The girl (woman) in the mirror . . . who is she?

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She is someone whose level of confidence shifts depending on what’s going on around her. In certain conditions there is a feeling of confidence but in others there is discomfort and uncertainty – shyness, self-judgement, fear, unworthiness, or uselessness. Therapists classify this as External Confidence or Situational Confidence, i.e. it does or doesn’t exist depending on influences from the outside world – the general circumstances of our lives and circumstances in each individual moment.

 

In contrast, therapists say Core Confidence comes from within and is not reliant on outside sources. When we are confident from the core, we are not paralyzed in the face of new, uncomfortable, or unusual circumstances, and we don’t base our actions on our fears of what others will think. Regardless of the situation, we know that we have something to offer, that we are worthy, and that we have been and are able to be successful.

 

How does the girl in the mirror build her core confidence?

 

She needs to stop comparing herself to others:

We all come from different walks of life.  Each and every person is born unique and has had their own individual experiences throughout their journey thus far. No one shares the exact same story and we are not meant to. There’s no sense trying to compare apples to oranges. There is no better or lesser, only different.

If the girl in the mirror wants something to compare herself to, she should compare herself as she is now to the way she used to be and not compare herself to others in the world.

 

She needs to trust herself:

No matter what happened in her life up to this point, she has made it through each and every challenge that life has thrown at her, and she is still alive and standing here today, looking at ways in which she can improve herself. That, in its own right should give her a strong level of belief in her own strength. It does not matter how gracefully she did it, all that matters is that she did it. It might not be pretty, but it doesn’t have to be, and if she does not believe in herself (yet) and doesn’t trust herself (yet), she should give it a try. She needs to set one small goal and stick to it. Just do it . . .  one step at a time. She will gain a sense of pride and confidence in herself, and the more she does it, the easier it will become in tricky situations.

 

 

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She needs to live in the moment:

When we live in the moment we are only concerned with what is presented to us right then and there. When we are in action we are confident – we have made a choice and acting on it, that is what confidence is – the ability to take action. As soon as we slip into worry or judgement we’re no longer living in the moment. Judgement comes from a place of remembering what went wrong before and comparing now to then. Worry comes from a fear of what might happen not what is actually happening now.

 

When the girl in the mirror finds herself worrying or judging herself, she needs to shift gears. She needs to do HER best, in the moment with what she has – that’s all she can do. She needs to stay present and focus on what’s here now, and use what she has to offer.

 

She needs to learn from the past:

Shame and negative self-talk are the enemy of confidence. When we are demoralized, we cannot access confidence. We all do things we wish we’d done differently, but when we get caught in self-judgement and relive situations it amplifies negative thinking and creates negative and/or anxious feelings.

 

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Continuing to replay an incident means there is something she needs to accept in order to move on. The girl in the mirror needs to accept that she is fallible or maybe the lesson is that she needs to stand up for herself – connecting with confidence so that next time she can say or do the things that will make her feel good about herself. When she finds herself obsessing about a past incident she should:

  • STOP the instant replay
  • Pick one small lesson from that experience . . . just one thing she will do differently next time
  • Thank herself for the lesson and breathe in self-compassion, giving herself the courage to do that one thing differently next time

 

She should be open to possibility:

If the girl in the mirror has already decided who she is based on who she may have been in the past, then she has shut down her POSSIBILITIES, but if she lets that go and allows herself to be who she is in the moment – she has the possibility to be anything she wants to be. She should not judge herself based on her past and she should not hope for liberation in the future. Right now, be here. She should believe that she is capable of anything at any moment. She is capable of change, but only if she is not defined by her past or bound to the future.

 

 

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The girl in the mirror needs to practice, be disciplined and follow-through:

Core confidence cannot be achieved overnight, it takes work and practice for core confidence to become automatic. When she finds herself in a situation where she feels she lacks confidence, she should remember how she feels when she IS confident and know that confidence is possible for her.

She needs to set small goals and stick to them. It takes time and discipline, but the more she follows through on things the more pride she will feel in her abilities and the more confidence she will build.

When she reminds herself of her strengths in other situations it will be easier to carry that strength over into new situations and gradually into ALL situations.

 

She needs a higher purpose:

When setting a goal, the girl in the mirror needs to shift her focus to the journey. She needs to pay attention to WHY she is working towards her goal and HOW she is doing it. She needs to ask herself:

  • What do I really want from achieving the goal?
  • Why did I choose the goal?
  • What is my purpose?
  • What desired qualities do I hope to achieve which lie beneath and beyond the tangible goal?

 

 

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The girl in the mirror needs to keep her focus on her greater purpose – why does she have the goal she has? WHO does she want to be and how does she want to be?

 

Confidence exists in the here and now, and the core confidence she has when she connects with this purpose cannot ever be taken away from her.

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5 Powerful Ways to Free Yourself from Negativity

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Be wise enough to let go of the negativity inside you.

 

I know my negativity kills me, so why do I think like this?

 

Thinking “the worst”, expecting catastrophic failure and betrayal, seeing problems where others don’t and even seeing positives as negatives – all convey a kind of emotional insurance policy. “If I expect the worst, then I won’t be disappointed if and when in happens.”

 

Can you relate in any way? I can . . .  this is exactly what I do. There’s another quote that says: “those with little expectations in life are seldom disappointed.” Which is almost a cousin to negativity because you are also guarding yourself against being disappointed.

 

Another negative thinking trap that can mess with us is the “I told you so” syndrome.  For some people, it can feel more important to be proved right in their negative predictions than to have good things happen (and therefore be proved “wrong”).

 

Before I get too positive about negativity though, here’s a thought: The habit of thinking negatively doesn’t just predict how likely someone is to become depressed, but also predicts how likely they are to suffer from all sorts of other diseases and disorders later on in life. I’m not suggesting that negative thinking alone creates disease, but it certainly doesn’t help!

 

In this post we’re going to look at what you can do to stop thinking negatively, but first, let’s examine a super-common mistake negative people tend to make:

 

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Negative people are often proud to describe themselves as “realists”. Of course, anyone who holds a strong belief thinks they are being “realistic” by holding it, whether it involves UFO encounters or perfectly truthful politicians.

 

The “being more realistic” declarations is a favourite of cynics everywhere, and, in a way, they are correct but only because negative thinking causes us not to try – or if we do try, to do it half-heartedly and give up sooner – so the negativity itself influences our outcomes. Self-fulfilling predictions like this really happen. Research has even found that in some cases what we believe about our health can have more bearing on how long we live than our actual health.

 

What makes all of this so scary is the fact that it means negative thoughts can plague us even when things seem to be going relatively well. For instance, the thought “It’s too good to last!” quickly wrecks havoc on a positive situation. Thus, my first tip has to do with how negative thinking distorts our perception.

 

  1. Stop thinking in extremes: Life simply isn’t black or white – 100% of this or 100% of that – all or nothing. Thinking in extremes like this is a fast way to misery, because negative thinking tends to view any situation that’s less than perfect as being extremely bad. For example: Instead of saying the rainstorm slowed down my commute home from work, we say “it wasted my whole evening and ruined my night!” Instead of saying my business venture took a while to gain traction, we say “it’s never going to work, and it’s going to completely ruin my financial future.” Instead of just accepting the nervousness of meting a new group of people, we say “I know these people are not going to like me.”

 

All or nothing thinking completely misses out the subtle shades in life. It makes us see the future in terms of dramatic disasters, disappointments and catastrophes. Sure, disasters occasionally happen, but contrary to what you may see on the evening news, most of life occurs in a grey area between the extremes of bliss and devastation.

 

The first step to overcoming negative thinking isn’t to “just be positive” suddenly, but to carefully look for shades of grey. Say you’ve been worrying about an intimate relationship. Rather than thinking: “It’s going to end with two broken hearts, I just know it is” or even “It’s going to be absolutely perfect 24/7,” how about: “I expect there will be great times, good times, and not so good times, but we will work together, respect each other, and give our relationship a fair chance before drawing any conclusions.”

 

 

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  1. Stop over-generalising the negative: Ask yourself: “If something negative unexpectedly happens, do I over-generalize it? Do I view it as applying to everything and being permanent rather than compartmentalizing it to one place and time?”

 

For example, if someone turns you down for a date, do you spread the negativity beyond that person, time and place by telling yourself: “Relationships never work out for me, ever”? If you fail an exam do you say to yourself, “Well, I failed that exam; I’m not happy about it, but I’ll study harder next time”? or do you over-generalize by telling yourself you’re “not smart enough” or “incapable of learning”?

 

  1. Stop minimizing the positive: Negative thinking stops us from seeing and experiencing positive outcomes, even when they happen often. It’s as if there’s a special mental screen filtering out all the positives and only letting in data that confirms the “negative bias”. Magnifying setbacks and minimizing successes leads to de-motivation and misery in the long run. Know this!

 

Get into the habit of seeing setbacks as temporary and specific learning experiences rather than as permanent and pervasive misfortunes. We all tend to find what we look for in life. If you find yourself thinking negatively about a person, for instance, get into the habit of balancing it out with one positive thought about them: “She’s so selfish . . . Mind you, to be fair, she was helpful when my car broke down last year . . .  and she does have a good sense of humour . . .” The positive is always there somewhere, but you have to search for it.

 

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  1. Stop looking for negative signs from others: Too often we jump to conclusions, only to cause ourselves and others unnecessary frustration, hurt and anger. If someone says one thing, don’t assume they mean something else. If they say nothing at all, don’t assume their silence has some hidden, negative connotation.

Thinking negatively will inevitably lead you to interpret everything another person does as being negative, especially when you are uncertain about what the other person is thinking. For instance, “he hasn’t called, so he must not want to talk to me,” or, “She only said that to be nice, but she doesn’t really mean it.”

 

Assigning meaning to a situation before you have the whole story makes you more likely to believe that the uncertainty you feel (based on lack of knowing) is a negative sign. On the flip side, holding off on assigning meaning to an incomplete story is essential to overcoming negative thinking. When you think more positively, or simply more clearly about the facts, you’ll be able to evaluate all possible reasons you can think of, not just the negative ones. In other words, you’ll be doing more of: “I don’t know why he hasn’t called, but maybe . . .”

 

  • He’s extremely busy at work
  • His phone has a poor signal in the office building
  • He’s simply waiting for me to call him

 

You get the idea? None of these circumstances are negative and all area s plausible as any other possible explanation.

 

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Next time you feel uncertain and insecure, and you catch yourself stressing about a problem that doesn’t exist, stop yourself and take a deep breath. Then tell yourself, “This problem I’m concerned with only exists in my mind.” Being able to distinguish between what you imagine and what is actually happening in your life is an important step towards living a positive life.

 

  1. Stop making unreasonable rules and expectations: You must deal with the world the way it is, not the way you expect it to be. Life is under no obligation to give you exactly what you expect. In fact, whatever it is you’re seeking will rarely ever come in the form you’re expecting, but that doesn’t make it any less wonderful.

 

Stop forcing your own misconstrued expectations and rules on life . . .

  • “He was late, so he must not care about me.” – Or perhaps “he just got caught in traffic”.
  • “If I can’t do this correctly, then I must not be smart enough.” – or perhaps you just need more practice.
  • “I haven’t heard back from my doctor, so the test results must be bad.” – Or perhaps the lab is just really busy and your results aren’t available yet.

 

Inventing rules like these about how life must be, based on your own stubborn expectations, is a great way to keep your mind stuck in the gutter. This isn’t to say that you should never expect anything at all from yourself and others (diligence, honesty, determination, etc), but rather that the rules that govern your expectations should not steer you toward unreasonably negative conclusions.

 

If you feel dissatisfied or let down by an outcome, then you must have been expecting something different. Rather than get upset, ask yourself, “Were my expectations too narrow?” and “What new truths have I learned?”

 

The bottom line is that you must see and accept things as they are instead of as you hoped, wished, or expected them to be. Just because it didn’t turn out like you had envisioned, doesn’t mean it isn’t exactly what you need to get to where you ultimately want to go.

 

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Afterthoughts:

There is a quote I’ve always loved that’s often credited to Ignatius:

 

“Pray as if God will take care of all; act as if all is up to you.”

 

That’s a strong way to live. It’s about using your faith to fuel positive thinking and positive action, every single day.

 

That is what I wish for myself and this is what I wish for you.

 

Did you know you can start a brand new chapter of your life at any age?

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What do you do when life knocks you down? Did you know you can bounce back using these nine steps to reinvent yourself to create a life worth living.

 

Have you ever felt like you need to start again? Whether it was your choice or various factors forcing you to create massive changes in your life, through various life lessons we are given messages and if those messages are not heard, you get hit or knocked  to the ground to learn the lesson. The lessons range from serious issues with our health, bad relationships with family and/or friends, a failing business, challenges building wealth, or not living authentically. This can happen in one area or every area of your life.

 

So what do you do when starting again? You need to change your behaviour to get back in the game super-fast:

 

Re-evaluate you life:

This is enlightening yet simple.

 

Draw a circle and divide it into areas of your life:

  1. Health
  2. Wealth
  3. Relationships
  4. Education
  5. Spirituality
  6. Career

Give each area a score out of ten. 10 means excellent and 1 means needs improvement.

Add up the scores to get a total out of 60.

 

From there you can assess what area/s are the priority for you to work on. If every area of your life had a low score, obviously you have work to do so prioritize your life areas.

 

 

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Get back in the game:

Create a brand new strategy to propel you forward. Know exactly what terms you will and won’t accept in life anymore. Ask yourself:

  • What new standards do I choose to live by?
  • List the behaviours you will stop tolerating

 

Start afresh:

There is nothing more powerful than who you are associated with. They determine the speed along with your level of growth for you to become the best version of yourself. It ranges from zero to full speed ahead.

 

Write down the most prominent people in your life to decide if they:

 

  • Challenge you on your beliefs and views?
  • Are by your side when you need them?
  • Happy for you when you achieve amazing things in life?

 

 

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Style it up:

Reinventing yourself can be crazy fun when you are experiencing a period of massive change.

 

How do you style it up? Get a new hairstyle or hair colour, lose or gain weight, improve your diet, buy new sunglasses or accessories, update your wardrobe, create a brand new style, or ditch the glasses and have eye laser surgery or wear contact lenses. Styling it up gives you an extra boost of confidence and energy.

 

Leave Fear Town behind forever:

Release the ghosts that are haunting you and keeping you awake at night by mastering your mind set. Avoid getting buried in the avalanche of other people’s fears. What other people say to you is a reflection of their own fears and beliefs.

 

Leave your apartment in Fear Town to live in a mansion in Love City. We have two choices in every moment:

 

  1. To act from a place of fear or love (actions from fear: lying, cheating, stealing, bullying, blackmail, power, aggression, violence, revenge or mind games). Actions from love: compassion, understanding, problem-solving, producing, listening, kindness, creating and inspiring.
  2. Put the lights back on – rediscover what you love and what feeds your soul.
  • What activities do you get completely lost in?
  • When do you forget about the time and light up inside?
  • When was the last time you felt exceptionally amazing?

 

Dig deep:

This is the scariest step for most people. It involves hard work, searching deep within your soul to determine who you are, what you want and decide what living means to you.

 

Your most valuable relationship is the one with yourself. People go to great lengths to avoid it, by numbing emotions with drugs, sex, alcohol, eating and shopping, toxic relationships, a hyper-active social life and moving from relationship to relationship with no down-time in-between. We will do anything to avoid hearing the voices in our heads or listening to the messages from our bodies, despite all the aches and pains not to mention unprocessed emotions.

 

All these behaviours serve to do is delay the inevitable and ensure you fire up like a firecracker at some point or explode like an erupting volcano that hasn’t let loose for hundreds of years. By doing the work along the way, it is a much smoother road ahead.

 

 

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Jump off the cliff:

Take a risk and do something you never in a million years thought you would do. Play underwater golf, go shark surfing, waterfall kayaking, heli-skiing or simply float in the dead sea.

 

Empty out the trash:

Stop living on auto-pilot and doing what you normally do. It’s clearly not working!

 

Now, is the time to get off the merry-go-round and empty out the trash. Decide what is serving you and what is not?

 

Think of new and innovative ways to change your life to create new patterns, habits and strategies and most importantly, fabulous new results.

 

When the jigsaw puzzle of life has turned upside down and falls into one big mess of tiny pieces on the floor pieces that were once your life as you knew it.

Create a new masterpiece of your life and yourself  – a much more glorious, dazzling and intoxicating version.

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