Our Better Health

Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness


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Give Yourself More Credit for Doing These Things

Let’s do a roll call: who here has been giving themselves a hard time lately? If this is you, it’s time to cut yourself some slack! You may not realize it, but there are countless things you accomplish every day that are absolutely praiseworthy.

No, really! If we don’t give ourselves credit for the small stuff, how can we feel comfortable patting on ourselves when we accomplish something massive?

The next time you start doubting yourself and your capabilities, reflect on this list as a reminder of all that you do that is right as rain. And give yourself some credit – you really deserve it.

1. Catching Some ZZZs

Getting enough sleep every night is not an easy feat! Whether we’re a working parent of triplets or someone who is struggling with managing their anxiety levels, the fact that we get as many ZZZs as we can is a huge accomplishment.

2. Facing Small Challenges

When is the last time you had a day with absolutely nothing worth worrying about? No deadlines or housework or difficult social interactions to manage? Take as much time as you need… but you’ll probably find that most days contain these minor challenges. The fact that we get through a handful of them each and every day is a bigger deal than you think.

3. Taking a Much-Needed Break

When those minor challenges start to add up and we decide to take a well-deserved break, that is called self-care. It is absolutely essential that we establish boundaries for ourselves and what we can handle – just like how it’s essential we establish the same kinds of boundaries in relationships. Reward yourself for not putting too much on your plate to handle.

4. Being a Good Friend

Did you let a friend use you as a support today? Did you offer a kind word to a loved one having a crummy day? Did you text a funny meme to a friend who needed a pick-me-up? These small signs of affection and caring mean a whole lot to the person on the receiving end.

5. Letting Someone Else be a Good Friend to You

Were you the person who needed that pick-me-up today? Being open to help and support is just as important as offering it to the important people in our lives who need it.

6. Thinking a Positive Thought about Yourself

Disappointment, judgment, and criticism are such powerful factors in our self-talk every day. But, if we are able to find one nugget of positivity in the way we speak to ourselves, consider it a victory. Even if it’s simply “I tried today”, take it as a win. You were nice to yourself when you needed it.

7. Having patience with your growth

Living in such a demanding and busy society can take its toll. We can end up expecting a whole lot more from ourselves than we can reasonably give. It is important to remember this fact when we take the time to reflect on our overall progress with personal goals or development. Consider a person you really admire: did they obtain the traits you love overnight? No! They struggled and stumbled and learned along the way – just like you are doing. It’s all a part of the process.

By: Katie Medlock      October 7, 2017
 
source: www.care2.com
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A Birthday Introspection

One of the best things I like about birthdays is the opportunity to reflect. For better or for worse, I tend to do this often enough, but especially at this time even more so.

I love me. It’s been quite a journey to get to a place where I can say that. There have been many, many days where my self esteem has been very poor (and there are still days where insecurities temporarily win battles) … but I now am at a place in my life where I can say that I am proud of who I strive to be and some of the twists and turns that have brought me here.

It’s a funny thing … you have to love yourself to be successful, yet you have to also try not to be too self centered. Self love, empathy, gratitude, focussing on the positive aspects of life, being able to forgive yourself , trying to be humble – yet confident… all these aspects of trying to strike a balance to be a thriving, healthy, successful individual. It’s hard to be objective about yourself … I hope I am close to that sweet spot somewhere in that healthy middle ground … all I can do is try my best.

Who am I? How did I get here? How’s life?

There are many things I love about who and where I am today … I am healthy, debt free, active and proud of many things. I am far from perfect, but I hope that my intentions lead me to positive places more often than not..

One of the things I struggle with at times these days is that inside I still feel like I`m in my late 20`s … but physically, I am quite a bit older. I`m sure that`s a common thing … I feel younger than I am, and in many ways that`s good. They say “you’re as young as you feel”  🙂

I try to continue grow, improve, and learn. I aim to be open, to be aware and empathetic. I look for win – win opportunities and strive to make the world a better place in little ways here and there.

I have had a fun and interesting journey …
I’ve been a wolf cub, a roadie, an extra, a delivery driver, and actor, a Dee Jay, a cab driver, a husband, a waiter, a salesman, a draftsman, a stage manager, a step father … I am an educator, a traveler, a web designer, a blogger, a cyclist, a volleyball player… and the journey continues 🙂

Of course there have been struggles … those challenges have helped make me who I am. There are good days and not so good days … just like most of us. Some days I feel invisible … some days I feel happy, present and successful. My struggles pale in comparison to many others. I am grateful for my struggles – they have brought me resilience, confidence and character. I have learned to take care of myself. I have learned that there is no better advocate for my own well being than me. I have learned that I have the strength to overcome challenges that life has brought my way … nothing is permanent, and I have what it takes to succeed.

I am so grateful … there’s food in the fridge, gas in the tank (of my Camaro) , I have air conditioning, a dishwasher and in suite laundry in my apartment, I am debt free, I have jobs I love, I am healthy and active …  My life is filled with travel, live sporting events and concerts … I am so blessed – thank you universe 🙂

I have learned much in my journey so far, and know there is much more to learn as well. I am proud of who I am and continue to look forward to further adventures, good times and making new happy memories. In this huge machine we call mankind, I know I am just a small cog … I have a good heart, strive to live a life of meaning and have faith that even better things are on the horizon 🙂

You have to love yourself. 
If you don’t, you owe it to yourself and those that love you
to find out why you might not, and work on it.

THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF SELF-LOVE

“Who we are is more important than what we do.”

“We are valuable. Nothing can change that.”

ABOUT MISTAKES

  • Self-loving people know that they often make mistakes.
  • Since they live their lives for the joy they can find, they do a lot of experimenting and try many new things.
  • Since they aren’t dumb (or self-destructive), these experiments work out well most of the time- but sometimes they do go wrong.
  • When this happens, self-loving people are not surprised!
  • They simply apologize if necessary, fix anything that can be fixed, and move on…..
  • Self-loving people are responsible, not guilty.
  • Self-loving people don’t make many excuses especially to themselves.

IN RELATIONSHIPS

  • Since self-loving people tend to treat themselves well…
  • They see fun and enjoyment as a primary goal most of the time (even when it is hard to attain).
  • They do not tolerate mistreatment by others.
  • They are caring toward others. (It feels better to be that way.)
  • They never put anyone else first. (Even those they love are “a close second.”)

I hope to continue to evolve, grow and improve … ( and share much of things I learn with you) … I know that I make mistakes, and that’s OK. I am human. Mistakes have taught me much over the years 🙂  I try to learn from missteps when I can …
There are lots of days when I struggle (like many others) … but  Today, I celebrate ME.

━═★ [̲̅̅H̲̅][̲̅̅A̲̅][̲̅̅P̲̅][̲̅̅P̲̅][̲̅̅Y̲̅]  [̲̅̅B̲̅][̲̅̅I̲̅][̲̅̅R̲̅][̲̅̅T̲̅][̲̅̅H̲̅][̲̅̅D̲̅][̲̅̅A̲̅][̲̅̅Y̲̅] ★═━ 

 


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What Loving Yourself Can Look Like

There are many misconceptions about self-love. Some people assume that loving yourself is a cop-out or an excuse to do whatever you want—as in miss work just because, or spend money on some big purchase that’s going to set you back (i.e., spending money you don’t have). Some people assume it means not taking responsibility for your actions, or slipping into excess, or obsessive behaviors. Some people assume self-love is a synonym for hedonism.

I totally understand why these myths abound. After all, we’re more used to punishing and berating ourselves than we are to leading with self-kindness. It’s hard to comprehend approaching ourselves with love. Because doesn’t that mean we’ll get out of line? Doesn’t that mean we’ll be lazy, and inefficient, and careless?

We’re afraid of putting down the whip and removing our shackles. It’s similar to the fears we have about giving up dieting: Left to our own devices, will we just eat everything in sight? Will we sit on the couch allllll day long eating ice cream and stuffing our faces? (“Health” publications and diet ads create the assumption that we will…)

We worry that somehow self-love equals a lack of self-control. We’ll go wild. So we need to restrain ourselves with clear-cut rules and consequences (e.g., you eat dessert, you pay the price with an extra 30 minutes at the gym).

But self-love is more about having our own best interests at heart. It’s about being supportive and intentional. It is about respecting and honoring ourselves and making decisions that fulfill us on a deeper level. It might be about seeking pleasure sometimes (because that’s a good thing). But overall it’s about doing what serves our health and well-being. For instance, drinking a glass of wine might feel pleasurable. However, over time, you realize that your drinking has actually become an escape, a way to numb yourself from emotional pain. The loving action is to find a healthier way to cope with your heartache.

Below is what self-love means to me. These are my personal views and examples. Your perspective will likely look slightly different.

  • Self-love is getting quiet and contemplating my needs and wishes regularly (though, of course, I’ll forget and need reminding).
  • It is prioritizing my health, such as going to the dentist several times a year, and having an annual skin exam.
  • It is letting others be kind to me. It is letting others love me.
  • It is staying in bed longer when I need the rest.
  • It is not spending time with people who bring me down or are dishonest or thrive on gossip.
love_yourself

Self-love is using the present as an anchor when the inner-critic gets too loud, when my thoughts turn too dark.

  • It is taking a walk, not because I need to burn calories or punish myself for a big meal. But because it’s beautiful out, and it feels good, and it awakens my senses
  • It is being honest about my dreams and my feelings and my thoughts.
  • It is being OK with being sad or anxious, instead of bashing myself for these feelings, instead of saying that I am weak.
  • It is acknowledging that I don’t have to be like anyone else—I don’t need to be as productive as she is. I don’t need to adopt her dreams. My dreams don’t need to be “big” or anything other than what they are. I don’t need to hold the same opinions or priorities as he does. I don’t need to look like them. I don’t need to go along with something I dislike or don’t believe in. I don’t need to try the latest social media app if I’d rather devote that time to something else—like being with my loved ones, or relaxing, or sleeping.

Self-love is forgiving myself for making a mistake or a bad decision (as hard as this is). It is exploring what went wrong and trying to learn from it. It is wondering how I can move on and how I can make the next decision more helpful.

Sometimes, this comes naturally. Most times, I fumble and feel a bit lost. Sometimes, I feel like years of progress have been erased in a few moments. But that’s just because self-love is a process. And this is natural, too. We will disconnect from ourselves, and we will reconnect. The key, I think, is to be open. To be open to beginning and trying.

 

By Margarita Tartakovsky, MS    Associate Editor 


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How To Make Friends With Your Inner Critic

Today it’s my pleasure to introduce you to licensed counselor and intuition coach John Harrison. John has written a fantastic guest post about the benefits of negative self talk. Yes, that’s right! John shows us how to make friends with our inner critic and let it guide us back to authenticity.

by John Harrison, LPCC      Sharon Martin, LCSW

We all experience positive and negative self talk.

We’ve been alive long enough to have experienced viewpoints of ourselves that are negative, self deflating, and undermining and those that tell us we are limitless creators, lovers of life, and the masters of our own destiny.   One set of beliefs tells us we “aren’t”.  The other tells us we “are”.  How do we know which is the affirming view of our own reality?  Who are we, really?

Most of my clients come to see me looking for guidance to help them “get on the right track”.   One person in particular has a stretch of weeks where her life is really coming together for her.  She’s engaged, excited, and feeling she’s turned that corner.  Then, to her disappointment, she’ll have one of her negative interactions with her family.  They’ll tell her she’s being selfish.  They’ll suggest she’s wasting her time with her career and that “if she’d just change” she’d be able to find someone that would want to date her.

After these run-ins with her family she’ll come to my office completely devastated.   The self doubt creeps in.  “What if they’re right?  Am I being selfish?  Can I ever be happy with my decisions?”  She really feels that each time she has a setback she is starting over from scratch.  I know that it feels that way to her.  But she’s doing just fine.

Your inner critic doesn’t define you.

Although we all contain negative self talk, we are actually much more than this “self chatter”.  Sure, we carry the doubts and fears of our parents, our families, the experiences of failure from growing up.   We hear those “voices of the past” as we move into adulthood and even now in our current life experiences.   But this isn’t actually who we really are.  There’s a part of us that knows the “right way”.  A part of us that knows joy and peace.  So how do we tap into this?  How do we tune out the negative self talk and ignore those crippling, shameful voices that tell us we aren’t enough?

self

You don’t turn them off.  You can’t completely stop that negative self talk.  But you can actually use those awful feelings you get when your negative self talk is at its worst to give you guidance.   You can learn from your negative beliefs, self talk, and feelings.  The negative feelings caused by negative self talk are the first indication that you aren’t in alignment with your true self.   Why?  Because you are worthy just by being alive.  You deserve to feel good.  You deserve to be confident, healthy, and thriving.

Self affirming thoughts and beliefs feel good.  They feel right.  And if you want to feel good, this is all you need to pay attention to in knowing you are “on the right path”.

You don’t need permission to feel good.

You are supposed to feel good.  You are supposed to be happy and get what you want.   Feeling good, alive, and engaged in life is what life is all about.  Sure we’ve all been taught in one form or another that we get love and acceptance as long as we “play by the rules”.  But I’m going to tell you this:  You are deserving of what you want because you are.  Period.  You don’t need permission to feel good.  You don’t need to be ashamed to feel happy and get what you want.

Your negative self talk can guide you back to yourself.

You have an internal GPS.  A guidance system that tells you when you are “off” and when you are “on” and where you want to be.   If you use those negative beliefs of yourself, or that negative self talk, to signal you that you aren’t where you want to be, the negative voices and stories in your mind can be a powerful ally.  Stop trying to look for proof that your self defeating beliefs aren’t your reality.  Stop trying to prove yourself and look for external affirmation.  Give yourself permission to accept that you can demand and get what you want because you say so.  And I’m assuming that you want more good in your life.  You want to be happy, content, and be in love with your life.

And here you are.  Living your life while going through the ups and downs.   But you’ve made it this far.  You know that for every self defeating belief, there is still a part of you who continues to seek something better.  There’s a “you” that’s constant through all of this.   The you that knows the contrast of life.  The pain, the shame, and the love and excitement of being happy and alive.  All of it.   The truth is you want to be happy, engaged, and in love with life.  But as life does, it gives us the negative experiences that bring those voices of doubt to the forefront of our conscious minds.  But “you”, the real “you” continues to tell you through negativity that you aren’t living your truth.   This is your intuition.  Your internal GPS.  It loves you.  It doesn’t lie.  All you have to do is listen to it.

John Harrison is a licensed counselor and intuition coach who works with individuals and couples helping them get “unstuck”. He shows them how to empower their lives, helping them see they are their own greatest asset. John counsels individuals and couples in Cincinnati, Ohio and coaches people from all over the country showing them how to use their “higher self” to get the lives they want. You can find out more about John and his services at johnharrisoncounseling.com.


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Learning How To Love Yourself

The most important relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself. Yet, how often have you heard yourself say, “I am my own worst enemy”? If your goals involve raising your confidence, ending depression, moving beyond diets or overeating behaviors, or just plain wanting to live a happier, fulfilled life, you have to know what self-love looks like. Learn how to define self-love and then how to bring it into your own life!

Oscar Wilde once stated, “To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.” Love is a mystery and not easily definable. However, it does have certain characteristics. Self-love is a consuming passion for your own happiness. It is an ongoing choice you make to be glad to alive, here on Earth, in your own body.

Self-love occurs when you decide who you are and what you want is important. It is an inner state of being which develops as you decide it is all right to build a kind, sensuous, and meaningful partnership with your self. Self-love involves deciding to connect with your dreams and then supporting yourself with encouraging thoughts and empowering self-supportive actions.

Defining Self-Love
Self-love is not so much a feeling as it is a decrease of self-doubt and self-disapproval. It involves an ever-growing sense of balance and belonging. Respect, responsibility for self, and feeling good are important values. Self-love means that your well-being matters to yourself unconditionally and in practical terms. The following are some characteristics of self-loving people:

• Self-loving people focus on feeling good.
• Self-loving people allow themselves to be happy and to share this with others.
• Self-loving people tend to treat themselves well.
• They see enjoyment of life as a primary goal most of the time.
• They do not remain in mistreatment by others.
• They are caring towards others. (Because it feels good to do so).
• They put themselves first. Even those they love are a “close second.”
• They find a thought that feels good, and practice it.
• They let themselves succeed.

You-Deserve-The-Kind-Of-Love

Basic Principles of Self Love

• Who you are is more important than what you are.
• You are valuable. Nothing can change that.
• What you want always matters.

How to Develop and Nurture Love
Increasing your love of self involves an intention to become more self-loving and then following up this intention with reinforcing actions. An intention involves a conscious decision to be happier and more fulfilled in your own life. You make a new decision to be alive . . . and then accept personal responsibility to make your life a better, more enjoyable experience. It may take considerable effort to pry yourself out of a life that feels less than joyful, but it is entirely possible to have the kind of life you want for yourself. Below are some practical ideas of how to begin expanding your love of self:

• Acknowledge and verbally praise yourself.
• Have fun more often.
• Learn new ways to relax and release tension.
• Practice conscious, deep, full-bodied breathing several times each day.
• Think inspiring thoughts.
• Instead of always focusing on the problem, decide to focus on desired outcomes.
• Fill your life with beauty, such as times of silence, beautiful music, flowers.
• Raise your confidence by taking daily small, achievable actions steps that support your goal.
• Acknowledge your efforts and your successes.
• Reward yourself daily.
• Listen to your intuition and then follow it.
• Let yourself succeed.
• Nurture yourself by imagining desired outcomes to life’s situations.
• Offer yourself affection in many, many different ways.
• Choose to think thoughts that bring inner peace (rather than worry).
• Remember and feel gratitude.

Love may be a mystery. The good news is that the art of increasing self-love is not so mysterious. In fact, it is something you can learn through knowledge and practice. Imagine your self-love as a seed inside of you. Even if it is just a tiny, unnourished, seed right now, you have the ability to grow that seed into something spectacular. The growth of your self-love is not going to happen overnight. However, by taking certain actions, your seed will most assuredly grow. Today, make a commitment to yourself to nurture your inner seed of love. Ask yourself, “How can I be more loving to myself today?” Use your imagination and come up with several possibilities. Then, follow through with your thoughts and put them into action. Do this every day, and watch as you begin to create the loving life you deserve.

By Annette Colby, RD, the Official Guide to Energy Healing


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7 Good Reasons to Cut Yourself Some Slack

May 4, 2015      By Andrea Schulman

Ever have the feeling that you’re just not good enough? Though it’s pretty normal for people to beat up on themselves, doing so can make life a lot more challenging as it can cause anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. To keep negative, self-critical thoughts from dragging you down, here are a few reasons to cut yourself some slack!

1. Repeat after me: There’s no such thing as perfect! 

What would perfect even be? What’s its age, IQ, religious preference, and blood type?  How tall is it?  Is it outgoing and funny or introspective and thoughtful? Is it a student, a CEO or a stay at home parent? There’s no perfect way to be, we simply are what we are.   We are unique, and there’s nothing specific that we are supposed to do, be or have.

2. Everyone has struggles, problems and flaws, and many of them are much more challenging to deal with than our own.

When you’re feeling down on yourself, take inventory of the people who are around you.  What are their flaws? What do they struggle with? Identifying the imperfections in other people can help you feel a little bit better about where you are in this moment.

3. Someone probably loves your flaws exactly as they are.

Sometimes the things we hate about ourselves are exactly what others love about us. Think about some of your favorite actors, comedians, teachers, friends, coworkers and family members-chances are their flaws are exactly what make them the special characters they are.

4. You’ll be looking back on today’s problems differently some day.  How you feel is temporary.  

For example, when you look in the mirror maybe you see signs of aging, and that stresses you out. However, ten years from now you’ll be looking at pictures of yourself thinking “Wow! I was so young!”   Likewise, you might have been completely devastated when you failed a math test in 7th grade but today the test seems completely insignificant and unimportant.

How we feel about ourselves in the present moment is simply our perspective from where we stand in this exact space. Someday our perspective will change and we will see things differently, so please realize that feelings of self-criticism are conditional and temporary.

girl-looking-in-the-mirror

5. No one else is ever going to be as critical of you as you are.

Sure, it might be embarrassing to say something inappropriate in a meeting, get fired or take a bad picture, but no one else is watching you as closely as you are yourself.  We are all a little narcissistic and self-absorbed, so trust that the people around you are more concerned with their own issues than they are with yours.  Although we might feel like there is a giant spotlight on our imperfections and they are being broadcasted around the world, no one’s really paying too much attention to them.

6. We’re all headed to the same place anyway.

Not to be too morbid, but all we really know for certain is that at some point, we are going to die.  It doesn’t matter who was the most attractive, the most accomplished, the smartest or made the least amount of mistakes.  We all share a similar fate no matter what we do, how we look or what we have.  Being hard on ourselves only makes the journey less pleasant.

7. You deserve love and acceptance, especially from the person you’re with all day, every day! 

We all need love to be our best selves.  Knowing this, please remember that you are the best person to love and accept yourself, because you are the only one you spend time with 24 hours a day.  If you want to be happy and have good self-esteem your best bet is to treat yourself with kindness and allow yourself to be exactly what you are, flaws and all.

So the next time you’re feeling down on yourself take a few minutes to get some perspective and cut yourself some slack.  Though feelings of self-criticism are normal and will pop up from time to time, there’s no reason to dwell on them and let them drag you down!


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5 Ways to Make Yourself Believe in Yourself

To do well in life, you must believe in yourself. You are the one person you can truly rely on. Your belief about yourself, and your abilities, reflects in your personal success and happiness.  When you lack confidence in yourself, others pick up on that, and don’t take you seriously, and in turn your confidence can shrink even more.

Belief in yourself opens the doors of opportunity to your dreams and aspirations. It allows you to live your truth and be your best self.  You are an important and integral part of life as much as anyone and anything else. You have a purpose!  When you believe in yourself, the ability to follow your passions and live your purpose is available. You are allowing good things to come to you, and your belief in yourself allows you to act on those opportunities.

But, in this often highly competitive and demanding society we live in, we can feel small, unworthy and far from confident.

That doesn’t mean it’s not possible. It just takes specific skills and habits that must be consistently practiced.

Here are 5 Ways to Make Yourself Believe in Yourself:

1. Reflect on your past success.

If you’re in an emotional rut, use the tools from your past and get yourself out. Here’s an exercise: Vividly remember a time when you absolutely just kicked butt! You rocked it! You exceeded your own expectation. 🙂 Put yourself there and feel the excitement and pride you had inside. Now, remember you can do it again.

It’s healthy to use the past to your advantage. Too often we easily recall what has hurt us, but we can just as easily allow the past to help us propel.

If you need a bigger boost, repeat the exercise.

2. Seek positive external validation.

Every day we are subconsciously seeking validation, essentially for love in some form. That level of validation depends upon the attitude of the people around us.

If we surround ourselves with positive people who care about us, cherish our strengths, and help us be uplifted, we will flourish. However, if we are around people with negative, limiting beliefs, we can become surrounded in a negative environment, not providing ourselves with the fertile ground we need to grow.

Happy, confident, successful people credit others. We all need positive encouragement. That can be a good friend, family member, or mentor.

girl-looking-in-the-mirror

3. Transform your self talk.

We create who we are, everyday, by our daily beliefs and self talk. Our words are essentially affirmation. It’s important that we talk to ourselves with love and kindness. We deserve our own compliments.

For some that can be incredibly difficult. We can compliment and love others, but… love ourselves? It seems egotistical! But, it’s not.

You deserve your love and appreciation more than anyone else.  Shine your light and love towards every area you feel needs improvement.

Embrace your flaws? But, doesn’t that mean you’re accepting and allowing them to be there?

Actually, loving your flaws releases them and allows them to become whole and well again. If you are having a hard time, switch your focus to another area and come back to it later.

This practice can be achieved easier through daily personal affirmations and mirror work.

4. Give fears less credit, give yourself more.

Fear is merely false evidence appearing real. It’s worry set on fire. It holds you back from believing in yourself more than anything else. It’s an illusion.

Realizing that your fear is not real is the first step (which can actually be hard to do, so when you do you are well on your way).

Transcend the fear with action and do not hesitate. Yep, just like the Latin Proverb – Carpe Diem!

You are capable of much more than you believe. When you conquer a fear you allow for more of your true self to shine. Keep up the momentum and declare to conquer a few fears in a specific amount of time (like one a month). In a year, you’ll look back and feel like a completely new you! 😉

5. Celebrate the positive.

Your every day attitude affects how you treat yourself and others. Strive to be an optimist and see the good in the world. Focus on what you love about yourself and your strengths. Celebrate who you are and the good people you have in your life. Feel gratitude for everything going right and all the blessings on the way.

A positive attitude is the quickest way to believing in yourself. It bypasses everything else and gets right to the end goal – happiness, love, success and belief in yourself.