How To Build Your Self Esteem In 10 Simple Steps

How To Build self Respect

The most important thing a girl can have is self respect. When you treat yourself with respect others will view you and treat you accordlingly. A girl who respects herself is an ideal employee, friend and companion. You deserve all the great things that life has to offer, and that starts with treating yourself with respect.

10 Ways To Build Your Self Respect.

Learn To Say No.

This applies to every aspect of your life. Anything, and I do mean anything you don’t feel comfortable with, say No. If someone wants you to do something that you don’t want to do, say No. Don’t give up your personal time to make someone else happy – if you don’t want to go to lunch or to the movies or to the mall, just say No. When you feel like someone is taking advantage of you don’t grin and bear it. Say No.

Set Boundaries.

When you are clear with yourself what your boundaries are it becomes easy to enforce them. Set boundaries that don’t let others steal your time. Set boundaries that rule how people can and cannot speak to you. Set boundaries about physical violence and verbal violence – neither are ever okay.

Set boundaries about how much overtime you will do at work. Set boundaries that you won’t answer the phone at dinner, or respond to texts during movies. Set boundaries about how late or how early others can call you.

Having a clearly defined set of boundaries is a crucial foundation in building self respect. Quietly and calmly enforcing the boundaries you have set is a sign that you are worthy and that you have a solid sense of self respect.

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Podcasts and Books.

Feed your mind with quality information. Don’t waste your life on reality TV – listen to podcasts on subjects that interest you. Read books on a variety of subjects including guides to self empowerment, to help you stay on track. The more you fill your mind with quality information the better you will feel about yourself.

Choose Who You Allow Around You.

Be very discerning about who you let around you. Don’t hang out with negative people, people who treat you unkindly, or people heading down a bad path. Instead surround yourself with positive, kind people who treat you well and are heading in a positive direction.

Treat People Kindly.

Self respect is equal parts how you treat yourself and how you treat others. Be kind. It’s easy, it feels good and it makes those around you feel good. Like attracts like, so if you are kind to others you will attract kind people to you. Treat yourself kindly too. Learn to only say nice words to yourself about yourself.

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Acknowledge your strengths.

Self respect means knowing what you are good at and acknowledging those strengths to yourself. You don’t need to broadcast them to the world – others will see for themselves. No one is good at everything, so rather than focusing on the things you are not so good at, and beating yourself up over them, put them in context and pair them with strengths. Maybe you can’t run a 3 minute mile but you are really good at conjugating verbs in another language, or baking pies or calming distressed animals. Know what you are good at and embrace those things.

Pursue Hobbies.

Get some hobbies and pursue them. Hobbies are a way to devote quality time to something you enjoy, which is a sign of self respect in itself! Blocking off time for yourself to do things that you really enjoy is a way of showing the world that you respect yourself.

Dress With Self Respect/Dress For You.

Only ever dress for yourself. Don’t dress to try and get a guy’s attention or to make him like you. The way you dress and the way you present yourself send out a thousand silent messages that in turn tell others how to treat you and what to think of you. Are you sending out a message that says you are willing, ready and able? Are you giving a message that says you can be compromised? Or are you telling the world that you are comfortable in your own skin and know what you’ve got, but only the chosen get to see it? Dress yourself with respect.

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Set Standards.

Raise the bar high! Set high standards for yourself and for everything in your life, and then work to achieve and maintain those standards. Set standards for behavior you will accept in others and in yourself. You will be amazed at how many people will raise themselves up to meet you, and in the process the ones that were dragging you down will drop away. The ultimate sign of healthy self respect is holding yourself to a high standard.

Do not engage in gossip.

Gossiping is the opposite of holding yourself to a high standard. Gossip is about making yourself feel good by demeaning another person. If you have self respect or if you are building your self respect, excuse yourself from any conversation that involves gossip. In fact, make a habit of shutting down any conversation that involves gossiping about other people.

 

She remembered who she was and the game changed” Lalah Deliah

image from Luca Magazine, photographed by Brad Olson

How To Feel Calm, Be Strong And Totally Smash Stress

International Women’s Day is March 8th, so here on the blog I’m spending the week celebrating the empowerment of women. Yesterday it was 10 Ways To Boost Your Self Confidence, today I have 10 powerful tools to help you beat stress in your life.

Stress is an energy vampire. It sucks the life right out of the joy you are supposed to be living. We all face stressful situations in our lives, no one is immune. In life there will always be another bump in the road ahead, so we might as well build our skill set to manage it.

The situation we face is not the issue, the issue is how we react to, process and deal with the situation. Beating stress, getting out in front of stress, comes down to having the right tools up your sleeve.

 10 Powerful Ways To Totally Beat Stress

Breathe.

When you find yourself in a stressful situation use your breath to calm yourself. Breathe in through your nose to a count of 10, hold it for a count of 10, blow it back out to a count of 10. Your body can’t focus on being stressed and deep breathing at the same time!

Do Yoga.

If you start your day with sun salutations you set up your whole day to function with balance and calm.

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Take a Walk.

Unplug your devices, turn off your phone, clear your mind and take a walk in the park. When you step outdoors and create a space in your mind the Universe will race to fill it with something, most often the solution to your problem!

Meditate.

You don’t have to sit on the floor with crossed legs and palms pressed together – you can meditate any way that works for you. Even if you just meditate 10 minutes per day you will change your life for the better and gain the mental strength to calm your thoughts in moments of stress.

 

 Focus on the funny.

You can’t be busting out laughing and be stressed at the same time. Your brain will make you pick just one, so choose the funny! Think about the most hilarious moments in the funniest movies you’ve ever seen and let your laughter lighten the moment.

You Are What You Eat.

Processed foods, sodas, sugars and alcohol all make stress worse. Eating healthy foods, drinking lots of water and avoiding all the bad stuff can help you get through life’s stressful moments

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Sleep.

Lack of sleep not only makes coping with stress more difficult but can also be a stress trigger. Make sleep a priority in your life and try to get 7 to 8 hours sleep per night.

Listen To Podcasts/Ted Talks

You get to choose what you fill your mind with when you are commuting to work, working out, walking the dog or going about your life, so fill it with something good! Listen to empowering podcasts and Ted Talks, and hear the stories of regular people who have overcome all kinds of obstacles and gone on to do great things. If you keep your mind inspired it will naturally seek out solutions and spend less time on stressing.

Use The 5 Year Rule.

Stress makes us lose perspective. In the moment it can feel cataclysmic, but in reality most of it is just a waste of energy and time. As you face a stressful situation ask yourself if this will matter in five years’ time. Will you care about this five years from now? Probably not. Try to remember things that stressed you out 5 years ago – most, if not all of them will seem like a complete waste of time and energy now.

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The Mantra I AM.

Everyone needs a mantra, a series of words to string together and repeat over and over as we breathe our way out of stress, quiet our minds and deal with the situation at hand. The most empowering words you can use are the very simple but very true I. Am. Because You Are.

All images courtesy of Blake Bonillas, www.blakebonillas.com

10 Easy Ways To Boost Your Self Confidence

It’s International Women’s Week – the week that holds International Women’s Day. This year International Women’s Day is Thursday March 8th.

How To Boost Your Self Confidence

Most women and girls walk through life feeling dis-empowered, or not in control of their own power. Maybe not in every moment of every day, but enough to make them miss out on life’s wonderful opportunities, to make them scared to take risks, to make them settle for less.

A big part of being able to own your own life, attract opportunities to you,and feel happy and content within yourself lies in being able to boost your own self confidence. Self confidence is not about how much money you earn, how thick or thin your thighs are, how many followers you have on social media or what you do for a living.

Self confidence is all about feeling centered, appreciating just how fantastic you really are, and not being afraid to fail. Self confidence makes you a magnet to others. It is sexy and alluring, at the same time it is repellent to bullies and mean girls.

Whatever age you are, where ever you are in your life, there are always reasons to develop, boost and enhance your self confidence

 

Here are 10 easy ways to boost your self confidence

1. Use Your Body Language

Self confident people walk differently. The carry themselves differently. And here is a little secret – it is impossible to maintain self confident body language and feel insecure at the same time. Your brain can only put you in one state at a time, so choose self confidence!

Self Confident Body Language

  • Stand up straight, pull your shoulder blades together toward your spine, then slide them down your back. This will square your shoulders and give you a nice, straight spine. Squared shoulders are the first sign of self confidence.
  • Square your hips. As girls and women we tend to balance phantom babies on our hips, throwing our weight to one side or the other, or we curl our hips into each other, both of which make our shoulders curve and slump downward. Squared hips and squared shoulders signal self confidence.
  • Keep your chin parallel to the ground. A chin that angles downward indicates subservience or a lack of confidence. A chin that is parallel to the ground, paired with squared shoulders and squared hips, inspires confidence, makes you look honest and aware and ready for every great thing that is about to come your way.
  • Make eye contact. Watch the people around you for more than 5 minutes and you will see their eyes bouncing around, looking everywhere but directly at the person they are speaking to or with. When you maintain eye contact with the person you are speaking to it says that you are confident both inside your skin and in what you are talking about.
  • Smile. When your shoulders and hips are squared, your chin is parallel to the ground, you are making eye contact and you are smiling it tells the world you are confident, happy and content in life.

Just for fun try maintaining the body language of self confidence and feeling insecure or scared or stressed at the same time. It is impossible! In order to feel less than confident you have to adopt a different posture.

2. Breathe

When ever you are feeling less than confident use your breath to calm your mind and re-calibrate your thoughts. Close your mouth and breathe in through your nose to a count of 10, breathing all the way down to the base of your belly. Hold the breath for a count of 10 (or work your way to being able to hold it for 10) then blow your breath out of your mouth to a count of 10. Repeat this over and over until you feel at peace.

If your brain won’t stop running in a million different directions then quiet it back down by silently saying “I breathe in” as you inhale, and “I breathe out” as you exhale. (I learned this from a yoga teacher years ago. It works!)

3. Stop Being A People Pleaser

Self confident people are not people pleasers. Put yourself at the center of your universe and then act kindly towards everyone, but know that it is OK to say “No”. Don’t try to please others. Don’t say or do anything because it is expected of you or because it will make someone else feel good, regardless of whether that is your boss, your co-worker, your lover or your friend. Don’t do anything because you think it might make someone like you – it will just make them think they can walk all over you. Know that you were not put on this earth to be a people pleaser. You were put on this earth to shine!

4. Put Yourself First

This ties in with not being a people pleaser. Self confident people make a point of knowing what they want and putting themselves first to make sure they get it. As women we tend to put our own wants and needs behind everyone else’s. Without being unkind or unfeeling, a self confident person will assert themselves and make sure their needs are met. You don’t hear self confident people say “I really wanted to see that movie but, I had to do all these other things for other people first and so I didn’t have time. ” or “I really wanted to read that book but by the time I had cooked dinner, done the dishes and the laundry, picked up the house and helped with homework each night I was too tired to read anything!”.

A self confident person will  divide and assign tasks to others so that everything gets done and there still is time to sit down and read that book.

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5. Meditate

Part of being self confident is being able to quiet your mind, shut out the distracting noise, control your thoughts and emotions, give your brain the time and space it needs to think up the good stuff! Meditating doesn’t have to take a long time and it doesn’t have to be difficult. Find some 10 minute meditations on You Tube, separate yourself from distractions and if nothing else just listen to one over and over each day. Sometimes they will just bore your brain into quietness.

Once you learn how to meditate – quiet your brain for a few minutes, you will be able to handle the more difficult or stressful situations in life, just like a self confident person does. Sometimes confidence is about being able to step back from a situation, see it for what it is, make a decision and move forward.

Self Confidence Boosters For Girls

Image of model Cash Warren by Brad Olson

6. Get Quality Sleep

When you don’t get enough sleep or enough quality sleep you get anxious, more easily stressed out, manic. All of which are the opposite of confident.

Make getting enough sleep a priority. Minimize the distractions that make sleep poor quality. That may mean wearing earplugs to block out the traffic noise or wearing an eye mask to black out the neon lights that shine into your room. It may mean turning off TV or video games early so that your brain can quiet itself down. It may mean soaking in a bath with epsom salts or assigning yourself quiet time before bed. (Confident people allow themselves the time they need to quiet their mind before bed. It is a necessity, not an indulgence.)

7. Acknowledge Your Weaknesses And Embrace Your Strengths

Very, very few people if any are really, really good at everything. Self confident people understand that. Not only do they know what they are good at and where they are not strong, they have no problem admitting to their weaknesses or asking for help. Confident people embrace their strengths and are proud of them. They put their weaknesses or things they are not strong at in perspective. How important is it? Is this something they need to work on and turn into a strength, or when put into the bigger picture is this issue/trait/situation not worth worrying about?

Serena Williams is really great at tennis. She is the best. Do you think she would lose any sleep over not being able to flip a crepe, or sew a dress, or make an excel spreadsheet? Of course not! If it was something that really mattered to her she would learn how to do it, but chances are she would look at it and decide it was not worth her time or energy.

8. Take A Digital Detox

Remember that the perfect lives we see on social media are not real. No one’s life is that perfect, so don’t compare yourself to the people and stories you see on social media. One of the most empowering things you can do to boost your self confidence is to take periodic digital detoxes – put down the phone, stop checking social media and just focus on enjoying life.

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9. Learn To Accept Compliments Graciously

Self confident people accept compliments graciously. If you compliment them on their outfit they will never say “What? This old thing?”, instead they will smile and say “Thank you.” If you compliment their makeup they will never say “It’s a pity my hair won’t behave.” or “I just threw this on, it probably looks awful!”. Instead they will smile and say “Thank you”.

If you compliment them on their work they will never say “I could have done it better”, or “I should have done it more quickly”. Instead they will smile and say “Thank you”. Not only will a self confident person graciously accept a compliment, but they will appreciate the compliment and know it has merit and is deserved.

10. Focus On What Makes You Happy

Self confident people don’t waste a lot of time focusing on people or things that annoy them, upset them, or bother them. They understand that negativity just holds them back.

Self confident people focus on the things that make them happy. They devote time to pursuing their hobbies, put  effort into surrounding themselves with people and things that make them happy, keep moving forward in a positive direction.

images in this post are courtesy of Brad Olson at Brad Olson Photography