“Calm self-confidence is as far from conceit as the desire to earn a decent living is remote from greed.” ~Channing Pollock
How is high self-esteem different from arrogance?
Submitted by a Reader:
I was a shy and insecure kid and teenager, but the older I get, the more self-confidence I have. It didn’t come easy, though. I worked hard to get here and I work hard to stay here. I work out and eat right, and I have a job I really love. I’m in a good relationship and I’m thinking of getting married and starting a family in the near future.
After years of feeling like I just wasn’t good enough, I feel great about myself finally, and I’m not afraid to let my confidence shine through. This is working great for me and I am mostly really happy with life.
But here’s the problem. My mom and my sister seem to think I’ve become “really full of myself.” They are always making snide comments about how I need to be humble and how I shouldn’t “brag:” so much. I don’t brag, I just tell them the good things that are happening in my life. I am trying to stay positive like you suggest because I want my life to keep getting better.
But these two are always saying I have to “face my issues,” which I have done already. I just don’t want to focus on them. They are just sooo negative and I don’t know how to make them stop acting that way. What can I do to change the way they treat me? Or do you think I am the one in the wrong here?
First, let me congratulate you on your emerging self-confidence! I know how hard it can be to overcome insecurity, and I applaud you for taking charge and making positive changes in your life.
Now, as far as your mom and your sister go, the first thing you need to recognize is that, most likely, the reason they can’t be happy for you and your newfound confidence is that they, themselves, are insecure for some reason. Your success most likely makes them more aware of their own failures or insecurities.
It’s also important to know that it’s not your responsibility to help them feel better about themselves. You can definitely offer support and compliments whenever possible, but unless they have the desire to make positive changes within themselves, your input will only go so far.
So, my suggestion to you is to focus on your own perceptions, both of them and of yourself. Continue to work on feeling good about yourself and your life, and don’t allow anyone else to define you. You get to decide who you are, and you do not have to accept negative perceptions from anyone else.
Heads up: Do you think you might be dealing with a narcissist? Find out here.
As I told another reader who was struggling with feelings of unworthiness, your mother and sister aren’t alone–approximately 85 percent of all people have felt like they weren’t good enough at one time or another. It’s a common and unfortunate phenomenon in our society, one that you dealt with yourself in the past.
Rather than let their feelings of inferiority affect you, try just acknowledging them and moving forward. So, the next time you hear a snide remark about yourself, just let it pass. You don’t need to defend yourself–this only adds fuel to their unhappy fire. Instead, just focus on something that makes you feel good.
It can be really tough to handle negativity from the people you love, especially when you’re on such a positive track yourself. It’s human nature to want to share your joy with the people around you, and it can be disheartening when they’re not willing to be happy for you.
Just remember that no one else can define you. Not only do you get to do that yourself, but you don’t have to accept anyone else’s definition either.
As writer Peter Murphy says, “Just because someone is concerned for your welfare does not mean that their advice or input has value.”
You can also change your expectations. Remember that we get what we expect–so if you expect your mother and sister to be negative, they’re sure to give it to you. Try changing the way you feel about them. While you can’t directly change another person, you can focus on the good things about them as much as possible, and you might notice a positive change in them too.
In the end, try to stop worrying so much about what other people think and focus instead on how you feel. That’s when you’ll truly find peace.
So, how about you? How do you handle negativity from the people you love?
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“Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other.” – Rainer Maria Rilke
Enhance Your Relationship: 7 Strategies to Show Love for Your Partner
Are you feeling bored in a monogamous relationship? Is it that you really aren’t attracted to your partner, or is it that you’ve both stopped dating each other? How would you like to feel closer to your him?
When you open your mind to the idea of having a more meaningful love relationship, you can experience some amazing things together and build a love that’s strong and ever-lasting.
Imagine what it would mean to you to know you’re forging a solid base with the love of your life.
Follow these tips to show your love and strengthen your connection:
Listen well. When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, you might tend toward occasionally tuning out your partner. So, staying focused and listening when your lover is sharing something is one of the best ways to enhance your closeness.
- When your partner starts talking, stop what you’re doing, turn toward them, make eye contact, and listen.
Acknowledge. Show that you hear your partner by saying things like, “Uh-huh,” “yes,” “I didn’t know that,” or “I hear what you’re saying.”
Pay attention. From your partner’s facial expression, how do you think they might be feeling? Do their shoulders seem to be sagging a bit today? What things make your partner smile, or even laugh out loud? Simply by observing, you can learn a lot.
Plan special time together each day. Let your partner know you love them by designating time daily to do something together. Eating dinner at the table is likely a common occurrence, but you could also play some cards after dinner for an hour or so or do some other activity together that you enjoy.
- Maybe you share a love of the outdoors. Taking a walk is a great way to spend a half-hour or more talking and holding hands each day.
- During these shared times, make an effort to talk about things you want to do and your dreams for the future.
Make quick contact, even when you’re busy. Although you both may work a lot, making quick contacts through the day can be great for your relationship. There are a myriad of ways to stay in touch.
- You can make a quick phone call, send a funny or sexy text, or send an e-mail just to say, “Hi,” during your breaks. Take care to follow your company’s rules regarding personal use of phones and e-mails when contacting your partner during the work day.
Brag about your partner within earshot of them. Nothing enhances your connection more than hearing the love of your life telling others how you do something well. So, take the opportunity to share out loud your love’s strong points from time to time.
- Talk about how they spiffed up your car or cooked your favorite meal. You can mention how your spouse has a knack for decorating your home or calming the kids, for example.
- And don’t forget to tell your partner directly that he’s awesome, too–men love that (and so do women!).
Plan a secret get-away. What if you were to plan an overnight trip to take your art-loving partner to see that new art museum that’s a couple of hours away? Or to stay at a beach cottage for an extended weekend to celebrate their birthday?
- Have fun with your undercover planning. You can place “clues” of what your plans are by leaving little hints and notes around the house or send texts that pique their interest in what you’re planning.
- Your partner will love the thought that went in to your elaborate “scheme” to have some alone-time together.
Here’s the bottom line: You hold the keys to creating the most intense and loving relationship you’ve ever had. Put these strategies into action now to help build an everlasting bond with the one you love.
“The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.” ~Audrey Hepburn
Have you ever found yourself feeling “less than” or underestimated by someone you love? Maybe you were thrown under the bus or treated like you were an employee rather than a partner. Maybe this sort of thing happens a little too often, and maybe it’s beginning to take a toll on your self esteem, especially if your tormentor is your spouse—and especially if you truly love and respect him.
While no one wants to believe negative things about herself, sometimes it’s just easier to believe that you’re not worthy…but when you let go of the feeling that you deserve to have a good, healthy relationship that benefits both of you, or the idea that you’re worth loving, you let go of a huge part of yourself.
The Not-So-Hot Effect of Putting Your Personal Development on Hold for Your Kids
This happens to a lot of moms, especially those who put their entire lives on hold to raise their kids. See, while you’re busy doing the work of parenting, you’re not developing your Self.
In fact there are studies that show that teen moms are often stunted in their emotional growth to the point that some never mature emotionally beyond the age they were when they gave birth. Others manage but it takes much longer. And still some others don’t struggle at all.
The point is that awareness is crucial to creating positive change in your life. And in the case of being a hot wife, having your own interests and projects outside of your kids and hubby will make you just so much hotter!
How to Be a Hot Wife Who Also Happens to Be a Mom: Find, Nurture and Develop Your Passions
As you already know, a hot wife always has her own interests and passions. But when hot wives become hot moms, they sometimes let their personal needs and wants sit by the wayside so long they forget what they are–and the effect isn’t pretty.
To discover your passion, if you haven’t already, you need to know your purpose.
How to Discover the Purpose of Your Life
If you’re like a lot of moms, you might not have figured out what you’re supposed to do with your life, outside of raising your kids. What is your personal life purpose?
What is a life purpose anyway?
For our uses, we’re going to define it as something that you love to do that also has a great impact on the world. It’s that sweet spot where you’re having a great time and doing something wonderful for as many people as possible.
Most of us leave our lives up to chance. We slide into a profession that we don’t hate and stay there or in a similar situation until we’re ready to retire. Living your purpose usually requires taking action with the intention of finding it.
There are several ways you can attempt to discover the purpose of your life:
- Describe your ideal day. Project yourself several years into the future and imagine that your life is essentially perfect. What would your life look like? Are you working? What type of work are you doing? What do you do all day? Who is in your life?
- Now that you know what the end looks like, what can you do today to take the first step in that direction?
- Try austerity. Go camping in a remote place. Leave the food at home, but bring plenty of water. Limit your sleep and just sit with yourself. When you’re miserable, bored, lonely, and tired, sometimes the answers become obvious.
- Volunteer. Find an organization in your community that interests you. Doing something worthwhile can be a good way to discover your purpose. Even if you come up short, at least you’ll have done something important.
- Assume you can do the impossible. When anything is possible, what would you do? Take action to bring your dreams to life.
- Write. Perhaps the most effective way to discover your life’s purpose is to spend an hour writing. At the top of your paper write, “My life’s purpose.” Now spend the next 60 minutes writing whatever pops into your mind.
- When you find something that stirs strong positive feelings within you, you’re probably on the right track.
- Investigate a new hobby. We all have at least one activity we’ve been putting off until a more convenient time. Doing something new exposes you to new ideas and thoughts. Now is the time to jump in and get started. You might be surprised what you discover.
- Do something that terrifies you. Skydiving? Public speaking? You might find your life’s purpose during the process of conquering this fear.
- This can be challenging and it might take some time, but get started today.
- Spend a day being totally inspired. From the time you wake up until the time you go to bed, attempt to spend every moment inspired. The right books, music, and movies can help you maintain an inspired mental state.
- You’ll believe you can do anything. What would you do?
Ask yourself what you would do if you had $10 million. How would you spend your time? What would your life look like? Can you figure out a way to make a living doing one of the activities you would be willing to do for free if you had the time?
Keep trying the above tips until you’ve found something that really excites you. When you find your purpose, there will be no doubt. Avoid spending all of your life thinking and planning. Get busy living.
Finding your life’s purpose will make life exciting and meaningful!
So how about you, have you discovered your passion and purpose yet? Share your thoughts, experiences and ideas in the comments section, below!
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” ~Oprah Winfrey
How can you use feng shui for passion? Passion is so important in our lives–many people don’t even realize how important it is. Without it, there would literally be no human race, at least not the one we know today. We would have no desire to reproduce, right? But passion also counts when it comes to creating the lives we want in general. Passion is what causes us to move forward on that new project that becomes THE project. It’s the driving force behind our hobbies, our love lives, our families, our friends and even behind our whole selves.
As we continue our series on feng shui, we’re talking about the fire element, what it represents, how to represent it in your home and why you should. If you’re looking for ways to increase the passion, love and action in your own life, you can start with feng shui.
Using Feng Shui for Passion and Action
Feng Shui is an art as much as it is a practice. It’s the concept of bringing nature and natural patterns and surroundings into our homes and everyday lives. The idea is that by doing this, you can bring harmony and peaceful alignment to your personal space and ultimately, the world.
Feng Shui brings together the five elements, including fire, earth, air water and metal. The underlying concept is that the qi, or life force, must be able to move freely in a room.
Practitioners often start by bringing in certain types of furniture and various types of décor and lighting that represent these elements.
Correspondences in Feng Shui for Passion, Love and Action
In general, the fire element includes the following correspondences.
- Emotion: Happiness
- Planet: Mars
- Chinese Astrology Compatibility: Serpent, Horse, Sheep
- Direction: South
- Season: Summer—think hot
- Shape: Triangle
- Room: Living Room
- Symbol: Red Phoenix
Color and balance are also very important in feng shui.
- Feng Shui Fire Element Colors: Color is probably the simplest way to bring the fire element into your home. Colors such as red, bright yellow, orange, purple and pink represent the element ideally.
- When the Fire Element is Balanced: The fire element, on the positive side, can fuel enthusiasm, help leaders be more effective, encourage expressiveness and inspiration and help people be bolder. It can ignite passion and excitement in your relationships. It spurs action.
- Too Much or Too Little Fire Element: When the fire element is overstated in a home, people often display anger or aggression, or they may become irritable or impulsive. But if there’s not enough fire, residents might be emotionally cold and have a problem with low self-esteem—or they could just experience a lack of vision and be generally apathetic.
Practical Feng Shui for Passion: Bringing the Fire Element Into Your Home
You can represent the fire element in your home in a number of ways. In addition to incorporating the colors listed above into your plan, some specific ideas include the following.
- Fireplaces (wall hung gas fires are a great substitution if you can’t afford a traditional fireplace installation)
- Art with fire images and/or colors
- Gas fire baskets
- Lighting fixtures incorporating the fire colors
- Vases, throw pillows and other “pops” of color in the fire colors
- Electronic equipment
- Animal prints
- Sunlight (open the windows!)
Personally, I’ve got red throw pillows, a ton of candles and red incorporated into my artwork in the living room. I am still working on that fireplace. 🙂
What are your favorite ways to incorporate the fire element into your home or office décor? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below.
Inspired by The Art of Meaningful Living
by Christopher F. Brown, LCSW, MBA
Are you living your meaningful life, or is it buried under hundreds of different disappointments and lost dreams?
Meaningful living is choosing your passions over your fears. It is accepting what you cannot control and focusing on what is within your power.
Meaningful living is intentional, effective, and respectful. Meaningful lives are built decision by decision, one day at a time.
Your meaningful life is beautiful. It is strong. It is unique. It is within you. Your meaningful life is what you are passionate about. Meaningful living requires you to actively choose your behaviors based on your personal elements of meaningful living.
One way to define your passions is to prioritize the following 10 elements of meaningful living. The elements are inspired by the ideas of psychologist Kelly G. Wilson, PhD.
One element is not intrinsically better than another; they’re just different. Your meaningful life is unique, as are you. You define your passions and can live them. You can master your mind. You can act in ways that you value. You can have your meaningful life.
Friends are the family of your choosing. Friendships are far more than casual acquaintances; they require care and attention. When your friends and social life are central to your meaningful life, the effort feeds both you and your friend, plus the relationship between the two of you.
Expand your range of experience to develop yourself. Growth is characterized by continuing education, training in new specialties, experiencing other cultures, and learning new skills. Yes, growth can be painful, but when continual development is central to your meaningful life, the experience is worth it.
Care for yourself physically and emotionally because life can be difficult. You will need to heal from its experiences and lessons. Heal with adequate sleep, a nourishing diet, physical activity, healthy relationships, and professional treatments. This passion establishes your self-care as an equal priority with the needs of others.
When the growth and development of others provides you with fulfillment, nurturing is your passion. Parenting certainly can provide you a chance to nurture, but having children is only one of many ways to fulfill this passion. Nurture through mentoring or coaching. Care for other living things, like pets or plants. When nurturing is your passion, you nourish others to nourish yourself.
To partner is to join another person in an intimate relationship. These relationships are embodied by public commitments that unite one human being to another. Intimate partnerships require you to love, desire, and long for another person. Successful partnerships also require consistent care with each person able to be both I and we within the relationship.
Play is activity with the purpose of relaxing, amusing, and delighting you. If you have forgotten how to play, spend time watching young children; they’re the experts. Forms of play are only limited by your imagination. Adults play in their intimate relationships, hobbies, and pastimes. Whether you enjoy going to the movies, traveling to new places, or collecting vintage toys, it is all recreation, or a form of play.
This element of meaningful living connects you with who you came from: your family of origin. When connecting with the family you were adopted or born into is a passion, invest energy and time into your relationships with Mom, Dad, Brother, Sister, Cousin, or other kin who are important to you.
Serving a community, large or small, can bring great satisfaction and meaning. When actions of service consistently give you energy and contentment, serving is one of your passions. Serving in the military or government service, joining in professional organizations or activist coalitions, and volunteering in nonprofit organizations, neighborhood associations, or school committees are different ways to pursue a passion of service.
Transcendence is the ability to exist above and apart from the material world. Spirituality is transcendent. Your spirituality may include organized religion, or it may not. Regardless, you transcend when you believe in a power greater than yourself that connects all of us. Pursue this universal force by being involved with a church, a twelve-step program, or an organized meditation with a focus on connecting with a larger world. Creativity is also transcendent. Be open to your creative energy by transcending, or rising above, your day-to-day struggles.
When work is your passion, it’s more than earning a living; it becomes a calling. Careers and professional personas are often people’s defining characteristics. Providing for yourself and others is a way to build self esteem and confidence in your capabilities. Financial security can also be the means by which other areas of meaningful living can have expression.