The Art of the Imperfect Selfie

 

“Making mistakes is better than faking perfection!”

 

We live in an age where the “selfie” is an art, where we judge ourselves more harshly than we would ever judge another human being, and we base our self worth on how many likes or comments we get on social media.  So how do we get back to the time when it was OK to not look “perfect” all the time or at least make people feel that we are looking “perfect”?

The Huffington Post wrote the following in an article and it’s probably one of the most scary things I have ever read:  “Social Media’s Impact on SelfEsteem.  Social media has been linked to higher levels of loneliness, envy, anxiety, depression, narcissism and decreased social skills. … However, what is shared across our social networks only broadcasts the positive aspects of our lives-the highlight reels.”

Even though we know what we are posting isn’t actually the reality of OUR lives for some reason it is not what we think when we see what other people post images and talk about their lives.

The reality is, no matter what, we are NEVER going to be perfect human beings.  In fact, when we strive for perfection all we bring into our lives is disappointment, insecurity and sadness.

I decided to write a post about the “imperfect selfie”, because we are not used to seeing them on social media.  Taking the selfie with the fish pout, with the fake smile, to capture a moment that would in fact have been more of a moment to remember if the camera hadn’t been out, are more and more what we see and consider to be the “norm” on social media.

 

 

Trust me, for each selfie or picture that’s taken of me that I consider worthy to post, there are 100’s of others where I have my eyes closed (see for yourself – in fact, for the eyes closed, I would say there are probably at least 40% of the pictures where my eyes are closed).  Then there are some where I have to edit the lighting, create a patch over something in the background that I want to cover up, and so on and so on.

I recently took a social media class and in that class one of the lessons was to know which angle to use to show the most flattering angle of your face, and which programs to use for editing and how to optimize your features.  I do realize that social media, especially Instagram is a very visual platform and that if you want to use it for a business, you are going to have to post things that are visually appealing, but that doesn’t mean that at some times it’s OK to not look “perfect” in a picture.

I took this selfie of myself today sitting in my office, the camera wasn’t at the angle that would take the most flattering picture, but I posted it anyway to prove a point.  As I sit and look at this picture I could tear myself down with thoughts like “my nose looks crooked”, “I can see the fine lines and wrinkles on my face” or even “my lips are too narrow”, but instead I decided to look for what I love about what I see.  Instead of the crooked nose, I feel thankful that I am able to be able to smell pumpkin spices, and much more at this time of year.  Instead of the fact that I have fine lines and wrinkles, I love that I have lived a life that has allowed me to develop laughter lines and experience life.  Instead of the fact that my lips are too thin, I love the fact that I am able to kiss my husband and my kids.

To summarize my self esteem is not rocked because I am not “perfect” and I am OK with people seeing a side of me that is not my best side because I want people to see the real, authentic and loving ME!  I am not afraid to say when I am sad, I very often react with anger when I become frustrated and anyone that knows me knows that I am can be a force for good or bad (just depends on how I am treated), and guess what, I am not ashamed of that either.  I am fiercely loyal and love the fact that my friends KNOW they can always count on me.

So, what does a “perfect selfie” mean anyway?  Is there really such a thing?  The thing about authenticity is that only people that don’t know you are going to be able to be taken in by fake pictures, and over-editing.  Those that know you, already know your flaws, and love you in spite of them.  Only those that don’t know you might judge you if you don’t look perfect in a picture, but those that already know you that there’s no such thing as a perfect picture and they love you anyway.

I don’t know about you, but I want my life to be filled with real relationships and that is why I put myself out there.  Why I tell stories about myself making stupid mistakes, in the hope that people can get to know me and relate on a deeper level than the superficiality of a picture.  Don’t misunderstand me, Instagram and social media are still a place to show some pretty fabulous pictures and that is what captures someone’s attention initially, but if you really want people to stick around…well, that is done with relationships and letting people get to know you.

I hope as you consider taking your next selfie, before you throw out a picture that you don’t think shows your best side, all is ask is that you ask yourself “what do other see when they see me?”  My guess is that then the picture will become so much more than just a pretty face smiling back, because seeing ourself through another’e eyes is the way we need to see ourselves – PERIOD.

Stay fabulous my friends 🙂

 


The Power of Music

 

“And for that one moment while the music plays.  You know who you are and everything you wish to be!”

 

Do you have a ritual or something you do that gets you ready for a hard task you need to complete, or to just make you feel better?  Music can have such a positive influence in our lives if we find the right music to get us pumped up.

There are so many options out there for good music, and there are so many bad ones as well.  I am more drawn to a beat than I am the words, but definitely the words (especially if they aren’t good words) do have an impact on us.  I love to listen to a wide variety of music, and I tend to focus on certain types to achieve different results.  When I am wanting to feel like I want to dance or just feel good, I listen to rap, hip hop, R&B, a little pop and disco.  I like NWA (I know, not typical), I love Mary J Blige, P!nk can really get me pumped up, love a little Rihanna, Drake, Travis Scott, and so many others.  If I want to feel inspired I listen to songs like “This is Me” from the Greatest Showman, “Unstoppable” by Sia, and a few others that help me to remember why I am here and how great I should feel about myself.

Music has been used to centuries for inspiration, and many other reasons, so there must be something to this theory.  I have had times in my working career where I could become distracted by negativity, and I would use music through headphones to block out the “noise” and help me to focus on the things that were important.  As I have been working with Brandon and going to his Live events, we use music to create a certain mood.  We use it to help people get out of their comfort zones, and I have seen it work amazing wonders. In fact, the more I see it, the more I want to use it in my life.

He goes through a ritual every morning and listens to music to wake him up, to get him ready to take on the day and the make sure his mind is in the place it needs to be so that he can be there for the people that NEED him.  I love that music can do that, I love that just by listening to the beat, the words and by letting that music take you places, you can honestly change your state and put yourself in a better mood, create the energy you need to accomplish anything if you really want to put your mind to it.

 

Click here to shop a similar leather jacket

Even when I am at home and I have to clean the house, the task doesn’t seem so bad when I have music on and it can take me away from what I am doing.  Driving long distances in the car becomes a lot more tolerable when you can listen to some great music.

As I started to think about Brandon’s LIVE events, his morning ritual and the feelings that I have when I listen to some music that speaks to me, I started to think more and more about it.  What I realized is that music and it’s artists really do have a power, and it’s there for us to use if we choose to!  We can harness the power of music and use it to our advantage.  You may already be doing it without even being aware, but my guess is that if you set yourself up with a great routine or ritual of listening to inspirational and motivational music before you do something that is important to you, the results will actually end up being better.

I have a few playlists loaded in my iPhone, different ones for different reasons, so that when I am working out, driving to work or a meeting, or even just having a hard emotional time, I can call on that playlist to help me change my state.

As I sit writing this post I have some background music, not something that distracts me from what I am writing, but rather music that makes me FEEL so that I can be real and write something that hopefully resonates with you.  You’ll have to let me know…;)

Now Monday is here, and let’s be honest Monday’s don’t have the best reputation, why not start incorporating more “good” music into your life.  Should you choose to accept this challenge – I would love to hear how it worked for you.

Have a great week!

 

Let your Inner Light Shine

 

“Aging is not lost youth, but a new stage of opportunity and strength!”

I remember being a teenager and feeling frustrated that I couldn’t do things that adults could and that I had rules that I felt were unnecessary!  It’s so weird, that I was wishing my life away and wanting to grow up so quickly.  Now that I am well into my forties my only regret is that I hadn’t spent my time wishing my years away.  Now I value my time, every minute, and I love who I am today.

I no longer focus too much on things that are going to happen, but rather I like to enjoy exactly what is going on in the here and now.  I realize how valuable time is and that every wrinkle and smile line is there because of the many experiences and the journey I have been on.

Aging is not for the faint of heart though – it is definitely something that is hard as a woman.  I still feel like I am 20 years old, and I want to be able to do all the things I used to be able to do.  That’s why staying healthy, staying in shape, taking care of my skin, my body and my mind are vital to me so that on the day that my kids decide to make me a Grandma, I can be the active, cool Grandma 🙂

 

 

I look in the mirror sometimes and don’t recognize the person I see.  Sometimes I notice more of my flaws and the signs of aging and other times, I truly see what is underneath and recognize my value.  As I already said, this getting older thing is something that needs quite a bit of faith and self love.

There are definitely some things about aging that we can’t control, but there are still some things we can do to ensure that we look the best as we’re doing it!  I am all in favor of doing things that make you feel good – whether that is great skin care, eating healthy, exercising, relaxation or anything else that tickles your fancy!

Above everything else, no matter what, I know that feeling good about myself makes my inner light shine and that is the best anti-aging thing anyone can do!

Have a blessed Sunday!

A New Start

“You only ever get in life things that you have the courage to ask for!”

 

I’ve talked a little about my new beginnings over the past week or so…well, the day is finally here!

Have you ever started something new and found it a little challenging to switch your mind to the new things you will be focusing on?  This morning when I woke up I still had to get the kids ready and off for school, but the direction of my office, the things I need to accomplish, what I could wear, who I was going to meet with…all different.  After 15 years working in the same office, doing essentially the same job,  it had definitely become second nature..so what now?

Sometimes it’s easier to stay doing what we are familiar with rather than to take a risk, especially when you hear others around you questioning whether you can do it, or we may even start to question ourselves.  When I was in High School in England I remember going to parent teacher conferences/career night – I believe I was around 14 years old.  I met with my Biology teacher and my parents and at that time I had wanted to do something in the medical field.  I loved the sciences and they seemed to come easy to me.  As we sat there that teacher asked me what I was wanting to study in College and when I told her that I wanted to study Medicine or something like that she actually said to me “If I were you, I would set my sights lower”!

Wow!  Can you imagine the self esteem of a 14 year old at that point.  Well, here’s what happened, I decided to dig my heels in, I went to college, and worked my butt off to get my degree in Physiology with Microbiology.   As I was studying I found that I liked to meet new people, embraced challenges and love to develop long term relationships built on trust.  Consequently, when I was done with my degree I decided to apply for a job in Pharmaceutical sales.  In England in the early 90’s there weren’t many women doing that job and even though I had multiple interviews I found that it was a very sexist environment.   My self esteem took a beating again.  I was told by one interviewer that if I wanted a job where I was going to meet with Doctors I would need to wear short skirts.  The ironic thing about that is that the person telling me was actually a woman!  I am not someone that likes to be backed into a corner, and at that age I was a lot more naive, so I told her NO!  I would not do that.  Needless to say I didn’t get the job.

After a couple of years trying unsuccessfully to get a job in pharmaceutical sales, I decided to move over to the US – where I thought I would have an easier time as a woman in a career.  I got a job in Radio advertising sales so that I could gain some sales experience before I started applying for more sales jobs in the medical industry.  After a few years in radio, I moved into TV and then onto cable, where I have been working for the past 15 years.

 

 

Whilst working in cable advertising sales I found that I was experiencing very similar things to those I experienced when I was back in England.  I had to work twice as hard to get to the top, and I was the top.  I had to overcome men that were intimidated by strong women and people that were put in positions of management certainly not because of their experiences or qualifications to do the job, but rather because they were part of the “good old boys club” or had a friend that put them there.  What I realized is that I have NO control over what people say to me, how they treat me or whether things are “fair”.  What I do have control over is whether I let that define who I am.

I developed many amazing relationships while I was in the media industry and I am extremely grateful for those relationships.  I also refined my tenacity, my determination, my resilience and my confidence.  I learned that I could rise to the top no matter how someone treated me.  I learned that I am really good at what I do and now I have the opportunity to prove that to myself even more as I embark on a career that I get to control more.

I will be working with my husband that is a mindset and motivational coach, as well as working on my blog.  I feel like both work really well together, and I am excited for what our future holds.

I would not change anything that has happened to guide me on the path that I am on in my life.  I have learned a lot of what I am capable of and I have grown so much.  I have learned to love myself and not just because I look a certain way or I am successful in my career.  If I had placed too much emphasis on my career performance these past few years where I was challenged way more than anyone in a career should be, would have certainly diminished my self esteem.  Instead, it fired me up, it made me want to make more of my life!

Taking risks and starting new things are sometimes easier said than done.  It takes a lot of courage to walk away from something, but it can also be the most rewarding thing you have ever done.  I realized that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life wondering “what if” or thinking that I had settled.  What about you?  What risks are you willing to take to grow?

 

 

A Few Facts About Me

“Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and you learn how big and precious it is!”

 

I love it when I get the opportunity to talk a little about myself, because there are probably some things that a lot of you may not know about me…

I was challenged by a friend on Instagram @the_thread_edit to provide some facts about me…so here goes:

  1. I am ashamedly afraid of heights.  I freak out when my kids get too close to the edge of something high, it causes a reaction in me that I can’t even explain.  I took them on the ferris wheel at Lagoon (a local amusement park).  It was about 5 years ago and my youngest was about 6 years old.  The older boys thought it would be funny to rock the carriage when we were stopped at the top.  Let’s just say that I didn’t find it funny and by the time I was back on the ground I almost kissed it.

  2. I love football (soccer) so much that I get up early for every Manchester United game (even if they are at 5am).  I love it so much and take it so seriously that I have been known to fight with men who decided that it would be funny to think I didn’t know what I was talking about when it came to football.  Needless to say they KNEW by the end of the fight that I DID 😉

  3. I have 4 boys, no girls.  I have had a kid attending our local elementary school for 18 years (my oldest is 23 and my youngest is 11).

  4. I am an avid reader – I find it really relaxing.  I love how my imagination is piqued.  I typically read about crime and murder – in fact I read as much as possible about serial killers and how their minds work.  I find the human mind so interesting and love to find out what makes them tick.
  5. I believe in a fairytale romance.  Not the kind that Disney movies are made of, but more the kind where you love the other person so much that you work really hard no matter how many bumps in the road you get.  I love how Brandon has taught me the art of romance (he is way more romantic than I am, but I am learning).

 

 

 

I think we all have an amazing story, we come from different backgrounds, lifestyles and families.  I have found that I love to learn about people, understand them because it makes people become more relatable…which is why I was excited to tell you a little about me.

This is only scratching the surface, but hopefully this might make me seem more real and normal and hopefully you will want to read more and more about me.

 

 

 

How to feel more Confident

“We won’t be distracted by comparison if we are captivated with purpose!”

 

Confidence is not something you suddenly just have, you don’t necessarily wake up with it…it can take consistent effort & positive thoughts.

I can recall being a young girl, and having a really distinct taste in fashion, and how my parents encouraged me to be me.  As I became older people started to notice that I dressed a little differently, that I liked different things and that I kind of liked not fitting in the mold.  The thing about being different is that it scares people, they see it as a threat to themselves because they are not truly confident in themselves, so because I liked to stand out, I was teased a little, criticized and sometimes laughed at.  I had a choice at that point…listen to what people were saying, change who I was or be ME.  I chose to be me, and a funny thing happened…I remember having a pair of Red Mary Jane shoes, and within about a month I noticed other girls wearing the exact same pair of shoes.  I took that as a compliment, not because they were wearing my shoes, but because I realized that I had it right…I had the confidence thing right.  I wasn’t afraid to be me and those girls learned something – they started to do that themselves.

I am not saying that I am the most stylish person in the world, I don’t always get it right, but one thing I can say is that no matter what, I wear what I want, I do what I want and I am who I am – no excuses, in fact, I LOVE WHO I AM!!!

 

I realize that not everyone is as stubborn in my confidence or as bold as I can be…so here are some easy steps to help you with your confidence:

  1. Stop comparing yourself to others – stay focused on you.
  2. Don’t stress things you can’t control.  Talk about setting yourself up to fail, stressing about little things and things you can’t control is a sure way to bring disappointment, frustration and stress.
  3. Love yourself.  There is no one like you – you are gift to this world.  The world needs you and don’t ever forget it!
  4. Seek positivity – find the good in every situation.  Positivity reaps positivity.
  5. Do what you love – and you will love what you do.  Life is way too short to be stuck doing something that you don’t love.
  6. Trust yourself – don’t try to be something or someone that you are not.  Our instincts very often tell us whether something feels right…we should trust that instinct.  Being in tune with who we are in a great gauge for confidently being happy.
  7. Believe you are worthy – when we believe in ourselves, the world is our oyster.
  8. Don’t be afraid of being wrong – confidence doesn’t always mean you will be right, it means you don’t tie your self worth to it – which means you are not afraid to be wrong about something.
  9. Don’t allow jealousy or hatred to seep in – confidence doesn’t need to feel hatred or jealousy because it knows the world needs all kinds of people and one persons success is not dependent on another’s failure!
  10. Step outside of your comfort zone – self confidence grows by learning and growing.  We start out when we are babies using this concept by learning to talk and walk, but for some reason we forget it as we become older and sometimes stay stuck, not growing, inside our comfort zone.  There is no great self confidence booster than accomplishing something new.

I don’t know about you, but I wish that someone would have given me some steps when I was a little girl, almost a road map showing me how I could become more self confident.  All of these steps are what I use…I know they are not all the things we can do to help our confidence, however, even by implementing one of these that you weren’t using before, it’s only going to help put you further down the path to self confidence.

Remember – self confidence isn’t something that is taught or learned, it is something that comes from surpassing your own self-limitations!

Contagious Energy

“Take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space!”

Have you ever heard the concept that your energy introduces you even before you speak?  Well, after working 20 years in sales I have been a student of human behavior and the impact it has on success.  One thing I realized very early on that energy is contagious and that not only includes positive energy.  I learned that when I walk into a room (or strut, because that’s my preferred method of getting from A to B), people notice what energy you are bringing.  Obviously strutting by itself is going to introduce you in a confident manner, but that only works for the first few seconds because then you need to speak…

So, how do you make sure that you show people that you meet the very best version of you?  I have found that I have had the most success transferring positive energy when I focus on how I can help someone overcome a problem, rather than focus on what is in it for me.  I realize that is not how most sales people view their process, and I am open to other ways, but I think just like anything in life, you take what clues others leave you and adapt them to suit your style and personality.

Not in sales (or are you)?  Well, I don’t care if you sell for a living or you’re a stay at home mom, there are going to be times when you are going to need to walk confidently or strut, hold your head up and find ways to make the most of a situation and achieve a result.  I have found ways to use my sales training even when dealing with my kids school teachers, returning something to a store, developing a stronger relationship with my kids or husband, or even just making friends.

Truth is, no matter what you do, putting yourself into someone else’s shoes, viewing a situation from someone else’s perspective, and not just focusing on what you want to happen is going to only help you have a happier and more fulfilled life.  People are drawn to confidence, empathy and understanding and by focusing on how to make yourself better, only improves other areas of your life.  I have found over the past few years when I have struggled at work or home, being in a space where I focused on myself rather than considering why people make the decisions they do, were actually some of the darkest times of my life.  I actually reached the point where I didn’t even want to hear what I had to say because most of what I said was complaining and negative.  It wasn’t until I started shifting my thinking to “how can I learn from this” did I actually start coming through the other side.  I actually found that my friends and clients weren’t quite as eager to spend time with me…

It is easy to get down by things in your life, the key is not to stay down.  By bringing your own sunshine or positive energy to a situation is only going to help.

 

 

I have found that I like to challenge myself to do things that are uncomfortable for me, and sometimes feeling positive when there is chaos or negativity around is really hard…but that just means it’s more important.  If you are open to a challenge, I would love for you to try focusing on someone else and what you can do to help them and see what happens.  How does it make you feel?  Is it contagious?  And if you’re really brave, email me and let me know how it went 🙂

This is not school and this is not an assignment, I just know it’s worked for me to do this…

Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!

Shop my outfit by clicking the links below (similar pieces for those no longer available have been added)

Pants:  Zara
Top:  Zara (no longer available)

 

Pearls with Purpose – Empowering Women

“Dream big, start small…but most of all START!”

There are some things that just speak to my heart…some things that I know I want to find ways to help tell their story…Pearls with Purpose is one of those things.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while then you know that I believe very strongly in empowerment and I believe that most people when given an opportunity, a little bit of love, some faith and trust and some direction can become the amazing people they were always meant to be.

Pearls with Purpose is a non-profit organization that works with Women in the Philippines,Cambodia and India to create amazing hand made jewelry while at the same time teaching and providing Women with opportunities to make a good income for their families and become independent.  I don’t know about you but I love jewelry and I’m going to buy it anyway, so why not buy it from somewhere that is not just about the bottom line but also is in the business of making this world a better place!

 

 

The jewelry i’m wearing in this post was made in India…here’s a story of just one of the many women that PWP has helped…

Desi was in our second training group of leprosy-affected women. Her fingers were down to their knuckles and I worried she would not be able to create the jewelry pieces…but she was determined. In addition to her strong determination, Desi had a smile that lit the co-op up like a Christmas tree and she was happy to share it with one and all.

Never a day would go by that Desi was not sitting in the circle, speaking rapidly in Tamil and engaging all around her in giggles and mirth. Her smiles warmed all our hearts!

On her first day of training I watched her as she dropped pearl after pearl. The small circular gemstone so difficult for her to grasp between her swollen knuckles. She would hold the wire in her mouth or between her toes to keep the ones she had laboriously strung from sliding off. Several times I noticed her friends sitting by her, offering to help. She would slap their hands and push them away exclaiming “NO, I DO”.
And I knew she would “DO” no matter how long it took.

Four hours later, she proudly came and showed me her finished piece. Tears welled in my eyes as I saw the pride beaming inside her as the necklace was thrust toward me with her fingerless hand.
Our eyes met, I said “Desi, it is PERFECT, you did a remarkable job!” I then stood to put the necklace around HER neck, asking if I could take a photo of her in her finished piece. She beamed with pride, and broke out her most engaging smile ever as I took the photo!

As we interviewed her weeks later, she said “My whole life I was told I was nothing…

I feel so humbled to think about so many women that have not been given the amazing opportunities that I have, so I felt compelled to help.  I don’t know about you but I can’t sit idly by – I have this tremendous need to help.  I want to meet these strong women, the empowerment they have received by working with PWP truly is inspirational and it gives me hope for an amazing world for my children.

You can shop their amazing jewelry (which includes genuine pearls, gold, silver, genuine gemstones, necklaces, earrings, bracelets and so much more by clicking this link – PEARLS WITH PURPOSE. Even if you’re not a big jewelry wearer they make great gifts…You can also find information about how you can volunteer or donate money for this amazing cause.

Empowering others is vital – “be the change you want to see in the world”

Take Some Time for You!

“Self care is how you take your power back!”

Sometimes taking a moment to stop and smell the roses and appreciate the things around you is enough to get you through the tough times.

Take this weekend for example…we usually travel on holiday weekends but Brandon was working so the boys and I stayed home.  I’ll be honest, it’s been so nice to not have to wake up early in the morning, stock up on some much needed supplies, do some home chores, and just do them when I felt like it!

Taking time for yourself is the greatest give that you can ever give yourself!  We all have something that we love and something that revitalizes your energy and tops you up for when you really need it!  For some relaxation means meditation or yoga while for others it means more strenuous and energetic activities.  For Mother’s Day I was lucky to get an E- Bike – which is an electric bike.  I love it because it is great for extra steep hills when you need just a little kick to get you moving!  I have been on a few bike rides this weekend on the Mountain bike trails close to my house…

 

 

Another way I love to spend some down time (which is not very often, so it is very precious to me) is spending time on my patio, with a hot drink and a travel magazine to help me plan our next family trip. This Black robe from @Lissomelounge is so comfortable and soft.  I recently ordered some great things from them and this is by far my favorite.  I am usually a PJ’s kind of girl, but I have actually found that I am loving this whole robe vibe.  If you haven’t heard of them before you should check them out on Instagram – and details of how to shop them is in the link in their profile.

What helped you recharge your energy this weekend?  What things do you love to do that help you take time for yourselves! Drop a comment below – I would love to hear…

I read a sign on the freeway today that struck a note with me “Make memories – don’t be one!”  It was reminding people to drive safe, but I think it relates to so many other things in our lives, especially the fact that if we neglect taking care ourselves, we not allowing ourselves the privilege of being important to ourselves.  When we take the time to make ourselves important, that’s when everything changes in your life!

Happy Memorial Day to you and those you are remembering!

 

 

What is Empowerment?

“You are the most influential person you will speak to all day!”

I feel like empowerment has been such a buzz word and it lead to me to thinking…does anyone really know what it is or what the person talking about it really means?

I started by blog with the intention of “empowering” others to believe in themselves, to not be afraid to be unique and not accept things as they are but as they can be.  To me empowerment means lifting others up, helping them to see the true value in themselves!  It most definitely is more about listening than talking – which can be very hard to do with a blog or social media.  As a woman in business whether we like it or not we are NOT viewed equally to men, but I also feel like it hasn’t held me back in fact, sometimes it can work in our favor.

We live in a society where we have been fighting the sterotype that Women were made to be mothers and stay at home (and regardless of where you live or how far you have made it in the business world, there are times when you will be overlooked as a candidate for a position or promotion because you aren’t the “primary bread winner”).  Things have improved from our parents generation but there have definitely been times in my career when things have happened and it has been explained to me that they were because the other person “had a family to support”.  Rather than let that dictate my future, I chose to work my way through the adversity and succeed regardless of someone else’s prejudice (because ultimately that is what it is!)

With all of this being said, I do believe that empowerment is all about encouraging others to believe in themselves, because even if you are faced with similar challenges, you are in control of how you react to them and how much you let them dictate your future.  It’s about having the confidence to create the life you want because you BELIEVE you deserve it and you are more than willing to put forth the effort to build it.

I have friends that have believed in me and encouraged me – even when they had no idea what I was thinking when I started this blog – because they know me!  They know that I am determined, confident, hard working and willing to sacrifice in the name of growth.

I have been guilty in the past of looking at others and wondering how they got there or why they are so successful, but that didn’t help me.  I realized that my focus needs to be on what I can do rather than what others are doing.

There are communities of Women all over the world that love and support each other, because they believe that a community of strong Women is so much greater than each individual Woman.  With social media being as it is and us viewing what we perceive about someone from their pictures, there is less and less of that support and more and more judgement.  The one thing I can say is 100% true is that you CAN NOT be empowering anyone if you are judging them.  Life can be very competitive but that doesn’t mean we should tear others down to feel or look better ourselves.   In fact, if you are someone that is worried about someone judging you, then chances are it is because you are someone that actually judges others…just a thought.

To summarize, empowerment is about making others feel good about themselves regardless of what is in if for you.  It’s about not judging, actually caring and being there, and helping that person become stronger and more confident!  Its about service – about doing something for someone else without needing something in return…

Confidence comes through knowing you are beautiful, strong, capable and loved – and it comes much faster when you have someone that cares enough about you to help reinforce these things for you!  It is also a great opportunity to pay it forward…

As you head into the weekend think about how you can help others and see what happens 🙂