self-esteem (4)

 

Sorry. 

It was out of your mouth before you could even think about it, but now that you’ve had a second to consider what just unfolded, you realize it wasn’t your fault. You were walking through the mall, and the other person ran right into you because they were too busy looking at their phone. Yet, you apologized, and they kept on walking without uttering a word.7939057480?profile=RESIZE_400x 

Does that mean that you are a people pleaser? Well, it might. 

There’s more to it, of course. It isn’t just about immediately saying sorry to someone, even if it’s not your fault. What people-pleasing is, is a difficulty in establishing your boundaries. It’s something that everyone struggles with at some point, but people-pleasers find it downright exhausting.

Often, the act is motivated for a desire for approval or validation. They are insecure in relationships, in their job, and that makes them more likely to conform to the expectations of others. You might not want to bend to the opinions of others. You find it too hard to say no. It’s common for people-pleasers to accept blame, even when it’s not their fault. Even if it means protecting someone who hurt them, it can adversely affect people who have mental health issues and those who don’t. 

Working hard to please others might help you nourish everyone else. It doesn’t, however, allow you to nourish yourself. 

Your emotional life is just as important as your physical self. When you focus on everyone else without turning the attention to you, you’re suffocating yourself.                       

 The Dangers Of People Pleasing

You probably think that you look helpful, you appear generous, that’s the mark of a people pleaser. However, there’s a big difference between these things. Genuine generosity comes from real happiness, from enjoying the happiness of others. That isn’t what people-pleasing is. People-pleasing is down to the desire to gain the approval of others. It’s from a place of low self-worth. 

People-pleasing makes you subservient to others. It’s a desire to gain approval. That, for many, can be debilitating. It can be difficult to be independent and take a stand for themselves or their beliefs. They are too insecure to do so, and this comes from basing their self-worth on the opinions of others. There are many issues that this can stem from – including abusive relationships, childhood trauma, or other toxic/traumatic events. 

 It’s Okay To Put Yourself First 

Women commonly fall into the trap of people-pleasing. They feel under pressure to behave a certain way because it’s how they’ve been socialized from birth. It’s dangerous. There have been a number of studies on how this type of behavior negatively impacts health. One study found that people will eat more if they feel like it’s pleasing to others, even if they’re full or don’t want to eat (https://guilfordjournals.com/doi/abs/10.1521/jscp.2012.31.2.169). While another study found that there was a link between obesity and people-pleasing due to negative coping skills (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1038/oby.2009.376). 

There are a number of other ways people-pleasing impacts your wellness, from failing to recharge your batteries and rest when you need to or falling into unhealthy relationships. It affects your ability to thrive. 

It’s vital that you know what you are responsible for and what you’re not responsible for. It’s up to you to set your boundaries and assert them. It’s all about protecting yourself. It’s not your responsibility to shoulder the expectations, judgment, or duties of others. It’s bad for you, and it’s bad for others. 

Do you suspect that you’re a people-pleaser? Start practicing telling people no.

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Embracing Imperfection

The Japanese philosophy of Wabi-Sabi is just embracing imperfection in ourselves and our surroundings, which includes everyone we meet. Everyone we meet will be a tall order, so let us put that aside and look at the flaws in our surroundings and seeing the quirks in ourselves.  This will show us the beauty in life revealed through imperfections.

Many everyday items we use are the result of failed attempts to develop a particular product. Instead of throwing the failed attempt out. They found another use for the failed product. Sticky notes are one example. They were trying to develop a much stronger adhesive for a different purpose altogether.  They looked at what they had and brainstormed till coming up with the idea to repurpose the glue they developed into sticky notes. Nothing went to waste. If they were not willing to see the usefulness of the failure they had, we would not have sticky notes. Something that everyone has used. Corn Flakes came out of trying to control sexual urges. The list goes on.

Try not to Take Yourself so Seriously

Once you start embracing imperfection in objects around you, you will begin to relax into your environment.  You already practice this philosophy without knowing it. All you need to do is acknowledge it and to draw your attention to the objects with imperfections in your life. When I want a cup of coffee, I head for the cabinet. I am already thinking about the mug from the Tolland Innand the chips on the bottom rim. These chips came from my using the mug and my wife washing and putting the mug away. I did not throw the cup out because I chipped it. No, instead, embracing imperfection in the mug,  it can never be replaced. If that mug were to fall and break into pieces, another Tolland House mug could never replace the good feelings from the cup with the chips.

 

My personality and life are full of chips. I have embraced them as who I am. I can laugh at them. I just chuckle and say what a bone head thing to do. Then I picture God rolling on the floor laughing holding his guts calling Peter "get over here, look at what Lefty is doing now. You have to see this. He has outdone himself this time."

 

When you get this perspective in your own life, you will start to encourage others to laugh at their mistakes.  You will show them embracing imperfection is actually a quality instead of a character flaw. The more people you help to embrace imperfection, the more you will be surrounded by people practicing Wabi-Sabi. They will help you stay focused on the beauty of imperfections in life.

 

I have imperfections that I embrace but am actively trying to change. I do not like the effect they have in my life and the people I come in contact with during my daily activities. There are no defects in my life that have transformed themselves into quality or have entirely left my life until I have embraced them as a part of me. Denying them has only empowered them.

Do something out of your comfort zone.

Try learning a new skill or doing something daring. Do this with other people who have done this before. Entering into unknown situations will likely lead to mistakes, which is what you want. Exposing yourself when you know you are going to make mistakes is a very empowering event. It will also build comradery of like-minded people laughing with you at the mistakes you make. When the laughing is done, you will get feedback on how to correct the error to achieve the goal you have set.

Now you will experience what is meant by "hanging out with successful people, and it will rub off on you." 

If you were perfect, you’d be similar to a drone.


You would be the same as everyone else. Where is the fun in that? When you embrace your imperfections, you will realize they make up who you are. It’s best to forget about being perfect.

Image by 진혁 최 from Pixabay

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Many childhood fairy tales end with the phrase, “…and they lived happily ever after.” Unfortunately, as we mature, we realize that happiness isn’t simply finding your “Prince Charming,” or discovering a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

But, many of us are still waiting for that knock on the door or that special “gift” or achievement that will bring us true happiness for the rest of our lives. We don’t realize that happiness is a journey – a pursuit that takes us down a long road of learning and weeding out those things in our lives that cause unhappiness or that we have to work at to overcome.

How do you know when you’re happy? It’s a surge of well-being that puts a smile on your face and a skip in your steps. You may know it when you feel it, but it only lasts a little while – like the first time you see your baby smile or celebrating that big promotion.

To find real and lasting happiness in your life, you need first to explore what you believe about happiness. What if you have it in one area of your life and not another?

Happiness is a pursuit that you have to work at -- and to do that you need to know what it is and what it means to have it in your own life.  

What is Happiness?

The dictionary defines happiness with many words such as contentment, joy, glee, good spirits and well-being. It’s a state of mind rather than a tangible object that you can hold in your hand and use when you need it most.

But, happiness is difficult to come by unless you know what will help you experience it. You may think that good luck in the form of a promotion, a windfall of cash or a loving relationship would bring happiness to your life.

You may be surprised once you reach those goals, that happiness is still eluding you. You may even think there’s something wrong with you because you can’t seem to grasp that ultimate goal of true happiness, no matter what good comes into your life.

The problem may be that you’re limiting yourself to happiness only in certain areas of your life. Maybe you’ve achieved business or relationship success, but still, feel a void that keeps you from being happy about it. You know you’re unhappy, but you don’t understand why.

Broadening your scope of happiness to other areas of your life can help you to understand what real pleasure is and to pursue it in a systematic way that’s sure to enhance your lifestyle and finally bring joy into those areas that were lacking.

How to Pursue Happiness

You may not realize that happiness is a life-long pursuit and not an “event” of something particular. Everyone has a right to pursue happiness. It’s so important that it’s even included in the Constitution of the United States as an “inalienable” right.

To pursue the happiness you’re entitled to, you need to know how to do it correctly. There are some direct routes to that sense of well-being and some ways that will never get you there.

The route to happiness begins with assessing the most critical areas of your life and discerning if you’re happy in that area. Are you emotionally satisfied – does your spiritual life need some more work to be happier?

Your relationships, job, and physical well-being are all part of the circle of happiness. If one link is broken, you aren’t as wholly fulfilled as you could be.

Think about various areas of your life and whether you’ve achieved the happiness level you long for. For example:

Physical Fitness – You may be happy with your weight, but how about your physical stamina? If you need to add another dimension to your fitness routine (or begin one), it will not only help you have more self-esteem to follow through and succeed – it will make you happy. Your physical well-being is a vital link in the happiness circle.

Spirituality – You don’t have to belong to a church or to a particular religion to gain happiness from spirituality. Connecting with nature and helping others are just two examples of how you can find and enjoy spirituality in your own life. Developing and living a belief system is vital to your overall happiness.

Love Yourself – You won’t be very loveable to others if you can’t love yourself. Love yourself enough to take care of yourself, to make time for only you and to build your self-esteem by surrounding yourself with positive people rather than negative ones. When you love who you are, a certain level of happiness is reached that others can’t provide.

Take Care of Yourself – Get plenty of sleep, eat a healthy diet and get enough exercise to feel better and have more energy for things you want to do. A big part of happiness is good health, so take steps to improve that link in the circle if needed.

You can probably think of other areas in your life that need work to make you enjoy and be happy with them. Research happiness as you would a place you’re moving to or a career path you think you want to take. Leave no stone unturned in your quest for happiness.  

Looking for Happiness in All the Wrong Places

Every day, we’re bombarded with advertisements about “things” that can make us happy – a new car, bypass surgery to lose weight, a different hairstyle or a new dating partner. Billions of dollars are spent each year on things that are touted as “sure things” to make us happy and content.

You may feel great when you first drive that new car, lose weight or sport that new hairstyle, but eventually the glitter wears off, and you’re left with the same unhappiness you felt before you bought the “things.”

Contrary to popular belief, that multi-million dollar home, expensive jewelry, exotic cars, and world travel doesn’t bring automatic happiness to your life. There’s no doubt that money can make your life easier, but it can’t make you happy unless everything else falls into place.

The world is full of mega-rich people and families who live their everyday lives in the throes of depression and unhappiness. There are many reasons why money isn’t making these people happy.

Lousy health could be one reason, and fighting and angry discourse about the money they have could be another. Inner happiness isn’t determined by how many things you can buy or how many degrees you’ve obtained – it’s an emotion that’s both elusive and attainable – if you know how to pursue it.

Pursuing happiness is the right of all of us, but it may not be easy for some. It helps to visualize happiness as a circle which is linked together by several happiness goals and methods of achieving those goals.

When there is happiness in each link of the circle, true happiness is achieved, but a break or crack in a relationship can cause the sphere to weaken, and your joy won’t be complete.

Rather than spinning your wheels in trying to bring happiness to your life on outside pursuits, it’s far more effective to pursue happiness from the inside. Studies of history and recent research prove that materialistic comforts haven’t led to complete satisfaction.

Part of the problem is not knowing what will make us happy – and part of it is not knowing how to pursue it. Whatever we seem to do and acquire, happiness remains out of reach.

Just as true happiness is often confused with acquiring things, the pursuit of happiness can be confused with having a “perfect” life – which isn’t attainable. We can reach a level of contentment that makes us complete without always having things go our way.

Problems and obstacles are needed in our lives so we can learn along the way. It may be challenging to feel grateful for a problem, but viewing it in that light can bring a type of happiness into our lives.  

Giving Happiness a Chance

After you take a careful look at your present life and what makes you happy – and what doesn’t, you’ll be better able to formulate a plan for happiness. Rather than waiting for it to arrive at your doorstep, you’ll have a clear path of how to pursue it.

Rather than spending your hard-earned money on things that will make you happy for a few minutes or a day, spend it on gathering knowledge and experiences that will improve your outlook on life and make you a better person.

One way to make yourself happy is to become debt-free. Pay off those high-interest accounts and begin to save money for pursuing what you love in life. Maybe you could take more trips or invest in the education of a child.

Those types of things you can do for yourself will serve to bring more lasting happiness than material things and boost your self-esteem and life-experiences. Donating your time to a worthy cause rather than writing a check is also a great way to get in touch with who you really are and what makes you happy.

If you don’t have peace of mind, begin now to discover what happiness means to you and how you can pursue it successfully. It’s a journey that will bring you much satisfaction and finally complete the circle with links that genuinely make you happy.

Image by Andi Graf from Pixabay     Image by rawpixel from Pixabay

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Using quotes to build self-confidence is a very effective strategy. The great people of history have our respect. I have picked a few to develop your self-confidence and remove the nagging self-doubt which is crippling you.

Put these quotes where you can see them. On your dashboard, desk, phone, any place you visit. This will help you remember them when you are overwhelmed.

Here are four quotes from famous people that deal with self-doubt.

William Shakespeare

Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” - William Shakespeare

Self-doubt is crippling because it stops us in our tracks. It tricks us into believing not to try at all. He talks about fear. Like it or not, fear is the root of self-doubt, and we’ll never know what good we’re missing out on because of it. Treat those feelings of doubts like the traitors Mr. Shakespeare recognized them as. Fight them, ignore them, do whatever you have to do to keep them from forcing you into “fearing to attempt” to do what you’ve set out to do.  

Dale Carnegie

"It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about." – Dale Carnegie

So often we focus on what we have, who we are, or who we think we should be, that we forget about being happy. Instead, we let the self-doubt creep in and question everything we do, everything we are, and everything we have accomplished. Don't let self-doubt destroy your happiness. Instead, make it a habit to think about all the good you've done and everything you've accomplished so far. And the key creating this or any practice is to make yourself do it every single day until it becomes a habit. Stick the quote by Mr. Carnegie on your bathroom mirror and use it as a reminder to practice thinking about all your positive accomplishments.  

Robert Frost

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost

Here’s an interesting quote by Robert Frost that has an essential lesson about doubt in general and self-doubt in particular in it. It’s not evident at first glance, but in our context, this quote is all about making choices – even the unpopular ones and sticking to them. Self-doubt is often fueled by a lack of confidence in ourselves. And the end result is not taking action on anything. Instead, we become paralyzed into not doing anything, lest we make the wrong choice, or not choose the right road. Frost teaches us that it’s ok to use the road less traveled. The only wrong choice when you come to a fork in the road is not to make any choice at all. Standing there at the fork in the road without choosing your path is what gets you stuck. Make a choice and see it through and who knows where your path will lead you.  

J.K. Rowling 

“Failure is a stripping away of the inessential. “ – J.K. Rowling

It’s an interesting idea, isn’t it? We are so afraid of failure, when it may just be something we should embrace instead. Because when we fail, we learn. Think back to your childhood days. You made lots and lots of mistakes every single day. You had to make every single one of those of errors to get to where you are today. Yet, as adults, we suddenly expect to get it all right on the first try. Take that pressure off yourself and embrace failure. Look at it as a way to get down to what’s truly important and essential. This little shift in perception takes away the bad feeling and self-doubt associated with fear. And suddenly fear no longer paralyzes us into not doing anything, but instead motivates us to take massive action, fail fast and get to the solution that actually works.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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7 Day Mental Diet

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