Self – Esteem

Self-esteem is feeling worthy and able to meet life’s challenges. It is as essential as the air we breathe, and just as intangible. It comes from the depths of our core, yet it is reflected in every single outward action we take, grand or small. It is the essence from which we measure our worth and the most important building block in the foundation of our psyches.

If self-esteem is a lesson that you need to learn, you will be tested over and over until you feel confident about who you are and understand and believe in your intrinsic value. Your body may provide you with enough opportunities to work on this lesson throughout your entire lifetime.

Your body may teach you the lesson of self-esteem by testing your willingness to view yourself as worthy, regardless of what you look like or how your body performs.

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The process of building self-esteem is threefold. The first step is to identify what stands in your way. By acknowledging the limiting belief that you have about yourself, you can then move to the second step: to search your soul for a deeper core connection with who you really are. The third step is to take action, whether that means valuing yourself just as you are or making a positive change.

Remind yourself often that self-esteem is ephemeral. You will have it, lose it, cultivate it, nurture it, and be forced to rebuild it over and over again. It is not something to be achieved and preserved, but rather a lifelong process to be explored and cultivated.

Where do your feelings of worthiness stem from? Search to discover the pathway to that source, for you will need to revisit that source again and again throughout your lifetime. When you can easily find your way to the core of your essential value, then you know you have learned this lesson.

If Life is a Game, These are the Rules – Cherie Carter – Scott, Ph.D

 

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Grace

Grace is one of those intangible qualities that is difficult to describe but easy to recognize. Those who possess grace seem to walk effortlessly through life. They give the illusion of glowing from within and that glow is apparent to everyone around them.

To live in a state of grace means to be fully in tune with your spiritual  nature and a higher power that sustains you. Grace comes when you are able to move from your lower self, where your ego dictates the path that “should be” rightfully yours, to your higher self, where you are able to transcend your ego and expand into your greater good. It comes when you shift from a “me”-centered reality to an understanding of the bigger picture

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Grace comes when you understand and accept that the universe always creates circumstances that lead every person to his or her own true path, and that everything happens for a reason as part of a divine plan.

Sounds wonderful, you might say, but how do you achieve such a blissful state? By remembering each and every day that the lessons you are presented with are special gifts uniquely for you, and that learning these lessons is what will bring you to a state of grace. By anchoring yourself in the belief that you will be given whatever is right for you, regardless of how far off it may be from your perceived personal agenda.

In the state of grace you trust in yourself and the universe. You can celebrate other people’s blessings, knowing that their gifts are right and appropriate for them and that the universe has your gift right around the corner.

IF Life is a Game, These are the Rules – Cherie Carter – Scott, Ph.D
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Responsibility

“We have to accept the consequences of every deed, word and thought throughout our lifetime”  -Elisabeth Kfcbler- Ross

To take responsibility means you admit your accountability and acknowledge your influence and role in the circumstances in which you find yourself. It means you are answerable for your behavior and you fully accept any consequences created by your actions.

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Responsibility is not blame, however, and understanding the difference between the two is crucial to learning this lesson. Blame is associated with fault, whereas responsibility denotes authorship. Blame carries guilt and negative feelings; responsibility brings the relief of not having to dodge the full truth anymore and releases that guilt. Blame implies fault; responsibility implies ownership. Blame is stagnant; responsibility propels you forward and onward to your greater good.

Responsibility comes with certain rewards, but it is a lesson that is often hard-earned. I once had a woman named Mary in my workshop whose story of personal responsibility has always inspired me. Mary was born in Cuba and moved to Miami with her family when she was two years old. They lived in terrible poverty in a dangerous part of the city, where crime and drugs were part of everyday life. Mary was determined, however, even at the young age of eight, to make something of her life other than follow the expected route of becoming a maid, or a cashier at the supermarket. So she got herself to school each and every day, sometimes having to step over drunks passed out in the doorway, just so she could get an education and give herself a better life.

Mary eventually left Miami, obtained a good education, and fostered her natural music ability. She knew it was up to her to create her own life, regardless of what hand she had been dealt. She is now one of the most well-known Latina studio singers, and her voice can be heard in countless national commercials. Mary could have given in to the life she was born into, or remained mired in blaming her parents and culture for her circumstances. She could have allowed a refusal to take responsibility for a situation—even though she was not to blame for it—to overshadow her desire. Instead, however, Mary took responsibility for herself and created a life of which she can be proud.

As a parent, I find myself trying to teach my daughter, Jennifer, small lessons of responsibility every day. I want Jennifer to grow up to be the kind of person who does what she says she will do, who understands the obligations that go along with privileges, and who takes ownership of her role in whatever circumstances she finds herself. I know I have a small window of time in which to impress upon her the importance of responsibility before she sets out into the world on her own.

Responsibility is a major lesson of adulthood. If you still haven’t learned the lesson of responsibility, it’s not too late. Remember, life will provide you with plenty of opportunities to get it right.

IF Life is a Game, These are the Rules – Cherie Carter – Scott, Ph.D
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Humility

A person with humility has a confident yet modest sense of his or her own merits, but also an understanding of his or her limitations. The moment you think you have seen everything or know it all (“Been there, done that…) the universe senses arrogance and gives you a great big dose of humility. You must give up on the idea that you can ever become so enlightened that you have nothing left to learn; Zen masters know that even for them learning never ends.

Humility is the lesson that stings, for along with it usually comes some kind of loss or downfall. The universe likes to keep things in balance, so when an inflated ego ignores civility and patience, it introduces humility as a way to bring the ego back down to Earth. Though the sting feels like a wound at the time, it really is just a poke from the higher power to keep you balanced.

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Some people experience so much success in life that they take it for granted, expecting things to go their way automatically. When this results in an inflated ego that ignores patience and civility, arrogance is bred, and humility becomes a curriculum requirement.

Have pride in who you are and what you have accomplished. However, if you find yourself harboring secret thoughts of arrogance or conceit, remind yourself of the lesson of humility before the universe does it for you. It will sting much less that way.

IF Life is a Game, These are the Rules – Cherie Carter – Scott, Ph.D
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Gratitude

“When you stop comparing what is right here and now with what you wish were, you can begin to enjoy what is.” Cheri Huber

To be grateful means you are thankful for and appreciative of what you have and where you are on your path right now. Gratitude fills your heart with the joyful feeling of being blessed with many gifts and allows you to fully appreciate everything that arises on your path. As you strive to keep your focus on the present moment, you can experience the full wonder of “here.”

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Gratitude is a lesson that needs to be reinforced often. It is too easy to overlook the gifts you have when you focus on those that you hope to obtain, and you diminish the value of where you currently are on your path if you do not pause often to appreciate it.

There are many ways to cultivate gratitude. Here are just a few suggestions you may wish to try:

  • Imagine what your life would be like if you lost all that you had. Like George Bailey in the movie It’s a Wonderful life; this will most surely remind you of how much you do appreciate it.
  • Make a list each day of all that you are grateful for, so that you can stay conscious daily of your blessings. Do this especially when you are feeling as though you have nothing to feel grateful for. Or spend a few minutes before you go to sleep giving thanks for all that you have.
  • Spend time offering assistance to those who are less fortunate than you, so that you may gain perspective.
  • Look for the gift in each challenging incident.However you choose to learn gratitude is irrelevent. What really matters is that you create a space in your consciousness for appreciation for all that you have right now, so that you may live more joyously in your present moment.
IF Life is a Game, These are the Rules – Cherie Carter – Scott, Ph.D
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Learning Does Not End

There is no part of life that does not contain lessons. If you are alive, there  are lessons to he learned.

Does it ever seem like just when you have mastered one lesson, another challenge presents itself almost immediately? Just when you get what it means to possess self-esteem, you are faced with a lesson in humility. As soon as you get what it means to be a good parent, your children leave home and you need to learn the lesson of letting go. You figure out one day the importance of having time to yourself, and the next day you are called to support someone else. Striving to get all the details of life under control is impossible, because life will present new lessons daily.

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You never actually finish all your lessons, for as long as you are alive, there are lessons to learn. Regardless of your age, or station in life, or success level, you will never be exempt from the lessons you need to learn in order to continue growing. Your journey on Earth is constantly unfolding, and while your wisdom grows and your capacity to deal with challenges expands, new lessons will  present themselves. In fact, as the depth of your wisdom increases, your capacities expand proportionately, allowing you to take on and solve with greater ease more advanced challenges.

It may come as a relief to finally understand that you never actually master life, and that striving to do so will only lead to frustration. The best you can do is strive to master the process by which you experience it. Life is a year-round school from which you never actually graduate, so it is the learning process itself that brings true value to existence.

The challenge is to embrace your role as a perpetual student of life. This means giving in to the idea that you actually don’t know everything that you need to, and you never will. It also means that you need to convince your ego that being a student does not make you inferior. In fact, being a student opens up worlds of possibilities that are invisible to those who are unwilling to accept this role.

In order to rise to the challenge of embracing your role as perpetual student, you need to learn the lessons of surrender, commitment, humility, and flexibility. Without these important lessons, you will never be able to open your mind, heart, and spirit wide enough to allow yourself to take in all that life has to teach you.

IF Life is a Game, These are the Rules – Cherie Carter – Scott, Ph.D

 

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Ways to Overcome Negative Thoughts – Choose Happiness

If you are a natural pessimist, you may think you have already hit rock bottom when it comes to perceiving the worst about a situation. Your mind might have brought you to the deepest, darkest and ugliest place when faced an unexpected change in your life. One simple challenge such as passing a driving exam would send you into a frenzy of anxiety due to the negative thoughts that you allow inside your head. A lot of people would find it hard to dismiss this way of thinking because they have been so accustomed to reacting this way that it is almost automatic.

Negative thoughts would come bombarding your mind and would overflow in your everyday life if you do not rein it in. you always have the power to choose which kind of thoughts you want to entertain. If you are the kind of person who has become exhausted with thinking about unfounded undesirable outcomes, then you can start overcoming negative thoughts in your everyday life. Here are a few tips that you can apply whenever you feel like pessimism is slowly taking hold of your mind:

As with everything that we want to happen in our lives, whether it is a long- lasting relationship, or a meaningful friendship, or a way to lose those extra pounds, the key to being successful in all of these is to be intentional. Believe it or not, choosing happiness is intentional as well. Abraham Lincoln once said “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be”, and it is true. You have to literally take those essential steps in choosing happiness. Mind you, doing this is not a once in a lifetime event. Like when you wake up in the morning and decide that today would be a perfect day, then forgetting all about it once you step out of the room to face a big pile of mess in the living room. Choosing happiness is when you decide to do it moment by moment of each day. You will find that in the process, there would still be persistent negative thoughts that would creep back up but choosing to be happy again and again is a way to combat those.

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One thing that you can focus on to stay happy is to count your blessings. A lot of negative thinkers tend to forget about what they already have. Try to focus on the things that you can be grateful for, such as your family who, in your mind, created that big pile of mess, or the fact that you have woken up healthy and ready to face the day. When you shift into this way of thinking, it would be hard to look at challenges the same way again. You will find that in spite of the difficulties, there are still a lot of things to be thankful for.

Speak affirmation to yourself daily. It is one thing to believe that you are capable of something, but you could elevate this belief if you actually hear it from yourself. Try the “I am…” statements where you can choose from a list of affirmations that you can say. Just make sure that you carefully create an honest, truthful and relevant list that you can use.

Start your day on your terms. You may have let go of your control over that alarm clock, but that does not mean that you can lose control of your entire day. Establish an energizing and meaningful routine in the morning to set your whole day towards success.

Positive Thinking Eliminate your stress with strategies you can do right now to unleash your happier life –  – Eckhart Tolle
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