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Posts tagged ‘confidence’

Just Be You

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Don’t be a carbon copy of another, no matter how good they may appear to have it. You weren’t born to be someone else. You were beautifully made, wonderfully created to be you. So, do that…. Be you. That’s all for today, folks. Short, sweet, and to the point. Now, go and be the best you that you can be. Much love!

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Confidence Breeds Success, Conceit Undoes It.

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There is a difference between being confident and being conceited. Many suffer from a low self-esteem, myself included. It is good to see the good within, to love yourself, and take pride in what you do. But there is a fine line between having a healthy sense of self worth and being arrogant.

Something else that troubles me sometimes is when people feel the need to tear others down to build themselves up. There isn’t a need to do this, not even when say businesses are in direct competition with one another. That is part of why I hate to watch political debates or ad campaigns. Even simple advertising for products we all buy put down the competitors. Why can’t people or companies simply put their best foot forward and let their work speak for itself?

Comparing your work to others to make a sale or win a vote seems to be a smart move,  but when doing so blatantly puts the others down, that honestly just takes away any interest I may have originally had in you or your product. Everyone has their own philosophy, but mine is, if you want my business, you will earn it by being hardworking, respectable, honest, and be able to show me the talent you possess WITHOUT putting down the talents of others.

 

Our Greatest Foe – Our Own Minds

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There are endless enemies among us, but there is often no greater foe than the demons that live within us.

Every single day is a battle against ourselves, fighting the evil that’s within us all. But make no mistake, even though sometimes we lose, it’s always worth the fight.

There’s much good within us too and to see it in play is an amazing thing. So I encourage each of you that feels like they’re struggling today to fight, fight to keep those inner demons at bay and let your good shine through. ♡♡♡

Beauty defined

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What is beauty? What is happiness? What is love? Many have different definitions for all three and come to their beliefs through various means.

Some simply use the dictionary. Let us start with that. For the word beauty, I chose the first definition listed:

The quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind,whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).

And for the word happiness, I saw two definitions and choose to post them both:

The first one is: The quality or state of being happy and the second one is: Good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.
And for love, I chose the second definition:
A feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.

 

Others may have been taught by others, such as parents, teachers, or peers what things mean and have adapted to their way of thinking. Others may disregard all teachings and decide for themselves. Today, society seems to have their own interpretations and feed them through various forms of media. But, to be honest, our race has struggled greatly with these since long before t.v., the internet, cell phones, and the like.

I have seen a number of my family members and friends struggle with self-esteem issues a lot over my lifetime and it’s been hard to react properly because I too have struggled with my own. Usually, I have just tried to tell someone who thinks they’re ugly that they’re beautiful or someone who thinks they’re not worth anything just how valuable they are. But, having dealt with this personally, when you truly believe that you’re not good enough, the kind words mean a lot, but they don’t really sink in. Of course there others who will beat themselves down verbally simply to get a reaction out of others, so they can hear how wonderful others think they are. In either case, I have come to find it disheartening and even a bit aggravating when people constantly talk negatively about themselves or worse, others, even celebrities.

Even the most confident person struggles with things we don’t know about, things we don’t understand. Putting anyone down and pointing out their flaws doesn’t make us look better. The memes that say things like, “In a world full of Kardashians, be Princess Diana.” or “If we give you Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, and Lindsay Lohan, will you give us Robin Williams, Janis Joplin, and Frank Sinatra?” bother me. Posts like that show just how ugly this world can be. They may be just meant to make people laugh, but they honestly disturb me. What right to we have to judge others? If our lives were all over the media like theirs, believe me, a lot of us wouldn’t look so great either.

In today’s world, it is hard to fit in, to feel accepted, to feel beautiful, to obtain happiness, and just get by without totally losing our sanity. It would be a lot easier if we treated one another better and ourselves as well. So many labor under the pretenses that to be beautiful, you must look, dress, and be a certain way. To be happy, you must have a significant other, nice home, expensive car, great job/money, and the newest and best of everything. To be loved, we must sacrifice all that we are and be someone we’re not to attract someone and then to keep them. If we fail to be the ideal anything, we’re not worth much, if anything, and we’re destined to be unhappy. And how many lash out at others and put them down when they’re not happy? I think a great deal of people can say they’ve been guilty of it from time to time, even without meaning to.

We don’t have to have the perfect body, be within a certain height or weight range, wear make-up and get plastic surgery, have the greatest smile, most lustrous hair, be toned and perfectly in shape, and have the latest and greatest wardrobe to be beautiful. Many think because they’re not as thin as they were 10 years ago, they’re single and have a bad track record when it comes to dating, they don’t look like so and so, etc that they are not beautiful. Now there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be healthy and in shape. In fact, a lot of us struggle with it and self improvement is something we should all work on. But, some go too far and become obsessed.

I, myself, was once very thin. I weighed 105 at most throughout high school and maybe topped 110 before getting pregnant with my son. After I had him, I was able to get down to 104 without trying. Due to medications throughout the years, I have struggled since I was about 26 with weight. I know how it feels to look in the mirror and be upset because I don’t weigh or look like I used to. When my scale started to reach 130, I was mortified. But, it didn’t stop there. I got up to 170 and decided something needed to be done. So, I got off my medication and made a few changes. I went down to 146 and was starting to feel better. But that was short lived, my new medication and depression sent me back up and I reached 180. I again made changes and with an active job, I got myself down to 135. And at that point, I actually felt good about myself. When I was 104 and first reached 130, I felt huge. But after being 180, I saw 130 differently. Since then, medication once again and not eating the best rose me back up, this time I hit 190. I was able to get down to 180-185, but since then struggled. But, it is more than a vanity thing at this point, I knew I was outright overweight. The doctors told me I was reaching a danger zone with having problems like diabetes. There’s a difference between wanting to get in shape and lose a few pounds and needing to lose weight for the sake of your health. I have beaten myself up a lot though over this. So many have told me I am still beautiful, but it’s not always easy to see that. But, I have come to see that while changes need to be made for my health, that doesn’t mean I am ugly. Being overweight should be addressed and taken care of, but it should never be made fun of and it should never diminish who someone is.

We put too much stock into what we look like, plain and simple. We then beat ourselves up when we don’t match what we think being beautiful is. Sometimes that self doubt stems down from being bullied or made fun of growing up, a mate that put us down, society telling us what we should look like, or suffering from a mental health illness. There are others as well and sometimes it’s more than one thing that factors into how we think and how we see ourselves. It can sometimes be very hard to see the beauty within ourselves. It is something I would urge everyone to try to do though. As I have been told a lot since adulthood, confidence is attractive, so long as it doesn’t become arrogance. Negative thinking turns others away from you and that is something I have learned the hard way. It is hard to overcome it and the truth is, I still struggle with it sometimes. But, I am reminded daily that as a child of God and as the love of my husband’s life that I am beautiful. It’s something I am trying to believe too.

I have seen what constant beating myself up does. At first, people feel bad for you and they try to convince you of your worth. But after awhile, people come to believe you’re never going to change your mind and you’re always going to be hard on yourself. So then, they turn their backs and walk away because they simply can’t handle the pessimism anymore. They feel if you’re determined to see only the worst in yourself, then there’s nothing they can to change your mind and don’t want your negativity to drag them down. And when listening to others now, I can see why others had a hard time dealing with me. No one wants to listen to someone who constantly whines and puts themselves down. Negative thinking is simply not an attractive quality.

Something else I have learned, if you want others to see your beauty and your worth, you need to believe it first and you need to let it shine. That confidence goes a long way. I have seen others that look a lot like those who put themselves down be happy with who they are and because of that, they have the lives they want. They don’t whine and complain about who they are and how unfair life is, these people face adversity head on and go for what they want. I have learned a lot from them. You need to see your worth and then, others will too. It’s not always easy and in fact, sometimes it’s very difficult to get over the negative thoughts. But, I know it can make a huge difference when you begin to see yourself in a better light.

Being happy ties in with all of that. We put too much stock into “having” and often feel that if there’s something we want and don’t have, then we can’t be happy. Having doesn’t only refer to inanimate objects. Some feel that without a romantic relationship, a boat load of friends, or close ties to family, that their lives are missing something. So often we let our relationships define our level of happiness. We need others to like ourselves and we need them to be happy.

Something many used to tell me when I was often single and bitter about it is that I needed to learn to be happy with who I was before I could be happy with anyone else. It sounds so cliche sometimes, but I have come to see that it’s very true. We don’t need to be attached to someone to be happy. It is nice to have people in our lives that care for us, want to spend time with us, and make memories with us. I do feel like a big part of why we’re here is to be with others, give joy and love, and get it in return. But, it doesn’t or at least it shouldn’t define who we are. We need to be our own individuals, alone and even when we’re surrounded by loved ones. Losing ourselves within others so that it becomes hard to tell who we are anymore isn’t a good thing.

And if material possessions and money is what we think will make us happy, we’ll never have enough and we’ll never be happy. Having the latest gadgets, driving an awesome car, living in a very nice house, and the like isn’t a bad thing in and of itself. It’s okay to own things, especially when you’ve worked hard to buy them. Enjoy the things we are given and the things we can buy, just don’t let having things become more important than the people around you. Happiness they say can’t be bought and in many ways, I agree with that. Yeah, we can buy things that make us laugh, make life easier, and enjoy life. But, they’re just things. In the end, I feel that there’s a lot more to life than what we have. Sitting outside and enjoying a sunset, feeling the wind on our skin, listening to a bird sing, watching a baby take their first steps, and other things that you can’t put a price tag on are so important. Happiness is not so hard to obtain when you know where to find it. It is something that starts with us and then works its way outward. Trying to find it in others or in things will only leave us frustrated and feeling unhappy.

Love is a word I feel that can’t be readily defined. I also feel that it’s more than a word. It is a word and it has meaning. But, it is also a feeling and an action. There are many forms of love. Again, so many put so much stock into romantic relationships when talking about the word love. That kind of love is real and it is powerful, definitely not a form to be underrated or dismissed. But, it is not the only form of love out there. We feel love towards our family – children, parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. That form of love is also very real and powerful, but it is not the same as the love we’d feel for our spouse/partner. And even within familial love, those forms are different as well. The love one would feel for their child is not the same as the love they’d feel for say their cousin or sibling. There’s also the love felt between friends as well. Let us not forget the love we feel for ourselves, any God we may follow, pets, and even things like our passions. Each form of love is very real and not to be overlooked.

The feelings it leaves with us is intense and it has the power to change our lives. It has the power to heal and to save. Love is an amazing power that some overlook. It’s not just simply shown by giving things on Valentine’s Day, someone’s birthday, an anniversary, etc. It’s not about gifts, gushy sentiments written in cards, or words we say. Yeah, those things are nice and of course, we can participate in those things. It’s not a bad thing to do, but it’s not necessary. Love is shown by how we treat ourselves and others. It is in the kindness we show, the respect we give, by listening, by willing to put another’s needs ahead of your own at times, and by being willing to also to take care of yourself too. It’s shown in the hugs we give, holding one’s hand, by simply being there during for someone during a rough time, by not talking about them behind their back, and by wanting them to be happy.

Love is a noun and it is a verb. It is not devoid of meaning and when saying it, it shouldn’t be used lightly. Do not tell someone you love them if you don’t, not even if you might and aren’t sure yet. When someone believes you love them and you really don’t, it’s a very hard thing to get over. Love is to be respected, even if you don’t feel the same way. Love is honest and it is kind. Love doesn’t deceive. When we have our hearts broken, it’s not love that has harmed us, it is the absence of it that does. And when we fail to love ourselves, we’re harming ourselves too. It’s weird how complex love seems and yet how simple it can be. When I hug my son or feel my daughter kick within my stomach, love seems incredibly easy. It’s not hard to love, even though sometimes it seems like it is. Loving people who are unkind or sometimes just loving ourselves seems likes an impossible thing to do. But, I find the more natural it is for someone to love, the easier it becomes to just do it. Sometimes learning to let love in is hard, very hard in fact. But, it is not impossible and once it takes hold, it can change your life forever and it gets easier from there.

We strive for beauty – to have it and to see it, for happiness – to obtain it and hold onto it, and for love – to find it, receive it, and never lose it. All three seem daunting, but when in the right frame of mind, all three are easier to achieve than thought possible. We just have to look inside ourselves to find all three and then project them outward.

You Are My Strength

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Beaten down once again for my mental crimes

I lie on the ground shaking, in tears

This has happened to me one too many times

Being brought low by my own insecurities, doubts, & fears

 

I have been my worst enemy for years

Allowing my own mind to wage battles against me

I do more to harm myself than any of my peers

It is time to stand up right now & from the evil within be free

 

To know my own worth is key

Being able to hold my head up high

Lord, in me You made someone of great beauty

For all you make is wondrous, that I can not deny

 

The road ahead will have many twists & turns

And I will surely stumble & fall flat on my face

But because within me Your strength brightly burns

I won’t be kept down long, for I am saved by Your amazing grace

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall

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“Mirror, mirror on the wall….tell me, who is the fairest one of all?”

“It sure ain’t you sweetheart.” It drawled lazily

Well, this thing is useless, I thought as I smashed it to pieces.

I went through this process another dozen times until I realized beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin and find my beauty within, no one else will. As I came to terms with this, things began to change. My newest mirror and I are friends, which is a good thing because it was beginning to get expensive replacing them. 😉

Unapologetically Me

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Throughout my nearly 35 years, I have been criticized, much of that came from me. When people put me down, I took that a step further. I have been known to be my worst enemy. (Though I think that is true for many.) People tell me to accept them as they are, but some try to change me. For so long, I have bent over backwards trying to please people. I have now realized I am tired of being so many things to so many people and not what I ought to be to myself. The truth is, even I have been guilty of trying to mold someone, even slightly to meet my needs and I know it’s been wrong of me. I think we’re all guilty of that, even when we say we accept those we love as they are, we often don’t…not fully.

Well I am going to work harder at truly accepting others as they are and this extends to myself as well. I am done trying to please everyone. People have tried to emotionally toughen me up over the years, constantly telling me I am too sensitive, emotionally needy, and that I need to grow a thicker skin. I often felt like I was viewed as too weak and those views became my own. I am henceforth done apologizing for “crying over spilled milk”, getting offended when people say or do something that hurt my feelings, being too mushy, and for being too emotionally needy. I am flawed in the eyes of many, even my own, but I know that I am a good person at heart. I may talk too much at times, have annoying habits, be more stubborn than a toddler who refuses to give up their favorite toy or take a nap, and so on. I can admit I am so far from perfect, but I have to say if you want me to accept you as you are, then I ask you do the same for me. Let us compromise, not who we are, but in how we treat one another and not because we have to, but because we want to.

When manic, sometimes I fly off the handle and later, feel bad about it. When I am truly wrong for how I have treated someone, I will go to them and apologize. I won’t apologize for who I am, but I will apologize when I am in the wrong. Sometimes I can be crass and insensitive, even though my very nature generally is quite sensitive. I suppose that’s a part of living with bi-polar disorder. My moods fluctuate on a whim and I can be quite unpredictable. Which me will you get this afternoon? Will she differ from the woman you saw this morning? I used to take medication to try to “fix” myself and have sought out therapy as well. The medications usually turned me into merely a reflection of who I am and/or they made me physically ill. Therapy did help, probably helped more than any other “treatment”. However, lack of insurance and/or money usually interrupted things. Over time, when I went without, I began to find other ways to deal with my Schizophrenia, A.D.H.D, O.C.D, and Bi-polar disorder. I found ways to not let it hinder me, but instead, it’s often nurtured my creativity. Yes, sometimes I lose control of myself, but usually I do just fine. I am done seeing myself as broken or needing to be fixed. It’s all a part of who I am. Some people truly need medication just to function, to be able to do their day to day tasks. I am not trying to say there isn’t a place for that, but I have been able to get to a point I can live a fairly normal life without any of it. I am proud of how far I have come. I am not who I want to be, but nor am I who I once was and I am happy about that.

I am usually known to be compassionate, giving, tender, the one to go to when you’re upset and need a friend, the one who will understand, the one who won’t judge, and the one who always has a smile ready. My disorders do not define me, my very core goes way deeper than any of that. Those who have taken the time to truly get to know me see I am more than any of that and that I am more than who I was. They see the potential of who I could become, but also love for who I am right now. We have our moments when we clash and yeah, wish one could be more or less one way or another. Like I said before, I really want to work on that. I love my friends and family for who they are. We all change a lot over the course of our lifetime and sometimes it’s because of how those around us have influenced us. I think in the end though, our changes should never simply be to please others. Our changes should happen not because we feel we have to do so, but because we want to. No matter where you are in the course of your growth, you should be unapologetically you and I will be unapologetically me.

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