Insecure? Reclaim the Joy of Being of You

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”  ~Vincent Van Gogh

Listen up dear friend — if you feel insecure about yourself, you are not alone.

A few months ago, I surveyed my readers about their most common fears and worries. Feeling insecure was a recurring theme. We tiptoe about on the eggshells of life, afraid that others will see our flaws, our ugliness, our failures.

We sell ourselves short. We hold ourselves back, because we just don't know — “Will it work, will I look stupid, am I capable? Will they like me?”

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8 Life Lessons to Teach Your Parents

“And you, of tender years/ Can't know the fears that your elders grew by/ And so please help them with your youth/ They seek the truth before they can die.” ~Graham Nash, from the song Teach Your Children

A guest post by Jon Giganti of 1440.

Editors Note: As I've created my blog and built my online business, I constantly realize how much there is to learn — and that most of the brilliant teachers are years younger than me. In fact, my entire lifestyle outlook has shifted as a result of connecting with these younger online experts. I asked Jon to write a post about what he believes his generation can teach those older than he is. Here's what he has to say.

It’s 1940. My parents haven’t been born yet. They’re soon to be part of the baby boomer generation and grow up in an age of many changes. TV’s, moon landings, leisure suits, Rock n Roll, Vietnam.

Many in this generation came from immigrant parents (as did mine).

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How to Lighten Up

“Man, unlike the animal, has never learned that the sole purpose of life is to enjoy it.” ~Samuel Butler

I love my work. I really love it deep down in my bones and could sit at my computer all day writing and creating and connecting with other people.

Yes, I realize how wonderful it is to feel passionate about my work, but I'm also learning how important it is to step away from it — frequently.

A healthy lifestyle requires balance, which means we have to lighten up sometimes.

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How Simple Thinking Leads to a Brilliant Mind

“All the things that truly matter, beauty, love, creativity, joy and inner peace arise from beyond the mind.” ~Eckhart Tolle

Your beautiful mind can be your worst enemy.

I know someone who suffers from schizophrenia. He constantly hears voices, like a radio in his head. It's a constant distraction, making it nearly impossible to hold a job or do anything that requires concentration.

The worst part is that the voices say negative, demeaning things to him. He's trapped by his mind and his illness.

In truth, we all suffer from voices in our head. They may not be audible, and they may not always be negative or demeaning, but there's a constant babble of information, worries, instant replays of interactions, thinking ahead, or ruminating about the past.

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Don’t Underestimate Yourself

“As long as you think that the cause of your problem is ‘out there' —as long as you think that anyone or anything is responsible for your suffering—the situation is hopeless. It means that you are forever in the role of victim, that you’re suffering in paradise.” ~Byron Katie

You can do just about anything you set your mind to. And just about is plenty good for accomplishing more in life than you have time to accomplish.

Yes, there are some things in life that we won't ever be able to achieve. I will never be a professional ballet dancer no matter how diligently I train. You may not get the specific job you want because the employer won't hire you.

You may go after something with every confidence that you can achieve it, and then something unexpected prevents you.  Of course severe physical or emotional illness can hinder you. But these are the exceptions.

The rule is that there are millions of things you can accomplish.

When I coach clients, they often revert to the fallback position of over-examining their emotions. Emotions are important and have their place, but they are a smokescreen to taking action.

I try to refocus the client on action. Positive action always makes you feel better.  Even one tiny forward movement can be enough to turn around your entire outlook.

Here are some common feeling-charged thoughts that try to divert you from action:

  • It's hard. I can't do it.
  • I'm too lazy. I just don't have the motivation.
  • I don't really need to be doing this thing. I'm fine the way I am.
  • I'm feeling down right now. I can't do anything when I feel this way.
  • I can't afford to do that.
  • Something bad might happen. People won't like me anymore. I'll make them mad.
  • I failed at this before, so clearly I'm not capable.
  • I don't deserve this. I'm just not good enough.

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Living Happily In Spite of Bad Things

“Looking back, we see with great clarity, and what once appeared as difficulties now reveal themselves as blessings.”~Dan Millman

I recently had a reader write to me that she often didn't try things because she feared something bad would happen. Though she didn't say this, I suspect she's had some bad things happen in her life.

By the time you reach your 40's and 50's, most of us have had several bad things happen. Sometimes children and young people have really bad things happen in their young lives.

They lose a parent. They are abused. They get very sick. They have a disability.

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Harness the Power of a Healthy Attitude

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”  ~Winston Churchill

Have you ever had someone say to you, “Change your attitude?” I find myself saying it frequently to my teenagers, and they look at me like I've asked them to morph into an alien. Bad attitude and teenagers go together like white on rice.

In spite of their age-appropriate resistance to a healthy attitude, I remind them that attitude is a choice. Regardless of your life circumstances, you always have to power to change your attitude. And what a power that is.

Your attitude is your disposition, your way of thinking, and the feelings that go along with those. A healthy attitude is characterized by a general sense of well-being and equanimity about life.

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17 Good Karma Mother’s Day Gifts

mother kissing her daughter on the side of her forehead mother's day gifts

“No gift to your mother can ever equal her gift to you – life.” ~Anonymous

Once you become a parent, you view Mother's Day a bit differently than you did when you were just the giver of the gifts. As a parent, you consider all of the gifts you gave your own mom and wonder if they really reflected the way you felt about her.

When you become a parent, your view about real gifts, gifts from the heart, suddenly changes.

You know what's truly important and meaningful — what creates good karma for the giver and the receiver.

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