Mirror, mirror on the wall….

We are all probably familiar with the story of Snow White.

In the castle was the evil queen who would keep asking the mirror who the “fairest of them all was”, hoping that one day the mirror would give her the one answer she so wanted. That it was her!! Not that little upstart, Snow White, with the perfect complexion and the ruby red lips.

In a rage of jealousy the evil queen decided it was time to “take out the competiton” and sent a poisoned apple to Snow White.

Does this story sound familiar to you? How do you feel when you look in the mirror? Does it tell you what you want to hear? Are you the fairest of them all? Or is there someone else?

Let me turn the fairy tale on it’s head. Let me be the mirror that tells you that YOU are the “fairest of them all.” When you look in the mirror and do not like the peson staring back at you, then it is time to change!!

I am going to give you some steps on how you can change your self-image. It does take consistent work. It will not happen over night, but it will happen!! (How do I know? Because I have done it myself! And if I can do it…so can you!)

  1. Stop comparing yourself to others: You are a unique individual. There is noone like  you. What do you feel attracts people to you? Maybe you are caring and compassionate. Maybe you have a great sense of humour. Maybe you are great at listening.
    What is it that makes you…YOU? Make a list of how you are unique and look at it every day. Read it out loud and personalise it. “I am unique because I am…(fill in the blank).
  2. What is it that you find physically attractive about yourself? We all have a body! What is it that you like most about your body? Your face?
  3. But I do not believe I am attractive! Time to retrain your thoughts! A belief is merely something we put faith in and believe it is true. It is instilled and ingrained by those around you. Humans are social creatures. We have a natural tendency to be liked and accepted. When our peers say damaging things about us, it comes on board, registers in our mind and we think about it.The more we think about it the more we believe it, and the more ingrained it becomes in our thought patterns. (After all they are our peers. Our perceived equals, and we value their opinion. But what if their opinion is wrong. What if they are insecure within themselves and only feel better by tearing down those around them?)This is exactly how brain-washing works! The good news is that we can replace these thoughts with new thoughts. The lie is that you consider that yourself to be unattractive. It is time to change that negative self-image by replacing it with thoughts and affirmations that negate this lie and replaces it with the truth: that you are a beautiful, unique, attractive individual. There is noone on earth (and there are 6 billion people on this planet!) who is like you!

I know people who are physically beautiful, but they have an ugly personailty. I also know people who might not be blessed with the looks of an Adonis or super-model, but they have the most beautiful personalities that I have come across. What is the point of this? Simply this: it is what is on the inside that counts (personality), not what is on the outside (physical atrractiveness).

I want you all to do this daily, for the next 30 days. Stand in front of your mirror, look at yourself and speak out affirmations that enhance your self-image:

I am a beautiful, unique, valuable person

I radiate and glow with love  and compassionate.

There is noone else like me. I am an individual.

I am warm and caring.

You can find more here: http://affirmationsreallywork.com/blog/2009/05/25-self-esteem-affirmations-for.asp

At first, you may feel silly standing in front of the mirror speajking out these affirmations. One thing that is a given, is that your mind will be whispering that you are only fooling yourself because you are not that person. Please, please, please…ignore that voice. It is only speaking, because you have spent all your life believing the lie that you are worthless, ugly and valueless.

It’s time to “retrain the brain”!! 

 

 

 

 

Run away quick! He’s talking about the “C” word…commitment!!

Why is that some people are scared of commitment? Some couples living in defacto relationships feel more comfortable with the status quo and dread to think about formalising the relatiionship through marriage. After all, marriage takes commitment!

Whether you realise it or not commitment can be found in all aspects of your life. You are committed to your job, your hobbies, perhaps your friends. But maybe you don’t call it “commitment” because you don’t like to feel trapped into a situation.

And that is pretty much what commitment is. Oxford Dictionary defines “commitment” as:

1. an engagement or (esp. financial) obligation that restricts freedon of action.

2. the process of an instance of committing oneself; a pledge or undertaking.

3.dedication, application

We don’t like giving up our freedom. We don’t  like to be “stuck” in siutations or relationships.

However, there is an “opportunity cost” for achieving any hopes, goals, dreams, or life desires. You need to give something up in order to get something else. Maybe it’s your time, the television, a friendship that keeps dragging you down. There will be something you have to give up in order to acheive your goals or dreams.

Any thing of value requires effort. If you look at the definitions above, you’ll see that commitment is not passive, it requires a decision and action. That is probably why a lot of people don’t like commitment. It requires sacrifice and hard work!

In a society that is so used to having things instant and fast, we are not used to having to give up our time and effort to get what we want. But anything of value, whether it be tangible (like a financial goal or losing weight) or intangible (such as  developing your self-esteem or improving your self-image), requires work and yes, that “C” word…commitment.

What goals, ambitions, hopes or desires do you have for your life? Have you got them yet? Have you made a start? If you have said “No”, then it’s time tio get serious and COMMIT.

Commitment doesn’t mean to do something about it every now and then. It requires daily action. Don’t feel like you have to do everything at once. Just do something small each day, and before you know it you are well on your way to acheiving you goal.

The trick (well, it’s not really a trick, it’s more like common sense) is to make a consistent effort.

Remember how I mentioned about “opportunity cost”, this simply means: giving up one thing for another thing that you think has a higher value than the thing you have given up. This is the sacrifice required when you are committed to a project, goal, or dream.

So it’s time to stop procrastinating. It’s time to stop making excuses. It’s time to stop saying you’ll do it “tomorrow” (after all “tomorrow” never comes!). It’s time to stop giving up after failing one or more times.

IT”S TIME TO GET COMMITTED TO YOUR DREAMS, GOALS, AND HEARTS DESIRES!

Be like the determined bulldog who refused to give up his bone no matter how many people tried to take it away from him.

Make a consistent, determined, committed effort to your goals each day and watch them come to pass. It’s inevitablel!!!

 

 

Show your Old Behaviour something new…the door!

This evening I was sitting in my favourite chair, the cat on my lap. And I thought. I really should get up and exercise.

I had bought myself an Xbox last year and one of the games I got was “Zumba” to help me lose weight. (I’m not fat or anything, I just felt like  I could lose a few pounds). I would sporadically put on “Zumba” and have a work out. But then some days I would either be too tired or too lazy. Or to be honest with you, I just couldn’t be bothered!! Months would pass by and then I would go,,, “Oh, I need to do some Zumba!”

You know what kind of result I got from that kind of behaviour? That’s right! Not much.

So on New Years Eve 2012, I made a list of goals for 2013. One of them was to be focused on my fitness. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, there I am sitting there, comfortable, with the cat on my lap. I thought “I really need to get up and do a workout” and then another voice says “It’s okay if you sit here. You can always do it tomorrow.”

I recognised that voice!! It was the voice of the old behaviour whispering. A voice I was familiar with last year. But listening to that voice got me nowhere. And that is the point.

How many times have we decided that we want to do something: start a new project, start on that book that you have been meaning to write, go for that walk to help you exercise, or whatever else you have determined within yourself to do. Yet there is that voice that whispers “You can always do it later”, “Watch TV for another 30 minutes.” ,”You can always start your exercise tomorrow”.

That voice is familiar because you have listened to it for so long, It’s a comforting voice because it keeps you where you are. What has been the result of obeying that voice? Simply, that you are where you are at today because you have obeyed it. It has caused you to be a creature of habit, always making excuses as to why you haven’t done those things that you have desired to do in your life.

It’s time you stopped listening to that voice! Get your old behaviours and “show them the door!”

With my Zumba work out, I had to force myself to do it. The old behaviour of making an excuse still lingered. Did I feel like getting up out of my comfy chair? No! But I knew I had to do it!

And that is the attitude you need too! Tell the old behaviours you have had enough! Say it out loud if you have to. Gather them up and shove them out the door like the uninvited guests that they are. After all, you are battling for you future.

The reason you are so comfortable with those behaviours is because you’ve done them for so long that they have habitual. It will take a determined, conscious effort on your part to turn things around. But guess what? It has been said that if you do something consistently for 30 days it becomes a habit. Now the old behaviour has been replaced with a new, postive, and productive behaviour!

I just want to ask you again. Where have your current behaviours and habits got you? That’s correct! They have got you where you are today.

Are you satisfied with where you are in life? If you are, good on you! 🙂 If not, then it’s time to change a few things. 

The sporadic, half-hearted approach that I took to my fitness last year produced little result. It’s the same with anything you try. If you do it half-heartedly, only “every now and then”, then don’t expect to reap any outstanding results. In fact it might even de-motivate you, because you do something half-heartedly expecting awesome results. You find that those results you do acheive are less than spectacular so you give up and wonder why you even tried in the first place. 

To get outstanding results requires an outstanding effort. You have to be consistent. Fight back against your old behaviours. Tell them they are not welcome any more. Make a determined effort against them and watch the results. You’ll be amazed!

Gor for it!!!

 

Get rid of “Stinkin’ Thinkin'”

We all have them. Thoughts. Some are good, some are bad. Some help us in life, some pull us down and keep us down.

The good news is that you can break the chains of bondage that “stinkin’ thinkin'” has bound you in. We are the products of our thoughts. As has been said “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

It can take time to change negative thinking. After all, it’s probably been the way you have thought most of your life. And you have come to believe those thoughts about yourself.

“I will never succeed at anything.”

“I will never lose weight, so what’s the use of exercising and dieting.”

“I wish I was more attractive. I’m ugly.”

“There’s no point trying, I’ll just fail. Like I always do.”

Any of those thoughts sound familiar? I know they do to me because I have thought them. And if I have, I am preeeetttyyy sure that you may of too.

Guess, what? I grew up being told that I am useless, that I would never amount to anything. I would be constantly bullied at school and laughed at.  Anything I wished to do I was told not to waste my time. All that had only resulted in one thing:

Negative thinking, negative self-esteem, and a negative self-image.

 It’s interesting that “negative thinking” was first! (By the way, that wasn’t intentional, as I wrote this,  I had a look and I thought, hang on “negative thinking” is listed first!). My subconscious is smarter than me! Why? Because it listed “negative thinking” first! From this all the other things eventuate: low self-esteem. negative self-image, lack of self-confidence, shyness, fear of failure, and all the other negatives.

I was shy, had no confidence in myself, would think other people would laugh at me. I would try something once, fail, and then say to myself “You’re useless.”

But then I one day I made a decision to change. And if I can do it, you can too! I’m no different than you. I’m still a human being that makes mistakes. The change came by understanding that I am a product of my thoughts. As we think, we act. (It’s as simple as that!)

I started off slowly with some positive affirmations. I have to admit I felt pretty ridiculous telling myself that I can succeed (my mind was battling and saying that it was a lie). But I kept going. I would find affirmations that would challenge my low self-esteem, my lack of confidence and all the other negatives in my life.

So now I was replacing my negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Whenever “stinkin’ thinkin’ ” would creep in, I would uproot that noxious weed and replace it with the sweet fragrance of a positive affirmation.

The next step is to act. Act as though you believe what you are affirming (after all you have been acting in line with your negative thoughts!). Step out and do something that is in line with the positive affirmation. It doesn’t have to be something big, just something that will reinforce the positive thought.

For me in an effort to overcome my shyness, I began to say “Hi” to people I didn’t know. It was a small thing to do, but it was a BIG step forward. Now I can get up and speak in front of groups of people and it doesn’t bother me. That’s just a wee personal success story to help you!

IF I CAN DO IT, SO CAN YOU!!!

Guess what? You’re nagative thinking has got you where you are today. Want a  change in your life? Want to achieve your goals and dreams? Want to become a better person? YOU CAN!! Just replace your negative thoughts with positive ones!! YOU CAN DO IT!!

Here is an equation I want you to remember:

Change the way you think + change the way you act = a change in your life

Always remember: thinking precedes acting. Think positively, act positively and the rest will take care of itself.

Here’s a couple of websites to help you find positive affrimations:

http://www.prolificliving.com/blog/2012/08/27/100-positive-affirmations/

http://www.affirmations-for-radical-success.com/list-of-positive-affirmations.html

http://www.vitalaffirmations.com/

Go get yourself a better life. You deserve it!

Beware of Dream Bandits

Have you ever experienced the following:

You are excited about something that you want to acheive, maybe it’s something you have been thinking about for sometime. It could be a goal you want to strive for, a dream that you want to bring to pass.In your excitement and enthusiasm you share your dream with friends and family. Someone tells you not to be stupid, don’t waste your time. All of a sudden your enthusiasm has taken a hit. You begin to feel discouraged and wonder about whether you were truly that committed to the dream in the first place. Then what happens? You give up and agree that “maybe that person was right.”

I know, for myself, I have experienced that many times. Even as recent as 2 months ago!! I shared with someone close to me a couple fo things I am working on. I was told, “There’s too much competiton, everyone is doing that.”

I call these people “Dream Bandits”. Instead of encouraging you and getting behind you, they discourage you and tell you that you are wasting your time. What happens when they tell you this? You find that your dream has gone. It has just been stolen from you!!

It’s not only people, but also our own thoughts that are “Dream Bandits”. If you have led a life where you have never been encouraged. If you have never had people believe in you, then the tragedy is that you probably a poor self-image. You think of yourself as deficient and that there is no hope for you to “reach for the stars”. When you have a dream or goal, there is the little voice in the back of your mind that whispers (sometimes it shouts) “What’s the point of trying.  You’ll just fail again.” So you opt for the “safe option”, which is “Don’t try.and then you don’t fail” Then you don’t have to face the embarrassment of failure.

Did you know that Thomas Edison failed 10, 000 times when he tried to invent the light bulb? Imagine where we would be if he had just given up (Probably still using oil lamps…). But Mr. Edison took it in his stride. He is quoted as saying that he didn’t fail. He just discovered 10,000 ways that didn’t work. Guess what? He finally succeeded!

What’s that got to do with “Dream Bandits”? A lot! We need to ignore all the negative voices around us (whether it is people or our own thoughts). Find people that will believe in you, who will get alongside you and will tell you “Go for it!” People that will mentor you.

There are still going to be detractors who will boo you from the sidelines. (It’s a sad fact of humanity that some people are threatened by people who acheive success.) Ignore those people, they’re on the sidelines which means only one thing: they are going nowhere!

Replace you negative thoughts with postive thoughts. Find self-affirmations that you can use to combat those negative thoughts when they creep in.

Your dreams are the precious things. They need to be protected and nurtured. Don’t allow anyone to come and take them from you. Make a quaility decision today that you are going to step out and bring your dreams, goals and visions to pass!

Step out in courage and…GO FOR IT!!!

I’m a W.I.P! What about you…?

I would like to proudly say that “I AM A W.I.P!” (sorry about the shouting, I just got excited!!!). I reckon, if you are honest with yourself, you’ll porbably notice that you’re a W.I.P. as well.

So then…what exactly do I mean when I say I’m a W.I.P? Simply that I am a “Work In Progress” (Hence, I am a W.I.P. and I dare say that youi are too).

We all have dreams and goals that we want to aspire to. We all have things that we want to change about ourselves and our lives (it might be that you’re not happy about the way you look, your body shape, your attitude. Maybe you are dissatisfied with where you are in life and don’t know what to do). Good news! You can change these because you are…what? THAT”S RIGHT! A W.I.P!!  You can acheive you goals and manifest your dreams. It just takes one important thing (and it’s not a secret, it doesn’t cost you anything (which is a good thing right? Free is a good price I think!)),

The thing that you need is:

A Decision!

That’s all you have to do if you want to improve your life. You just simply have to decide that you want to improve your life. It’s not going to be an “overnight thing” (anyone who promises that is either kidding, or completely deluded!), it’s a “journey of a lifetime”. That’s why I like to think of it as a “Work In Progress”. Because it’s ongoing…until the day we leave this Earth to the sweet “bye-and-bye in the sky”.

If you want to take the first step, then here are a few ideas to get you on the path:

  • If you lead a busy, stressful lifestyle. Stop!! Take time out, relax. Go and smell a flower. Listen to the birds singing. Or just relax in a nice hot bath!
  • You shy? (I was, etxremely shy!). What did I do? I just started saying “Hello” to people. And..guess what? They said “Hello” back!
  • Being meaning to lose weight, or become fitter than you are? Then DO IT!! (It only takes thirty minutes a day, 3-5 times a week).
  • Is there a goal that you have been meaning to acheive? Take time out, write it down (along with a time frame for when you want to acheive it). Now break the goal down into smaller goals and then…GO GET IT!!

I’m going to be completely honest with you all (just so you know that I am a fallible human being, just like you). I have been terrible at goal-setting. I would hate writing down goals of things that I want to acheive, because it would remind me of what I haven’t acheived . That made me feel pretty stink and useless.

But, then on New Years Eve (2012) I decided (oh,,,there’s that decision thing that I mentioned!) to sit down and write out goals for 2013. I have them in front of me as I write this. (This blog is actually one of the goals I have set for myself). Everyday I set tasks (only 2-3, don’t make it too many as you’ll become overwhelmed and quit!) that help me attain the goals I have set. Notice, that it is every day! (after all we’re all W.I.P.’s…it’s a daily thing!!).

My motto is “If I can do it, so can you!” All you need to do is to: DECIDE!!

So, become a W.I.P. , like me!! You won’t regret it. (By the way, it’s important to have FUN! If you can’t inject fun into things, then it makes it harder to motivate yourself).