Tag Archive | Joy

Fear Criticism Less

I had a speech teacher many years ago whose words were very impactful and have stayed with me all this time. My classmates and I back then, had feared getting up in front of the class and giving a less than perfect speech.

Bluntly, she told us that nobody cared about how good our speech would be, because everyone was too busy worrying about delivering their own speeches and fearing the reactions they would receive as well.

For those that did care, she informed us that even if we provided a flawless presentation, there would always be someone who was not satisfied, and that no matter how ‘perfect’ our speech turned out to be, there would always be someone who didn’t like it or us.

Importantly, she taught us that we may as well relax, be authentic, have a good time and please ourselves, rather than worrying about pleasing everyone else!

Ironically, by relaxing and enjoying ourselves, we ultimately ended up giving better speeches anyway!

Ultimately, resisting criticizing ourselves is most important and replacing self critical thoughts with more approving sentiments is key! By doing so, we fear external criticism less and look to lead an authentic life more.

So, whenever we are tempted to submerge who we really are and not follow our goals, dreams or aspirations in an attempt to avoid external criticism, we need to remember that we can’t please everyone.

Instead, we can please ourselves by following our inspired pursuits, and experience all the joy that achieving our endeavors will bring us!

What approving thoughts keep criticism from stopping you?

The Right Relationship Starts with You

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Stay a kid at Heart

Recently, I had another birthday which was a lot of fun to celebrate, and a time of reflection as well.  No doubt, many of us can relate to asking ourselves where the time has gone! It definitely fly’s by quickly!

That said, understanding that ‘life is short’ can motivate us to focus more energy on how best to enjoy ourselves each day, and not just on holidays, vacations or birthdays!

Often looking at our childhood pictures can generate a sense of emotional warmth for the little person we were, and who still wants to come out to play.

Part of my recent celebrating involved going out dancing with my husband which felt great! We hadn’t done that in a while, so it was a good reminder to play more in that way.

My love of dancing goes way back to when I was a kid and my mom took me to weekly lessons. Though I’m still involved with dancing on a regular basis at the gym doing choreographed routines, it is fun to mix it up and explore other venues doing freestyle movements as well.

Regardless of our chronological age, it’s never too late to reignite activities we enjoyed in the past, or develop new undertakings to revive our childlike enthusiasm.

What activities ignite your younger self, or bring you the greatest joy now?

The Right Relationship Starts with You

Acquire Contentment

There is no end of craving. Hence contentment alone is the best way to happiness. Therefore, acquire contentment. – Swami Sivananda

Contentment is often defined as a state of happiness and satisfaction.

Usually, we think that happiness and satisfaction can only occur once we get the dream house, perfect mate, desired career or other circumstance we want.

Certainly, there is nothing wrong with wanting and receiving any of those desires, however, it only becomes troublesome if we wait until their arrival in order to feel good.

What usually happens when our desired dreams haven’t materialized yet, is that dissatisfaction sets in and disrupts our peace of mind.

Ironically, sometimes our mere attitude of discouragement and upset can keep away or prolong receiving our coveted desires.

For instance, the negative energy that radiates from our unhappy feelings isn’t likely to attract a potential mate or prospective career opportunity. Unfortunately, anger tends to create an unpleasant atmosphere around us, and keeps positive opportunities away, which can cause even more internal upset or confusion.

Therefore, on the way to achieving our goals, it is important to feel contended ahead of their arrival and be in a positive state of mind as if they were here today.

It is vital that we create a contended life now, and enjoy the journey or process that is involved in achieving our objectives, rather than just enjoying the outcome.

I know when writing my book, I created a mock book cover and kept it on my desk, which was motivating and brought satisfaction ahead of its completion.

At the end of the day, life is too short to wait to be happy. We can usually find something or someone to be grateful for now, and joyfully walk toward other avenues of fulfillment as well.

What helps you feel contented?

The Right Relationship Starts with You

Don’t Let Anyone Burst Your Bubble

“Giving information to another person that will more than likely disappoint them; to ruin someone’s happy moment; to destroy someone’s expectations.” Author Unknown

I’m sure we have all experienced those times when we are feeling great and having a wonderful time, and then someone says something that could easily deflate our mood.

Recently, I was laughing and having a great time at a festive function, when out of the blue one the participants starting discussing something very negative and depressing.

Sometimes people will do this if they aren’t feeling happy, and will try to lessen the levity in order to feel more comfortable. Or, they might feel left out of a conversation and want some attention without even realizing it.

In other cases, people may believe they are protecting us from disappointment by providing undesirable commentary on potential career, relationship or other exciting opportunities.

Saturday Night Live Skit

Though these and similar behaviors can be challenging to deal with, we all have triggers that unconsciously influence our behavior beyond our conscious intentions.

This is great news, because knowing this will help us understand that we are only responsible for our own behavior, thoughts and feelings and aren’t responsible for the triggers inside of someone else or their reactions.

We can only observe, investigate and increase our awareness of what goes on inside of us, and choose better responses, rather than reacting in the usual way, such as taking others comments so personally.

Fortunately, we don’t have to allow the unhappiness, words or actions of another to negatively influence our experiences, but can enjoy ourselves in spite of them. What a freedom!

What helps you deal with Debbie Downer portrayed in the video link above, or keeps you from becoming one yourself?

 

 

Look at Your Internal Reactions

Often negative words or behaviors are demonstrated in reaction to disturbing events, people or situations. Though we can certainly learn to outwardly respond more positively to our circumstances, it doesn’t necessarily alleviate the stresses within.

Therefore, instead of focusing on the external events, and giving away our power to the actions of others, it is more beneficial to put our focus on how we are internalizing what is occurring.

  • For instance, are we personalizing the behaviors of others, and feeling hurt as a result?
  • Are we making ourselves wrong if someone disagrees with us?

Personalizing and making ourselves wrong are types of internal reactions which definitely influences how we feel on any given day. Not surprising, many of us react pretty similarly to the same stimuli on a regular basis, which provides valuable insight into how we process life.

It can feel as though someone or something is inserting negativity or stress within us or making us feel a certain way. However, usually what is happening is we are being triggered by something in the environment, which activates long standing thinking or emotional patterns.

For example, we may struggle with people pleasing, or have trouble setting personal boundaries which creates unpleasant feelings within us.

These unpleasant feelings can alert us to take better care of ourselves and see if an old fear, worry, or insecurity has been activated as well, thereby helping us reclaim our power, instead of believing it is being taken from us.

What internal reactions have improved for you and what made the difference?

 

 

Give Yourself Permission

permission

Cheryl Richardson and Christiane Northrup are authors I really connect with on all matters relating to self-care. That being said, below are some wonderful permission slips offered on Dr. Northrup’s blog for taking better care of ourselves.

Enjoy!

  1. Rest when you need to. If you are tired, give yourself permission to sleep. The dishes, the laundry, and the work you didn’t finish today will still be waiting for you tomorrow.
  1. Feel joy every day. Paint, sing, dance, play music, and have sex if you so desire.
  1. Let go of toxic relationships. Toxic people drain you. Work on creating relationships with people who support you as you are.
  1. Love your body. Stop comparing yourself to the air brushed models in the media. Dress the way you want. Do your hair the way you like it.  If this is difficult, do mirror work and tell your body how much you love it.
  1. Trust your intuition. Step out of your comfort zone and go for whatever feels right – maybe it is a new career path, a new health or fitness program, or simply speaking up when you feel the need.
  1. Simplify your life. Focus on what truly matters to you. Don’t let yourself get derailed by drama.
  1. Forgive yourself. Forgiveness is a process. Find time every day to practice forgiveness.
  1. Say “yes.” Saying “yes” to yourself is empowering. Say “yes” to whatever you want in your life, and say “no” to whatever you don’t want.
  1. Feel the guilt. Realize that the guilt you are feeling is probably just cultural programming. Thank it for sharing and release it.
  1. Be yourself. Accept yourself exactly as you are. You don’t have to fit any cultural mold.

Which one speaks loudest to you today?

 

Cherish All Gifts

inner peace

We all like to give and receive gifts.

Sometimes, as the giver, we have to hunt high and low, to find that perfect item for the special person, and occasion we are celebrating.

Often though, the best gifts are the ones we don’t buy but the ones we personally create.

For example, years ago, I had heard about a mother named Charlene Costanzo who had written down 12 loving messages for her two daughters as a personal gift of life lessons, and to describe the gifts we are born with.

Later, she would turn it into a book called The Twelve Gifts of Birth, so that others could enjoy them as well.

Below are the twelve gifts she wrote about, which we are all blessed with at birth, and can enjoy for a lifetime.

12 gifts

What is the best gift you’ve received?