Don’t criticise, condemn or complain

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I can’t believe it’s taken me sooooo long to get my hands on “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie. I’ve only just started reading, but am loving it already!

I finished Chapter 1 last night, which was titled “If you want to gather honey, don’t kick over the beehive”, which was basically saying “Don’t criticise, condemn or complain”.

Hmmm….

One part of this chapter particularly moved me. It was a father writing to his son, who he was watching sleep peacefully. He was talking of the way he spoke to his son, about how impatient he had been with him, how short he was with him, and the remorse he felt over how he had been interacting with his son that day and in the past too.

What he realised, was that he was “condemning” his son for not being exactly like him.

I thought about how I interact with my children, and while I have a great relationship with both of my girls, I realised that I’m nowhere near as patient as I could be with them. Sadly, I’ve not realised until now, how much this can affect them.

So… starting NOW I choose to watch how I interact with my beautiful daughters. All too soon they’ll be growing up and living their own lives, and life’s too short not to make the most of every moment!

Changing our bad habits starts with becoming aware of aspects of ourselves that we could improve on. That’s what the very first chapter of this book did for me. WOW!

What is the WORST thing that could happen?

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When caught up in a situation where I want to do something but feel afraid, my first thought turns to this:

What is the WORST thing that could happen if I did this?

If the worst thing that could happen does not involve the sky falling in, the world ending, or some other great world tragedy, it kind of puts things in perspective for me.

Right now I’m in the midst of working on a launch of a business, which is going to involve me talking to people who I see as potential leaders and people who have vision. And the thought scares the living daylights out of me!!

But when I step back and think about the worst thing that could happen, I have come up with the following outcomes:

  • They could say no (and so what?)
  • They could look at me funny (OMG!)
  • They might say something negative about it (Uh, that’s an issue because…?)
  • They might think less of me (their loss?)
  • They might try to criticise what I’m doing (and if that’s the case, they clearly don’t have the same vision I have, so what’s the issue?)

So as you see, there’s really NOTHING for me to be afraid of!

What about you? Is fear holding you back from getting out there and doing what you want to do in life?

If so, try what I’ve done – work out what the worst possible outcomes could be, and work with them. Are the outcomes REALLY that bad? Try to put them in perspective.

If a friend was facing a similar situation, what advice would you give them (sometimes it’s easier to see another person’s situation with much more clarity)?

Ok, so now you’re thinking that what you want to do isn’t so scary, right?? 😉

Do you have a problem? What’s good about it?

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Ok I’m sure when you read the title of this post you thought “How can something be good about having a problem?”, right?

Having the problem itself isn’t ideal, but if you learn to look for the positives in every situation you face, you’re going to notice that your life is going to take a dramatic turn for the better…

The reason for this is because if we focus of the negatives in any situation, the negatives seem bigger. But if you focus on the positives in any situation, the positives seem bigger. And what you focus on you attract more of!

When I lost my first baby, I was absolutely devastated. It felt as though all of my hopes and dreams had come crashing down, and my little precious bundle was gone.

At the time, it was difficult to see any positives – my baby had died and life therefore sucked. And to make matters worse, at the time I was hearing stories of teens sleeping around and falling pregnant to men they did not know, and either having abortions or giving their babies up for adoption. So why is it that me, a married woman who desperately wanted to have a child of her own had her baby taken away from her, when these girls didn’t? It seemed so unfair!

But soon after this happened, I decided to focus on the positives. It was common for women to miscarry, and as the doctor said, if I was able to fall pregnant the first time, then I would have a good chance of falling again. So I chose to focus on these things rather than on what I had lost.

Only weeks later I knew exactly why my baby did not make it. It was making way for a precious little girl who would teach me what unconditional love was all about. And she would grow up to be the most beautiful-natured 14 year old you could ever meet (who would’ve thought????). 😉

She told me recently that she had mentioned to some friends that I was her best friend. I cannot tell you how much that meant to me to hear that from her, and I am so grateful that although my first baby was lost, I was given something so beautiful in return…

It is sometimes difficult to find the positives in some situations, but once you make the decision to turn something negative into a positive, things truly turn around…

What is your “Why”?

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I was at a seminar tonight and was pleased to hear some inspiring stories of people who have achieved great success in a business I am now involved in.

A friend of mine drove us there tonight, and on our way home she said a few things which really helped me to see just how important knowing why you’re striving to succeed is so important. Without that “why”, you will soon lose momentum then stop.

You see, her problem right now is that she doesn’t have that “why”. She doesn’t know what it is. And because of that, she’s not nearly as focused or as driven to succeed in this business as I am right now.

So what are your reasons behind why you’re doing what you do right now?

Do you want to provide a better life for your children?

Do you want to achieve freedom to do what you want, when you want?

Do you want to take overseas holidays every year?

Do you want to help a specific charity?

One of the things I was encouraged to do when I started my new business was to write out 100 dreams. 100 things I wanted to be, do or have, if money or time weren’t a factor.

Write down your 100 dreams and read that list often as a reminder of why you get up every day and do whatever it is you’re doing!

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!

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.

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…

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 can I turn my mood around?

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Are you feeling down right now? Are you so caught up in negative thoughts that you really just don’t see anything to be happy about in your life right now?

Sometimes we get so caught up in what we’re not happy about in our lives that we forget just how much we have to be grateful for. And sometimes we feel like we’re getting some sort of “payoff” for feeling awful. For example, if you’re feeling miserable, it’s easy to connect with other miserable people.

You and your miserable friends can then hang out and be miserable together – but at least you have friends, right?

So getting yourself out of his negative mindset is hard. And you’ve got to WANT to do it!

So here’s how I turn my mood around when I’m feeling down:

  1. I try to remember what it feels like to be really happy. I try to internally feel those feelings.
  2. I think about other people’s situations and how they are so much worse than mine (eg. people in third world countries, people who have lost their entire families in tragedies etc).
  3. I dig out my gratitude journal and I write down at least five things I am grateful for right now. I even have a grateful journal app on my iPhone, so I really have no excuses not to do this!
  4. I try to feel that feeling of gratitude and happiness as I write each statement. I read them back to myself to remind myself of how lucky I am.
  5. In my gratitude journal I also write what I am grateful for in the future – as if I’m already there. For example, I say how happy and grateful I am for the opportunity to help thousands of women all over the world to totally transform their lives.

You may not feel like digging out that gratitude journal right now, but force yourself. Remember how good it feels to be happy and talk yourself into wanting to feel that way again!

Calling all WISE Women!

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