Archives for April 2012

Your personal development efforts should never stop… ever!

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Building your confidence and self esteem is an ongoing process, and once you get there (wherever “there” is), it’s no reason to stop.

We live in an ever-changing world, and it’s important and essential to keep working on yourself – forever!

I’ve recently become involved in a business opportunity where the company insists that daily personal development activities are essential for anybody wanting to achieve success. I agree!

With that in mind, I try to read for at least 15 minutes to half an hour every day. I also listen daily to CDs which I’ve copied onto my phone, on personal development topics. When I run out of CDs to listen to, I listen to them again!

It’s funny how many things you missed the first time!

Getting into the habit of doing these things does several things, but most importantly, it keeps you feeling positive and focused on where you want to go.

If you can’t afford books or CDs, look for personal development topics online. Websites such as this one are a great start, and as you grow personally, you’ll probably find that your finances do to – and then you can start buying those books and CDs! 😉

Have a great day!

When you look after yourself you feel better

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Before I start, let me be the first to admit that sometimes when I’m feeling down in the dumps, I really do not want to make any effort to look after myself. In fact, I can often neglect my health if things are really bad, but all this does is make me feel worse!

You don’t have to look very far to see that there are a whole lot of people out there who aren’t taking good care of themselves. You could be one of those people, and let’s be honest here…

We all know what healthy foods are (for the most part) and we also know that to stay in shape it’s important we exercise regularly. But with a large proportion of the population currently overweight, it’s obvious that we’re not loving ourselves all that much!

Ok ok I know we get busy, but there are ways to eat healthy foods and to exercise regularly without too much trouble. You can buy prepackaged meal replacement shakes that are low in fat and sugar for breakfast (I’ll post some links at some stage for the Aussie and NZ readers!), you can take a piece of fruit with you for snacks, you can make your lunches the night before you go to work, you can do the 12 minute workouts at bodyrock.tv too.

If you’re not making your health a priority, why aren’t you? What would it take for you to make it a priority?

I’ve never struggled with my weight – ever. But I’ve always had pretty good eating habits, and when I ate junk, it was only ever a small portion. I NEVER upsized, and I never will. Ever.

But when my last marriage was in a bit of a funk, I was working from home and burying myself in my work so I wasn’t facing my marriage problems. During that time I did put on a few kilos. Not a lot, but enough for me to notice (mind you, I was still within the healthy weight range for my height). My fat % was going up. And I did not like it!

So I did something about it. I purposely chose to live where I live so that I would have a decent walk every morning to my train. I also eat a LOT of vegetables, preferably steamed or raw, and with a small serving of lean meat, chicken or fish, and “cheat meals” are limited to once or twice a week. And finally I go to the gym at least three times a week too.

And you know what? I feel better now than I have EVER felt in my life! I feel better than I did in my 20’s!!!

So when you do look after yourself you do feel better. And I think a part of that probably comes down to the fact that you also LOOK better too, not to mention having all of that extra energy to burn!

So…. what are you doing to look after yourself? Or what are you about to START doing?? :)

My 100 dreams

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When you have a goal in life, it’s always good to know why you want what you want, and what you will do when you have it.

As I work through the paperwork to get started on my new business, I have come across a page where I’m asked to write down 100 dreams. These are 100 things we would see, have, do, become or support if time and money were out of the equation.

Luckily I had already started this list some time ago, although I am finding it extremely difficult to come up with 100 and have only listed 35 so far! Eeek!

Isn’t it funny how we tend to only focus on the main things, but when we sit down and break it down and try to come up with a larger number, it becomes more difficult!?

It’s easy to say that I’d like a new house, a new car, an overseas holiday every year, but what about the little things? These things might include spending a day with my babies (ok, they’re not really babies anymore but they’re MY babies!), or taking my dog for a walk in the middle of the day… small things that seem insignificant. But wouldn’t it be nice to be able to do them if and when we want?!

So why not grab some paper now (or even load up a spreadsheet), and see how many dreams you can come up with. Hopefully you’ll get a lot more than my dismal 35! 😀

6 core needs for happiness and fulfillment

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According to Tony Robbins, we have 6 core needs which need to be met in order for us to live a happy and fulfilling life.

These needs are:

  1. Certainty – this is a need for security and comfort
  2. Uncertainty – this is a need for change and variety
  3. Significance – this is a need to feel important, wanted and worthy
  4. Love and connection – this is a need to feel loved and connected with others
  5. Growth – this is a need to learn emotionally, spiritually and intellectually
  6. Contribution – this is a need to give to others, to give beyond ourselves

Once you have an understanding of these needs, it’s easy to see how they play a huge part in your daily decision making. The reason for this is because each and every decision you make in your life is based on these core needs.

Over the coming weeks and months I will explore these needs in great detail, sharing my own story of what I have done in my life to meet each one.

Self confidence is about feeling good about yourself

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Although I’m a strong believer in appreciating what’s on the inside and that how you feel on the inside is what really matters, I also believe that if you know you look good, you will feel good.

Let’s look at two scenarios here.

In the first scenario you get out of bed and get ready for your day. You don’t bother with makeup or looking after your skin because you’re happy to just “grow old gracefully”.

You don’t exercise regularly and you try to eat healthy sometimes, but excercise and healthy eating is not important to you.

You feel sluggish most of the time, and you really don’t like that ever-growing muffin top. But at the same time, you’re not prepared to do what it takes to change.

You look in the mirror.

What you see is somebody who is slightly overweight, lacking in energy, and who doesn’t take much pride in her appearance.

Now let’s look at the next scenario…

You get out of bed and you follow your daily beauty routine of cleansing your face, toning and moisturising. You apply a little makeup and you dress in clothes that flatter your figure.

You go about your day and fit in a one hour workout which makes you feel great!

You eat healthy foods all day and you drink plenty of water.

You feel good AND you know you look good! Everybody around you notices too and many of your friends and colleagues comment on how lucky you are to have such a great figure.

Ok, so we can see that we have two very different people here.

Which one are you?

Do you take care of yourself, both inside and out? Do you take pride in your appearance?

Or do you not care? What price are you paying for not caring?

I know from my own experience that when I’m working out regularly, eating well and making an effort in my physical appearance, I feel GREAT! My self confidence rises and I feel as though I can take on the world!

On the other hand, like you probably do, I have “icky” days sometimes. On those days I get lazy, I eat bad food and I make ZERO effort to look good. And you know what? I feel yuk as a result!

I’m happy to say that this rarely happens to me these days, because I’ve learned that being in the habit of looking after myself brings much better results than the alternative.

So what are you doing to look after yourself each day?

Do you have a weekly exercise routine? What types of food are you feeding your body? How much care are you taking of your appearance?

I’ll be talking more about these things in coming weeks because they’re very important to anybody wanting to boost their confidence and self esteem, and it really doesn’t take that much effort as you will see!

Today is going to be a wonderful day!

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And do you want to know why?  The reason why today is going to be a wonderful day is because I have decided that it will be!

If you wake up feeling bad and thinking your day is going to be terrible, then guess what?  It will be!

Now why would you choose to have a bad day?  That’s what you’re doing when you start thinking you will…

So if you find yourself thinking about your day in a negative way, stop yourself and look for the positives.  I think I’ve said it before that no matter how bad a situation can be, and as hard as it is to see it, something positive can come out of almost every situation.

For example, have you ever watched the TV show The Gift?  I was crying during one particular episode (like I do when I watch these types of things!) where the parents had lost their 15 year old daughter in a serious car accident.  It wasn’t hard to imagine the devastation her poor parents felt at the time.

They had decided to donate their daughter’s organs in the hope that another child’s life could be saved.

And that’s exactly what happened.

The first girl to receive one of the donated organs was facing death due to I think it was a diseased kidney or liver.  She was literally on death’s doorstep, but thanks to the 15 year old girl’s donated organs, she was saved and went on to live a happy, normal life.

I suppose things are very different in the US because this girl was able to meet the parents of the 15 year old to thank them in person (you can’t do that here I don’t believe).  So imagine how they felt meeting this young girl who had been literally saved by their daughter, and a part of her lived inside this girl!  Wow!

They all actually became quite close, and it was a beautiful story.  The parents were just so happy that their daughter’s life hadn’t been for nothing – she had actually saved three other people with her donated organs, all of which they had the pleasure of meeting.

So while the devastation of losing their daughter was probably the worst experience a parent could ever imagine, it had a very very happy ending – three times over!

Nothing will take away the pain of losing their daughter, but they knew she would never come back so took a lot of comfort in knowing that three other lives were saved as a result.

So the next time you wake up all crabby, think about this family and feel grateful for the good you have in your life because there is always somebody else who would give anything to be in your shoes, because it’s a hell of a lot better there than in their own lives…

Are you making him “wrong” or is he just doing what he does?

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How many times have you felt frustrated, angry or upset with your guy for not calling you for days, for being moody ALL of the time (well, it feels that way…), or for just plain doing things that make you feel bad?

Here’s a situation you might relate to:

Lisa is a beautiful, outgoing girl who is dating a guy who treats her like he worships the ground she walks on while they’re on a date. But then he doesn’t call her for days, sometimes she waits over a week for a call!

Lisa is obviously wondering what’s going on with him and is starting to feel quite angry at the lack of contact between dates.

But is what he’s doing actually wrong?

This last year I’ve learned more about relationships than any other time in my life, and one of the main lessons I’ve learned is this:

  1. A guy will do what he wants to do.
  2. It is up to me if I want to have that in my life.
  3. I can choose to walk away from what I don’t like.

I’m not saying that a guy should be allowed to walk all over you, and I definitely do not agree with stuffing your feelings about something that’s bothering you either.

So how can you handle these quirks some guys have and be true to yourself as well, all without making him wrong?

There are some things you might want to try:

  1. Decide if his actions are dealbreakers for you. For example, if I were to meet a guy and later found he was taking illegal drugs, I’d walk away and never walk back – that’s a dealbreaker for me. But if I’m with a guy who doesn’t pick up his socks, that’s not such an issue for me – it annoys me but it’s not a dealbreaker.
  2. If it’s not a dealbreaker, learn to accept his quirks by creating a fulfilling life for yourself without relying or focusing on him. If he wants to call, he’ll call. If he wants to pick up his socks, he will. Otherwise you’re so busy with your life you will hardly notice he’s not called.
  3. If it is a dealbreaker (or even if not), talk to him about it. Don’t make accusations and make him wrong. Just tell him (assuming you have issues with his lack of contact as an example) that it feels good to receive contact several times a week from a guy because it makes you feel wanted and cared for, and what does he think.
  4. If you see no change and it’s a dealbreaker, then it’s time to put yourself first, so you know what to do. You deserve to be treated well and to be with somebody who is worth of you!
  5. Don’t take his words/actions/lack of action personally – it’s all about him and not you.

My guy has a tendancy to be a little…err…moody. At first it used to bother me – a lot! I would often wonder if he was upset or angry at me. I would then obsess about it, trying to work out what I’d done. I would ask him if I’d done something wrong and I would think he was lying when he said no. I would then start to feel angry at him for being moody. He would then get mad at me for being so emotional. And then I would cry…. and my spiral downward would continue.

Phew! What a mess huh?

These days things are VERY different. If he’s moody, it doesn’t matter why. I might ask him if I’ve done something to bother him, and if he says no (which is always the case), I believe him and I drop it and get on with my day. If he wants to talk he’ll talk. If not, then I will move my focus on to me and leave him to his “stuff”. If I don’t want to be around a moody person, I’ll make plans to do something that doesn’t involve him.

Lisa therefore could talk to her man and say something like “I really feel good when I hear from a guy more than once a week – I feel wanted and cared for when that happens. What do you think?”.

Lisa should then drop it unless he brings it up.

It’s now up to her man to either keep doing what he’s always done, or change his actions.

In the meantime, Lisa should focus on herself and get herself busy – so busy that she’ll hardly even notice if he doesn’t call.

And that’s the key.

If you’re in a relationship the same concept applies and keeping the focus on you is what you need to do, no matter what. His stuff is about him, not you, so why waste all of that energy making him out to be wrong, when he’s just doing what he does?

It’s our choice if we want to stay and tolerate it or walk away, so nobody’s “wrong” really – unless you choose to tolerate a situation you hate. How can that be right for you?

Haha I’ve really rambled on today, but I hope I’ve gotten my message across – learn to look at his actions differently and you will turn your relationship – and your life – around!

If I want plastic surgery does it mean I lack self esteem?

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Today’s post kind of continues on from yesterday’s post where I talk about making choices based on whether or not you have control over a situation.

It’s also sparked from a conversation I was involved in on Facebook yesterday where a young woman posted a picture of herself, asking something like “What do you think?” on her fan page.

This particular girl has the flattest abs I have EVER seen! She is unbelievably fit and her lovely personality shines through in the videos she and her business partners post on YouTube. They offer a free workout program which they advertise via a website, YouTube and Facebook. She has thousands of Facebook “fans”, many of which are seeing great results from following the workouts which are posted most days. See http://bodyrock.tv for more info – it’s definitely worth a look.

Anyway, this picture has so far received 2014 “Likes” and 770 comments (at the time of writing), so it’s sparked a lot of interest.

And the reason for this is because this girl recently had breast implants – and hair extentions!

Thankfully most of the comments are positive, some even saying that they hope she’s made these changes for her and not somebody else. This is a fair enough comment. If we’re going to make changes to our bodies or our looks, it should be for ourselves, and definitely not for somebody else. But mostly they’re saying she was beautiful before and is still beautiful now, and offering their support. It feels nice to read these comments. :-)

Sadly though, this girl has received a LOT of negative comments about the changes, accusing her of being superficial and not about the workouts, how she now looks “fake”, and basically putting her down and judging her for making the changes she made.

Some are even “threatening” to stop following her facebook updates. She’s offering a FREE service remember!? So no great loss!

I just could not believe that people’s judgements were so publically put out there and it acurately reflects how badly some people feel about themselves (when you judge others, it’s time to take a look in the mirror because there’s something inside you that you’re judging).

My belief is that if you don’t have something nice to say, or you can’t be contstructive, then please don’t say it. You might be feeling down, but that’s no reason to bring down those around you.

Ok, so does the fact that she had plastic surgery mean that she has low self esteem?

My answer to that is “No”. If you lack self esteem, whether or not you have plastic surgery has absolutely nothing to do with it, although I do agree that some poeple with low self esteem may get surgery to help them feel better (although this doesn’t work).

Remember yesterday when I talked about being in a situation you have control over? If you hate your hair, you go get a hair cut. If you don’t like how you look first thing, you put on makeup. So why is having your breasts enlarged any different? Ok, it’s a lot more extreme, but some people clearly have some aspects of themselves that they don’t like, so they make the choice to change it – and sometimes the only way to make that change is via surgery (trust me, there is only so much a push up bra can do!). 😉

If you’re overweight, you can choose to exercise – or go and get gastric band surgery! And if you exercise regularly to stay in shape, does that mean you have low self esteem because you’re trying to change how you look? No I don’t think so – it means you care about your health and when you look good, you feel good (who doesn’t?!).

Here’s what I think: I have the flattest chest in Australia (ok, slight exaggeration!), and I often feel frustrated when trying on clothing that just doesn’t fit or sit right, because I just don’t “fill” the clothes. I have a great figure apart from that (I was blessed at birth, although I do exercise regularly), but this aspect really frustrates me sometimes.

It doesn’t mean I have low self esteem, but it does mean I have something in my life that I’m not 100% happy about. If I see a dress I absolutely love, then I want to be able to try it on and it fits. But more often than not, I walk away from the store feeling disappointed.

So if I had a spare $10,000 I’d probably do the same thing this girl did. And I’d be just as happy with me as before – except that my wardrobe would look a LOT better!

But if I never got it done I’d be fine (although not as well dressed), but my life wouldn’t be awful if I didn’t.

And that’s what it comes down to.

If you feel good about yourself despite your flaws, then making changes to those flaws won’t change who you are on the inside, but you’ll feel even better than you did before!

On the other hand, if you really are letting your flaws rule your life and you feel down about yourself because of them, then surgery is NOT going to fix anything and I wouldn’t recommend you go and have a procedure done.

And finally, to those who judge… Please take a long hard look at yourself before you pass judgement on somebody who is obviously a very good person who is offering something to thousands of people to benefit them – without even charging for it.

Gratitude goes such a long way – let’s focus on that!

What to do if you’re in a situation you don’t like

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Life has its challenges, and more often than not you probably find yourself wondering what you should do when faced with one of them. You will find yourself in situations you don’t like, and believe it or not, you will ALWAYS have a choice about what to do about it.

When working out what to do, you first need to determine if you have control over the situation.

For example, if your partner left you for somebody else, you have no control over that. Your partner made their choice and although you may have been part of the reason why they left, you can’t change the past. You have no control over this situtation, but you DO have choices:

  1. You can curl up in the fetal position and rock uncontrollably under the dining table, vowing to NEVER love anybody ever again.
  2. You can accept your ex partner’s decision, learn from the experience, and get out there and enjoy life with the hope that you’ll meet someone MUCH better!

Other situations you may not have control over are:

  • Your job becomes redundant – your choice here is to get upset about it and start worrying about your finances (this won’t help anybody), or you can look at this as an opportunity to find another job and possibly improve your financial situation.
  • Someone close to you has died – you can choose to be miserable for months and months (or even years) afterwards, or you can choose to focus on the good times you had with this person. If they died from a disease such as cancer (as an example), then as a tribute to this person, you could get involved with raising money for cancer research, or join a support group and help others through the grieving process when a loved one dies.

On the other hand, what if you’re in a situation you CAN control?

So for example, you’re in a bad relationship. Your partner treats you badly, possibly verbally (or even physically) abuses you, and you hate that you’re in this situation.

In this situation you DO have control over the situation (believe it or not!), and you have three choices:

  1. Do nothing – and your situation will remain the same (or possibly get worse)
  2. Choose to stay, but also seek counselling (and/or other help) with or without your partner so that the negatives of your relationship can be turned around.
  3. You can leave. This choice is the hardest to make because it creates the biggest change.

Other situations you have control over could be:

  • You hate your hair – you can keep hating your hair, or you can go to the hairdresser to get a new style
  • You are overweight – you can choose to keep eating bad foods and not exercising, or you can choose to eat healthy, start exercising and even hire a personal trainer.

So as you can see, there are choices to be made in any situation. Even choosing to do nothing is a choice.

The next time you find yourself talking negatively about your situation, stop and think about what you can control, and what your choices could be. Then act on them!

The only way to improve your life is to change for the better what you can control, and respond differently to what you can’t control.

It sounds simple because it is!

How to get your spark back

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Do you remember the days when you were excited about life? Do you remember having big dreams and feeling enthusiastic about creating the life you want? Did life feel like it had meaning? Is that feeling now gone?

Yeah me too…well it was the other day….

Yes, so the other day I realised that I had lost those feelings – I had lost my spark. And I wasn’t happy about it!

I lacked motivation, I didn’t want to do anything, I watched too much TV, I lacked enthusiasm, and I barely just functioned.

Once I realised I’d lost my spark, I started to think about how I would get it back. If I had it before, then surely I could get it back easily, right? But first I had to work out why it had gone in the first place.

So I did some thinking and when I finally worked out the answer, the tears welled up in my eyes.

Sadly, my only “excitement” each week was going to the gym! Not good, but it was certainly more fun than going to work and I felt good afterwards, but there’s more to my life than that! Well… there’s supposed to be!

Do you know why exactly I’d lost my spark?

I had absolutely nothing short term to look forward to (other than the gym!).

I had no short term goals. At all. Nothing!

I have plenty of long term goals, but none of them are broken down into “chunks”, so everything just looked so far away!

Ok, so now that I knew why I had lost my spark, I now needed to get it back!

And here’s the process I’m following right now:

1. I’ve started planning an overseas holiday
2. I am in the process of reviewing my long term goals and breaking them down into smaller, short term “chunks” or goals.
3. I have a “list of things to do before I die”. I’m reviewing that now to see if I can set a goal to achieve at least one of them in the short term.

I also have some study to finish, and I really need to set myself some targets to finish this soon! I finally feel that fire of excitement burning!

So there you have it! I’m already feeling a gazillion times better!

As I mention in my ebook, setting and achieving goals is essential for confidence and self esteem, and having a purpose is a big part of that.

If you decide to do this yourself, see if you can come up with one task per goal that you can complete every day to get you one step closer to achieving each goal. Please share your progress with me via the comments section below, or email me from the Contact page.

Good luck! :-)