You are enough. Always have been and always will be…



“He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.” ~ Lao Tzu

For years my life was defined by deep feelings of inadequacy as well as concurrent actions of striving to keep those feelings at bay. Even as a young child, I felt nothing I did was good enough, and I can still recall feelings of intense anxiety, sometimes terror, at simply waking up and knowing I had to go to school. While my parents meant well, I was inculcated with the belief that to be loved meant having to prove your worth each and every day, which meant doing things in a certain way—staying quiet, doing what you were told, getting good grades, taking certain subjects.  In other words, I was given a supposed checklist of success, which would supposedly lead to this elusive state called “happiness.”

I was taught to be competitive, to believe that my self-worth was directly tied to accomplishment.  I could not be of value unless I achieved something. This is a belief system embraced by many, and for me, it only served to deepen the feelings of emptiness and downright devastation that I experienced, especially if I failed at something.  When one lives in a constant state of competition, there is no such thing as ever being good enough.  One lives in a constant fear that you NEVER will be good enough. Even as I continually achieved and collected accolades, I suffered from constant panic attacks, chronic anxiety and depression.  Therapy and anti-depressants would provide short-lived respite.

However, even as I spent most of waking time dedicated to “doing,” part of me was suspicious of what the point exactly was to all this “doing.”  A secret voice was always asking, “Is this all there is?”  Part of me was deeply ashamed that this voice even existed. After all, society was reinforcing that I was doing things the “right way.”  I dutifully checked off the items on my checklist of success, completely believing that once I completed each task, I would be closer and closer to that state called “happiness.”  However, with each accomplishment, I only seemed to be further and further away from where I wanted to be. A part of me resigned myself to believing that perhaps what I really wanted could never be attained, that it was elusive and outside myself.  But even as I tried to give into resignation, that voice and its question “Is this all there is?” continued to plague me.  I had become an adult and done everything that was expected of me.  And I was completely miserable.

“Is this all there is?” became an accusation.  But I busied myself with tasks to which I attached great importance.  I cooked gourmet meals.  I traveled to faraway places.  I did yoga.  I went through the motions of what a good life was supposed to be, never realizing in all those years that what I had longed for resided within myself.  My self-worth still resided in the external— from accomplishments and material possessions, in the need for validation from others.  It never occurred to me that I could give myself validation because I had never been taught that.

I remember back in 2001 discovering a book by Thich Nhat Hanh, in which he spoke about suffering.  It struck a chord with me, but I could not understand it.  For he said to lessen suffering in the world, you had to reduce suffering within yourself.  That concept seemed completely foreign to me. I did not understand how lessening MY suffering could possibly lessen the suffering of others. So even when we are well-meaning in focusing on the suffering of others, it only serves to distract from addressing what needs to change within ourselves.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell

Fast forward to the present, I now realize that we cannot possibly give or receive love without knowing love within ourselves first.  And how did I finally understand this?  It was when I heard the words, “Who you are is enough.”  I don’t know from whom or exactly when I heard this, but the concept was so revolutionary to me that I shed tears.  And for the first time, I felt free.  I have heard this mantra echoed numerous times from many spiritual teachings and teachers since hearing it the first time, but I finally understood what Thich Nhat Hanh meant.

I have dedicated the past few years to releasing my old belief systems related to worthiness. When the inner voice asked the question “Is there all there is?”, it was really asking, “Are you good enough?”  And the answer has been and always will be, “I am enough.”

You are enough. Always have been and always will be…

Do you think your life would look any different if you knew that you were enough?

6 Big Excuses That Can Derail Your Life.


“Don’t make excuses – make good.” ~Elbert Hubbard

“There are a lot of things stopping me from creating the life I want. For one I stress about the smallest things, two; I work my tail off but since I’m so worried about making sure the next person happy I really never have money TO DO WHAT I WANT and all I want is to be a good father and be able to get my daughter anything she wants and anything we want her to have.

I want to live stress free, I don’t want to keep living the way I’m living, for example: in the house with my aunt and about 7 others in a four bedroom house, I want to take care of all those issues, only if I knew where to start.”

The sentiments expressed in this comment are indicative of the way many of us feel. STUCK! The good news is we don’t have to remain stuck. We can do something about it. We can CHOOSE to stop making excuses for ourselves and start taking action.

Some of the biggest excuses that can derail your life are:

1. You are feeling sorry for yourself

It’s OK to momentarily feel sorry for yourself. Life can be challenging at times. But don’t let your pity party become an excuse to stay stuck. For many years, I felt sorry for myself. Although I put out a positive face to the world, deep down I was lonely, depressed, sad, scared and confused. I just didn’t get life and it was making me crazy. I thought I had to think a certain way, act a certain way and be a certain way in relationships without knowing what that way was.

I felt like I was the only one who didn’t receive the manual on how to be happy. Rather than getting help immediately, I stewed in self pity. On one hand I wanted my circumstances and how I felt about them to be change, on other hand, there was a part of me that wanted them to stay the same. But you can’t have things be different and stay the same at the same time. You have to choose one or the other.

Tip: You cannot change the past. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and create an extraordinary future.

2. You are stuck in the past

It wasn’t until later, I learned the reason I didn’t know how to be happy was because I didn’t love myself. We are all products of our environments and influencers and I’m a product of mine. I got messages from those around me, including peers, teachers, coaches, etc.. I wasn’t worthy. And although there were many positive influences in my life, my esteem took a massive blow from the negative ones.

It isn’t about blaming someone for what I did or didn’t get during my childhood or adulthood, it is about the TRUTH.

Tip: Your current circumstances and how you feel about them are a result of your choices. Make choices that bring peace, contentment and fulfillment.

3. You think you don’t know what to do

It may surprise you the biggest reason your life doesn’t change isn’t because you don’t know what to do. You may not know all the steps you need to take to achieve your desired result, but you know the first one. Even if the first step is asking for help.

I remember when my life was spiraling out of control and asking for help was my first step. A friend had given me a phone number of a life coach. Periodically I’d pull the number out and gaze at the digits as if that alone would transform my life. But it took more than looking at the number; Eventually, I summoned the courage to pick up the phone and dial it.

Tip: You know what to do. Take the first step.

4. You are getting something out of it

Although you may not want to admit it, there’s a part of you that finds comfort in the way things are and will fight to the death to keep them this way. Even if those things bring you chaos, stress, overwhelm and other heavy or negative feelings.

I have received many messages from people asking me whether they should stay or leave relationships that are no longer good for them. Many of them are in some sort of emotional and psychic pain. Their partners cheat, lie, are unkind to them and leave them less than fulfilled, yet they stay.

Tip: Figure out what you’re getting out of your current circumstances (positive or negative) and decide whether it’s worth it.

5. You don’t have a plan

Oftentimes people feel they have to solve their whole problem at once. This causes a lot of stress and anxiety. If your priority is to move out of your parent’s house, write down those things that need to happen in order for you to do that. If you feel overwhelmed, separate your list into even smaller tasks. Keep separating out the things you need to do, all the way back to what you need to do today.

Having a plan not only gives you a destination, it shifts your energy shift from a state of confusion to one of power. You go from wondering what you’re going to do, to knowing EXACTLY what you’re going to do and when and how you’re going to do it.

Tip: If you aren’t working your plan, your plan WON’T work.

6. You are afraid

Everyone experiences fear. The difference between those who are successful and those who aren’t is what role they allow it to play in their lives. Some people act in the face of fear, while others allow it to dictate every action.

How fear impacts what you do is within your control. Yes, you can feel fear, uncertainty and self doubt and act in spite of it! How do you do it? You say to yourself “I’m afraid” and take the next step anyway.

To act in the face of fear, I often recite one of my favorite quotes by Bill Cosby: “Decide you want it more than you’re afraid of it.”

In the grand scheme of things, we’re only on this planet for a short amount of time-one hundred years at best. Don’t put yourself in a position where you’ll look back on your life regretting the excuses you made.

Why do you think people find it so challenging to see their excuses as excuses and eventually give up on them?

Compensatory Self-Improvement: The Hardy Way to Forging Possibility.


We spend much of our lives preparing to fulfill a goal or dream. We wish to become this or that and throw our whole energy into making it come true. Then, something comes along and shuts down the life we’ve been imagining for ourselves; the life that we’ve given our sweat and tears to. The line of work that you have educationally prepared yourself for is no longer in existence or you find it is not what you imagined it to be. The one person whom you thought you could count on through thick and thin has said goodbye to you, forever.

When doors to goals, dreams, and ways of being shut down, what do we do? Do we passively wait for prince or princess charming to show up on our doorstep, so we can start living once again? Do we buy lottery tickets hoping that our luck will change someday? If we wait for other people or good fortune to define a new way, we may be waiting a long time. Or, if we sink into passivity, self-pity and powerlessness (the 3 P’s of Giving Up), we can harm our physical and mental health.

We can make our good fortune, by the way we cope with stressful change. We have to cope by being resilient and hardy! But, we have to believe that we are important enough to keep trying to make our life work well (HardiAttitude of Commitment), that we have what it takes to thrive (HardiAttitude of Control) and that whatever hasn’t worked out for us is grist for our learning and personal growth (HardiAttitude of Challenge). The 3C’s of personality Hardiness give us the courage, motivation and strength to forge the best life possible.

Compensatory Self-Improvement

Some stressful circumstances are easier to turn around than others. You don’t like your job, then you quit and find a new one. If you don’t like your home, you put it up for sale and wait for it to be sold. But, what do you do when the work for which you were trained is obsolete, cancer gives you or a loved one only a few months left to live, or natural disaster takes away everything you own? There may be little that you can do to better these situations. Nonetheless, if you wish to get your feet back on the ground, you have to find another area of your life that you can improve that strengthens you physically, mentally and spiritually once again. These self-improvements open up new living possibilities. What is more, the more the self-improvement highlights your true desires, talents and abilities, the more power it has of making up for the original stressor that you could not change. This is why we call them Compensatory Self-Improvements. The challenge is to identify actions we can take in the present that will help us to find new directions, improve us in talent, ability, skill, or personality, while also being able to reduce the stressfulness of the change that initially set us soul-searching.

Take for example, Miranda. Unlike many of us, she did not have to find a career by exploring her talents, as what she was meant to do found her. One of Miranda’s first playthings was a toy piano. It was love at first sight, as they say, which culminated in giving concerts at Carnegie Hall at eleven years old, an education at the renowned Julliard School of Music, and representation by one of the largest talent agencies in the world. She was traveling all around the world giving concerts and making money, by her early twenties. It’s hard to believe that the career for which she had worked toward for so long would now become a source a great stress for her.

Life on the road wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. This lovely and lively young woman was alone 90% of the time. For Miranda, the life as an artist meant a lonely existence ahead of her. After much soul-searching, she brought to a close a life-long dream and sought out to find a new one. It wasn’t an easy task to tap into desires, talents and abilities that were eclipsed by her longstanding focus on music. But, she opened herself up to hunches about what may be possible for her now, despite the uncertainty of their outcome.

Miranda did find her way. She tuned into her talent for mathematics and abstract reasoning (features of musicality) and went back to school to get a Masters in Business Administration in robotic engineering. She anticipates the uses for robotics in industries like agriculture, farming, medicine and the military and designs applications for their development. She loves the creative, project nature of her work and approaches it like she was mastering a concerto ~ seeing how everything fits and comes together into a harmonious whole. Today, Miranda does not view leaving music behind as a loss, but rather as the first stage of unfolding a meaningful life journey.

Research is very clear that compensatory self-improvement is good for our health. This concept comes out of Dr. Salvatore R. Maddi’s pioneer study on resilience and stress at the Illinois Bell Telephone Company that was undergoing government deregulation at the time (Resilience at Work: How to Survive No Matter What Life Throws at Your, Maddi & Khoshaba; www.Hardinessinstitute.com). He found that the energy we put into turning around our lives by self-improvement is a strong buffer against physical, mental, and spiritual breakdown. Even if we can’t bring a lover or job back, return to our home, or cure an illness, we can still compensate for the stressful loss by self-improving ourselves in whichever ways we can.

Valerie Harper, the 1970′s sitcom star of the Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda is a great example of using compensatory self-improvement to forge possibility despite unchangeable circumstances (Valerie Harper speaks out on her brain cancer battle in new documentary: ‘It’s not controlling me!’). Despite having incurable brain cancer, Valerie signed up to compete on the television hit, Dancing With the Stars (2013). Her choice was a message to people to keep going no matter the challenges they are facing. Rather than sink into passivity, self-pity, and powerlessness, Valerie chose possibility; an affirmation of life while she is still living.

Valerie has got it right. It’s not that we have to keep building mountains at every stage of our lives. The idea is more that we keep finding ways to keep growing and learning, as this is what makes us feel most alive and engaged in daily living.

10 Steps to Create What Your Desire.


Want to Change Something in Your Life? If so, here are 10 Steps to Create What Your Desire:

1. Name that which you want but do not have

This first step actually requires some new awareness, as what you want may be combobbled up with a mess of thinking that now rests in “I’m not happy or satisfied.” So pause, take a breath, and let rise to the surface new clarity about what you are missing and now want.

2. Consider this: is what you want solely about you, or might it benefit others as well?

In my view, corporations that focus on profit, rather than on a bigger mission or service, are missing the boat. Those corporations typically operate in a low-trust culture that limits innovation and inspired action. Conversely, corporations that have a service or products to offer that benefit others, and work toward that vision, profit is acquired naturally. Same is true for people. If you find yourself solely on the “me plan” (as Sakyong Mipham says), you may be limiting yourself in achieving bigger outcomes that serve both you and others.

3. Your “because” statement

Answer: “Why don’t you have it?” Your “because” statement probably points you to an old mind set (thought-belief-habit) that is keeping you from having what you want.

Good to write out your “because” statement and not just think about it. Once you get it on paper you will automatically gain the awareness of what has been stopping you that may seem real, but actually is not true. Check out the actual facts, and take care of what’s physically missing that you have control over, like needed training or experience. If you have the necessary resources, then a good deal of what’s keeping you from what you want is locked in an unconscious limiting belief and needs to be unearthed and reinvented.

4. Name a new condition that you want present in your life.

Saying “a million dollars” is not useful, because it won’t come flying in the window. But rather than being practical, be thoughtfully specific. Delve into the possibilities, and come up with what calls to you. If you think it is about money, first ask yourself how a certain amount of money would actually make a difference. If you answer, “an updated or new car model”, hold the vision on that car instead of a dollar amount.  If you really want to target a money amount, identify the specific target outcome you desire and are committed to.  For example, “more money” won’t work; but “add $20,000 to my bank account in the next five years,” does work. (Then you might brainstorm how you can add to your current income flow or cost reductions to achieve your goal.)

5. Visualize the outcome as present, now.

Experience how achieving your intention feels. See it visually accomplished. Think how the achievement will benefit you. Relish in your success. Give yourself a ‘high five’ and say out loud: “Yes!” (Fist pump appropriate!)

6. Adopt a new mindset that affirms the reality you desire.

Best to start with “I am . . . (fill in the blank) and lovingly repeat this affirmation throughout the days ahead. Again, in addition to saying it, see it completed, and how great it feels!

7. Listen to your inner guide (intuition) for inspired ideas.

Jump on any insights and quickly take action. Do whatever you can to move closer to your target achievement. I find that sitting quietly and asking a pertinent question if most often followed by a thought/answer “popping” in my mind. Acting on intuitive hunches can open up new possibilities. Keep going~ committed persistence is powerful!

8. Track and acknowledge small gains you are making.

More fist pumps are very good! Any small celebration actually creates greater inner confidence, which in turn leads to additional risk-taking and more powerful outcomes.

9. If you notice you are on the wrong track, immediately take a “come-back” action such as:

Sometimes you just need to break through some resistance, or add-in a fresh affirmation that inspires action. Reinvent a way back or ahead, and keep going.

Check out new resources you made need, including education, training, or coaching assistance. Having a trusted partner is hugely important.

Modify your approach based on new information coming your way. (The analogy of an airplane being off course most of the time on its way to the destination applies; because the pilot keeps making small course corrections, the flight arrives at its destination pretty much on time.)

10.  Arrive at your target destination

Arrive at your target destination, (or next step on your path), pat yourself on the back, and appropriately celebrate big time! (Fist pumps are now mandatory!)

Source: http://www.purposefairy.com

 

Are You Thinking Your Way out of Happiness?


Even if happiness forgets you a little bit, never completely forget about it. ~Jacques Prévert

At the age of 5, I sang at the Playboy Club. At 10 years old, I got the part of Lady Macbeth in a school production of Macbeth. Growing up I sang and acted whenever and wherever I could. Performing was what I loved, what I was good at, and what I did… without thinking about it.

Then I grew up enough to learn the art of messing with ones mind. My bullet train to success began to derail as it made pit stops at:

“You’re not that good of a singer.

There are so many talented actresses who never catch a break

The odds are against you.

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You’d better have a back-up plan.”

I had been on the express train until my resident monster squatter hijacked my brain, took the controls and made these pit(y) stops creating self doubts. These doubts created uncertainty in my abilities and dampened my determination to believe in what was possible vs. probable.

You have powers you never dreamed of. You can do things you never thought you could do. There are no limitations in what you can do except the limitations of your own mind. ~Darwin P. Kingsley

When we’re younger, we act (or do) first and think later. As we get older, we think, and think, and think, and sometimes never get around to doing. Sometimes it’s because we’re not sure of what it is we want to do, or we’re afraid, or we worry about the ‘how’ it could ever materialize.

You can stay alert to opportunities by being grounded in the wisdom of uncertainty. When your preparedness meets opportunity, the solution will spontaneously appear. ~Deepak Chopra

If you’re worried about ‘how’ it will happen, don’t. Just don’t. When you take a few steps forward every day, you will arrive where you need to be. Also expect that there will be surprises and destinations along the way that you could never have planned for, or imagined. As a performer, I always wished for an additional way to fill my creative tank without being dependent on the seemingly random casting process. While I still have faith that my acting pipeline hasn’t dried up, I would never have guessed that the fuel to top off my tank would be writing.

If you haven’t yet discovered your passion and your vision is blurry, don’t force it. I have found that life’s viewfinder will focus on what it is you are supposed to be doing when it’s time. We want light to be shed on the answer now, but we need to be patient and trust that it is in the darkroom where our picture will develop. Welcome uncertainty. Detach from the outcome.

In detachment lies the wisdom of uncertainty…in the wisdom of uncertainty lies the freedom from our past, from the known, which is the prison of past conditioning. ~Deepak Chopra

Be prepared, and be open for all possibilities. Exciting opportunities await when you are in a mindset to receive them. Do not allow the monster DJ of KFUK radio in your head to control you. These are old beliefs from an old playlist. Don’t copy and paste them to your life now. Go find that file in your playlist labeled something like, “Operation Sabotage” and delete it from your mental hard drive. Thinking can help us move on our way, instead of getting in our way! Begin inputting encouraging, positive data, including all you are grateful for. The results will be astounding.

Source: http://www.purposefairy.com

5 Ways to Start Pleasing Yourself Before Pleasing Others.


A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval. ~Mark Twain

Being a people pleaser has been a chronic issue for me for years, but I think I’ve finally nailed how to stop this self-effacing behavior. When I look back I could attribute it to many things. Maybe my tendency to please others stems from being the 3rd child, and having a brother who was ready to pounce on me at any moment. Or maybe it’s connected to the approval and love I endlessly sought from my neglecting parents. My selflessness may also be rooted in my deep fear of rejection and strong desire to be accepted.

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This kind of “skill”, putting others needs before your own, can develop in a variety of contexts and life circumstances, and without your awareness. However, there is usually one common denominator that will help you get to the bottom of this issue without too much digging in your past.

Your need to please others is essentially a defense against the fear of abandonment.

If you are just nice enough, accommodating enough, easy enough, quiet enough, supportive enough, agreeable enough, and available enough, then the people in your life won’t leave.

Your ability to please others guarantees you a spot. Staying in their good graces, being on their good side, and acting obediently is an assurance that they won’t find a reason to discard you.

I know this sounds sad and pathetic, but it’s all in the name of love. You want and deserve to be loved, but not at the expense of yourself. This kind of love embodies an unconscious contract, and involves an exchange that never ends up being fair or even.

Being a people pleaser puts you at risk for becoming resentful, losing your sense of self, and for not being able to share your thoughts and feelings openly. You also can become a doormat by letting people walk all over you leading to a loss of self-respect and self-value. In your love relationships you will become exhausted and depleted, and you will wonder why it feels so empty.

I know it’s not pretty; I’ve been there. The good news is that there are some clear steps you can take to change.

Here are 5 ways to start pleasing yourself instead of others.

1. Uncover your fears

Before anything else you need to figure out what you are afraid of. Is it disappointing others? Losing love? Not being liked? Once you know what you are defending against you will be able to work through these issues, which most likely stem from your past.

2. Learn to say no

The word no has a negative connotation most of the time, but it’s actually a way to set a boundary. Even a toddler uses the word no to differentiate his sense of self. It’s hard to say no, and sometimes we can’t, but drawing the line in the sand when we need to is a healthy practice, and it lets other people know our limits.

3. Speak Up

People pleasers tend to have a hard time expressing themselves openly and honestly. It’s scary to share your feelings when you think they will cause conflict or drive the other person away. Rocking the boat, and upsetting the status quo is a natural and healthy part of growing in your relationships. You will need to work on speaking up for yourself and taking a stand if necessary. It will feel harsh at first, but you’ll get used to it soon enough.

4. Come from a place of desire (not obligation)

When you are trying to learn how to set boundaries and say no you will be forced to really ask yourself what you want and need. This may be something you have never considered before, so it will seem selfish and weird at first. Make choices as opposed to fulfilling obligations. There are always things you have to do, but you are always choosing.

5. Know who your dealing with

If you’ve been a pleaser for a while then the people in your life will be used to it. Some will automatically respect your new way of relating, but others will resist it. If there are people who simply cannot accept your limits and boundaries, then you might want to rethink these relationships. Some relationships work for a reason, but the reason isn’t always healthy.

Source: purpose fairy

What’s Your Greatest Barrier to Change?


Ever felt like there is something lacking within you or in your circumstances that prevents you from flourishing in your life? It’s common to have times in your life when you feel like there arebarriers to the change you want to create.

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We are ever the seekers of data and evidence, so in order to see what was really going on out there amongst our followers we asked our peeps the question… “What do you believe is the single greatest barrier to positive change in your life?”

Below is quick snapshot of the responses:

  • Lack of self-belief and confidence – 40%
  • Unsure where or how to start creating change – 16%
  • Personal circumstances and resources – 15%
  • Lack of time and space to create change – 6%
  • Fear of failure – 6%
  • Fear of judgement and ridicule – 3.5%
  • Lack of support/motivation/inspiration – 3.5%
  • Other (such as ‘a little bit of all these things’, ‘familiarity of current situation is easier than the fear of the unknown’ and ‘uncomfortable being vulnerable/addressing true emotions in order to move forward’) – 10%

What You Believe Becomes Your Reality

You might have noticed that we worded the question, very purposefully, as “What do you BELIEVE….” in relation to barriers to change. That is because your beliefs are what create the barrier/s. And, you have the ability to shift your beliefs. That’s fab news!

It all comes down to how much you want to shift any limiting beliefs. Because you can, it is just a choice and willingness to look at the limitation and to put in the conscious effort (awareness) to retrain your belief system in a way that better serves you. The result will be an empowered version of self for the rest of your life. The effort is worth it! Think of it like a ritual, not a chore. If people put half the effort into themselves as they do into everything (and everyone) else, they would be astounded at the change that results.

A core reason many people don’t put that effort into themselves, is that they don’t put themselves first in their life. They come last after everything and everyone else. It’s time to drench yourself with love and to realise that you are the centre of your life experience, everything stems from you and the best thing you can do for everyone around you is to care for and love yourself (like during aeroplane safety briefings when they tell you to fit your own oxygen mask first before helping others!)

Shifting Yourself – Dissolving Barriers

So now you might be thinking… “Well, yes I believe that I have barriers to change, and I want to change those beliefs so that those barriers don’t block me any more. But, how the heck do I shift my beliefs?”

It was in response to this question that we created two of our online, self-paced workshops:

From your commitment to change, and from your self-belief, stems the endless possibilities available to you. Nothing and no one can tell you what to believe, what to think, how to feel or what to do. You and you alone create your life. You and you alone perceive what stands in your way. You and you alone create or break down the barriers that appear before you. It’s all about lifting your awareness, using your consciousness to your advantage, and starting to make choices moment by moment that will propel you upwards.

 

5 Tips on How to Be Happier in Life.


For it isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Do happy people always have positive thoughts? Well, if they didn’t have, then they won’t be happy in the first place.

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Is it possible to always be happy? Yes, it is. But it isn’t easy to always stay happy.

Three years ago, positive thinking wasn’t exactly what I would call my hobby. I liked to face facts and never really saw the need for being positive.

The result? I always carried a frown on my face which in turn made me less happy.

There were many things I didn’t like about my life. I was unhappy because I felt and believed that I wasn’t rich. I lacked self confidence and so found it hard to voice out my opinions. It was so bad that I couldn’t even talk to ladies because I felt I wasn’t good enough; that I didn’t deserve to be happy.

It wasn’t easy getting out of that “unhappiness trap”. I discovered the power of positive thinking and so I tried to implement it.

But it just didn’t work!

That’s when I discovered that the only way I could be happy with myself and my life wasn’t by thinking positively.

I had to believe that I was happy!

The key to stop feeling negative about your life isn’t thinking positive about it. You have to believe that your life is what you want it to be- which in this case is happy. Just in case you’re wondering, “how do I do that?” Here are 5 tips on how to be happier in life:

1. Change Your Beliefs to Get Rid of Negative Thoughts

Negative thoughts don’t operate alone. They have an ally- something that gives them the confidence to attack you. That ally is your beliefs. No matter how hard you may try to change those negative thoughts into positive ones, if your beliefs are negative, being positive might be hard.

If you believe that your house would be robbed one day, no matter how much you say, “my house is free from burglars”, you’ll always be scared to death whenever you hear your window creak. And you definitely can’t be a happy person, knowing that you could be robbed at anytime.

If everyone around you has a common negative belief about something, let yours be different. You don’t have to shout it out loud so that everyone will hear it (I wouldn’t advise you to do that). But know it, deep down in your heart.

2. Ignore Your Beliefs to Clear Your Mind

Changing your beliefs can be hard, especially when you grew up having that belief. The statement, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is sometimes true. The beliefs we’ve had from our childhood are always carried onto adulthood, with or without our knowledge.

So, instead of trying to change those hard core beliefs, simply ignore them. In other words, don’t believe everything you think.

The result? You’ll obviously clear your mind. Once you stop acknowledging those negative beliefs, you automatically ignore the negative thoughts clawing at your mind. Once that happens, it’ll feel as if you’re in a state of Zen or of Hakuna Matata (no worries).

This is the best time to take advantage and bombard your mind with self convincing positive talk.

3. Take a Risk to Boost Your Self Confidence

Sometimes, negative self talk is as a result of low self esteem. For some crazy reason, you just don’t believe that you’re capable of doing something. What do you do?

The answer is to simply act against your beliefs. It is possible to believe one thing but act contrary to that belief. In other words, dare your belief.

The first time I talked to a lady intimately (guys, you know what I mean), I was shunned. But instead of sulking, I smiled. I was happy I tried it, even though my mind told me otherwise. It wasn’t easy, but I did it.

If you’re in a school environment and believe that a particular course which you need to do is just too hard to pass, take that course. Even though you don’t pass it, you’ll be happy you did it. The same thing applies to every other negative belief you have about anything.

However, this rule has exceptions. For example, don’t go and put your hands in a dog’s mouth, believing it won’t bite you, because it will!

4. Stay around Happy People to Attract Happiness into Your Life

I’m a really quiet person. But I always find myself having friends that “vibrate” a lot- they’re never in one place. They’re either laughing, jumping, teasing or getting on your nerves. I guess that over time, their positive karma kind of rubbed off on me.

You get influenced by what and who you surround yourself with. Try putting ice block into hot water. You know what’ll happen.

If you find that your “unhappiness” is probably due to the unhappy friends you have, then you should find other friends. I’m not saying dump them but try to restructure your relationship. Find happy people with whom you can get along with well. Let their happiness rub off on you and then spread the love to your other friends who need a dose of happiness.

5. Make up Your Mind to Become and Stay a Happy Person

No matter how negative those thoughts are, they still respect your opinion. Why? Because they are just thoughts! Thoughts only influence your actions; they don’t force you to take a particular action.

When negative thoughts enter your mind, they don’t force you to be sober. A negative thought simply opens up your eyes to see the negative side of your life. That’s when you become sober. But what if you make up your mind to always see the positive side? You’ll continue to reduce the grip those thoughts have on you, until they’re almost non-existent. That’s the power of decision making.

Before you read the next sentence, make up your mind to start seeing yourself as an over-comer and not a loser. If you don’t make up your mind to become and stay happy, then you’ll probably start to carry a frown on your face, like I used to. You’ll fight everyone and blame everyone else for your unhappiness.

These principles aren’t hard. In fact, they’re so simple that you can start implementing them right now. The results won’t be immediate, but you’ll see yourself evolving into the kind of person that other negative and unhappy people would want to be like. Your actions and happy outlook would be enough encouragement for others. That is what happy people do.

Source: purpose fairy

 

5 Powerful Ways to Boost Your Child’s Self-Esteem.


self-esteem-baby

I hate the way I look” your child mutters turning away from the mirror in anger.

Or perhaps, “everyone is smarter than me” or “I’m no good at sports” or “I just can’t do anything right!”

The list goes on, and for children with low self-esteem, it’s a long one.

You try explaining to your child why they are wrong, you point out other people’s failings (after all, no one is perfect), you comfort them and help them find ways of improving, you even talk to their teachers… but nothing seems to help. Your child’s confidence is in the pits and you don’t know what else to do.

It’s a heart-breaking situation for any parent and an incredibly disempowering one for your child. Fortunately, it’s not an insurmountable one.

Because you see, self-esteem is about confidence, about being able to esteem or admire ourselves, and the problem is simply that your child doesn’t know how to do that.

When a child has low self-esteem:

– they are making incorrect assumptions and setting unrealistic expectations about themselves.

– they are unaware of their own abilities.

– they are inaccurately comparing themselves to others.

– they lack courage to be themselves.

– they feel disempowered.

Each of these is about your child not being able to accurately assess their skills, ability, intellect, or performance. And since nobody really teaches them how to do it, is it any surprise they are struggling?

Fortunately, this is something you can teach them.

And these 5 strategies can help.

1. Learn What you Can and Cannot Change

Our behaviors are things we can change, our identity we cannot. This is important to understand because it helps children separate the things that they do from the person they are.

It’s the difference between saying “I said something mean to someone” and “I am a mean person.”

A child may do something they are not proud of, but that is something they can change. It doesn’t mean that they are unworthy of admiration on the whole.

Here are some ways to practice separating behaviors from identity:

– when you hear your child speaking negatively about themselves, help them understand whether those feelings relate to a behavior or their identity.

– help your child identify ways of improving the behaviors they don’t like.

– point out positive behavior and celebrate the fact that your child made those choices.

– share instances when you or others are blurring this distinction and invite your child to break down the behaviors from the identity.

2. Know How to Measure your Awesomeness

We love comparing ourselves to others and using these comparisons to gauge our own awesomeness. Children do this to a fault and it’s devastating. The problem is that your child is completely different from any other person against whom they are measuring up, but they don’t realize that. Most think that “awesomeness” is a gradient scale with the cool kids on one end and them on the other.

What they need is a new way to evaluate themselves, one that has nothing to do with the other kids. To help you along, you can try this:

– help your child define their own personal notion of “awesomeness” or “success“

– teach them how to self-evaluate their progress and determine whether their personal expectations are being met.

3. Dream Big, Really Big

We want to protect our children when they have low self-esteem, so we try to manage their aspirations, setting low expectations so that they don’t loose the little confidence they already have. Ironically, this has the exact opposite effect (and worse, it can actually enhance your child’s low self-esteem). Why?

Because your child’s dreams and aspirations are the things they really, truly want for themselves, the things they are willing to fight for, the things they believe we deserve. And you want them to think they deserve the world, that they are worth it.

What you don’t want is for them to think they are incapable of reaching those dreams, that they have failed, because that only reinforces their notion that they are unworthy.

So, help your child set high aspirations: 

– help them identify what is important to them now (what they care about and why) and how they can.

– help them set realistic, but achievable expectations.

– teach them to build the courage to dream big.

4. Practice Empathy and Collaboration

Empathy is about understanding people who are different than us. Children with low self-esteem have a difficult time seeing their uniqueness as something of value. Empathy forces them to experience diversity, to see the uniqueness of others and realize that it’s ok to be different.

Collaboration is about working with others to create something new and meaningful. It teaches us that we all have something to contribute, and allows children to see that they have the power to impact others in real and important ways.

Some good ways to practice empathy and collaboration are:

– expose your child to different experiences and help them find words to describe how they feel.

– talk to your child about events happening around the world and how those events are impacting other people.

– help your child identify the feelings that other people might be experiencing and relate those to his or her own feelings.

– encourage your child to interact with people who are different than they are and then talk about what those differences add to the relationship.

5. Speak your Mind

Children with low self-esteem have a difficult time formulating their own opinions and speaking out. Unfortunately, this only reinforces their feelings of inadequacy, making it difficult for them to be true to themselves and what they believe. Worse, it makes them highly susceptible to being manipulated by others who are more confident or persuasive.

It is not easy for a child with low self-esteem to speak their mind, but it is also one of the most empowering things they can learn to do.

Here are some ideas to help you along:

– create an environment in your home that encourages individual opinions.

– have open and honest dialogue with your child about their (and your) concerns.

– as a family, show mutual respect for and a willingness to consider different points of view.

– give your child opportunities to speak their minds and hearts (even if you disagree).

– encourage your child to say the things they mean and mean the things they say.

– challenge your child on their opinions and invite them to do the same.

It is not easy raising a child with low self-esteem, but you can change your child’s life –> the next time you talk with them, listen to what they say about themselves. Start by helping them separate what relates to their behavior from what relates to their identity. By the end of the day, you’ll be well on your way to boosting their self-esteem.

 

Source: Purpose fairy