Many times we live in the dark about ourselves. We see what we want to see. That includes our health. We want to see ourselves healthy, therefore we are healthy, right? Nope.
Let me start by saying that this is not easy. Those who suffer from lack of self-confidence didn't get there overnight. It took time to get there. That means it will take time to get it back.
What is self-confidence? We use the term a lot, but do we really know what it means? According to Webster, self-confidence is "confidence in oneself and in one's powers and abilities". Self-confidence gives you the ability to try new things and face uncertainty.
How It is Lost
Okay, so we are all on the same page as to what self-confidence is. Why do people lose it? That's a good question with no one right answer. Everyone has their own reasons, but they can be summed up in a few large categories.
Lack of Positive Support Growing Up
This is a big reason many of us have trouble generating self-confidence. Our formative years are a big reason we are the way we are today. Support we receive develops our self-confidence. Lack of that makes us feel unworthy and unable to achieve things. It can lead to co-dependency and depression.
While I received a ton of encouragement, I found myself highly criticized growing up. Yes, my parents were proud of my good grades and let me know it, but they had to be good. Bad grades garnered disappointment and lectures. My self-confidence was non-existent and dependent on making others happy. I was never quite good enough.
When we fail at something, self-confidence starts to fade. Sometimes it takes several failures in a row to see the depletion of our confidence. We see failure as a sign we aren't good enough. That is how society has conditioned us.
Instead of encouraging when one fails, society has pointed out only the failure. In a sense, society has created our lack of self-confidence.
Treated as a Doormat
If one was treated as a doormat growing up, they will struggle with self-confidence. They are taught that they are worthless and deserve the harsh treatment. These domineering people want control and will get it when self-confidence is at a low.
Too many people are brought up being treated as doormats. They are dictated to and not taught to stand on their own.
Tips on Increasing Self-Confidence
So how do we overcome all these obstacles? It has to be done deliberately without expecting results overnight. Here are a few tips to help you.
- Find things you excel in. You should focus on these and improve your abilities. These are things you can't feel like a failure with, and any issues are minor which you can overcome easily. For me, that is crocheting. I know I can do a good job at it so it is something good for my self-confidence. If I make a mistake, I shrug it off and fix it because I know it is nothing. I'm good at it so I don't lose my self-confidence.
- Step away from toxic people. These people want to bring your confidence level down. They are downers who will not give you the support you need. You do not need them as they will strip away any self-confidence you might have. Yes, it might be easier said than done if they are family, but you can keep them at arms length.
- Find encouraging friends. Who you surround yourself with impacts how you feel about yourself. They will boost your self-confidence and help you laugh even at your mistakes. They become your support group.
- Keep trying. Never stop trying things you "fail" at. Remember that failure is not bad. It is only that you learned how not to do something. You are learning from your mistakes so you can help others later who do the same thing.
- Read inspirational material. Do you see those cool quotes that are inspiring to people? They can be great to read throughout the day. While they aren't going to change your self-confidence levels, they do give you a pick me up and also can stick with you throughout the day and beyond.
Self-confidence will take time to build back up. You have to want it and continue to strive for it. You also need to find a great support group to help you. Trust me, I've been there. My self-confidence still struggles, but I find when I have great support that I can find success.
Fear is a strong force. It can cause us to turn from our loved ones and even push us to face death too soon. Its power is strong to bring down the biggest man and the largest army. It is what is stopping you from reaching your full potential. Face your fears.
Yes, I know it is easier said than done. We all have fears. We all struggle with them. Yet each of us face them differently. Some of us don't want to face them at all. Some of us need help in facing our fears and overcoming them. There is no one thing that will work for every single person. But you can at least try a few.
Here are a few ways that have helped others face their fears and move on. By overcoming their fears, they have managed to achieve great things and live life to its fullest.
Talk to a Trusted Confidant
This is always a wise thing to do. Talking out issues is a very healthy way to deal with them. It allows you get your deep feelings out where you can handle them correctly. It is really important that you find someone you can trust. They need to keep your confidence and not tell anyone else what you say. They also need to not be critical of you and your feelings. They need to listen more than anything and give you support instead of condemnation.
Get Familiar With Your Fear
You might think you know your fear very well, but you only know how you feel. What your fears really are can be rather different than your emotions. You need to examine the fear more closely. Learn why you fear it. You might discover that there is nothing to fear after all.
Journal Your Feelings
Writing out your emotions can be as powerful as talking to someone. You express what you feel and give them concrete existance so you can deal with them properly. Many people find that journaling is a great way to get things off their chest and deal with situations they are facing.
This cannot hurt you. It is a great way to relax and clear your mind. It can help clear the clutter your fear creates within you. This might not be the means to conquer your fears, but it can be a weapon to assist you. There are many different ways to meditate, but it all comes down to removing all the distractions in your life. That means you need to have quite around you. Focus on nothing or on a scene such as a beach. Rid yourself of your worries and fears so you can build yourself back up to face them.
Laugh At Your Fear
Have you heard how laughter is the best form of medicine? It really is. Laughter relieves stress. It eases your midn. It helps to push worries aside. It also gives you power. Laughing at your fear gives you power over it. Only when you are afraid and letting the fear prevent you from achieving success does fear have power over you.
Okay, the best way to face your fears is to just face them. Stand up and don't let them rule you. Use these tips to help you face them and grow stronger as a result.
Too often we get in a rut when it comes to improving our health. It tends to be whatever the media is pushing toward us. Whatever the latest fad to get more money in certain pockets will be what you see promoted to help you improve your health. What you don't see are the easy ways to improve your health that won't have you taking out a loan. Let's look at your hobbies as an example.
Why We Have Hobbies
Hobbies reflect our interests and our pleasures. If you enjoy being outside, you will have hobbies that reflect that. Each one of them are ways our bodies and minds reach out to relax. They are outlets to relieve tension. They are a great way to improve our health.
Our hobbies are where we let stress flow free. My father was an avid fisherman. He travelled with his job from Monday through Friday. On the weekend, he fished. That was how he unwound from the stress of his job. That was his main hobby. He used it to easy the stress and to get away from what pulled at him so much.
When I'm really stressed, I find that my crocheting helps. I focus on the stitches and what is being produced in my hand. Any stress I has starts to ebb away.
The same can be said for runners who take to the pavement to relieve stress. Others put on boxing gloves. Some focus on watching movies and baking cookies and cakes. Hobbies help us tackle emotional problems which can lead to physical problems.
Negative Impact of Stress
Stress is very powerful. It can cause havoc in every single area of your life. Stress puts pressure on your body. it can cause indigestion, ulcers, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and even migraines. By looking to your hobbies, you can work to prevent a stroke or bleeding in your stomach. Hobbies can also be a way to fight prescription costs by not needing meds when hobbies can do the healing for you.
Stress also can cause you problems at work. When you are stressed, you act out. You snap at people. You also start to make mistakes you normally would not. This means you might have issues with HR and your employment status.
Stress can cause problems at home. Relationships can be strained. Divorce has occurred due to stress in one or more people. Sadly, it has also led to suicide or harm to loved ons.
Stress is powerful.
Look to Hobbies for Self-Improvement
Hobbies can do a lot to help us avoid the disaster stress can bring with it. They are as good as an apple a day to keep the doctor away. They allow our bodies to rest from being attacked and give our minds a chance to recover from the endless pounding stress puts on us. It is a great medicine for dealing with stress and improving ourselves over all.
What are your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing? Keep your hobbies handy if you face a lot of stress. Keep a book with you to read, crocheting or knitting easily accessible, a pair of running shoes near by, or even earbuds if you need to listen to music.
Sometimes we think everything is a-okay. We are doing good. Then something knocks us in the head to show us that we are not as healthy as we thought. It is a wakeup call that we hate to face. We could all be a little healthier.
A healthy life is more than losing weight and being active. It involves the entire you. That is why sometimes we don't know know that we need to be healthier. Here are a few things to get you thinking and maybe looking into a healthier you.
1. You Can't Do Physical Things You Want to Do
Do you find yourself unable to walk the dog like you used to without getting winded? Maybe you struggle just to walk into work or play with your kids or grandkids. It could be that even moving in your own house is difficult. If you don't have limitations such as a bad knee or such, you shouldn't be experiencing these issues. It could be a matter simply of needing to get healthier.
I found myself breathing really heavy when I walked just fifty yards. That shouldn't have been at me in my early to mid forties. I needed to get into shape. Not being able to take walks with my kids or just go to the mall with them without having to sit down was important to me.
2.Stomach Doesn't Always Like What You Eat
Our bodies change as we get older. Did you have it where your tastes changed and you learned to like foods you never liked before? Well, as we get older, somethings do not react well with us physcially. Our bodies can't handle as much grease and other things we put into our bodies. If you suddenly can't handle food you used to, you might need to change your eating habits and make them a little healthier.
I'm not saying you have to only eat salads. Healthier might just mean changing to what your body will tolerate. See what your body needs and can handle. Talk with your doctor and dietician. Get all the help you can.
3. It's Been Too Long Since You Did Anything Physical With Your Family
How often does your family want to go somewhere or do something and you just physically can't? I have been there. It happens more than you think. Do they want to go to the museum or the zoo and you cringe thinking of the amount of walking that entails? It shouldn't be that terrifying, but when you unhealthy, this is a big sign you need to change things.
I am not young, but I am also not old. I shouldn't be winded from a casual walk through the museum. It is not like I'm running a marathon. This was a big sign that I needed to change my lifestyle. I should be able to do the simple physical things with my family.
4. Can't Sleep Good
How you sleep can say a lot about your situation. It can show how stressed you are, the troubles on your mind, or even how unhealthy you are.
Excess weight on our bodies can interfere with our sleep. It causes us to stop breathing evenly and wakes us up. We toss and turn to get comfortable. Sleep is hard to grasp and hold because we are unhealthy. If our stomach is not processing food right, it will keep us from sleeping sound with pain and discomfort. Unhealthy bodies do not rest well.
5. You Tire Easily
Do you find yourself needing a nap when you used to avoid it? You might need to take a half hour snooze when you get off work. Yes, as we age we might need to sleep a little more during the day, but it might also be a sign that we need to be healthier.
As you go about your regular day, you might find that you do not have the energy you once had. Extra weight doesn't help. Bad blood circulation doesn't help. Anything that impacts your breathing is involved. Even bad digestion can tire you.
6. Older People Can Do More
When you are only in your early forties and eighty year old people can move faster than you, it is a big sign that you might be unhealthy. It is a sign there is something in your life that needs fixed.
Everyone is different. But there are some things that shoudn't be. A thirty year old shouldn't be struggling with a seventy year old does easily. That is the body's sign that something is not right.
7. Depression is Too Common
When we aren't listening to physical signs, our body switches to your mind to get our attention. Depression creeps up on it when we are not healthy. It can create havoc in our lives. If we recognize the depression in our lives, it can help lead to finding the other problems that need addressed.
As I began to lose weight, the depression didn't have as tight of a hold on me. As I began to be mroe active and take daily walks, the depression was pushed further away from me. I am thankful for that depression as it helped me get healthy again.
Our body is smart. It communicates with us on a regular basis. It wants to be healthy and happy. When ti is not, it talks to us and tells us that we need to make changes. It is up to us to listen and correct things.
I think we can all agree that we all need a healthier life. We can eat better, get more exercise, and find better ways to relieve stress. Making those changes can be hard. New habits are not easily created and embedded in us.
So, how can you make those changes? How can you make them with a happy heart and not like feeling you facing a firing squad? Here are a few ways.
1. Start With Something You Enjoy
You can't embrace something if you dread it and it makes you want to run away screaming. You need to want to embrace it. Find something you enjoy. Do you enjoy fishing? Then go fishing more often. Park far from the dock and walk a little extra to get there. If you enjoy cooking, experiment with healthier choices and see if you can find the meals that still taste great. List what you enjoy and see how it can help you be healthier.
2. Determine Your Motivation
Why do you want a healthier life? For me, it was the fact that I wanted to be around to see my grandchildren born and grownup. I needed to get healthier if that was to happen. It is a strong motivator. Determine why you want to have a healtheir life. Use that motivation to keep you going toward your healthier goal.
3. Keep Records
This sounds boring, but it really is a great way to embrace that new lifestyle. How many steps did you walk today? Do ten more tomorrow. How many calories did you take in? Improve it tomorrow. I keep records of my exercise, my eating habits, and even my hobbies. I like to see the progression.
4. Reward Yourself
Set goals and reward yourself. It could be watching a movie, a new scarf, a new video game, or anything you enjoy. It doesn't have to be big, but it has to be something you can enjoy and remember your achievements when you see it.
5. Take It One Step At a Time
Don't try to get there all at once. I used to think that I had to do it all at once and find success immediately. Well, I always failed and never seemed to get the traction back. I have since learned that I need to take baby steps and one step at a time. As I got one thing conquered, I moved to another. I found success this way.
6. Be Holistic
Don't look at just one aspect of your life. Each segment of your life is connected. They cannot be treated alone. Each one impacts the other. To be truly healthy, they all have to be addressed and improved upon. When I am emotionally distressed, my body reacts to it. I will get headaches, or an upset stomach, or even find myself not sleeping good which in turn makes me sicker. My emotional problems have created physical problems which in turn can create problems with relationships, mental health and more. When you look to become healthier, look at all parts of yourself.
7. Have Support/Partners
It is important to have support in any endeavor we undertake. No matter how strong we are, we rarely can do it on our own. There is nothing wrong with that. We were designed to be socially interactive with others. That support is vital for success. Make sure you choose the right people though. Not everyone can give you the kind of support you need to be healthier. Many can be the cause of many of your issues. You do not want those who are toxic to your health to be part of this.
Choose supporters who aren't negative. You need someone who is encouraging and won't derail you.
8. Look at Each Day as a New Start
I have learned this hard way and was why I never embraced trying to improve my health. I had to learn that each day is a new day and a new start. When I did that, I found success in getting healthier.
No matter what you did yesterday...no matter what mistakes you made, you can start over today. I might have forgotten to walk yesterday, but that doesn't have to stop me today. I missed one of my meds. Well, today I can remember. It is a new day. Once I realized this, I was able to make headway in being healthier.
9. Do It Because You Want To
It all comes down to doing it because you want to. I know I heard for years that I need to eat better, exercise, and be healthier. It had to be a desire deep within me in order to actually do it and find success. It might take a while to find the right motivation, but when you do, embrace it.
10. Make It Fun
When you embrace something, that means you take it close to you with enthusiasm. Then make it fun so you can do that right. Start off with fun stuff. Like to take walks in the woods? Then start hiking. Like to always be learning? Go to the museum and walk through it. Go to a new cooking class to learn how to create tasty yet healthy meals.
Do something with a friend or a family member. We decided to hike the Grand Canyon. So the whole family started to prepare our bodies for it. There was a lot of fun to it.
Have you thought about improving yourself at work? Have you thought about how your employees can improve? It can go beyond simply doing a better a job. Holistic self-improvement makes the workplace a better environment for everyone.
So what areas can employees seek self-improvement? Maybe we should ask what areas not as that is probably smaller. But to not get too weighed down, let's look at the top areas employees can improve themselves.
When morale is low, little improvement of any kind can be found. Improvement has to start there. Now I realize that morale is something that is bigger than one person. Yet it has to start somewhere. It might as well start within yourself. Hopefully, it becomes contagious. Now the question becomes how to.
Be determined. If you want morale to improve in the workplace, you have to be a vital part in making it happen.Put on a smile. Start there. Even if you aren't happy at work, make yourself think you are.
I have found that my close work environment helps me improve myself.It can be just straightening your desk.I go through once a week and do a detailed cleaning of my work area. Mentally it changes me. I feel better. I feel more productive.It helps improve my overall work performance. I can find my files easier. I can work better. Over all, my environment impacts how I behave and work.
Also consider how the environment makes you happy. If your company allows personal items, then create a work space that makes you happy. Put up your favorite pictures. Add plants to your work area. I have all those and a few funny figurines that everyone loves to play with and comment on. It makes my area a more pleasant place.
We never stop learning. It doesn't mean we are going back to school to get a higher degree, though there is nothing wrong with that either. Learning can come in all forms. It can be learning how to better use your software. Learn your own products and services better. It might be just learning a new language. In my work, I interact with Spanish and French speaking people on a daily basis. Just learning a few words is knowledge expansion for me.
Yes, getting exercise can be a way to improve yourself.If nothing else, it helps you get the right chemicals flowing through your body. I work at a desk job all day long. The only time I get up regularly is to go to the printer or copier. By getting up and going for a short walk, I find myself clearing my mind, stretching my muscles, and getting an over all better attitude. Also, when I regularly exercise I find myself getting rid of tension and being happier.
Interacting with people also is a great way to improve yourself.I find that when I get coffee and chat with others, I feel better. It gets me away from the stress of work and helps me be more productive and happy.
Start to improve yourself with just the little things. Go to your Human Resource department and see if you can get things changed if they don't allow personal things around you. See what you can do with your company to make it a better place.
Look around at your employees and their environment. Are they really happy? Your workers are your most important asset. Make them happy. Give them ability to improve themselves in all ways. You'll discover that you will benefit from it as well.
When you go about self-improving, you go about making yourself a better person. That means in all areas of your life. It is not just in one small corner. You can't improve yourself if you only improve a section. Look to your whole self.
What areas do you look at? Maybe it will make more sense if we look at it like that. I know seeing categories or lists help me.
Everyone's health can be improved. Even those who think they are healthy can be so much more. It might be how you eat or just your exercise or both. There is always room for improvement.
Who doesn't need help with finances? It might not be in saving money or fixing your expenses. It might be on giving it to the right places.
There are many areas of our life that we need to improve emotionally. It could be how we handle situations or how we interact with people.
It saddens me to see people not wanting to improve themselves mentally. They don't want to learn anything more. Improving yourself means expanding yourself mentally. It could be reading up on a subject or learning a new language.
How you view the world through spiritual eyes impacts your overall health. Even if you don't believe in a God, there is a part of you that reaches out for the spiritual realm. You need to tend to it.
I'm not talking about vanity here. I'm talking about care of how you look because it is connected with your emotional health. When you feel good, you take the time to look good. When you feel bad, you let your appearance go.
What are you good at? If you are good with computers, continue your education. Learn something that can enhance what you already know.There is always something new to learn that will help you feel better about your abilities.
How you react with other people and get along with them says a lot about your overall health. If you are testy with everyone, there might be something that needs to be addressed.
All of these sections feed into your overall health. It all feeds into each other. Think of it like your body. When your stomach hurts, you are cranky and might not be able to concentrate very well. You might be more sleepy or do a poor job at work. It all ties in together. It's a holistic approach because it all makes up the whole of us.
Self-improvement is taking all these components and working on them. It is moving up several notches and finding happiness. Are you ready to join us?
The times does come. It's not the same for everyone. Sometimes it is when one is seeing the fading light and feel the weight of old age on their shoulders. It could be when one first steps out on their own. It could be as they face the reality of their mortal bodies. It might happen once, twice, or a dozen times. No two people experience that time the same way. What is it that I'm talking about? That time when we realize we want to grow and become a better person. That time when we realize that we have been stagnant. Is that time now for you?
Slowly over the last few years, this time has come for me. At heart, I'm a learner. I am always wanting to know more and expand my horizons. As I was expanding, I also began to evaluate relationships. I saw what I might become, the road I was traveling, and I did not like it one bit. I wanted to become a better person. I wanted to improve myself.
I was excited at the prospect of the journey to the better me. But the excitement was tempered as I realized those around me had not faced that time in their lives yet. I was going on a journey they thought was foolish and irritating. That is when one feels lost and alone.
I'm not alone. There are others out there like me, looking for direction. Maybe I can help you with a map of the possible routes you could take as I traverse through first.
So far, I have discovered numerous paths through this wilderness. It comes in form of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and overall well-being. They can be tracked one at a time, but I'm finding the course to be much smoother and straighter when I bring them all together.
Well, I'm going through my backpack of improvements. Hope to see you there.