Because you are.

How many times have you been driving and you stop to let someone go and they don’t go?  You just sit there waiting for them to appreciate your kindness and they seem oblivious.  So you tut and sigh and perhaps curse and say something along the lines of ‘well I’m not waiting here all day’ or ‘you’ve lost your chance now’ as you drive on irritated with them.

Or perhaps you bump into someone and immediately say sorry, the other person then looks at you and tuts or gives you a dirty look, perhaps even a stern ‘look where you are going next time’, and you instantly get annoyed, maybe even shout after them ‘well if you weren’t standing in the middle of the aisle’ or maybe even something worse?

How many times have you tried to be kind to someone but they are rude back and then you enter in to an argument with that person, you know full well it is their fault because you tried to be the better person?

Perhaps you have tried to be nice and then an argument has escalated and perhaps that person has gone as far as to push you.  To hit you even.  So, you of course hit back.  They started it, you were trying to resolve the issue?

What has happened in all of these circumstances is you have placed expectations on other people to act how you want them to act.  To do as you think they should do.  You have based who you are on their actions and when they haven’t acted as you expected them to you have become defensive and angry.

Now before I go any further I must point out that we are all human and therefore we will all have good days and bad days and sometimes do right and sometimes do wrong, but, if we can understand our behaviour then we can at least learn from it.  If you are a respectful person – or pride yourself to be – then you should be respectful always, not just when someone is respecting you.  You don’t have to tolerate disrespect and you certainly don’t have to match disrespect.  If you are a kind person, be kind always, don’t excuse cruel behaviour by blaming someone else.  Just because someone is cruel to you it doesn’t justify you matching that behaviour.

Be who you want to be, be the person that you think it is right to be.  If you want to be kind then you must be kind when challenged, when pushed, when provoked.  You always have the choice to close your mouth, hold your hands by your side or walk away.

Preaching that you are a type of person and then letting that be determined by someone else’s attitude is not being true to the person you say you are.  The person you want to be.

The other day I could feel myself getting irritated with a man on the train, I was tired and had a headache and I was in the middle of reading a really good book and this man was talking so loudly on the phone.  He was trying to get through to someone presumably talking to a receptionist first.  I looked over at the man and could feel myself wanted to shoot him an irritated look but I stopped myself, I stopped for a moment and thought ‘Rachel, it is your own fault you are wound up with this man, we have been underground for some time and he might need to make this call, stop being so rude’.  This was the telling off I gave myself.  I tried to go back to my book but couldn’t concentrate so decided to wait patiently until the man was off the phone.  A few seconds later I heard him say ‘yes sorry I haven’t been at work my mother passed away this weekend and I’ve taken a few days off but I will be back tomorrow and can sort it then’.  He then had to repeat it several times as the person on the other end of the phone clearly couldn’t hear him, which was perhaps why he was talking loudly in the first place.  Well didn’t I just feel like a prize idiot.  This man is grieving and trying to sort out his work in the meantime and here I am annoyed because I can’t concentrate.  In that moment I was so thankful that I observed my thoughts and took responsibility for my actions.

You never know what someone is going through or why they are acting out.  The angry woman shouting from her car, the man that bumps into you without saying sorry, the miserable cashier, you just don’t know why they are acting that way and by you being nice, or patient or just polite, you may be helping them more than you know.  More than even they know.

So be nice because you are nice.  Be kind because you are kind.  Be respectful because you are respectful.  Just because YOU are those things, be them.

Kindly respecting all of my lovely Pride.

Take responsibility!

So often us women tear down men for the way we are treated:

“He doesn’t make enough effort with me”.

“He doesn’t message me enough”.

“He never calls me on the phone”.

“Why hasn’t he asked me out yet”.

“Why does he always put his friends first”.

“Why doesn’t he dress smart when we go out”.

“If he just changed a little bit he would be perfect”.

And so on…..

But the thing is girls, you are the ones accepting this behaviour and by doing so deeming it acceptable. You hold these high standards but yet you are not making anyone actually meet them. Instead you accept this shoddy behaviour and expect the man to raise the ‘standard’ bar himself. Well, he is not going to do that.

If you don’t like how you are being treated then DON’T PUT UP WITH IT. Address the issue with him perhaps once and if it continues – walk away. You will soon see if he is willing to meet your standards and treat you the way you deserve to be treated. If he isn’t willing to do that then why on earth would you even want him around? Stop digging your claws into deadweight guys and start living your life the way you want it to be and do it for you. You deserve it. It’s not about being demanding or high maintenance, it’s about only accepting the best in life which I am sure is what you are offering a partner in return.

You don’t need the wrong man you need the right one and the only way you will ever meet him is if you cut away all the men who are far from good enough for you. have some self-respect and treat yourself by the same standards you want someone else to treat you. You can survive a little bit of heartbreak, disappointment and insecurity whilst you forget about the latest deadbeat. To live a life being treated like you are not a Queen just so you don’t run the risk of living alone for a small while IS NOT living. It is clinging.

Demand more for yourself through your actions. You don’t need to give someone a list of rules or tell them off for what they aren’t doing. Just know that you will not stay for something that isn’t worth it and prove it – by leaving situations that are bad for you.

Stronger than ever before Pride!

Be Quiet!

Listen.

Listen, listen, listen.

How often do you take the time to listen to someone else? Do you enjoy talking? Do you enjoy people listening to you? Do you do the same for others?

I mean ask yourself, are you paying attention when someone is talking? Or are you thinking about what to cook for dinner? What homework the kids need to finish? What to wear on the weekend?

People know when you aren’t listening. I mean sure it can be a little obvious if you pick your phone up in the middle of someone talking to check what your friend has tagged you in on facebook, but, even if you are just thinking about something else, people know. They may not always say it, but they know.

For goodness sake listen. Put your phone down for five minutes, take your focus out of your own head and actually listen to the human being who is talking to you. If you don’t want to listen to them then don’t give them your time and let them find someone who will be considerate enough to listen.

If someone I am with is clearly not listening to me when I talk or they pick up their phone, I stop talking. Simple as that. I stop mid-sentence and you wouldn’t believe that so many of those times the other person doesn’t even realise I am no longer talking and when they come back round or put their phone back down they begin talking about themselves, as if I wasn’t in the middle of talking to them in the first place (perhaps I should stop talking about paint drying). These are the people who I no longer waste my efforts talking to about anything important to me because they do not deserve to hear it.

Sometimes your friend, partner or family member will just need you to listen to them, they may not need advice or your opinion but just your ear. So lend it to them. It is important. I am sure you like it when people listen to you.

So challenge for this week: Let’s all shut our mouths a little bit and open our ears and see if we make a difference in someone’s life. It might be just what someone we care about needs.

Listening carefully Pride!

HATE YOURSELF BEAUTIFUL

So there seems to be this worldwide phenomenon, a way of working towards the ideal you. You can reach utter perfection just by following this simple tip. All you have to do is hate yourself perfect. How on earth can I reach the perfect me I hear you ask? Well I will tell you:

  • Feel too fat? Just hate every inch of you that you think is fat!
  • Feel too thin? Just hate all the skinniest parts of you, look at each rib in disgust!
  • Feel too tall? Look at all of those that are shorter than you and put them higher up than you in worth!
  • Feel too pale? Look at yourself in the mirror and point out how disgusting you are
  • Feel you aren’t smart? Easy, envy all those that you think are clever and tell yourself you are stupid!

Does the above work well for an advert? No? There is something wrong with this tactic? Are you telling me you wouldn’t go and see a ‘hate yourself perfect’ life coach????? Well there goes that money-making scheme!

The thing is though, nearly everybody uses this technique in some part of their lives to motivate them to change. Here is the thing though:

YOU CANNOT HATE YOURSELF TO IMPROVE!

This means:

  • You cannot hate yourself healthy
  • You cannot hate yourself happy
  • You cannot hate yourself beautiful
  • You cannot hate yourself to success

For a start each of these goals listed above mean something different to everyone. What you think is beautiful is the complete opposite of beauty to someone else. What you think it means to be healthy is the complete opposite to someone else. What you think it means to be happy is the complete opposite to someone else. What you define as success is the complete opposite to someone else.

Do you see the pattern here?

Truly happy, successful, healthy and beautiful people have certain traits in common:

  • They appreciate themselves
  • They are attracted to themselves
  • They recognise their strengths
  • They acknowledge changes they want to make and enjoy working to change.
  • They don’t compare themselves to others
  • They don’t try to fit in

Hating yourself does one thing – It makes you feel bad. So stop!

Easier said than done right? I mean hating any part of yourself has required work and dedication. It has taken a lot of time and effort. So how can we change this?

We have to start recognising this behaviour as it happens and then we can start to change it. So here is a simple exercise to start doing this. Standing in front of the mirror I want you to look at yourself and say:

I am amazing. I am perfect. I am smart and I am beautiful. I love me.

Now I know that this can be particularly hard to do especially if you don’t believe any of this so if you find it a struggle I want you to imagine you did believe it, imagine how you would feel if you believed all of these. Imagine how you would stand, how you would smile, how you would brush your hair. How you would adjust your clothes. How you would walk past the mirror. Just imagine and then pretend you are that person JUST while you say those statements.

One more exercise I want you to try is one where you can call upon your ILV (Inner Lioness Voice). This one takes a bit more effort in recognising your own thoughts. Every time you hear yourself wishing you were different or putting yourself down I want you to stop and say to yourself

Excuse me, don’t say those things about me, I am wonderful and amazing and shame on you for thinking anything else. Get out of here!

Not only that but I want you to feel annoyed with that other voice, as if it is a person. How dare it try to put you down. That is not a kind thing to do and you won’t stand for it.

Now you are either excited to try this or worried about the amount of voices in my head but just give it a try. Print this out or write down the exercises and just try them. If they don’t work at all then you have lost nothing but you should demand the very best for yourself because you are worth it (sorry Loreal for stealing your tagline).

Admiring your greatness Pride!

I WANT WHAT I’VE GOT!

What is that you want? What don’t you have that you have been wanting? I bet a list comes to mind easily? Put that list aside and now make a list of all the things that you already have that are amazing and wonderful. Every single one of them. It may start off with things that seem more important such as family, friends, pets, a roof over your head.

Wow, if you are blessed enough to have those on your list then really and truly you hold so much already. Many of my friends I consider my family and I am thankful for them everyday. I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world, would you?

Do you have a roof over your head and a warm bed? Hallelujah, there is nothing like climbing into bed after a long day. Laying your head on to the pillow and spreading out under the sheets. Gorgeous!!!!!

Ok so maybe some things that may seem a bit smaller in comparison, such as a paying job, a hobby, a big TV.

Money to be able to afford things you enjoy is a great feeling. A sense of achievement after hitting work deadlines or making a difference is really rewarding.

A hobby means you are dedicating time to yourself and your passions. The importance of this is infinitely high. We are on earth, in a body, living a life. We have to dedicate some of that time for ourselves.

A big TV? Yes!!!! Movie night. Relaxing on the sofa or in bed and snuggling up with some snacks. One of my favourite things to do.

I have just named 7 things and briefly touched on them. I could go on with this list forever. I haven’t even gone into great detail about the 7 things I have just named. I haven’t given you the name of each of my friends and why I am so thankful for them. I haven’t told you every single movie I have loved watching on my TV at home where I enjoy the roof over my head.

My point is that if you want more things to be grateful for in life or happy about, then be grateful for all the things you already have. You will be surprised at how long and detailed this list will be. By the time you finish you will realise that you already have so much that any more would simply be a blessing. You are in fact opening a doorway to allow even more to come to you. The more we focus on what have to be grateful for the more we will be given even more things to be grateful for. It’s a win-win.

What are you grateful for right now?

HE DID SHE DID……TRY I DID.

Every time we enter conflict we are so quick to focus on the other person’s part. ‘She said this behind my back’ or ‘He hasn’t even tried to apologise for what he did’. Ever heard the saying ‘it takes two to tango’? There is always some truth to that. Even if you decide you ARE in the right you need to acknowledge your part in the conflict. Doing this allows you to understand the other person better and dispel some anger. It also prevents you adding fuel to a fire next time. Reality is only what we perceive it to be so we must respect that our actions and words may be perceived differently by others.

So, I hear you ask, what do I suggest you do? Next time you have any kind of conflict with someone instead of stewing over what the other person has done take responsibility for your part first. Analyze your own actions as if you were the other person. Understand what they might be feeling. Think about your actions and words and try to consider how they might make the other person feel. You might be able to see that you could have handled things differently or that you were both at fault. You might see that you actually handled things very well and the other person is victimizing themselves through projections of their own insecurities. Even if that is so you will get an understanding of that persons pain and this should at least help rid you of the anger the conflict has caused.

Anger never makes anyone feel good, bearing this in mind you can appreciate that whoever you argued with is feeling pain too, whether they admit it or not. Nobody feels good after putting someone else down, despite what they say, strength isn’t proven by attacking people. Putting others down is a need to feel more important than others and the only reason we need to feel that is if we don’t believe already that we are in fact, as good as anyone else. When we focus on other people’s actions rather than our own we distract ourselves from self growth and self-analysis and this benefits no one and drags out an upsetting situation. Always know your part in any situation and be present in your reality.

Can you think of a time that you could have handled something better?

THE SECRET TO CONFIDENCE….

Think about the most confident people you know, the people you aspire to be as confident as. Think about the way they do ‘terrifying’ things with such ease. Nothing phases them. They don’t fear other people or situations and are comfortable in their surroundings. Ever wondered how they do it? How they have so much confidence? How you can have the same?

Well, it’s completely possible for every one to gain access to as much confidence as they want to by adding the following ingredients into your daily life:

A sense of self-worth:
Confident people understand that they are worthy of their place in the world. They give themselves respect, love and appreciation. They know that they are entitled to be here just as much as the next person. They are kind to others and kind to themselves. They don’t need to ‘trample’ on others to feel worthy, they know that it was their birthright to hold a seat in this wonderful show called life! This attitude allows them to set standards and boundaries. They do not tolerate these being disrespected because they will respect the standards and boundaries others also set for themselves, so they can only accept the same from others.

If you feel you lack self-worth then start changing this today. Look at yourself in the mirror and say the following:

‘I am as good as the next person and better than most’.

Say it everyday, 10 times a day, 100 times a day until you believe it. You are at least as good as the next person and you have to believe you are better than most to take risks and believe you deserve to receive opportunities and good fortune.

Basic acting skills or the ‘show and tell’ tactic:
Something that is so important to know is that even the most confident looking person will suffer with nerves, feel embarrassment and on occasion, even feel a little shy. The trick to overcoming this is to act as if you don’t feel this way. A phrase I have grown to love is ‘fake it ’till you make it’ . They say smiling when you are sad actually helps to cheer you up and it is the same with confidence. Pretending you are not shy when you meet someone quickly gets you past your shyness. Acting like you are not nervous quickly helps you overcome your nerves. Acting like you are not afraid of embarrassment means you quickly realise it doesn’t need to stop you from doing something and that you soon feel more comfortable in those surroundings. It is a case of ‘grabbing those balls’ and doing it anyway. In fact, you can probably start to see signs of this from the people you consider as confident. Quietly observe them in situations and look out for them calling upon the ‘confident character’ within. Try using this technique for yourself too.

The other tactic is what I call the ‘show and tell’. I myself use this one quite often in more informal situations. If I am feeling nervous, embarrassed or shy ever (yes it happens often) I highlight it. I make a joke that I am shy and slightly exaggerate the ‘shyness’. This always leads to a friendly laugh about why I am shy and it is quickly moved on from with me feeling more at ease. I also never hide my embarrassment. I have one of those faces that can’t hide embarrassment, I immediately blush. So, instead of trying to hide this I will make a joke or a statement about me going red or being made to blush. I embrace it. As soon as I do that I have taken away the ability for anyone else to point it out and embarrass me further. I own my embarrassment, I don’t hide from it. The reason for this is simple. We are human, sometimes we get embarrassed so why should it be a problem? What we resist persists so just be who you are. It is exactly the same as feeling nervous, tell someone and you reduce the feeling. Being nervous means you are excited, you care about what you are doing and you face a fear. Imagine never feeling nervous. How incredibly dull would that be? If you are thinking now that you don’t ever feel nervous go and do something that scares you right now so you can enjoy the feeling!

The choice to make decisions:
Making decisions are a must for the confident person. Getting what you want isn’t a bad thing. Doing it your way might be fun or helpful for other people too so let them try it. Recognising that you want something and asking or choosing it is a way of displaying your self-worth. Why shouldn’t you ask for what you want? We are all different so we like different things. Sometimes it is nice to compromise but not at the expense of you doing something you don’t really want to do. When we make decisions for ourself it doesn’t matter if they are the right or wrong ones, the right ones are pleasing and the wrong ones give you something to learn from. At least you are willing to make choices and deciding to lead your life. If someone doesn’t like your decision then it is THEIR responsibility to communicate that with you and that is when you can aim to compromise.

BEWARE OF FAKE CONFIDENCE
Fake confidence is a dangerous quality that stems from ego, pride, self-doubt and a lack of self-worth. The fake confident person usually displays the following behaviour:
⦁ They speak over people and tell them what to do.
⦁ They rarely listen.
⦁ They put others down and are intimidating or ‘scary’ in their approach.
⦁ They do not take criticism well.
⦁ They see disagreement as a personal attack.
⦁ They can’t admit when they are wrong.

This kind of person is not truly confident. They lack self-esteem and self value and therefore need to feel more important than others to feel worthy. Although they have strong characters they will not easily lower their pride to see that there could be a more beneficial way of doing things. They therefore keep themselves stuck in a vicious circle of false confidence.

One thing I feel that is important to say is that although I refer to people being confident/not confident and falsely confident, in reality we are all made up of ALL of these qualities, we might have more of one and only a trace of another but we all have strengths and weaknesses, simply the amount and where they are is different. It is just easier to explain these qualities as separate and complete people. Also we all have certain things we are more confident and comfortable with. Bearing this in mind we can see that we all have a way of helping and also empowering each other. We are complexed beings and are made up of so many challenges, strengths, weaknesses and experiences that sometimes it is good to break it all down and simplify it and then add the simplicity to a complex situation. Ironically that last sentence was far from sounding simple but hopefully you get my point! 😉

So, be you, be proud to be you, be proud to like the things you like the way you like them. No one has the right to TELL you what you should and shouldn’t do, think, or be so take on board advice that you think is helpful and let go of anything else….if you want to of course!

CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES, COME ON!

We all have those times when someone we know steps up and does something amazing for us. It might be some great advice, a shoulder to cry on, an understanding hug. It may even be a very generous birthday present, an impromptu gift, a silly song sung together. Whatever it is, that person deserves your gratitude. So often we are grateful for someone but scared to show them how much we appreciate them. More than likely this is based on assumptions of the future and a lack of self confidence. Don’t be shy. So what if they turn out to be an asshole next week or they disappear out of the country two months later, in that moment they brought joy, hope or happiness into your life. Celebrate that. Tell them how they made you feel. ‘You did something really nice for me and I am so thankful for you’. Just do it. Send a message, write a letter or make a phone call. It doesn’t matter how, it just matters that you do, without any expectation or thought of what comes next. Feel and show appreciation, gratitude and love for those that are there for you.