Archives for January 2009

Why do people hurt their children?

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Yesterday and today I read of two horrific stories of fathers killing their children. One shot his entire family (including himself) and another threw his young daughter off a bridge and drove away.

What on EARTH would possess a man to kill or even hurt an innocent child???

We can all draw assumptions about why, such as “he was in the midst of a custody dispute and didn’t want his ex to have the children, so that’s why he killed them”… but regardless of the reasons behind why a parent would kill a child, I can say with absolute certainty, that in all cases these people have a low level of self esteem.

If they had a high regard for their self worth, then they wouldn’t put themself into a situation where they could be locked away for life.

If they had high self esteem, they would face the challenges in their life head-on, knowing that they would come out at the other end in one piece.

Their view on life would be a positive one.

When I hear stories such as the stories I mentioned above, I am saddened to know that if only they had received the right help to boost their self esteem, then maybe this situation would not have happened.

If ever you’re in a relationship with someone who has violent tendencies, both verbal and physical, I cannot stress enough that your safety and that of your children must be of paramount importance.

Get help from a professional who has skills dealing with situations such as yours and protect yourself and your children in every way you can.

The significance of the butterfly

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Many people have asked me “Why the butterfly?” as the symbol or logo for my website. The butterfly holds quite a bit of significance to me, and this story will explain why:

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it had and it could go no further.

Then the man decided to help the butterfly, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If God allowed us to go through our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. And we could never fly. (author unknown)

Having faced my own struggles and knowing I have come out of them so much stronger, I feel the butterfly is perfect for my website and symbolises the message I am trying to portray!

Are you afraid to take a chance?

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We all face challenges and setbacks in our lives when taking chances, and some are harder to deal with than others, but what we learn from them is well worth the effort, regardless of the outcome!

My biggest challenge was the day I decided to walk out of my marriage. For so many years I had told myself how I wouldn’t be able to cope on my own, and I really felt for a long time that leaving just wasn’t an option.

One day a lightbulb went on in my head and I realised that if I just take a chance and take charge of my life, then maybe I could finally be happy again.

So that is what I did and it was the biggest life-changing event of my life! It was extremely hard, and I had my ups and downs along the way, but it wasn’t long before I realised that my decision was the right one.

I am now happily married with two beautiful daughters and life is just sensational! :)

I constantly see people in situations they don’t want to be in, but they are afraid to take a chance and do something to change it. Until they are prepared to get out there and do it, then their life will continue on as it always has.

The following saying says it all: If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got…

If you are faced with a challenge and you’re wondering if you should take a chance, then ask yourself these questions:

1. What is the very worst thing that could happen if things went wrong?

2. How would you handle it if this happened?

3. What positive things could you learn from this situation, regardless of the outcome?

4. What is the very best thing that could happen if there was a positive outcome?

5. What will your life be like if there is a positive outcome?

Speak to a successful entrepreneur for a few minutes and you will realise that they have faced many challenges and setbacks. They’ve taken many chances, some of which may have failed, but they got back up, brushed themself off, and made their next attempt.

That’s what makes the difference between the successful and unsuccessful – the ability to take chances, learn from their mistakes, and get up and try again.

What is the biggest challenge you have ever faced?

Have you reached your limit?

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Do you think you’ve reached your limit? Could it be you have more in you than you thought?

Are you really prepared to change your attitude?

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313127 3284Having worked for large organisations, it’s easy to see what a difference your attitude can make to your work and personal life.

I work with people who just cannot be pleased, no matter what you do. They find fault in everything. They dislike doing work that is “not in their job description”, they spend most of their time whining about how badly they are being treated by management, and rarely, if ever, look happy. What are they like at home???

Meanwhile, there’s a person sitting right next to them who feels happy and fulfilled. They do the same job for the same pay, working for the same boss but every day they come in with a smile on their face.

So why is there such a contrast?

Now, I hate to admit it, but I used to be the person described first. I always had a complaint about something! What was my problem??!!

My problem was my attitude.

I chose to see the negatives in any situation, so that’s exactly what I saw, and therefore experienced.

These days, I choose to see the positives and it is amazing the contrast I have achieved by doing so.

By being positive, I seem to attract more “luck” (I don’t really believe in luck, but it could be perceived as such), opportunities seem to appear out of nowhere, and life in general is so fulfilling and fun!

All because I have made a conscious choice to see the good in everything around me!

Do you need some help doing the same? If you’re currently in a negative place right now, then my bet is that you do.

Try the tips below and note the difference it makes:

1. Each and every day, write a list of everything you are grateful for in your life.

2. When faced with a “challenge” (this could be a situation you perceive as negative), consciously look for opportunities stemming from that challenge, or positives.

For example, in my town yesterday, a woman left her baby in her car (yep, in the middle of summer) to go and pay a bill. She left the car running and it was unlocked. While she was paying the bill, a car thief stole her car.

When he realised there was a young baby in the car, he stopped under a tree, wound the windows down, called the last dialed number on her cell phone (it happened to be her sister), and told her where it was parked. He then ran off.

This is a terrible situation and we all know that leaving babies in cars is extremely dangerous, and the thief should not have stolen her car.

However, the baby IS alive and even though the thief did the wrong thing by taking the car, he did the right thing by calling and telling someone the location of the car. If he had not done that, then maybe the baby could have died.

Get my point?

3. As per my last post, write a list of 150 positive things in your life.

4. Start setting goals for yourself – give your life purpose.

5. Look after yourself – having a good diet and exercise regime can give you a great sense of wellbeing!

This list could go on for ages, but try these few things as a start and see what happens!

How prepared are you to change your attitude?

150 things to make you smile

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I love coming across strategies that help us to see life from a positive angle and yesterday I came across a good one, and here it is:

You will need to put aside a little bit of time and you will require a notebook.

Ok, now think of 150 positive things in your life, past and present, and write them down.  This could be things you have, or things that have happened to you, or things you have experienced.

Any little thing counts, such as your child’s first smile, or a joke somebody told you, or even the yummy food you had for lunch today.

Keep writing until you have 150 things! 

Once you have done this, read through your list and feel grateful for all of the good things you have in your life.

Now, every day before you go to sleep, write down all of the positive things you experienced that day, feel grateful for each and every thing and watch your life transform.

What are your long term goals?

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Today I had my Life Coaching assessment which went for around four hours and I am so pleased to say that I passed!  Yay!

It has taken me four years but I’ve finally done it!  I set the goal to get my qualification back in 2005 and I didn’t quite get there by my due date, but I continued to believe I would get there, and I did.

Achieving this goal has really given me a sense of accomplishment. Achieving your goals – especially long term ones – can also really give your self confidence a boost. 

I’m feeling on top of the world right now, so I am living proof that this is true!

What are your long term goals?

Are you caught in an abusive relationship?

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I regularly check the statistics of my website so I know what people are interested in, and time and time again I see that many people are caught in an abusive relationship and don’t know what to do.

I was in a verbally and emotionally abusive relationship many years ago now, and can only try to imagine how things would have been if the abuse had turned physical.

A while ago I read a story that talked about abusive relationships and it was noted that in many cases, verbal abuse can eventually turn to physical abuse.

So even if you’re in a verbally abusive relationship, you MUST find a way out of your situation.

I see it this way. When caught in an abusive relationship you have three options:

1. Stay and put up with it

2. Stay and get help

3. Get out of there and get help!

With all three options, especially in the case of a physically abusive relationship, you must put your safety and that of your children (if you have any) first.

Number 1 might feel like the “safest” option right now, but long term things could progress and get worse. Even worse, your children could fall victim to the attacks or even grow up and find abusive partners of their own! This is probably the most damaging long term.

If you must stay (maybe for your safety), then you also need to get some help on how to deal with the abuse. Start off telling a close relative or friend, or even find a professional to help you. Remember though, your partner will not stop hurting you if you continue to let it happen. Remember that. It took me nine long years to wake up to this fact!

If you can get out safely, do so – but get help on how to deal with the wounds you have suffered, either physically and mentally. You don’t want to find yourself in the same situation again.

Remember your safety is paramount when you are in this situation, and trying to reason with an abuser is probably not going to work in many cases.

Abusers tend to be unhappy with very low self esteem (why else would they be like this?), but nothing justifies hurting another individual, no matter what.

Getting help can be as simple as searching online or making a call. Just remember that for as long as you give them permission, they will continue to hurt you.

Tomorrow is the big day!

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Tomorrow I finally get assessed for my Life Coaching qualification. I have been coaching for a few years, but now I will finally have my formal qualification!

I’m not feeling nervous, which is surprising – I expected to be, but maybe I’ll start to feel a bit nervous in the morning.

I can’t wait to get this over with – I will feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, but more importantly I will feel a huge sense of accomplishment.

It’s been four long years! Wish me luck!

The education never stops

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Those of you who know me realise that I am a person who always has to be learning.

If I’m not learning something new, I feel restless. When I am restless, I become annoying and I nag my husband (a LOT!).

The reason I get like this is because when I am not learning, I feel that I am not growing. If I am not growing, then how can I improve myself?

I believe that we can all improve on some aspects of our lives, and the more we improve, the better our confidence in ourselves.

Some aspects of learning require us to challenge ourselves in some way. As I talked about in a recent post (click HERE to see the post I am referring to), taking a risk a day is a good way to build your confidence, but also it is a great way to help you grow.

Over the next few days I am going to put together a list of risks I am going to set for myself for a week in the future, and I will complete each risk each day for a week.

I am currently studying for my coaching assessment which is this Saturday, so once this is over, I will sit down and work on my list!

Why don’t you join me and comment below (or visit the forum) to tell everyone what your challenges are?