Have you ever put conditions on your confidence or self-esteem? Let me explain…
I have been in sales for 20 years now and have experienced huge successes which has afforded me the opportunity to travel and create amazing memories with my family. Because I have worked really hard at it and become successful, a lot of my self confidence came from that success. So, when I decided to start writing this blog I didn’t have the same amount of confidence in myself or my abilities. In fact, I started to wonder if anyone would even be interested in what I might have to say, or if it could provide any value. I started to shy away from interacting with other bloggers and almost hid behind the computer rather than putting myself “out there” and being confident and bold.
I had put conditions on my confidence – I only felt good if I got a certain number of comments or likes on my social media and I started to feel a little insecure about my abilities. It took me a while but I realized that this was a self-defeatist mindset and it was actually getting it the way of my happiness and success. So here’s what I started to do – I pushed myself to do as many things that made me feel uncomfortable as possible so that I could grow and become stronger. I started to accept my value even on those days where the engagement of my blog or social media was low, so that my confidence or happiness was no longer dependent on my success (or at least my perceived success!)
After going through these things I started to realize that this has been a pattern in my life – when things were going well I felt really good about myself, but if I had a bad sales month (or year) or I had a client cancel etc., etc. it made me feel like I wasn’t any good at what I was doing. Now this is a double edged sword – it created a huge amount of drive in my career and life, BUT it also meant that no matter what, at some point, I was going to let a situation or a person determine how confident I felt in myself. Obviously not the best way to live my life.
Do you find yourself putting conditions on how you feel about yourself? Is your self-worth or confidence DEPENDENT on something? It is a really common thought process in a lot of people, but if you can master the art of shining no matter what is going on in your life, and not allowing things or people determine how you feel about yourself, everything else just seems to work itself out – and not because everything is going to always go your way, but because you can handle it when it doesn’t!
If you have experienced in the past or if you currently find yourself thinking that you worth is conditional on certain things, I wanted to share with you a concept…
What if you just considered yourself as a unique, irreplaceable person, that is valued unconditionally, and that when you see yourself as this person, you will be able to connect and create stronger relationships in your life, the relationships that you deserve. Would it be worth thinking this way instead of letting thoughts of shame, negativity, insecurity or judgement camp out in your mind? I can tell you that it worked for me, and that I work every day on focusing on the good in me…
Have an amazing weekend – I would love to hear what you think about this concept…Comment below!
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Skirt: from Downeast Basics – click here
When we came into this world we all had the same amount of potential…
Circumstances, environment and attitude determine what we do with that potential. No matter who you are, chances are you have had experiences and lived through circumstances that have essentially “rocked your world”. It’s definitely easy to let our circumstances and our living conditions or environment get us down, but one thing is for sure…it is possible to change your outcome!
We watched a movie last night and it’s a silly, funny movie, but it made me think…The movie was “Joe Dirt” and if you are not familiar with the movie it is about an 8 year old boy that is “lost” by his parents at the Grand Canyon. He spends the next 25 years searching for his family only to find out that they left him on purpose. I know, sounds very silly, and obviously it is not very likely to be real, but it made me pause for a minute and think about my challenges. The hard things that I have been through, the things that have essentially defined my path, are all opportunities to grow. Trust me, it’s definitely not easy to look at my challenges and say “well…this is for my own good” when I am in pain, and sometimes in the deepest and darkest moments of my life. But one thing I have learned as I have gone through some pretty serious challenges (like moving to the U.S. as a single mother, with no job and just praying things would figure themselves out because I needed a better life for my son), is that my strength has grown, my determination has become refined, and my confidence is much more solid than it has ever been.
So how do you become empowered to be who you are capable of being? I truly believe that whether you believe in God, a higher power, guardian angels or just the universe, there is definitely something or someone out there rooting for you. I have experienced this many, many times, when I didn’t think things would work out, and somehow they did. I have realized that I can make decisions to make things happen, but the only way that truly works is that I TRUST and that I am not afraid.
I recently started Mountain Biking, and this morning Brandon and I went on a really scary trail that was about 8 miles to the top of a mountain with narrow switchbacks I fell about 6 or 7 times, I cried, I got frustrated, I was angry, I was terrified, but obviously as I sit here writing this post, one thing is for sure, I made it. The sense of accomplishment was amazing, even though I know I didn’t do it perfectly, at least I did it!
So, with all these things being said, how do you feel empowered? Here are MY top 5 ways, you may have different ones that work for you…but these are the ones I use:
I hope as you head into this week, you find yourself believing in YOU and if you don’t already, starting to believe that you deserve great things!
After just returning from a vacation staying in a cabin in Montana, river rafting, hiking and horseback riding in Glacier National Park, mountain biking and fishing at the lake, I was seriously craving dressing up and getting ready this morning. I don’t know why but I always seem to focus so much better when I am dressed and ready to go. I kind of have a hard time focusing on doing anything work related when I am vacationing (I guess that’s a good thing), unless something needs to be done.
I try to set aside some time to post, write, and even take pictures, but honestly, I get so busy making the memories that I forget to capture them on camera. Anyone else have this happen to them? Sometimes Brandon will say “let me take a picture of you, or the whole family” and that’s the first time that it occurred to me that I might actually want to be IN some of the pictures I take 😉
As I think about dressing up and dressing the part, the biggest challenge that I see people have is the lack of attention to the details. It’s easily done, and it’s also easily forgotten. I may be a little crazy because I notice everything about what someone else wears, I notice ALL the details, so when I am building my outfits, the jewelry, the bag, the shoes, and even the jacket or coat carry equal weight to the outfit I am wearing. Sometimes wearing a plain dress is perfect, but it can lack a little “oomph” if you don’t add some great accessories or shoes. One of the easiest outfits to take when you travel is a plain, versatile, wrinkle-resistant, dress or jumpsuit, then add a funky pair of shoes, a scarf, a belt, some chunky jewelry or a bright bag.
In today’s post I wanted to show the baby blue bag that I posted about a few weeks ago, because the color, the strap and the style make it completely unique and noticeable. I didn’t try to match the shoes but picked a neutral White pump, and wore this with some versatile, comfortable and cool chambray pants.
I may or may not be a little bit of a shopper (I will deny it if you ask me), but I do know that I am always looking for some great statement pieces that I can use with multiple outfits. I have quite a few pairs of shoes (I know, hard to believe), I have quite a few handbags (again, hard to believe) and as for my jewelry I sometimes can’t even find or remember some of the things I have. I don’t recommend getting yourself into this situation, however, I do think it’s fun to have plenty of things to choose from when putting together an outfit.
I have always been someone that doesn’t aspire to be mediocre, but wants to strive for excellence, and that goes for my style as well as everything else in my life – so I always pay attention to the details, in every area of my life!
If you’re looking to find a great statement bag like mine, some great neutral White pumps, or some fabulous chambray pants like mine….you can click the shoppable links below!
I posted a little while ago about Pearls with purpose and I can’t help myself, I have to do it again. I was so moved by their cause, by the Women they have helped and how their philosophy totally puts life into perspective. It makes me want to be a better me and help as many people as possible, it made me realize that it’s so easy to get caught up in our own lives, live in our little bubble and not realize what is really happening in other parts of the world. The great thing about Pearls with Purpose is that it’s easy to help, you can volunteer, you can become involved by donating, or even better, you can buy some of their jewelry so these amazing Women are empowered to make more to provide for their families. It gives them purpose, because learning how to provide is so much more important that just receiving donations or handouts.
Here’s just one more story about one of the Women that Pearls with Purpose has helped…
A young mother walked into the co-op one fall afternoon. She was pregnant with her 7th child. She had heard of the co-op through various friends and sources in the squatter area.
“Please”, she spoke with pleading eyes, “will you please take my baby and feed her? I will adopt to you, just feed her.”
We quickly assured her that rather than adopting her child, we could teach her to make jewelry so she could earn her own money. She seemed intrigued with this idea, and thus Nanette became one of our new Pearlologists.
She worked through the pregnancy, and delivered a beautiful baby girl. Her husband, Juan, was a trash collector. He pedaled around on a bicycle with a basket attached and collected usable pieces of trash. Some days his earnings amounted to the equivalent of a dollar, others it was a mere few cents. Every day was a struggle for food for seven hungry mouths.
The older children frequently stayed home from school in order to beg for food, fetch wood to make a fire to boil water for drinking, or to walk the two miles to the water supply to get daily drinking water. Every day was a battle for survival.
A few months after beginning to work at the Pearl Co-op, we had a trip to Philippines and went to Nanettes house to visit her and her family. We wove our way around the dirt paths circulating ever inward through a maze of huts and lean-to’s. We came to a squatter house that had a rickety homemade wooden ladder going up to its rooftop. We quickly learned that that was their dwelling. Up the wooden boards we climbed. We entered a 10×10 wooden slated floor area filled with 6 rambunctious children and a hip-straddled infant that was wailing. The translator quickly explained that there was not enough nutrition for mom to effectively nurse, not enough money for formula or milk, and that one of the older children had run down to the river to fetch water and wood. They would then make a fire, boil the water, and mix it with rice powder to feed the baby. A process that would take close to an hour. My heart melted. We stayed for 30 minutes, playing games with the children, watching as they did somersaults, hand stands and entertained us with their child-like good natures. Ever smiling and laughing as we clapped and cheered them on. Meanwhile the infant shrieked on and on while mom patiently rocked her against her hip. We departed before the oldest had yet returned with the desperately needed water. We quickly went to a market and purchased formulas, powdered milk and a water purification system for their tiny family.
The entire time we were in Nanettes home, she had a smile on her face as she brokenly repeated “my thanks to you I work, my thanks to you we eat, my thanks to you keep my baby”.
Though still in humble circumstances, she was able to begin her path of self reliance because of the work offered through the pearl co-op.
If this story doesn’t melt your heart I don’t know how yet will…thoughts of having to give up your child because you can’t afford to feed it – that’s not even something we have to think about!
If you’re looking for a way to help AND get some amazing jewelery to go with it – click here to help their cause – PEARLS WITH PURPOSE
I believe that in life it is easy to be focused on an achievement or a goal rather than actually enjoying the journey of experience and beauty that it takes for you to get there…
That may sound a little cliche, so bear with me. I understand the whole focused, driven, determined, passionate side of things, and I am definitely all of those things, but one thing that I am a little more focused on now more than ever is that I can actually ENJOY my days as I am striving to achieve my goals. It used to be that I was so focused on the outcome that I was pretty much miserable on my way there. Meaning that I missed out on so many experiences and most importantly time – especially with my family. I used to be so focused on my career that I wouldn’t want to take vacations in fear that I might not be as good or as successful. I made a decision about 7 years ago that I would enjoy taking vacations, spending time with my family and let the rest of the stuff just work itself out…the crazy thing is that I found that I was actually MORE successful, AND happy! I realized that in anything in life you attract good things to you when you’re happy, positive and loving life…and let me tell you, I am definitely loving life.
Don’t get me wrong there are definitely times when I cry because things are hard or things aren’t going my way, and sometimes I just cry (no, I’m not crazy, I’m just OK letting myself be vulnerable letting things go so I can move through them).
That’s another thing that I discovered – of course the hard way – that I beat myself up for not having everything together all the time…and that is self defeating because the more I fight it, the worse it gets! So, I get in my car, or just take a “time out” at home, and spend time letting myself feel what I’m feeling, and not telling myself I am weak, I shouldn’t be doing it or even worse that I am stupid for feeling a certain way. We are all emotional beings, and we all have feelings…the difference is that some of us bottle it up, some let it all out where everyone can see it (sometimes to have others help us solve our problems for us), and some just know how to “ride the wave”. I am learning to ride that wave, but not only that, I am actually enjoying riding it!
This is one of things that we talk to our kids about all the time – you can either learn how to handle things when they are smaller and easier to deal with when you’re younger, or become an adult that doesn’t know how to problem solve. I see it all the time and I am guessing you do too…people that are great until they come across a sticky situation and then they turn into mush. Here’s the kicker – they will keep having these situations until they learn how to handle them. I know for me there is a certain type of person that keeps appearing in my life, teaching me, stretching me, and definitely making me a better person. I haven’t figured out EXACTLY how to deal with them, but I am starting to recognize patterns, learn from them, and react differently. It seems crazy to do the same things over and over and expect different results, but I have definitely been guilty of that!
So as you can see from this post, you can find joy wherever you are…whether you are doing something you used to do as a kid (like blowing on this dandelion clock that was definitely nostalgic for me), or even just looking for something good in the thing you are doing…it will change your whole experience. I don’t know about you, but I definitely choose to find joy and beauty around me!
You can shop this super cute dress from DownEast Basics by clicking here
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”
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