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Real Not Perfect

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To be worthy doesn’t mean having to be perfect!

Perfection is something that is one of those unattainable goals that we somehow seem to be striving for, always in vain. We set expectations on ourselves and set ourselves up for failure when our goal or expectation is to become perfect.

It is easy to get caught up in wanting ourselves to be perfect, but it is also very dangerous because when we are wanting that perfection it very often doesn’t stop at ourselves and we come to want or even expect that from others around us as well!

In previous posts I’ve talked a little about how comparison of ourselves to others is fatal, and in this age of social media, it’s really hard to not allow ourselves to succumb to such self-sabotaging behavior. So how do we change our mindset so that striving for personal excellence is what we aim for? Here are some things that I use daily and they work for me:

  1. Choose to focus only on being better each day than the day before – rather than focusing on what we’re doing wrong or we’re not great at.
  2. Choose to appreciate and love the things we are good at and build on those…
  3. Practice positive self-talk so that we can start to realize how amazing we are.
  4. Allow ourselves to celebrate any victory, whether great or small. That way we are not always dissatisfied with our results. We have to appreciate the small things first otherwise we won’t know what the big things are!
  5. Don’t just focus on the outcome – a lot of growth and strength building comes in the journey. In the learning – you know, the falling down and getting up!
  6. Sometimes procrastination comes from not wanting to not be able to complete something or do it perfectly. Allowing ourselves the grace to not finish something immediately gives us the opportunity to avoid procrastination and learn something along the way.

I know when I let go of my need to control everything, my need for things to go EXACTLY according to a plan I might have in my mind, I am always pleasantly surprised by the results I get. My expectations have been known to get me into trouble, because I promise you the scenarios and outcomes I create in my mind are so much more elaborate than I could ever create in real life. It took me a while to realize that I didn’t want to hold myself back and I certainly didn’t want to be unhappy…but once I did, it created a huge amount of freedom and was light a weight being lifted off my shoulders.

I used to think that the pressure I put on myself – the pressure to create success and fulfillment – was what made me successful, but what I have realized after A LONG time is that it’s actually the opposite. I am always going to be driven, motivated, have a love of stepping out of my comfort zone, but it was actually the expectations and the need for perfection that held me back rather than making me better. It’s hard to come to the realization that I was sabotaging my own success, but once I did and I became conscious about my behavior…that’s when the magic started to happen!

Celebrate YOU

 

“Celebrate how far you have come & who you have become.  Today, celebrate YOU!”

 

One of the things I have realized as I have been on my career and life journey is that it is 100% OK for me to celebrate ME!  It’s important for me to recognize the good things that I do, to allow myself grace and most importantly to set clear boundaries where I allow time to take care of myself and my needs.

As a working mother, wife, friend, daughter & sister to name just a few hats I wear, I used to feel guilty if I took time for me – and I bet I’m not the only one!  Taking time for you, allowing yourself to be you and spending time appreciating the amazing qualities you have is honestly the only way you’re going to get through this life unscathed.

 

Shop my outfit by clicking any of these links – I use feeling good about how I look to strengthen my relationship with myself.

 

So how do you truly celebrate you?  Here are some of my ideas, you may have others and I would love to hear about them:

  1. When you do a good job allow yourself to receive praise.  I used to be one of those women that was uncomfortable with people complimenting me – in fact whenever someone would say something nice about me I would find myself feeling a weird sensation so I would change the subject or turn the compliment to the person that had just taken the time to say something nice to me.  Do you ever do that?  When someone says “I love your dress” or “you look cute” do you find yourself saying “YOU look cute” or “your dress or outfit is way cuter?”  I have found that it is only hard to take a compliment when you don’t feel that good about yourself.
  2. Giving yourself grace to make mistakes can be the difference between a positive self appreciation and a negative one.  We are all human, we are not always going to get things right, so why do we expect ourselves to?  I would never put the level of expectation I have for myself onto another person – it wouldn’t be fair because it’s a level that is not humanly possible to achieve, so why do I do it?  I am working on recognizing that I am not the most patient person, and I expect myself to be the best (or at least so I can see that I am working my way toward that), but when I feel like I have a setback, I tend to get frustrated with myself and don’t always think the best things.  Just the fact that I am writing this and putting it out there lets you know that I realize that it’s OK and that I am cutting myself some slack!
  3. Feed yourself emotionally.  We all have different things that make us feel good, and whatever that is, we should do more of it.  I love to spend time with my family (especially when not everyone is fighting), read, hike, shop, ride my bike, take a really hot bath at night, exercise regularly, hang out with friends, and every once in a while a good pedicure or massage is just what I need.  Your list is going to be completely different than mine, so work from your list.  If you love to cook or bake then that is where you’re going to want to spend more time.  The point is, we are fed by doing things we love, so why do we not do more of them?
  4. Connection is something that we are humans were meant to do.  Whether you are married or not, my guess is that you have at least one relationship in your life that makes you feel good.  We weren’t made to be alone.  I do realize that for some people even when they are surrounded by people that love them there can still be that feeling of being alone.  Even if it’s not something you feel all the time, there have probably been times that this is true.  I have found that when I focus on the love that I have for myself and nurture my relationship with ME, the loneliness will very often subside.

Celebrate who you are, celebrate the amazing person that this world needs.  No matter who you are there is a reason you’re here and there is something you can do to make this world a better place.  Just believe in YOU!

The weekend is almost here – find something to do for yourself!

 

 

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!

How to Feel Good about Yourself

 

“Feelings are much like waves.  We can’t stop them from coming but we can choose which ones to surf!”

 

I have been speaking a lot over the past week about confidence, self love and appreciation, so I though I would tie it all together…and when it is tied together, all the pieces work together to help us feel good about ourselves.

We are all so unique, the things that make us unique are our strengths.  For example, have you ever met a child that is really quirky, funny, sassy, or cheeky and that is what you love about them?  I have always been drawn to strong personalities, because those are the people that are not afraid to embrace their uniqueness.  For some reason, very often those children that are that way start to conform to “fit in” rather than continue marching to the beat of their own drum.  I find this really sad, and that’s why I wanted to talk about this topic today.

Here are my top 10 ways to help you to learn to feel good about yourself:

  1. Take pride in your strengths.  If you are caring, happy, loving, sharp, easygoing or fun…appreciating your qualities is the best way to feel good about yourself.  Have you ever noticed that your strengths are not someone else’s which means that you are the perfect person to be there for someone that needs a caring person when they’re feeling down or a fun person when they need lifting up?
  2. Don’t expect every day to be perfect or rosy.  You are going to have bad days and that’s OK!  It was so funny the other night I hadn’t had great sleep the night before, I was definitely irritable and I could feel a storm brewing. I had to take Jack, my 13 year old to his baseball game, but when I pulled up there was no one else there.  I immediately felt irritated, and said “of course, no one else is here…” and here’s Jack’s response to me – which made me stop in my tracks.  “Mum, not everything is going to go your way all the time, but your first reaction can’t be to become angry!”  Wow!  he definitely showed me, I felt at that moment that I wasn’t the parent anymore because he was 100% right!
  3. Work on developing a positive attitude.  I really do believe that we can train our brain to do anything we want it to.  Why not train it to think more positively?
  4. Know that you are worthy.  There is someone in this world that needs YOU and what you have to offer.
  5. Make a list of all the things you are thankful for.  When you write something down, your body remembers, and it is a great thing to refer back to when things aren’t going your way.
  6. Don’t tie all your confidence and self esteem to how you look.  Focusing on physical attributes rather than strengths or self worth will only open you up for more frustration and negativity.  This doesn’t mean don’t take care in your appearance, but rather allow yourself to recognize your other qualities.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and when you have a positive attitude and feel good about yourself that is what you will see when you look in the mirror and what others will see too!
  7. Don’t worry about what others think.  Thing is, we can’t control what they think and more often than not how they feel about you has less to do with you and more to do with them!
  8. Focus on growing your self love by stopping comparison and focusing on your strengths.
  9. Work on developing your confidence.  This can come in so many ways, but a great way is to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable and grow your abilities and therefore your confidence.  The most confident people in this world aren’t the ones that sit at home in a safe place and do nothing, they are the ones that are changing the world by trying new things.
  10. Recognize that you may have insecurities but that they don’t have to define you.  Feeling like you are not great at something doesn’t make it so…they are just negative feelings and we can circumvent them by focusing on the previous 9 steps.

I can tell you that most of the time I feel confident, most of the time I know who I am and what my strengths are, but just like the other day, there are days when I don’t react the best way, when I feel down and don’t have energy, but there is always a new day, a new thought process and always a choice.

I whole heartedly believe that we get to choose how happy, how confident and how positive we are, and that we can retrain ourselves to think these thoughts.

It truly is that simple!

 

My appearance isn’t the only thing that makes me feel good about me, however, when I have a great shoot like the one in this post, I am definitely feeling good.  I have the pleasure of working with a great company that has some really cute pieces and one I am loving right now is this cute Kimono – you can shop this kimono and some of their other pieces by going to Poppy and Company (click link) and use the code STYLE15 for an exclusive 15% discount.  You’re welcome 🙂

Happy Weekend…

 

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!

AGEbeautiful

~AFTER~

“Gorgeous hair is the best revenge!”

Is your Mum as good a sport as mine is – let me tell you a story and you’ll know what I mean!

When I was 18 I came over to the U.S. to go to college, and I obviously didn’t have my family around.  As time grew closer to graduating, my Mum came over to stay with me for about a month – we took graduation pictures, hung out and had fun.  During that time I didn’t have much money and I was living in a very small town that had few, if any, hair salons.  I decided it would be a good idea to color my Mum’s hair for my graduation, to spice things up a little 😉  Let me preface this with the fact that I am in no way experienced and I had NEVER done anything with hair like this before (especially not on myself)!

We bought a color kit from the local supermarket, and I set to work coloring her hair.  All was going well until I realized that I hadn’t tested an area to see how the color would take, and suffice it to say that by the time I was done my Mum’s hair wasn’t blonde but RED.  Now all I can say is that she is much, much nicer than I am because she didn’t melt down, in fact her only response was “it’ll grow out.”

So when I called her this week and wanted to try a new product on her I was very surprised to hear that she was 100% OK with me doing it.  It’s not because I have suddenly become a pro at hair styling, because I haven’t!

 

 

Thank goodness for AGEbeautiful Topcoat Toners which I just discovered…The thing is, just like my hair, my Mum’s pulls warm, brassy tones whenever she dyes it…and I noticed that there were some more brassy blonde tones in her hair and I wanted to “cool” them down for her.

 

~BEFORE~

 

I discovered this amazing new product at Sally Beauty and I have to admit I was cautious about using it on myself because I am not as patient as my mum is, and I’m pretty sure if it damaged my hair or it didn’t turn out right, I might have had a mini meltdown myself ;).

I am happy to report that these toners are the real deal.  For those of you out there who have ever gone to a hair salon and come home feeling less than satisfied because your hair is too yellow, gold or brassy…this is the answer you have been waiting for.

It is really easy to use, it only takes up to 10 minutes, you can do it yourself and you can see the amazing results.

I know, it’s not exactly like me taking her to a spa, but how she felt when I was done was definitely worth it!
AGEbeautiful Topcoat Toners are anti-brass toners that neutralize unwanted warmth to keep blonde shades looking cool. They deposit rich color & shine on pre-lightened or highlighted blonde hair, and because they contain Vitamin E they moisturize your scalp rather than drying it out – We used the Pearl Blonde – for reference!

You can click the link above to shop one yourself online, or just visit any Sally Beauty near you – go to www.sallybeauty.com to find your nearest location.

Learning to Love your Changing Body

 

“Make peace in the mirror and watch your reflection change!”

Everyone’s body changes as they get older. Some women get pregnant, which changes their body even more. All sorts of things can have an effect on your body, from your diet and exercise to how long you spend in the sun. It can be hard to accept change, but it’s impossible to resist. Your body can go through many changes during your life, so it’s important to be able to embrace them. Loving your body helps you to love yourself, so you should work on loving it no matter what it looks like.

 

 

Accepting the Changes

The first step to loving your changing body is recognizing and accepting that it’s going to change. It won’t stay the same way forever, even if you stay at generally the same shape and size. Your skin changes, your hips may change, and so might your breasts. You can put on weight and lose weight, and gain and lose muscle too. Even your feet might change. There are ways to resist some of these changes, but trying to do so can make you less happy than learning to love your body. It can take a while to accept that your body will always change, but you can be a lot happier for it.

 

Caring for Your Body

One of the ways you can love your body no matter what is to take good care of it. Staying healthy is a good start so that you feel good physically. A healthy diet and exercise regime can help you feel more connected to your body and care about your health more. You can also look after your body by having a beauty routine. This Anese cellulite scrub review demonstrates how great it can feel to pamper yourself. Whether you take a long shower or go to your favorite spa, you’ll love caring for yourself. It’s good for you physically and mentally.

 

Changing Your Style

As your body changes, you might change your style to meet it. Part of this might just be your tastes evolving as you age. It’s pretty normal to like different clothes and beauty trends at different ages, depending on what stage you’re at in your life. Changing your style can help you love your body no matter what it looks like. You might choose your clothes based on what you feel comfortable in or what you feel suit you at different times.

 

Being Self-centered

When you’re trying to love your body, one of the most important things to do is to concentrate on yourself. It’s very easy to be critical if you let other people’s opinions influence what you think of yourself. Of course, it’s not easy to ignore what society says about how people should look. But just trying to work on making your opinion the only one that matters can help you love your body more. It’s especially important as you get older and the criticism from others can seem louder.

 

Your body will change as you age, but you can still love it. Take good care of it and appreciate it to keep your love for it going.

Just as a final reminder…if I asked you name all of the things you loved, how long would it take you to name yourself??  Put yourself at the top of the list 🙂

You can shop similar pieces to those I am wearing by clicking the links below (these are affiliate links but will cost you nothing additional to purchase this way).