The Key to Building Self-Esteem and Confidence

proud and happyWhat is the key to building self-esteem and confidence in yourself?

Did you ever think about it?

Is it thinking highly of yourself?  Is it loving yourself?  Is it thinking that the world is a great place and life is fantastic?  Is having others tell you how wonderful you are?

Is it having a lot of money?  Is it having every single material thing you want?

Is it having great relationships?

What do you think it is?

If you don’t know, then let me give you my belief of what builds self-esteem and confidence:  accomplishment.

That’s right – accomplishment. Every single little victory you have, every single thing you have done from your laundry to landing your dream job – every single little accomplishment builds the message in your brain that you are capable, you have value, you have worth and spurs you on to do more and more and more.

Some would think I’m crazy – laundry??? come on . . . why laundry?  Laundry is one major accomplishment because it’s not the clothes you washed and ironed but it’s the importance you have given yourself by giving yourself self-care.  You care enough about yourself to have clean clothes which look good on your body.  Learning self-care and doing it is a constant reinforcement about how much we mean to ourselves, each an accomplishment in itself.

Getting the dream job may seem like a really big accomplishment, wouldn’t it?  Is it?  What if you lost that job 3 weeks later?  Would it still be an accomplishment?  Of course but you’d likely feel very different about it.  Still, it would remain in your realm of accomplishments – you did once, you can do it again!

Watch a baby – is it an accomplishment to take a first step?  Does it give the baby the confidence to try the second one.  Of course.  And the more a baby learns and accomplishes, the more that baby thrives.

So it is for all people of all ages – the most important building block of self-esteem and confidence is a series of accomplishments!

Lorraine Arams

What Have You Accomplished This Week?

put one cog in placeIt’s Friday and today is a good day to ask yourself:  What Have I Accomplished This Week?

Why?  Because it gives you the opportunity to see if your achievements have matched your goals.

The Goal

Achieving goals is not just writing them down and hoping for the best.  It’s about adding the steps to those goals in your every day calendar and consistently achieving milestones.  True, the path is not always clear nor is it a straight line.  Any goal of any significance contains many “to dos” which we are not aware of or have no idea we missed.  Why?  Goals are new accomplishments – something in the future – you’ve never traveled that road before.

For instance, let’s say you have just finished your degree at university and your aspiration is to become the top researcher in your field with tenure at your chosen university.  Have you done that before?  Of course not.  You make a plan.  Now what?  Do you know what the steps are to getting there?  Do you know the nuances of building this kind of career?  Do you the missteps to avoid?

Staying the Course

When you ask yourself, “What have I accomplished this week?” – the answer should always, always contain completing steps towards achieving your goal.  If not, then your goals are only wishful thinking.

So many people have fallen into the trap of “hype” – write down your goal, place a deadline for accomplishments, describe the goal, visualize or SMART the goals – it’s all written down – how exciting – you can see it in your mind’s eye – wow!  Then the following year comes along, not much has happened with those written goals and your self-esteem plummets.  Eventually, most people just give up on this exercise

What’s Missing?

What’s missing is the work behind the hype!  It takes research, talking to people, laying out a path, adjusting that path as new information is received, doing something every day towards achieving that goal – that’s called “working the plan” and it is work!

Why don’t goal setting programs tell you that?  Well, many do except it’s done low key.  In all the excitement of writing down your goals and visualizing them, somehow, the “work party” doesn’t come into focus.  Their goal is to have you leave the course elated.  If the work was emphasized, you’d likely feel differently.

What to do?

Start today. Pick one easy goal.  Write a list of steps you need to take.  In your calendar for next week, add some of those steps.  Keep doing that until you’ve achieved your goal.  Is it more complicated than this?  It can be.  However, what’s happening here is building a habit!  One goal – write steps – put steps into your calendar weekly

Once you’ve tasted “success”, it’ll be easier to stick with the longer term goals.  Of course, you already know my view of goals setting:  work on one goal at a time until it’s fully integrated into your calendar and only then add a second goal to work on.  In any event, I don’t believe that people should be working on more than three goals at a time because there just isn’t the time.

Here’s to your success!

You might be interested in these earlier articles:

Goal Setting – Are You Missing These Important Steps?  Likely!

Does Setting a Goal Get you the Result You Want?

Lorraine Arams

Save Time By Taking Time

doing one thing can save timeSometimes we can save time by taking the time.

This statement seems like an oxymoron but in actually fact when it comes to saving time, taking the time does really save you time in the end.

Here are some instances that prove this premise:

a)  Taking 5 minutes every day before leaving work to look over your calendar.  Look at what you had planned, what is no longer applicable and add in some tasks or appointments which you may have forgotten to write in.  You’ll set two things in motion in your mind:  peace of mind that you’ve covered everything in your calendar and set up your mind for the next morning – ready to go!

Time Saving: The next morning, you’re ready to go.  There’s no need to ponder what to do first – you’re ready!

b)  Planning a tripif you take the time to research the place where you are going, you won’t miss out on some incredible things to see, you’ll have an idea of what you want to accomplish on your trip and you’ll have contacted people you might want to see in the event they are free to meet up with you.

Time Saving: While your away, you’ll have more time to do the things you enjoy.  You won’t have to pour over telephone books or the internet to find people and locations – it’s all done ahead of time!

c)  Anticipating changes in your life For instance, when the baby arrives,  many people don’t think about what they will have to give up.  They think of the baby, the crib, the day they bring the baby home.   A baby will rule your life unless you’ve made preparations and adjustments to meet the impact of this wonderful little being now occupying space in your life.  For instance, that drink after work may need to put aside or instead of two hours at the gym every day, it may need to change to 4 times per week or date nights with your spouse may have to be amended to once a month rather than every Saturday night.  You may entertain more at home and that too takes time.  And there will be new chores to share – how will that be done?

Time Saving: Adjusting the time requirements in your life when you know a big event is on its way will help you save time in scrambling to make the adjustments when you should be enjoying the moment, adjust your mind to a new life and prevent interpersonal squabbles.

You can see that in all areas of your life, taking the time to anticipate and make adjustments for changes can actually save time in the long run.  Yes, it’s called planning but it’s more than that – it’s making an adjustment in your mind to changes whether it be a day, a week or a lifetime.

Take the time to save time – you’ll be glad you did!

Lorraine Arams

She died today . . .

She died today . . .

I cried . . .

Life energy had disappeared from her beautiful little body . . .

Death never announces itself – it just comes . . . we never know when, we never know how, we can never predict it though death is part of all life on earth . . .

How many years do we have?  We are born small and fragile.  On our birth certificates, there is never an end date -we all know it will come one day.

We live every day as though we will live forever.  Then once in a while, we are reminded how still so very fragile we are – like dolls made of china – strong and sturdy one minute, broken the next.

She loved to eat – an appetite like you wouldn’t believe but she was slim.

She loved her partner and the two of them were inseparable.

She was the queen and ruled the “roost”.

She loved her baths and loved a clean house.

She made us laugh.

She’s gone.

She is still very much loved and adored.  We will all miss her as long we we live, now, only a memory to be held onto tenaciously as our lives were enriched by her special energy.

Forever in our hearts – our memories – our life . . .

Are You Using September to Manage Your Time for the Fall Time Crunch?

field of pumpkinsCan you use September to plan your time the time crunch that inevitably comes in October, November and December?

You can.

Fall is a time when people really get rattled especially with shorter days.  It’s more difficult to get up in the morning and extra care must be taken driving to work.  It seems that our time becomes more and more compressed as we head into winter.

It’s a good idea always to look ahead.  We know it!  Do we do it?  Often we don’t.  So I’m here today to help you before you get overwhelmed!

  • October – Thanksgiving and Hallowe’en
  • November – Memorial Day
  • December – Christmas day
  • January – New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day

Will you be ready?

It’s like a freight train coming down the track every single year at the same time:  increased activities with friends and family, more formal events, school for some, flus and colds, and the holidays –

Take the time now to schedule in what you will need to do for each of these holidays before your appointments, meetings and other activities take over your life and drive you wild.  It’ll save you a lot of frazzled nerves later on.

Here’s a tip:

Take a calendar with a monthly view either the paper type of the computer type.

work backwards from the day after each holiday – what do you plan to do before, during and after each holiday.  If you do things ahead of time, a little bit each day or each week, you’ll be ready when the holidays are upon us.

For instance, let’s say it’s your turn to have the Hallowe’en party this year.  From the day after, work backwards, something like this:

Monday, November 1st – clean up after work

Sunday, October 31st – Hallowe’en Party – time:  5 pm to 10 pm; set up 10 am – 3 pm

Saturday, October 30th – am – prepare food; pm – decorate

Friday,  October 29th – – after work, pick up costume, shop for food and pick up something for dinner

Thursday, October 28th — check who has sent in RSVP and call those who haven’t

Thursday, October 21st – create menu for food and decide on decorations; decide who can help with what; access need for extra dishes, cutlery, glasses, etc.

Sunday, October 10th – make invitation list and send out invitations

Saturday, October 1st – decide on costume and buy/rent; look up favorite masks for this year

You get the idea . . . . once you’re done then put these in your scheduling calendar before you over book yourself!

And do the same with each of the other holidays.  Keep your plans in your computer so that you can use them year after year – all you’ll have to do is change the days and dates for each new year.

Now do the same for your work life. Inevitably, there are submissions, reports, presentations, etc due.  Every year, annual meetings, staff meetings, conferences, tradeshows, etc.  – something happens every year.  Take the same approach  – plan for them backwards.   Plan to be ready a couple of days ahead of time because we all know – something will happen if we aren’t!

Again, the same principle applies here – keep this schedule year after year – just change the days and dates to suit that particular year – and you’re done!

You’ll be less stressed, more prepared, and enjoy each process much more. In fact, you’ll likely be able to enjoy the holidays rather than feel exhausted!  September is such a great month to manage your time this way and prepare for the time crunch that is coming.

Hope this helps . . .

Lorraine Arams

Page 14 of 58« First...1213141516...203040...Last »