Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘Confidence’

Remember Yourself in the Process!

Have you ever stopped to think about how many times you say ‘yes’ to do something with or for someone and then later think to yourself ‘why in the world did I agree to do it?’ For many of us this scenario has played out throughout our lives and left us frustrated, tired and at times overwhelmed. It’s all those little things that add up over time which can cause resentment and deplete us of energy. We can even predict with a certain degree of accuracy those people who just seem to be able to get us to respond without thinking to their latest need, desire or request.

There is, of course, another group of people who simply refuse to say ‘yes’ to anything and everything that doesn’t personally bring them joy, pleasure or fun. For some of us that last sentence may seem impossible to believe but it’s true. These folks seem to have a built in radar that detects anything that could require their time, energy or money and they quickly decide if it will make them happy. If not….it’s a no go.

Granted these two examples are at opposite ends of the spectrum. But when you look around at people they really do seem to fall into one of these two categories.

The underlying issue – saying ‘yes’ in an effort to please others and make them happy is a never-ending story and one in which you can become the main character for life. This script does not contain moments of appreciation but simply more and more demands – some subtle and some not so subtle.

The funny thing about saying ‘yes’ to make others happy is that it doesn’t really – not in the long haul because their requests overtime become expectations and appreciation slowly fades. They begin to just expect you do to whatever, whenever because you do.

When we find ourselves saying or doing things that our hearts are not really into the energy we give off speaks volumes. It’s not good for either party involved. No one grows as a human being by being a constant taker or for that matter a constant giver. Is it time to change the ‘have to’ in our thinking and move to a mindset of deciding what we ‘want or choose to do?’ People who have mastered this approach to life do not respond with a quick yes to any and all requests but take a little time to think it through and decide if it’s really necessary and if they truly want to comply. Time is our friend in this situation as we begin to train ourselves to analyze the situation before responding.

Maybe the deeper issue is valuing ourselves enough to believe that we really have the right to choose what we want to do and communicate it in a gentle but firm manner. Going along with someone else’s planning or worse yet manipulation for their personal benefit can wear thin. It all comes down to the belief that we deserve to be happy too – and we do!

When someone has a life altering situation and they need us it seems logical to jump in and do all we can in their moment of need. That just seems like the loving, humane thing to do. But not everything in life falls into this category. Let’s try to save up our ‘yes’ for the big items in life and care enough about our own well being and happiness to remember ourselves in the process. As with everything …balance is the key.

Have a great few days!

You are beautiful!

We make it a practice to recognize and compliment others. When we see them accomplish something they have been working toward or achieve a deeper understanding we celebrate them. We often tell them how good they look. Well, today let’s take a moment to pat ourselves on the back. Although we deserve it we seldom think about giving ourselves a ‘thumbs up.’ Take a moment and think about where you have come from, what challenges you have overcome and what growth you have made as a person. It’s time to reflect on all you have been through and celebrate the fact that you are still learning, living and loving.

To someone out there you are their everything. Now that’s impressive! Rather than falling into the trap of continual self criticism think about yourself through the eyes of someone who really cares for you and just smile. The following poem from BlondOwl says it all…

Beyond the Reflection

Looking in the mirror, What do you see?
The eyes of a monster, the hair of a beast.
A bump, a lump, an excuse for a nose.
Eyelashes too short, eyebrows that grow.

Shoulders broad but legs too skinny,
a smile with lines too deep and wimpy.
Cheeks rather puffy, and a scowl, rather scruffy.

Now mirror my eyes, What do I see?
Eyes of an angel, hair of a Greek.
A curve, a shimmy, a perfect nose.
Eyelashes that accent eyebrows of pose.

Shoulders of confidence, legs just so perfect,
A smile with lines of laughter from living.
Cheeks so cute, and an expression of love.

What monster do you speak of?
A beast? I see none.
Before me, an angel of wings,
a friend, a loved one.

What ugliness is this?
What flaw is that?
Shush ….
You are blind as a bat.

You strut,
You dance,
You shout and sing,
To me you are beauty…my everything.

Have a great day!

Determining Your Authentic Self

Have you ever felt that you are not being appreciated or that you are doing all the giving or supporting in a work or personal relationship? If you answered yes to this question let’s look a bit deeper into it. Could it be that you are so interested in getting others to accept or appreciate you that you have not allowed your authentic self to show? Is the fear of people really knowing you blocking you from showing the world what you truly stand for? If so, let me assure you that being authentic draws people to you – not ever away. People can feel truth.

Being authentic starts by first determining what is most important to you in life. As unique individuals we each have specific values that we hold most dear – those things that are truly nonnegotiable to us. Think about them as your personal mission statement. Values such as love, accomplishment, fairness, compassion, confidence, courage, health, freedom, family, harmony, integrity, kindness, optimism, patience, service, trust, orderliness, peace, spirituality, and gratitude are just a few from a long list of values to consider. Each one speaks volumes. Once you determine your own priority of values navigating through life becomes so much easier. In essence, you become more confident and decision making becomes easier because you are more at peace in your own skin.

A helpful way to determine your authentic self is to choose five values that you find most important. You know, the ones that seem to radiate energy back to you as you consider them. The list of words above can be a starting point to consider. The list is long for a purpose. The process is important. Evaluating each word forces you to take the time to consider what it truly means to you. Determining your top five forces you to prioritize as you remind yourself of who you are in your heart. Once you have taken the time to determine your own nonnegotiable values life becomes easier. When you encounter decisions, challenges or obstacles (the should I or shouldn’t I) in life you have a measuring stick to help steer you on a course of action reflects the real you.

Growing more confident as an individual means that you allow your unique identity to be known by others. But…’what if they won’t like me or accept me for who I am’ you may wonder. It’s true not everyone may like you. Just as you do not necessarily like everyone you encounter. It’s simply a cold, hard immutable fact of life. There are bits and pieces in everyone’s personality that leaves something to be desired. It’s called being human. These little quirks in others can be overlook but the values behind them cannot. A person’s values determine not only who they are but what they will do in a pinch. That’s important to know. Likewise, if we try to morph ourselves into something we do not truly value in order to fit in or be accepted it just doesn’t work. We project insincerity or insecurity that is easily felt by others.

Determining the values you hold dear helps you project with confidence who you really are at your core. Just as truth has no versions – your authentic self has no versions either. Any future role in life will never define you because deep down you know what you stand for – no pretenses necessary. Taking the time to determine your authentic self is critical to self esteem. The process alone will help you begin to truly love yourself for all the strengths you possess and there are many! Give it a try and take the time to decide on your top five values … you’ll be glad you did!

Have a great few days!

You Can Do It!

We all experience some days that are just easier than others. Those days when everything goes as planned energizes us. When we take a couple of minutes as we are falling asleep to reflect on the things that we were able to accomplish we say, ‘Yes!’ ‘Today was a good day!’ But when things seem to go awry and our Plan A has had to be changed to Plan B, C or even D how do we respond? Do we allow ourselves to be overcome with fear or thoughts that life just isn’t fair? Do we allow ourselves to get into a negative mindset of expecting more and more problems to surface? We all know how effective that mindset is – right? It can stop us in our tracks! What can we do to shake us out of a negative mindset? After all, we know deep down that what we think about most often will be delivered right back to us from the Universe with bells on. When the going gets tough it’s time to evaluate our thinking and remember the power we have had in the past to overcome.

We would all like to live a life of peace, comfort and joy but the reality is that we are, in fact, a work in progress. The challenges we have in life allow us to grow in confidence and appreciation of our own strength. We learn that we can face whatever comes along and learn from it once we decide to keep our grip on the present issues and not generalize them to encompass our entire being. In other words keeping perspective and not allowing ourselves to perseverate on the issues is so important. Just make a plan – an approach – on how to get through the latest issue and do it! Mulling over and over in our minds what seems to be going wrong is not healthy or productive. Let’s look at a more productive approach.

The first step is to take a moment to reflect on what we have to be grateful for – there are many things we have been able to do with our lives to date. We have had many more moments of success and happiness than challenges. If it doesn’t seem so at the moment, just check your own track record. It stands for itself. Remember the times when you didn’t think you could take any more and almost magically things seemed to turn around? You demonstrated the strength to persevere against all odds and won! Remember those times. They will give you the strength to carry on. The latest challenges at hand are something you will get through – one step at a time – when you keep your eyes straight ahead on your goals.

Clarity about what you do want (NOT about what you DON’T WANT) is the critical next step. What do you really want to accomplish? What do you want to become? Where do you want to be in the next year or in the next five years? Write 3 to 5 goals down and read them daily. By doing so you are actually attracting the positive energy to make your dreams happen. When you discipline yourself to take the time to write these goals down it gives you the energy, the fuel, to overcome even the most difficult situations that occur along the way because you will remember your vision or purpose for your life. Many people have heard about writing their goals down but sadly very few actually do so. Less than 10% of people take the time to write their goals out -they are the winners in life because they have discovered the secret of manifesting what they want. They use the fuel of the Universe to help them get there. You can join this group – all it takes is a piece of paper and 15 minutes of your time.

You are capable of overcoming any obstacle in life. Just remember any obstacle is a temporary condition. Don’t let it define you or stop you from achieving your goals. You are living proof that you have the strength and tenacity to get through even the most difficult situation. The adage, ‘If it’s going to be it’s up to me,’ is true. Remember your heritage. You have examples of loved ones or friends in your life who persevered against all odds and won. They would expect nothing less of you.

The beauty of our lives is that no one – absolutely no one – can rob us of a belief in ourselves and our ability to create the life we truly want to have – we are too powerful! Regardless of how many challenges we face we will make it through – of that I am certain.

Have a great few days!

The Importance of Self Love

Charlie Chaplin who was best known as a mime actor wrote a poem on self love. The whole topic of loving ourselves may, at first, be thought of as hedonistic. Yet, how can we ever truly love another if we have not first learned to love ourself? Often we are so busy on our quest to make others happy that we discount our own needs and desires and agree to do things that in our heart we really, really do not want to do. As a result we end up resenting the situation and over time even the person. Self love teaches us to be authentic and recognize our own feelings, needs and desires first. Basically, we allow ourself to say ‘yes’ AND ‘no’ without guilt. As we begin to practice self love we become happier and more self confident, authentic, and mature. We learn to back off and let others experience their own lessons in life. The help we offer is not to do something for them but to let them know that we have faith in their ability to overcome the issues that come up in their lives. After all, the more we rescue the more dependent others can become – and that hurts both parties.

In the poem Chaplin said, “As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at exactly the right moment. So I could be calm… As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is LOVE OF ONESELF.

Is it time to practice self love? It’s worth considering!

Have a great few days!

Change … Bring It On!

The only consistent thing we have in life is change. For those people who find change intimidating or uncomfortable hold on … you are in for the ride of your life! This ride is not one where you give the vendor a ticket and can choose to get off at a certain time. No… this is a non stop experience so we can either learn to accept, adapt and go with it or …well there really isn’t any other option other than stagnation. I’ll take change any time over that alternative!

Time goes by quickly and change has become so rapid that adapting our mental outlook to see the positives involved in change has become a true survival skill. Whether we are changing schools, jobs, houses or even relationships, at first there is a period of discomfort. Things are different – better maybe – but still different and that takes greater emotional energy from us. If you feel that you are already tapped out of energy it is time for an attitude adjustment. Trust me on this, looking at change from the perspective of growth makes all the difference.

We all have fond memories and connections to certain things in our lives. When those things change, momentarily we are thrown off our game. So what do we do with this discomfort? We can begin to take stock with gratefulness at all of the wonderful memories we have and realize they will always remain with us. Next we can look to the source of the latest change in our lives and determine how this latest change will help us grow as a person. Change may not be easy but don’t we eventually appreciate those things that force us out of our comfort zone? Well maybe not at first, of course. We don’t go around with a sign on our backs that says ‘Change…bring it on!’ Yet we become wiser, more seasoned travelers when we face change with eyes straight at it and our minds determined to make it work. It may take every once of what we have to move forward but is so worth it in the long run.

Now comes the hardest part – wrapping our hearts around the change. We may feel an actual loss inside us when life gives us a major change to contend with along the way. The stages of loss do exist and it is not uncommon to experience them even with a change that you have purposely chosen. It may be confusing and you might wonder to yourself, ‘What’s wrong with me? I chose this change and now I am worried or uncomfortable.’ Well, congratulations it just means that you are human after all! You may feel a loss of security, or comfort because you remember all of the good times associated with what once was in your life. You may even be reluctant to make the change thinking that nothing will ever take the place of what was … and guess what … you’re right. Nothing will ever be the same as what was but it will be different and eventually even better if you take a deep breath and believe that you can handle anything that life throws at you. You have evidence that you have done so in the past and you will do so again. If you wonder why your heart is not totally wrapped around the new and different I would suggest that it means your heart was in what was and that is a call for celebration. You gave a piece of your heart to what was and that’s a great thing. The amazing thing is that the capacity of our hearts to grow is never ending and it will embrace the new change overtime. Be gentle with yourself. Allow the sadness because it is real. Just remember not to allow yourself to remain stuck in the grief for a long period of time because you will be treading water not moving forward. Have faith in yourself and remember that as one door closes another one opens. Get ready to walk through it, head held high because you earned it!

You will look back in a couple of years and realize that life really is better in a host of ways now you have experienced the change. You will feel stronger, wiser and more self confident because you lived through another life challenge and lived to tell the tale.

Have a great few days!

Your Gait Speaks Volumes!

We have all heard the saying that you can’t judge a book by its cover. Partly true but also somewhat misleading. For instance, have you ever watched people walk? It’s fascinating really and can tell you a great deal about them as individuals. Do they shuffle, swagger, hobble, timidly place their feet forward, shoulders slumped, or move decisively ahead with purpose? The examples go on and on. One thing we know for sure is that our gait or walk is another distinctive form of body language. It can indicate introversion, extroversion, an adventurous spirit, neuroticism, warmth, approachability, feigned helplessness, and a host of other things. The truth is that your gait tells a great deal about you as a person and you don’t even have to open your mouth for an astute observer to know more about you than you might have imagined.

For instance, the pace of which you walk shows your state of mind. It brings an energy to your encounters. Is the energy positive, frenetic, negative, calm? A quiet walker doesn’t want to intrude, influencers may walk, stop and even change directions, supportive type people walk with a steadiness arms closely by their body – sort of a glide really, drivers walk with intent, cautious people walk as if they are following the rules of the road. This is my lane and that is yours they seem to be saying to themselves.

We know that females take smaller steps (other than fashion models) and have more pelvic movement. Their hips sway more naturally because of their body build and sometimes to physically attract others. On the other hand, walking with a bit of a swagger, shoulders and head up, eyes clearly focused ahead gives off a sense of physical attractiveness and confidence in males. Generally, the more confident the person – male or female – the longer the stride.

We all size up people instantly. We assume their intelligence, self-esteem, competence, as well as the organization they represent. Is it fair to do so – maybe not – but remember it happens and you always want to play to the winning hand.

Why would this be important information to know? Remember the sayings, dress for success, your shoes display your mental image of self, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, skill and qualifications are important but first impressions tell the tale, a picture is worth a thousand words, put your best foot forward … The list goes on and on but the take away is that your external image really displays your inner feelings of self and your gait is part of that image.

The Concise Oxford Dictionary describes image as “the character or reputation of a person as generally perceived.” The operative words, of course, is ‘generally perceived.’ This is before your first words are even spoken. Within a few minutes or seconds of meeting someone their body language and dress create an impression that is hard to overcome. Why not give yourself the competitive advantage by considering if your walk or gait together with your appearance is the message you really want to give to others. Think your skills or expertise should speak for itself? Good luck with that one.

According to research by Dr. Albert Mehrabian of UCLA, appearance and body language accounts for fifty-five percent of an invaluable first impression! Seems like a big percentage to me that is worth giving considerable thought to don’t you think?

Light travels faster than sound so your walk and dress visually communicates volumes before one word is exchanged. Let it be volumes of confidence, purpose and positive intention. It’s something worth considering.

Have a great few days!