The Busy Season

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During this holiday season you can ask just about anyone how they have been and about ninety percent of people will look at you and say “I have been busy (and may add something like “but good”)!” We find ourselves stretching ourselves to the limit to meet the needs and demands of the holiday seasons. Around every corner we have Christmas parties, family get together, cookie exchanges, holiday plays, presents to buy, decorations to tend to, people to pick up from the airport, cleaning, cooking, baking, the list can go on and on. We never seem to run short on anything but time and money. The two major stressors that can bring out the lowest of lows in people. Many people find themselves at the end of the holiday saying “Thank goodness it is over!!” rather than “I am so grateful for the season!” Some people even have a complex emotion of both.

Taking Care of Yourself This Season

There are so many great articles about how to take care of yourself during the holiday season. One of the big pieces I believe to pay attention to is where is your body at? Are you taking care of yourself? Are you making time for exercise, sleep, family time, good nutrition, and even breathing? Many time during the holidays we sacrifice many of these things to simply make it through the day with people smiling all around us and our bodies are just waiting for the moment to crash. Are you taking care of your basic needs: food, movement, connection?

Things You Can Do To Meet Basic Needs

Cook Healthy Meals: You can attend to nutrition by planning out meals. Using fresh ingredients and finding balance in each meal. It is easy to fall onto fast food and dining out when we get busy. There are alternative options like utilizing crock pots or insta-pots on busy days so when you get home the food is ready.

Have Small Snacks Handy: Sometimes running around can take more time than expected due to crowds. Always having small health snacks in your car or in your purse can keep your blood sugar and your mind in a fresh place.

Small Group Time: Sometimes the large groups can be overwhelming and can create a lot of internal anxiety. Finding ways to make time for smaller groups to refresh and drop back down to your baseline. Sometimes powering through is not always the option we want to take.

Disconnected Family Time: Spending quality uninterrupted family time with one another. Time spent is the most important piece of the holidays.

Exercise: Exercise is a very important piece of the holiday season. All that you really need is 30 minutes of good movement and activity in a day to release small amounts of anxiety that can build up. Exercise allows us keep anxious energy moving throughout the season.

The Important Things

Remember the important things in life. What are some of your favorite holiday memories? Many people do not remember the gifts they got or all of the parties they attended or the things you accomplished. The thing that most people remember are the people they meet and the memories they make. Children remember time spent together, traditions, memories made, and time spent. People talk about the people they met and how they could be a life-long connection. They talk about the adventures that were taken and the people that were involved. The family favorites that were participated in. These are the things to keep at the fore front on your mind. Being too busy or hurrying from one thing to the next doesn’t allow for joy and peace to set in during the holidays.


Failure Builds Resilience

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When failure knocks us down the hardest part begins. We have to pick up and fight to move forward. Each circumstance allows for us to come out a different person than we walked in. This is so much easier said than done. I want to look at failure from two sides: how failure is bad and how failure is good.

Failure is Bad
• Emotional toll
• Other’s opinions
• Judgments
• Confidence killer

 Failure is Good
• We are pushing ourselves
• Motivation
• Growth opportunity
• Options to choose

When we look at the bad we can see that there is a lot to deal with internally when it comes to failure, but the same is also true with the good. We are given the opportunity to grow even in the good and bad of failure, because when you look at the bad those are hard things to deal with but they are opportunities for us to grow and prepare for what lies ahead.

Failure is not Fatal

“Success is not final; Failure is not fatal; it’s the courage to continue that counts.” -Winston Churchill
Many people see failure as devastating, and yes I believe it definitely feels that way sometimes. Failure is hard on us emotionally and socially, and it makes us feel vulnerable. The key in failure is to remember that we are given special opportunities to learn through failure. We have the choice to make sure that failure does not have to be fatal: we can choose to let it hinder us or we can choose to take it and learn from it.
Failure can be seen as a stepping stool. Without failure or disappointment, we would never be encouraged to move or grow. We would become stuck in a mundane cycle with little purpose, meaning, and zest in life. If we didn’t have failure in our lives we wouldn’t be challenging ourselves enough or taking necessary risks in life that give us meaning and purpose. Failure motivates us to change, grow, and pursue life in a different light. Encountering failure gives us the opportunity to see that we are pushing ourselves and we are striving for excellence in our lives.

Failure is Fantastic

“Fantastic” may be a little over zealous when talking about failure, but the truth is failure is determined by your mindset. If you go into failure with a defeated mindset, failure will take that form. If you walk in positive and with your mindset as an opportunity, then failure will take that form. If we are able to harness the positive power of failure, we can build resilience in a way that will leave us with a different kind of power to overcome what we are going through. If we never fail, we are probably never trying hard enough.
When we start looking at our obstacles as opportunities we set ourselves up for growth and a character of resilience. Instead of letting failure win, we can look back at the choices we made and track how to redirect new choices for a better outcome. With that ability we are able to move forward with new knowledge knowing that we have the power to change our future for the better. This gives us the opportunity to make new choices, and cultivate a greater understanding of how our choices affect our outcome. As we take this idea and move forward from failure we are given this opportunity to take control of the choices that we make therefore putting us in control of our own outcomes and becoming more resilient.
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” -Henry Ford

Learn From Failure to Build Resilience

The definition of resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. Failure helps us practice our resilience, but how do we build resilience from failure. Resilience is not a skill that is learned over night, resilience is something that must be practiced, nurtured and built upon. Some of the key factors according to Brene Brown are: resourcefulness and problem solving skills, seeking help when needed, a belief that there is something that can be done to manage feelings and to cope, a social support system, connection with family and friends, and spirituality. Each of these keys are vital in growing from failure. We all must learn to problem solve in order to grow from failure and when we learn the art of problem solving we are able to develop other areas of our life that are key in living a fulfilled life.
When we fail, if we are able to learn to problem solve, talk to trusted people about the failure (and what can be done), and lean into our loved ones for the support we need we can cultivate resilience from our failures. We have to let up on ourselves and remember that failure is not who we are, it is a behavior we did. Many of the most famous people failed numerous times: Thomas Edison, Michael Jordan, Walt Disney, J.K Rowling, and the list could go on. Some would argue that if you want to be great then you are going to fail on your way to becoming great. Each of these people learned to master the art of resilience in a way that led to greatness. They were able to fail, learn, and recover quickly. Accepting that failure is a healthy part of life because it allows us to grow and build upon what we are passionate about and create something greater than we could have imagined.

Relationships and Attachment

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Have you ever noticed yourself struggling with the same thing over and over again in your relationships? As we grow up, we develop a style of relating to people from our experiences and upbringing. These relational styles drive our sense of developing meaningful and fulfilling relationships. The styles we develop from our early experiences and upbringing are called attachment styles. Attachment has been researched for many years and has been proven to play into the context of our lives. There are four dominating attachment styles:

1. Secure Attachment
2. Avoidant/Ambivalent Attachment
3. Anxious Attachment
4. Disorganized Attachment

Each of these styles is unique in what we learned growing up through our everyday encounters with our caregivers. Some of the encounters are at the forefront of our mind while others are buried deep in the back of our mind. Our brain holds the key to our survival, and these attachment styles were developed to protect us in our relationships and our connection with people. Our attachment style has a huge impact on our mind, brain, and relationships. Each attachment style holds patterns and behaviors that are acted out in different ways depending on the individual. A description of the attachment styles are as follows:

Child Attachment Styles

  • Secure Attachment (58% of population)
    •  Developing a secure attachment style typically means that parents were: attentive, caring, nurturing, attuned with child’s needs/emotions, and predictable.
    • The belief that a child creates when their parents follow these patterns consistently is “help will come”, “I matter”, and “I can depend on others and myself”.
    • Some traits that are developed with this style are trust/safety, connection, resilience, and empathy.
  • Avoidant Attachment (Insecure) (23% of population)
    • Developing an avoidant attachment style typically means the parents were: dismissive, inattentive, non-nurturing, unavailable, and rejecting for much of the time.
    • The beliefs that a child creates when their parents follow these patterns consistently are: “I don’t need you”, “I don’t matter enough to deserve your attention”, and “I am alone in the world”.
    • Some traits that are developed with this style are distrusting, independent, distant, and critical.
  •  Anxious Attachment (Insecure) (19% of population)
    • Developing an anxious attachment style typically means the parents were: inconsistent, intrusive, noncommunicative, over nurturing, and unpredictable most the time.
    • The belief that the child creates when their parents follow these patterns consistently are: “I must work consistently to get what I want” and “I must control everything to make it predictable”.
    • Some traits that are developed with this style are clingy, controlling, untrusting, and low self-esteem.
  • Disorganized Attachment (Insecure) (18% of population)
    • Developing a disorganized attachment style typically means the parents were: unpredictable, abusive, noncommunicative, neglectful, and chaotic.
    •  The beliefs the child creates when their parents follow these patterns consistently are: “the world is not a safe place” and “the way to survive in this unpredictable world is to be unpredictable”.
    •  Some of the traits developed from this style are aggressive, unaffectionate, extreme, and distrusting.

It is easy to see how attachment can have an impact on our adult relationships. Now you ask, these are all attachment styles that I developed as a child, what does that mean about my adult relationships? Our attachment styles typically carry over into our adult relationships unless there is an intervention. The adult attachment styles and descriptions are as follows:

Adult Attachment Styles

Secure – For most of the time people are: able to regulate themselves in stressful situations, comfortable in relationships, able to seek help from others, resilient, and empathetic.

Dismissing – For most of the time people are: greatly independent, often do not seek out relationships, highly critical, emotionally withdrawn from others, and intolerant of others.

Preoccupied – For most of the time people are: fearful of rejection from partner, desire extreme closeness, controlling and blaming behavior, unable to regulate self (often need others to do it for them), codependent in relationships, and living in extremes.

Unresolved – For most of the time people are: chaotic, insensitive, aggressive, unpredictable, unable to regulate self, abusive, and explosive.

**All listed qualities are not a must in every situation. These are general researched characteristics for each attachment style**

Adult attachment styles are important to understand because it is how we relate to people and the world around us. Whether it be friends, significant others, coworkers, bosses, acquaintances, and other environments we find ourselves in. Our attachment styles also tell us about how we think about ourselves and the relationship we have with ourselves. It impacts our self-esteem, our self-worth, and our self-love. Attachment styles do not have to remain the same forever. It is important to understand and build awareness around our styles because through awareness we can begin to develop a healthier sense of self and connection with people.

Attachment work takes time and effort to work through. Our brain has created these patterns to help keep us safe because when we were young all we had to rely on was what our parents conveyed to us. The one thing we understood was: we had to do what was needed to survive. If you are trying to break these patterns, and you continue to find yourself repeating the same behaviors over and over again, you are not alone. With the help of a therapist who specializes in attachment, these patterns can be replaced with healthier and more secure ways of attaching. Therapists can help you develop and reach emotional regulation goals, relationship goals, “self” goals, parenting goals, and other life goals.

Generational Trauma – Implications and Steps to Healing

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We pass down all kinds of things to our children. We pass down genes, traits, personality types, culture, and behaviors. It is true that children are like sponges and they continually seek outside of themselves to develop their “normal”. Children are constantly learning and observing, they recreate what they see and brain patterns are formed. Children start to build who they are based on the environment they are recreating around them.

As I begin to write about generational trauma I want my firm belief to be known that “everyone is doing the best they can with what they have.” I do not believe that people purposefully try to harm or make other’s lives less than what they are supposed to be. They are typically repeating what they know and based on how they were taught to do it.

What is Generational Trauma?

The definition I will use to define generational trauma is: maladaptive behaviors and patterns that are passed down from parents to children then passed to the children’s children. Many people will have heard the phrase “when the abused becomes the abuser”, as this is not always the case in every situation, there is truth to the phrase. This is an example of generational trauma.  This also related to the idea of attachment, beliefs, behaviors, and relationships.

What Happens in Generational Trauma?

Generational trauma is a accumulation of neural network in the brain that are established by patterns in behavior and hormones. Trauma can be a very difficult thing to heal. The more engrained it becomes in family systems, the harder the chains are to break. When we look at behaviors, beliefs, and patterns we often can begin to see a recurrence in the previous generation. These behaviors become a repetitive part of the system that children learn from and then develop the same neural networks in the brain as the parents.

Within the same neural networks come the same hormones. If a child grows up in a family where domestic violence is prevalent they are constantly learning from the behaviors as well as having stress hormones that are triggered in the body as a protective agent. Elevated levels of stress hormones in children can cause the brain to register that those hormones need to remain elevated for safety. Elevated levels of stress hormones can health effects later on down the road, and they can present current symptoms that can be seen as anxiety, attention deficit hyper activity, oppositional defiance, and depression.

Mirror neurons in the brain are exactly as they sound, when we see something we often do it back. If we see someone smile we often smile back. If we see someone crying, we often feel sad. The same is true for anxiety and anger. If we see someone highly anxious our body tends to increase in anxiety. If children are in a household of high anxiety, they often learn to be anxious. Therefore, anxiety can be generational.

How Can You Heal Generational Trauma?

Many people don’t recognize their behaviors as maladaptive because they simply are taking what they learned and applying it in the best way that they know how. Awareness is the key to change. Without recognizing that there is something happening in your family system there cannot be change.

  • First step is seeing the patterns. Some are more obvious than others: domestic violence, abuse, anxiety, gender roles, among others.
  • Second step is building the awareness around what triggers you to step into these established patterns. Is it yelling, disrespect, feeling devalued, physical aggression, watching people bully others? The list could be endless.
  • Once you are aware of triggers, the fourth step is becoming aware of how you react to the triggers. Do you shut down, become angry, become violent, yell?
  • Fourth step is learning to put road blocks in those patterns. Setting up a trigger word or phrase that helps you recognize when you are going down a pattern. Setting up a support network to be held accountable.
  • Fifth step is give yourself grace. These are patterns that have been engrained for a long period of time. Generational trauma does not heal overnight or over a week. It takes time.

Asking for help from a professional is a great option to supplement these steps. Sometimes the trauma you encountered and be so engrained for protection that extra help may be required. Trauma is stored in the body and stored in the brain.


When Life Hands You Lemons

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I think most of us have heard the saying “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. My goodness wouldn’t it be amazing if it were as easy to do as it were to say. When we are handed lemons life gets hard, we struggle for the next step, people to turn to, our next move. Lemons are the struggles that we experience in life, they are the hardships, the breakups, the losses, and the hurt. Lemonade doesn’t come easy from these things. If it were only as easy to do as it were to say, but if you think about it, making fresh squeezed lemonade by hand is no easy task. It takes time, strength, tools, and knowledge of how to do it. Many times we don’t have the time, strength, tools, or knowledge to handle the lemons that life gives us. Sometimes it is all we can do to keep the juice from stinging our wounds. While working with people I have witnessed some common ways that lemons have been dealt with in life and they are as follows:

  1. Throw the lemons to the side(run): this is one of our natural instincts. Run when things get hard and overwhelming and continue to find ways to get around the mounds of lemons in our lives.
  2. Destroy the lemons (fight): this is another natural instinct. When the going gets tough, get tougher and rougher and hard.
  3. Pretend they don’t exist (avoid): this is where we fill our lives with other things to distract us from the mound of lemons even though they are trickling out of the closet.
  4. Live with the lemons (accept): this can go two ways. Accept defeat as is and struggle with the load of lemons with no movement forward OR accept the reality and move in other ways to rid the lemons one by one.

How do you handle the lemons in your life?

What I have found is that each person has their own unique way of dealing with lemons. Lemons are hard to deal with, no matter how we deal with them, and each way of dealing with the problems of life has consequences, both positive and negative. Some ways are easier and allows us an out. Some of the ways can cause us a little more stress and heartache along the road, but ultimately get us to where we want to be.

The goal in dealing with lemons is to get to the place where we make lemonade. Making lemonade is not an easy process; like I stated before, it takes time, strength, tools, and knowledge. When we make lemonade we take time to explore the lemon and understand what is needed in the next step in the process.

  • First the time and knowledge: I lumped these two together because it takes time to explore and fully understand the lemon for what it is, how it is operating in your life, and the purpose behind the lemon. Knowledge comes not only from education, but also from awareness of yourself and your experiences. Every experience we have is built into our make-up of who we are and where we are going. Lemonade typically has more ingredients depending on the type of lemonade you want. In this arena, we take the time to write our story, and find a way to create a new ending.
  • Second is strength: It takes both inner and outer strength to make lemonade. It is not easy to face the lemons in our life, it is really hard and it can be draining mentally and physically. One thing I know is if you use one of the four escapes listed above you are experiencing the same physical and mental exhaustion, just without moving forward in a purposeful way.
  • Third is tools: Most of us are not physically strong enough to rip a lemon apart and squeeze all of its juice into a pitcher. Typically we need knives, strainer, juicer, cups, and pitchers. This is just the same for the lemons of life, only slightly different tools. We need skills that can lead to effective communication and relationship building with others, healthy ways of dealing with and sorting through the lemons of life, ways to develop a stronger sense of self, skills that lead to emotional stability, among other things in life.

If life has handed you a bunch of lemons and you are struggling sorting through and managing the lemons and the emotions that go along with them please contact me. Life’s struggles can be hard sometimes and you don’t have to go through it alone. Sometimes another perspective and a little guidance and encouragement is what we need to sort through what we are dealing with. It doesn’t make you weak, it makes you courageous because you are taking a stand and fighting these battles on the inside and out.

Grow Your Confidence Through Self-Respect

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Confidence and Self-Respect

In order to maintain confidence we must be able to grow and nurture self-respect. When we learn to lean into our own self-respect we can maintain our confidence in a whole new light. Some of the things that get in the way of self-respect are: people-pleasing, negative people, hurt/anger, careless situations, not knowing yourself or the people around you, and not hold yourself or others to appropriate standards.

Self-respect is based on what you do. When you do or allow those things listed above to be in your life you are taking a toll on your self-respect. When we do well and surround ourselves with positive things our self-respect goes up, and when we feel good and surround ourselves with positive things our confidence goes up as well. There is a correlation between self-respect and confidence, often times if we have one we have the other. If we increase our self-respect and the things we need to have self-respect, we are able to increase our confidence as well. There are key ideas that can help us create a greater amount of self-respect, but the three that I want to focus on are: boundaries, gratefulness/positivity, and our support system.


Boundaries are a very hot topic, and for a good reason. One of my favorite authors, Brene Brown, simplifies boundaries as “what’s ok, and what’s not ok.” Simple yet profound. Many of us have a hard time establishing what is ok and what is not ok. We struggle finding that balance of helping others and still maintaining ourselves. We either help everyone and give too much or we withhold from others because we are afraid of giving too much or resentful because we already have.

When we hold tight to our boundaries we give ourselves the opportunity to harness compassion, love, and understanding with ourselves and with others. Having these qualities in our field because we are boundaried gives us the ability to increase our self-respect and confidence because we feel stronger about the way we interact with others and we maintain what is important and key in our lives and relationships.

Gratefulness & Positivity

When we develop a sense of gratitude in all that we do we start to view the world and our life from a different lens that increases our confidence. Science shows that when we take time to notice the good we are able to create positive pathways in our brain that begin to create a more positive outlook on life. When there are positive things happening in our lives we have the ability to increase our confidence because we feel better about who we are and what is happening around us. When we become intentional about noticing the good in our life we are more likely to have a positive outlook on life and various situations and people. If you take 10-30 seconds and focus on the good and write down one positive thing that happens for 30 days you will start to see a difference in your outlook on life and on yourself.

We are able to build more respect around who we are and what we do when we start identifying the positive things that are happening in our lives. The less positive we see the less respect we accumulate. When it comes to being intentional about the positive things in our lives we have to take an honest look at the things that bring us down: negative beliefs, family members, boyfriends/girlfriends, work, our own pattern of thinking etc. We have to find ways to take these areas in our life an cut away the bad, add more positive, and maintain the things that are good now.

Support System

Knowing who the important people are in our lives are so important in regard to our self-respect. When we have a healthy and functional support system, we give ourselves ample opportunity to be grateful, maintain boundaries, and maintain our self-respect. There is the idea that when we are in negative company we ourselves become negative, but when we surround ourselves with positive company we ourselves become more positive. When we have positive influences and positive people in our lives then we increase our respect for ourselves and for our confidence.

Moving Forward

When we start to align things in our lives and put in place necessary actions to increase our self-respect then we have the ability to naturally increase your confidence. Some of these areas in our lives are not always easy to maintain or change. If you need help to navigate some of these or all of these areas contact me. Going through this alone is hard work and having someone to walk through some of the challenges with can help you find the deeper respect and deeper confidence that you desire.

How to Develop Core Confidence

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There are so many voices in our head that come from us and from others around us that tell us we are not worthy or good enough. Those voices crush our spirit and with it, our confidence. While on one hand, these voices clearly have weight and have an impact us. On the other hand, the one voice that matters the most is the one that belongs to us, and our voice often unheard. We can combat these voices that bring us down by knowing, accepting, and loving ourselves in a more authentic way.

Knowing & Trusting Ourselves

When we are building confidence in who we are, we need to first understand who we truly are. The key is knowing that core self of who we are and what makes us function the way we do. If we want to become confident in ourselves, we must understand the ways we respond and why, ours needs, and our desires. We must learn to tune into our body and mind so we can understand our reactions and what each event tells us.

When we take the time to explore our relationships and the way they operate and work along with our values and beliefs and how they track with us throughout our days. When we start to understand our passions that drive us in daily life we can start to build confidence on who we are rather than second guess everything that we do.

Here is a list of questions that you can ask yourself to start this journey of self-exploration:

  1. Looking back on my past, what are three common themes that I can say were a part of my life?
  2. What are three driving forces for me in this current stage in my life?
  3. What are my top three values that I hold dearly to my heart?
  4. What do my relationships tell me about myself and the way I connect and relate to others?
  5. What are the three things (material and non-material) that I hold closest to my heart?
  6. Who is the one person that was the greatest influence and why? What do those qualities say about who you are or strive to be?

These are some of the key ideas that will help you find greater understanding in who you are. In turn, you will begin the process of becoming more confident in who you are and the way you operate in the world. As you walk through each of these questions and explore the implications each area has on your life it is important to remember that we all operate in our own unique and beautiful way. We have to learn to stay kind and true to who we are and the people around us.

“Being confident and believing in your own self-worth is necessary to achieving your full potential.”         -Author Unknown

Accepting and Loving Ourselves

In order for the above to take place we have to learn some self-acceptance and self-love. In order to accept ourselves we have to start looking inward and stop looking outward. When we look outward is when we fall into the comparison trap, and we begin lose our joy and our passion for things in life.  When we learn to love ourselves for who we are and recognize our strengths and weaknesses in such a way where we grow and prosper we have that ability to love ourselves (even the parts that are hard to love). There is no methodological or linear way to work through accepting and loving ourselves, and each person has their own beliefs and visions about who they are and what they have to offer. This process takes time and there is a constant battle going on between love and hate and acceptance and denial. There are some small things you can do in order to help yourself start to take the steps toward loving and accepting who you are.

Allow yourself to be loved by others

Often times when we struggle to love and accept ourselves we struggle to accept those offerings from other people. When someone shows you affection learn to embrace it and sit with it rather than push it away. This will help us learn what positive feels toward yourself will feel like.

Celebrate your strengths

Start recognizing areas of strength and write them down. If you have a hard time with this do one a day, and reflect on something you did well that day and how that could be interpreted as a strength. Create awareness around more positive and uplifting areas in our life.

Forgive yourself

It is very difficult to make it past regrets, and when we get hung up on those regrets it is difficult to move toward self-acceptance. We have to learn to forgive ourselves and learn from the regrets and the mistakes and move forward in a way allows us to be stronger and better prepared for future endeavors.

Surround yourself with positive people

Our environment has a big impact on who we are and what we believe. If we are constantly surrounding ourselves with people who bring us down and offer negative company, we will find ourselves in the same state of mind. If we surround ourselves with people who build us up and accept us we will find ourselves in the same state of mind.

Each of these are little steps you can take in order to start working toward building confidence and acceptance in yourself. This process takes time and it is so important to be kind to yourself during it. This topic is a tough one to handle so if you need help or want a neutral party invested in your growth and transformation please contact me. I would love to walk through this journey with you toward a more confident and whole-self. You don’t have to do this on your own, and I know taking that first step is hard. We can set up a free 20 minute consultation to see if this would be a good journey for you to begin.

3 Ways We Shadow Our Sunshine

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“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Confidence is our sunshine. Many of us want confidence in our lives, but we are often overshadowed and the confidence gets displaced in insecurity. Having sunshine doesn’t make us cocky or arrogant (which is a fear of many). Confidence is grown and hindered in many ways. The key is understanding that we are the only ones that can actually allow our confidence grow and emerge, but anyone, including ourselves can hinder our confidence. Let us look closer at confidence.

Confidence is one of those virtues that we see in other people and crave for ourselves. Many of us want to be confident, we don’t enjoy walking around insecure and uncertain. Most people don’t know how to work toward building a more confident and strong self. There are many ways to approach building self-confidence, but I want to focus on the idea of how we get in our own way of being confident. We demand so much from ourselves and we typically beat ourselves up over things that we miss or things that we struggle with day in and day out. Even when we conquer an uphill battle, at the end, we expected it of ourselves or “it wasn’t that big of a deal”. Either way, it never seems like we can win with our eyes, we are always fighting to be good enough. If you want to be a more confident person here is some ideas to identify where we sometimes struggle:

Stop Beating Yourself Up

We put so much effort and use so much energy on correcting, critiquing and criticizing ourselves. The way we look, our performance, our personal life, our status, our finances, among other things. We aren’t:

  • “pretty enough”
  • “thin enough”
  • “smart enough”
  • “wealthy enough”
  • “busy enough”
  • “happy enough”

These are all things that some of us say to ourselves on a daily basis, and hearing these thoughts stream in and out of our head can leave us feeling pretty insecure and uncertain with ourselves.

Take a second take a deep breath and imagine the difference it would make if for every criticism you had instead you had a compliment for yourself? This is something you can try: every time you catch yourself saying something negative or critiquing yourself you have to say two positive or uplifting things about yourself in that situation. Every time you judge yourself you have to do something nice for yourself in respect to loving the area that you judged.

Give Yourself Credit

When we accomplish our goals we often times just expect that goal accomplished in that manner. If someone tells us good job we often quickly jump to “it was nothing” or “oh you really thought so? Because I thought…” or that is how I am supposed to be or perform or you are just trying to be nice, it wasn’t good at all. These are just a few of the many conclusions that we jump to when we accomplish any task.

Take a deep breath and imagine how different things would be if you were able to give yourself or accept a compliment. Try walking through the day and allowing yourself to be humbly proud of the accomplishments you have made. Allow others to say good job and simply say “thank you” instead of the thoughts that down play or degrade your work or appearance in anyway. When you are able to appreciate who you are and the work that you do, you will find yourself being much more confident in your abilities and personal life.

Be Compassionate with Yourself

When we make a mistake we are often so quick to jump to all of the things we should have done and all of the things we aren’t. We find it so easy to come down on ourselves for mistakes and missed opportunities, and often think that our actions are who we are.

Yet, often we are quick to offer affirmations, grace, and a caring gesture to help others who make mistakes. We are supportive and caring and we don’t judge or criticize them. We show them compassion. Why can’t we do the same for ourselves? This is one of the hardest things for people to grasp, simply because we do expect so much from ourselves. We want to be perfect, but we should also want compassion for ourselves because our view changes a lot when we give ourselves a little grace to move forward.

There is a big difference between “I messed that up” versus “I am a mess up”. This is many times where we go wrong in giving ourselves compassion. We don’t see how we could be given grace because we internalize our mistake. We then make the mistake part of our identity instead of looking at it as an action. It is much easier to look at an action and give compassion to the person who made a mistake than it is to give compassion to a person who is the mistake. Taking a second to re-frame what has happened as an action rather than as an identity is key to being able to give ourselves to compassion and grace we need when we fall flat on our face.

If you can walk through and move those criticisms to compliments or to grace, we can build confidence. It is so easy to beat ourselves up over our wants and our dreams, but the reality of it is if we beat ourselves down we can’t build ourselves up in order to achieve those wants and those dreams. We must love ourselves and build ourselves up in order to gain confidence a move toward a more well-rounded sense of self.

“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”
– Louise L. Hay

There are so many reasons why we are built on criticisms and negative thought patterns, and they could have been self-started or they could have been patterns we picked up from a young age. Exploring these patterns can help us break these cycles that are running our lives and it enables us to create a new story and a new journey in a new light. Navigating through these experiences or the “why” of who we are can be very difficult and can bring up some very hard thoughts and emotions to deal with alone. You do not have to do it alone, reach out to me and allow me to walk with you through this journey. Navigating through the good and the bad, and understanding yourself at a deeper more beautiful level. You can be the confident and wonderful person you know you have to ability to be, sometimes it just takes a little extra work.