, I might have re-directed his energy and showed him how to use the pins properly, but I certainly wouldn’t have called him a bully.   If this expectation of her grandson is continually reinforced, the child may very well become a bully because he will believe that it is what is expected of him.  We should never label a child with a negative label.

Are you fulfilling the expectations of others?  Are you helping create someone else’s self-fulfilling prophecy?  Make sure it is a positive one!

 

 

 

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