Tag Archives: Confidence

Intent of the Day: Remain Undeterred


When times get tough, will you get tougher or will you get going? Living with intent means sticking it out when things appear not to be going in your favor. There is no limit to the road bumps you could encounter and that will require a person who is undeterred to make it to the other side. It is in those moments that you discover what you’re made of. It is in those moments that you are strengthened for the next risk you hope to attempt. Move forward knowing that have been brave before and can do it again. Our intent is to remain undeterred.

You too? Here are 3 things to help you remain undeterred: Continue reading

Intent of the Day: Starting the Day with Confidence


In her book Daring Greatly, Brene Brown talks about starting the day with the feeling of not being enough. You didn’t get enough sleep. There won’t be enough time to get everything done. You are already lose the battle against today. Knowing this, we want to change the pace. Our intent of the day is to start the day with confidence rather than feeling like we’re at the bottom of a mountain. And how? We have 3 resources to help! Continue reading

How to Encourage Your Kid’s Communication And Productivity Skills


By Samantha Madhosingh

Productive, confident adults…that is what we all hope our kids will develop into. There are very specific strategies that increase the odds of making that hope all parents have a reality, so let’s dive in.

Communication with Confidence

Empowering children with the skills of effective listening, self-advocacy, standing up for themselves, and the ability to communicate their needs, are some of the critical communication tools they will need from the preschool classroom to the boardroom.

These are the foundation skills of leadership development and can even prevent your child from being the victim of bullying and abuse.  You want your kids to be able to say “No” to other peers or adults who may attempt to harm them.  Practice with them through role plays, and show them how to be assertive, ask for what they want, and listen carefully to what others are saying. Continue reading

Choose Love Over Fear: 5 Myths About FEAR

By Michael Bianco-Splann


Fear has prevented me from living true to myself and from taking prudent risks. But fear is a broad catchall for other negative emotions.  Fear is based on future outcomes that, in most cases, do not occur. We tend to separate emotions of anger, hate, jealousy, betrayal, resentment, sadness, hurt, and discontent from fear. Yet, all are tentacles of the same root cause: fear.

This pattern has pulled me away from honest self-expression, meaningful exchanges of love and compassion while also limiting my leadership ability and catalyzing a life governed more by the incessant false ego than the universal gift of love in all its magnificent possibilities. The outcome is living well below my full capacity as a friend, partner, professional, father, husband, lover, and contributing member of my community.

I recall my shyness as a young boy, feeling insecure that I would be left behind. It was not until well into my adulthood that I understood that this fear was attached to my being given up for adoption. The fear manifested in my creating a life of falsehood.  Creating a safe haven where the real Michael was hidden became a primary objective, for to open that door would show me as unlovable and someone to be cast aside.  After failed marriages, less than desirable professional outcomes and lethal addiction, I realized the fallacy of my life’s journey. The change came as a result of slowly tearing away the fearful foundation upon which I had constructed my reality. Continue reading

Is Jealousy Preventing You From Getting What You Want? (Part 2)

Screen shot 2013-11-20 at 3.26.34 AMIn last week’s article, I talked about how negative emotions like jealousy and envy affect our energy and sabotage our manifestation efforts. This week, I want to provide some practical tips on how to recognize and root out these emotions when they do come up, and replace them with positive emotions like confidence, worthiness, security, and self-love instead.

 Step 1- Acknowledge the emotion.

Don’t get frustrated or upset when you find yourself feeling envious or resentful of what someone else has. It’s a natural emotion, and the fact that you are even conscious of it is a huge step in the right direction (some people are so accustomed to subtle negative emotion that they have trouble even identifying a feeling like jealousy). When it comes up, acknowledge it and feel appreciation that it is signaling something important to you about your own belief system.

Step 2- Identify the root cause / underlying belief behind the emotion.

Contrary to popular belief, the root cause of jealousy is not the object of the jealousy (in other words, the other person or what they have). Jealousy stems from a negative core belief about oneself. Some common negative (and incorrect) core beliefs are things like:

I am not worthy of getting what I want.

The Universe / God is not supporting me.

I have to work harder than other people to get what I want, and fortune is rarely on my side.

The other person got what they have through some dubious means, or just got lucky, and is actually not worthy either.

When you feel jealous, check yourself and see if at the core you believe things similar to this. Bring each belief to the surface and root out each belief, one by one. How do you do that?

Step 3- Replace a negative core belief with a positive truth.

Once you recognize that the statements above are  false, and just a symptom of a lack of self-worth and confidence, you can begin to replace them. Remember, you are God or Consciousness in a physical form. There is nothing that you cannot do, be, or have- you simply have to learn to align your thoughts and energy frequency with the frequency of what you want. That’s all the other person is doing as well; it’s not magic- they’ve simply tapped into a positive energy frequency and held their focus there. Here are some positive truths that replace the old low frequency thoughts you were holding:

I am Consciousness in physical form and worthy of all the good things in life. I am deserving by the simple fact that I exist.

I am capable of attracting what I want into my life, and the Universe always has my back.

I inherently know how to love and be loved.

Other people’s success is evidence of the truth of these laws, and gives me hope and inspiration of what is possible in my own life.

While some of these statements may feel a little far-fetched at first (especially if you’re a chronically negative or pessimistic person or you’ve held negative core beliefs for a long time), know that they are truths. The more you begin to acknowledge these truths in your own life, the more they will start making themselves self-evident in your daily experience and help you in creating the life you want.

Is Jealousy Preventing You From Getting What You Want? (Part 1)

danes-300x300I’ve written many past articles about how emotions and thought patterns are associated with different energy frequencies.  For instance, strong emotions like hate, anger, and disempowerment, are associated with lower energies (scientists can now actually measure energy frequencies associated with brain activity and emotions).  We also know from the basic principles of law of attraction that like energy vibrations attract each other.

What this basically means is that if you think hateful thoughts, you are more likely to attract people, circumstances, and events that are a vibrational match to those thoughts.  Sometimes, this is easily apparent- like when you see a really angry person that turns off everyone around them- they just seem to have a negative vibe.

But most of us don’t have just one strong frequency or emotion going.  We think millions of different thoughts daily, and all of those thoughts have their own unique frequency associated with them.  Most people also vary in their emotional set point from day to day, and therefore tend to get mixed results in terms of what they are manifesting.

More subtle emotions that we don’t always outwardly show, like those of jealousy or envy, for example, also have detrimental effects on our energy that may not be as obvious.  So how exactly can an emotion like jealousy (wanting someone’s attention) or envy (wanting what someone else has) sabotage our energy and dampen our manifestation efforts?

Jealousy has a boomerang effect. A jealous thought about someone does little to the person you’re thinking about.  To the contrary, the thought simply bounces off that person, and comes back to you.  Let’s say you’re thinking about how someone you know has more money than you, and perhaps you believe that they don’t really deserve it because you work a lot harder than them.  The Universe then reflects that thought back to you and simply reinforces your core belief, which in this case, is something along the lines of “there is injustice in the world, and people are succeeding unfairly.”  It doesn’t matter if the thought is actually true.  If it reinforces a negative core belief you hold, it is ultimately detrimental to your manifestation efforts.

Jealousy amplifies insecurity. Feeling jealous about the lack of another’s affection or attention towards you, for example, has an underlying root cause of insecurity.  Let’s say you are insecure about some aspect of yourself (your looks, your inability to attract or keep a partner, others’ perception of you, etc).  Although you may not be consciously thinking about it, you are activating and holding a chronic underlying vibration of insecurity.  This underlying insecurity often manifests as the emotion of jealousy towards a partner or another person.  The partner then senses the insecurity, and causes the negative energy frequency to expand in both your lives.   When you feel jealous, therefore, it works best to take your attention away from the object of the jealousy and point the finger back at yourself.  As you clean up your own vibration of insecurity and doubt, the object of the jealousy often becomes a non-issue.

Jealousy signals a lack of self worth. We only usually covet what someone else has when we don’t feel worthy or capable of receiving it ourselves.  People who feel confident in their ability to live their dreams and manifest their desires rarely feel jealous of others, regardless of how successful or happy another is.  When we get frustrated about our hard work and efforts not panning out, or see success coming easily to someone else, it makes us doubt our own worthiness.  This sets up a vicious cycle where a feeling of envy or jealousy (even though it’s a negative thought about someone else) just makes us feel worse about our self, not better.

In next week’s article, I’ll be providing some practical tips about how to erase jealousy and envy in our lives through proven ways to increase emotions like confidence, worthiness, security, and self-love.

Stop Talking Yourself Out of Your Own Greatness

Priska climbing the classic Star CheckRecently, as I found myself sitting in front of my laptop, tapping away at the final touches of my book  proposal, I’ve drifted away from my usual writer’s bliss and instead have been, oh you know, totally freaking out! You see, the deadline to submit the proposal to my dream publisher, Hay House, as part of the contest they’re holding for participants of last April’s ‘Writing from Your Soul’ conference is quickly approaching. And, wouldn’t you know, all of a sudden, my ego is totally tripping out on me! “Who would even want to read my book” “What are the odds of getting picked with over 500 others in attendance?” “I bet there are some pretty amazing book ideas out there.” As I’ve allowed these thoughts to creep into my brain, they have literally taken over, sucking the creativity and joy out of what is usually one of my most favorite activities, writing!!  I even started creeping into the “why bother?” territory. Yikes!

With just a little over a month away to finish up, fine-tune, and put my best step forward, I didn’t have time for this self-sabotage crapola and needed to snap out of it, stat! Through all of my spiritual work, deep down, I know that this is just the fearful illusion of my ego, trying to keep me “safe.” In reality, I don’t truly believe this crazy-talk deep inside. At first I thought it was fear of failure or fear of rejection. Then, I realized that it was a much deeper fear. All of a sudden, I had an a-ha moment as I heard Marianne Willamson’s voice in my head with her world famous quote:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Yes, this absolutely rings true! I was on the brink of psyching myself out into playing small. We all do this. It really is our own light that frightens us the most.

You see, all I’ve ever wanted to do is be a writer. When deciding what to major in college, I shied away from pursuing writing as a career because I didn’t see how I could make a living at it. I chose a different path to pay my bills. But, in more recent years, I have been strongly guided towards it again. It truly feel it is my calling. I’ve amassed a lot of experiences and wisdom through the years in my entrepreneurial and life adventures and through my spiritual studies, which has all helped me tremendously with my own personal growth and transformation. I feel that it is my duty to share this information as I know it can help so many others as well.  And, through my blogging, I’ve made so many beautiful connections with readers and affirmed this truth. So, I had to give myself a little Marianne Williamson-esque, “who are you not to be a writer?”

I share this story with you because I want you to be aware of your own potential greatness! But, also to be aware of your own negative self-talk that will try so hard to snuff out your fire. You are meant to shine, baby!! We all are. And by shining your light, you are helping others to do the same.

Try these 4 steps that I used to put a muzzle on my own negative chatter:

  1. Be the observer. Instead of owning these thoughts as if they came from you, “I won’t win” “I can’t do it” — take on the role of observer, as if somebody else is saying them to you. This is called separating yourself from your ego. While the ego may have good intentions of keeping us safe, instead it keeps us living in fear and not taking chances or reaching our full potential. That voice is not who we really are!

  2. Notice how silly it can be. As I listened to my ego voice as an observer, I actually giggled out loud. “Where do you come up with this stuff? You aren’t very nice!,” I thought to myself. Then, I said, “thank you for trying to protect me, but I’ve got this.”

  3. Channel your Marianne Williamson. ”Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” Remember this line always. Seriously, who are you not to be?! Print it out and put it somewhere you can always see it. You are not alone. We all go through this, but you can rise above. You are meant for greatness!

  4. Remember who you really are. For me, I had to remind myself of my deep passion for writing. Also, I am not doing this for me, but I feel a calling to share information to help others. I’m not doing myself or the world any justice by copping out. Same applies to you! The world needs what you have to offer. Don’t hold back!

Finally, after doing all of the above, I sat down with more focus and clarity then I have had in a long time. The words just flowed out of me. I reconnected with my purpose. I might not be good at a lot of things, but writing is definitely my calling..

And, of course, this does not mean I am a shoe-in for the Hay House prize by any means. But, winning or losing this contest is not what matters most. It’s about pushing through personal boundaries. And, at the end of next month, I will have a completed book proposal. That is a big deal for me, regardless of the outcome. I will continue to push towards my dreams, silencing my own negative chatter along the way.

What about you? Can you think of a time when you were talking yourself out of your own greatness? How did you get back on track? Have you ever missed out on an opportunity because of your own inner-critic? We can all learn from each other and would love to hear from you in the comments below!

For more from Dawn, check out www.dawngluskin.com and join her inspiring Facebook community

What Do You See When You Look in the Mirror?

14/365 ~ That's not me in the mirror. [EXPLORE]

We’ve all had times in our lives where we did not love ourselves. Sometimes, we hate to even look at ourselves in the mirror. But even so, I was surprised recently when I was teaching a Zumba class and I noticed one student left around 15 minutes into the class. The next week I received this email from him:

“Dear Orion:
Thank you so much for the class. I chose to leave, and I wanted you to know it had very little to do with you, except for the fact that you chose to have us look in the mirror. I hadn’t remembered how awful I am in front of mirrors. I had to leave when I caught a glimpse of myself. It’s old stuff, but it’s a weak-spot for me. I cannot sustain, as of yet, images of my physical form in mirrors. I really appreciated the class and found your enthusiasm infectious. Thanks.”

I know how it feels. I have been there myself… and so I was compelled to reply:

“I believe you need to start working on self-love. Unless you are a vampire, you cannot avoid mirrors. Most gyms and fitness studios have mirrors; you can’t escape them. It’s not about vanity; looking in the mirror helps you improve your form and visually gauge your progress. If you don’t examine yourself, you have little indication of what to improve. You are here to realize your true potential, and looking at yourself in the mirror with love is a powerful tool. Love yourself no matter what, and be grateful for having a healthy body. Be grateful for the fact that you are able to move, to breathe, to simply be alive. When you appreciate what you have, you give up all of the guilt, blame, shame and self-criticism that do not serve you. The choice is yours; you can choose to live your life with your head in the sand, or to confront what you need to work on. In order to feel better, in order to become your dreams and live the life you deserve, you need to look at what is happening with you.”

Most nights I go on YouTube and listen to things that empower me, like Abraham Hicks, Deepak Chopra, Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer, and so on. We have all gone through difficult times in our lives. I know I have. But it is how you get up, not how you fall, that defines you. Getting up is what matters. Working on you is just how it sounds; it is work. But it is so worth it; meditation, self-exploration, dressing nicely, pampering yourself, working out and eating healthy food all make you vibrant and will change your life.

You need to want to change and YOU have to do the work, my dear. There is no magic pill. Life will put “mirrors” in front of you. People will reflect emotions back at you: when you are angry they will get angry back at you, and when you smile they will smile back. It’s all good because it helps you look at yourself and improve what you do not like to see in you. People also will reflect kindness at you, helping you to notice and appreciate your inner beauty. It’s up to you to “wake up”; open your eyes to the lessons and to a brighter reality. No seminar, self-help book, audio program, DVD, or human being will validate you. It will help direct you, but you need to validate and love yourself. It’s up to you. Believe in yourself like I believe in you.

When I was having difficulties with my self-worth, I learned an exercise called “mirror work” from Louise Hay. I did it when I was in a place in my life where not only could I not look at myself in the mirror, but I was walking with my head down! I remember when I started working on self-love and self-acceptance and saying “I love you” to myself in front of a mirror, I immediately started crying because I was so consumed with self-hate and self-judgment. I am happy to report that this affirmation (with some repetition) completely shifted my perspective. Today I love the girl I see in the mirror, even in pajamas and without make-up. Do this exercise every time you pass by a mirror, and I promise you, within just a couple weeks you can create a breakthrough for yourself.

Mirror work

Every day, look at yourself in the mirror and say out loud: “I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU NO MATTER WHAT.” When you hear that voice that says “Who are you kidding?” tell this voice “Thank you for sharing” and continue on. No matter what you did or did not do, you are worthy of love. If something good happened, run to the mirror and say “I love you, thank you.” If something bad happens, run to the mirror and say “I love you, I love no matter what.” Keep looking into your eyes with love and appreciation. You are worthy of love, just because you exist.

Remember this simple equation: work on your mind + work on your body + serve others = a life full of love and fulfillment.

I want to hear your stories. Please share how you found self-love and appreciation and any techniques that worked for you.

Weight Maintenance: The True Story

Free coiled tape measure healthy living stock photo Creative CommonsHave you ever gone on a diet? Lost weight on it? Gained it back? Tried yet another diet? Lost weight? Gained it back? Most people who eventually lose weight and do keep it off, have done just that. They have tried various diets and found that they do, actually work. However, any diet you “go on” you eventually “go off”. And when you go off that diet, then what?

This is where the real weight loss work comes in. It’s not so much losing the weight, although that can be challenging for sure, but what follows that determines one’s success, or lack of it, at keeping the weight off.

For my book, I did a lot of research and also relied on the best study to date of weight loss masters. They are people who have lost at least thirty pounds and maintained that loss for at least a year. I am proud to say that I am in the weight loss master category, having lost fifty pounds and maintained that for twenty three years.

So what sets the masters apart from the others? That is a really good question and can actually be answered with data.

Weight loss masters understand that maintaining weight loss takes work. They continue to monitor themselves and stay awake to the food and exercise choices they make so they can maintain their weight. They weigh themselves on a regular basis. They exercise and many of them keep food records. They also understand that weight maintenance is actually the state of gaining and losing small amounts of weight over, and over, again.

In my book I talk about “gaining weight successfully”. What that means is that we begin to understand that it is normal to gain a pound, or two, or three and then to work it back down. It’s only when a two pound weight gain turns into a twenty five pound weight gain that it really becomes a problem. We learn that we cannot expect to lose weight, get to our goal, and stay at exactly that number for life. We live in a range of weight that feels comfortable. When we get to the high end of that range, we do what we know we need to do to bring it back down. That is, keep food records, eat a healthy diet, exercise and keep track of our weight carefully until we get back to a comfortable place. Weight maintenance is not staying at exactly the same number, everyday, for life.

The other aspect to keep in mind with maintenance is that it is kind of dull. Losing weight can be exciting. You see changes, you look better, feel better and people are noticing. I lost weight quickly and the compliments were constant. Even the guy at Starbucks would comment. “Wow, you look great. Have you lost weight?” Those compliments were very motivating.

Once you get stable at a weight, the compliments either slow down, or stop. Instead of , “Hi Irene. OMG, you look fantastic. Have you lost weight?” It would just be, “Hi Irene.” I’d be waiting for the OMG part and it wouldn’t come. People will get used to the new you. It then becomes harder to keep up the work because you don’t have that steady outside stream of motivation reminding you just how worth it the work is.

So, my goal is to help you know and accept these things upfront so you can be successful long-term and be prepared ahead of time for the work that weight maintenance requires. It’s worth it!

That’s it for now. Good luck and let me know how you’re doing.

7 Ways To Find Your Inner (and Real) Happiness

fly highHappiness is one of the most misunderstood words in our vocabulary yet we search for this intangible state our whole lives: if I only had this or that, if I met the right partner, had a big house, a new car, the job I’ve always wanted, then I would be happy. The ancient yoga and spiritual teachings stress that happiness is real only when we let go of seeking material and transient things and discover the lasting joy that is within.

Every time we see a giggling baby or young child we’re reminded that we are all born with a natural and innate sense of happiness, that it is our birthright. We learn about suffering or unhappiness as we grow older, more externalized, and as circumstances change.

We taught a workshop where a number of the participants had lost loved ones in the past years: one had lost her son to AIDS, another had lost her husband, son, and mother all within twelve months, another’s partner had drowned. Others were dealing with specific illnesses, or difficult issues in their lives. What really emerged for everyone was the awareness that their real happiness lies within themselves, that it’s not dependent on someone or something outside of them. They had lost what they had thought of as their source of happiness—a loved one or their health—and now had to look more deeply within themselves. It was a weekend of many ‘aha’ moments!

Here are some of the ways our workshop participants discovered how to feel happy again:

1. Not take yourself too seriously. At times of hardship, such as loss or illness, it’s easy to lose your humor, and even easier to get involved with the negative aspects of what is happening. Remembering not to take yourself too seriously brings a lightness and acceptance to the weight of circumstance around you. Don’t forget—angels can fly because they take themselves lightly!

2. Not identify with suffering, loss, or illness, as being who you are. Many of our participants realized how they’d been identifying themselves as a cancer survivor / widow / recovering addict, or whatever it may be, but had not asked who they were without that label or identity. When you don’t identify with the negative issues, then who you really are has a chance to shine.

3. It’s OK to be you, just as you are, warts and all. You may think you’re imperfect, a mess, falling apart, hopeless, or unable to cope. But true perfection is really accepting your imperfections. It is accepting yourself, complete with all the things you like as well as the things you don’t like. In this way you’re not struggling with or rejecting yourself. Each one of is unique, a one-time offer, but we can’t know this if we are facing away from ourselves.

4. Make friends with yourself. Your relationship with yourself is the only one you have that lasts for the whole of your life, and you can be the greatest friend or the worst enemy to yourself. So it’s very important not to emotionally put down or beat yourself up. Just be kind.

5. Feel everything, whatever it may be. When you are suffering, it’s easy to want to deny or repress your feelings, as they get huge and overwhelming. But if you can really honor whatever you are feeling then it’ll bring you closer to the inner happiness beneath the suffering or grief. Acknowledging and making friends with your real feelings is the greatest gift.

6. Forgive yourself. Love yourself. Treasure yourself. These are big steps, but each one liberates the heart and sets you free. You need to forgive yourself for feeling angry, for getting upset, for all things you think you’ve done wrong. They are in the past and who you are now is not who you were then. You can take any guilt or shame by the hand, invite it in for tea, and open yourself to self-forgiveness.

7. Meditate. There is an overwhelming amount of research showing how meditation changes the circuits in the part of the brain associated with contentment and happiness and stimulates the ‘feel-good’ factor. Meditating on love and kindness makes you much, much happier! And the only way to know this is to try it, so don’t hesitate.

* * *

Ed and Deb Shapiro are the authors of BE THE CHANGE, How Meditation Can Transform You and the World, with forewords by the Dalai Lama and Prof. Robert Thurman, contributions from many known meditation teachers, winner of the 2010 Nautilus Gold Book Award; and Your Body Speaks Your Mind,  winner of the Visionary Book Award. They are featured contributors on Oprah.com, HuffingtonPost.com, and Vividlife.me, where they host the acclaimed weekly LIVE radio show, Going Out Of Your Mind.

For more information go to: www.edanddebshapiro.com

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