A Letter to Hope 2.0

As we close the month of February, I want to share one last thing in honor of International Boost Your Self-Esteem Month!

Remember you deserve to be happy, truly happy with a joy which comes from within.  Believe in yourself just as others believe in you.  See yourself through their eyes.  You are AWESOME. Feel it.  Believe it.  And know you deserve it.

I don’t know about you BUT I struggle with self-esteem – from the comparison game in my business to still seeing the 295 pound me instead of the new 175 pound me.  I practice visualizing, where you want to be every day, then take the steps to make it a reality.  It isn’t easy but I am determined to reach my goals even though they scare the HELL out of me!

Someone suggested I write a letter to the future me so I could see how far I have come.  It also helped me to visualize the future and how it feels to reach my goals.   Have you ever written a letter to future you?  Why not try it?  Make sure it contains positive affirmation of the goals you want to achieve.  Remember, the Law of Attraction?

Here is my letter to Hope 2.0 telling her how proud I was of all she has accomplished in her life:

Dear Hope 2.0:

I am so proud of all you have accomplished in the last 5 years:

  • Your office  is organized.  I am glad you finally have a part-time assistant to help with the busy work.  The family room looks AMAZING.  I know your team loves hanging out with you and learning all of your great business tips.
  • Where did you say your last cruise went to?  WOW!  I know hubby loves the fact you can take a vacation every year and you treat.  What a great way to say thank you to him for taking care of you every day.  Of course, those mini getaways are nice too.  You can never have enough of them.
  • Your team has grown by over 100 girls.  Having hubby there when they celebrated your accomplishments on stage was the best part.  I know you cried because he never wanted to enter the pink bubble but he was so proud of you.  He finally sees your business as a business and the impact you are having on others.
  • Your calendar is always full.  Your hostesses are scheduling their next party so they never miss out on getting on your calendar
  • Your Annual Hostess Appreciation party has become the talk of the town.  In 5 years, it is the must attend end of the year event
  • The many charities you have helped with your seasonal events for kids and families are a blessing.  Don’t forget the multiple fundraisers you hold every month.  Not only are you helping organizations find discretionary money but you are also helping people who are struggling. You never forget where you came from – a homeless, addict who just wanted to please everyone.  By remembering, you are able to encourage others
  • You have inspired so many on your team to reach for their dreams, to overcome their inner gremlins and as a result their lives are changed forever
  • Your willingness to share your office systems, your party ideas, presentations and even allow consultants to tag along with you whether they are on your team or not is a great example of a leader.

I want you to remember success is always within your reach.  There will be struggles but it simply means there are lessons to be learned.  Your  journey is yours alone but others can learn from it.  Comparison is not in the plan.

I am not there yet BUT I am on the road to being Hope 2.0.  I am not waiting for “when” or “if”, I am claiming the blessings NOW.  I have seen things change in my business since I did this exercise – thank you Eryka. Give it a chance, what have you got to loose.  You deserve to have all of the blessings waiting for you.  I can’t wait to celebrate your successes.

What about you?  What would your letter look like?  Share your thoughts with us…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Throwback: Loving Yourself When Your Too….

This post first appeared on June 30th, 2016…Woman-at-beach

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Last week, I had an AHA moment.  A moment when the brain fog lifted and I realized I had to stop making excuses for why a few (okay, 20) pounds were back.  Yes, I could blame health issues.  The truth was I was slowly slipping back into old habits I had BEFORE I lost 100 pounds.

B4 picture with Belinda

Yup, me and my cutie of a daughter (she hates this picture). It is REALLY old but the truth is there aren’t many pictures of me when I was heavy.

Back to the AHA moment….I needed to take control of what I could control – my eating. I was repeatedly complaining about “gaining” or not losing weight as hubby’s weight kept going down.  The truth was, he was eating healthier and I was secretly eating junk! Okay, so the truth is out, now I have to be accountable.

I wanted the capris which fit so good over the last 2 summers to again fit.  I wanted the jiggle in my thighs to be gone.  I wanted the puffiness in my face to be gone.  There was no magic wand but there was the proverbial SMACK on the head which made me realize what I needed to do.  It was at the moment I opened my email to find an online special from Weight Watchers.  I didn’t delete it, I just let it sit in my inbox.  After a lot of prayer and thought, I did it!  I signed up again.

It was time for me to stop beating myself up and take some of my own advice…

1. Stop comparing.

Hubby loves me not matter what – I mean when we got together, I was on the weightless journey.  Over the last two years as I struggled with health issues, I was constantly comparing myself to others. I felt inferior because I hadn’t stuck to the program.

Once you stop comparing, you realize you will always be too fat, too skinny, too tall, too this when you compare yourself to others.  The comparison game will kill your dreams before you even start. Know you are exactly what you’re supposed to be—one of a kind and beautiful.

2. Change the way you see.

Have you had experiences where people you told you how pretty (or nice you look) BUT you thought you were unattractive? I have.  Where you say “thank you” and add “but I have….” negating their compliment.

Dr. Wayne Dyer often said, “When you change the way you look at things, things you look at change.” I know this is true because I often experience it in my life.

Focus on what is wonderful about you, whether it’s your kindness, generosity, or thoughtfulness.  When you focus on the internal features, the external features seem to start to sparkle with radiance.  It’s not that you changed—your perception did.

3. Change your thoughts.

change-your-thoughts-and-you-change-your-world7

How many times have you looked at a picture or a video of yourself and a barrage of negative self-talk dominated your thoughts? Those inner gremlins start to take over and before long they are in control.

How sad it would be if we allowed those negative voices to stop us from offering what we have to give: our knowledge, ideas, voice, gifts, our love, and more? We would be withholding these things from people who might need and benefit from them.

My Fierce Cheerleader and Abundance Coach, Eryka Peskin, has taught me how to celebrate those negative things so they no longer have control over my life.  Try it.  Step back and reframe those negatives into a positive.

You have so much to give (even if you feel like you don’t): your unique gifts, your experience, courage, ingenuity, creativity, and so much more. Don’t let the negative voices stop you from sharing what you have. The world (your neighbors, your friends, your grandma, or whatever your world may be) needs it.

The truth is, there will always be someone or some people who will find you undesirable or unlovable, but the world is also full of people who will feel the opposite.

cbc1a9777f724b91ae75d42749081d94

Ultimately, the deeper truth you have to find within yourself is this: If no one loves me, will I love myself?  YES, I will love myself.

In the moments when I don’t like what I see in the mirror, I make a choice. I make a choice to give myself total acceptance and love for all that I am: the good, the ugly, and the bad.

Will you make the choice to love yourself when you’re too short, too tall, too fat, and too skinny?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Grow Your Self Confidence

Did you know 62% of all girls feel insecure about themselves?  How about 4 in 5 women have low self-esteem?  For some low self-esteem feels like a life sentence with no chance of escape.

Self Confidence by definition is realistic confidence in one’s own judgment, ability, power, etc.

With such a simple definition, why is is so hard at times to wrap our head around the idea?   I battle the inner gremlins of low self-esteem as well as a lack of self-confidence.  Honestly, I don’t know when it all started but I’m sure it goes back to those formative years in middle school.  I’ve learned (okay, so still learning some days), we each have our own unique story, and with help we can rebuild our life and rewrite our story.

The words self-esteem and self-confidence are usually interchangeable when we talk about our struggles but there is a distinct difference between the two:

Self Esteem is determined by whether you believe you’re worthy of respect from others

Self Confidence is whether you believe in yourself.

When we rebuild our confidence, we are actually retraining our brain to recognize our worth thereby increasing our self-esteem. Here are a few of my favorite tips which have helped me fight those nasty inner gremlins.

1. Dress for Success.

I am guilty of NOT dressing for success when my confidence is waining and my self-esteem is low.  How often are you worried about what others will think of you based on how you are dressed?  Feel like you are stuck in a rut? Battling with self-consciousness?  Take a minute to focus on your appearance. Scary, right?  When you feel good about how you look, your confidence will shine through.

Have a favorite outfit which always gets you compliments?  Wear it.  Need a hair cut?  Pamper yourself and get one. What makes you feel good?  It is a simple pedicure – go get one.  I’m not saying go on a spending spree, but you need to dress for success.  Use the things in your closet or check out a local thrift store for some great finds.  Working from home, I have found the sweats and no make up are an every day thing.  I find when I “dress” for work even at home with a little bit of makeup, I feel good.  When I feel good, I am confident.

2. Positive Thinking

I know I talk about it a lot but the truth is changing the way we think can change the outcomes in our life.  There are some amazing people out there who teach this – Dana Wilde at Train Your Brain; Eryka Peskin with her fierce cheerleading; and of course, Norman Vincent Peale in his book Positive Self Image or The Secret.

Negative thoughts bring more negative thoughts.  When you learn to shift your mindset, you gain the ability to see things in a new light, which in turn provides new alternatives and better outcomes.  Daily affirmations from Dana Wilde and The Secret have helped me to fight and win most days the battle with the inner gremlins.

3. Invest in others deeply

This one probably sounds the craziest right?  If you have low confidence and low self-esteem, how can you possibly get to know others and build a relationship with them?

By taking the focus off of you and putting it on them.  As you start getting to know someone else, asking questions beyond the surface they will see you are genuinely interested in them.  As we start to care for others helping them to feel seen and heard while building a rapport with them, we are letting our own light shine.

We talk about this a lot in direct sales but the truth is when I do it every day, I have gained confidence.  I started many years ago as a newly recovering addict who was helping individuals during the early years of the AIDS epidemic.  My focus was on helping to improve their quality of life and through it, I became an expert in my field.  Confident, letting my light shine.  Most days, I consider my work in direct sales the same way.  Helping others with organizing or gift giving or just feeling good about themselves.  When I focus on helping others instead of “needing sales”, my confidence sparkles.  As an introvert (yes, I really am), I know it can be hard so it is something I am aware of and practice being more open to receiving every day.

16830796_1645365192439826_81617413760659325_n

What is your best tip for boosting your confidence or has helped you to raise your self-esteem?  Share them with us…

Have  ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Things Leaders Wish They Learned Sooner

The Little Things

Happy Monday morning….. I have been on a high since earning the Leadership Incentive Trip from Thirty One diligently trying to grow personally and professionally.  I have just started reading a NEW book by Andy Andrews called The Little Things.”

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been told to focus on the big picture because when I do, it would lead me to success and happiness.  So you can imagine my surprise and curiousity when I heard successful people really focus on the little things.  Here is the one question asked of some “high achievers”, you may be surprised by their responses:

If you could go back in time 10 years, what “little thing” would you tell yourself to start paying more attention to? Why?

1. Talk to Yourself Instead of Listening to Yourself by Jon Gordon, Bestselling Author of The Energy Bus Jon Gordon - The Little Things

This is a GREAT book… Too often we listen to ourselves and hear all the complaints, self-doubt, fear, and negativity that lead to unhappiness, failure and unfulfilled goals.  Yup, Been there done that and have lots of t-shirts to prove it.

But instead of listening to the negative we can choose to feed ourselves with the positive. We can fuel up with words, thoughts, phrases, scripture and beliefs that give us the strength and power to overcome our challenges and create an extraordinary life, career and team.

Just keep running, stay positive, talk to yourself instead of listen to yourself and make sure you celebrate and raise your hands in the air when you’ve reached your destination!

2. Ask for Help (and Be Willing to Receive It) by John Jantsch, Founder of Duct Tape Marketing John Jantsch - The Little Things

This is a tough one for me but with the help of a coach/friend Eryka Peskin I am learning to ask for help and receive it graciously.

The truth is business owners like to push through and figure everything and to some extent, this constricts a lot of growth. What’s funny about this is people want to help and to some extent when you don’t allow them or ask them what they think or what they would do in your shoes, you turn the tap off. I think a great deal of this comes from the desire to be seen as having it all figured out and few things are more harmful to growth than that. Ask for help, be helpless, and activate the helpfulness in others.

3. Embrace Everyday Encounters by Michele CushattKeynote Speaker 

Thus, in answer to your question, my “small thing” is to learn to be less consumed and worried with plans, schedules, and important connections, and more attuned to everyday encounters.

4. Watch for What Excites You by Chris Guillebeau, New York Times Bestselling Author of The $100 StartupChris Guillebeau - The Little Things

I’d tell myself… Pay more attention to the way things make you feel. Feelings aren’t everything, of course, but noticing when something fills you with the right combination of excitement and nervousness can be a good sign in knowing when to take a big risk.

5. Learn the Right Way to Listen by Ray Edwards, Entrepreneur and Direct Response Copywriter Ray Edwards - The Little Things

Instead of walking in a room with an attitude saying, “Here I am!” I’d walk in with an attitude that says, “There you are!” I would smile at strangers—who doesn’t love getting a big smile from a total stranger? I would listen because I want to hear what people are saying, not because I was preparing to speak. I would stop trying to get God to bless what I was doing, and instead try to do what God was blessing.

6. Don’t Let the Wrong “Little Things” Hold You Back by John Rampton, Entrepreneur and Speaker John Rampton - The Little Things

If I could go back 10 years I’d tell myself to take more of a chance on myself. I always let the “little things” hold me back from my true passion. Little things like money, security, my girlfriend at the time, etc hold me back from becoming the person I knew I could be. Pay more attention to that little voice inside you that you know you should follow but don’t always listen too. It’s usually right, but it’s the little things in life that hold us back.

Now, It’s Your Turn…

What “little thing” would you tell yourself to pay attention to if you could go back 10 years?

As for me, I would stop letting the little things hold me back – lack of money, waiting for the perfect time and follow your dream.  Share your story with us….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Are You Taking Risks?

34cda7a31c4646058c7e7d63d1092d4c

Risk is defined “as exposing (someone or something valued) to danger, harm, or loss.”  Honestly, how many of us actually take risks?  The truth is we take some risk every day – we drive a car with only a yellow line separating us from the other car, we fly in planes, and I am sure the list could go on.  Most of us don’t think of these things as risks, right?

Often, my fear of failing stops me from stepping out into uncharted territory. Although I believe that you learn from your mistakes, I am often hesitant to walk on a path that is less traveled. Taking a risk can sometimes mean just stepping out of your comfort zone.

I talk a lot about stepping out of your comfort zone . I believe that many of us don’t and as a result, we are kept from reaching our full potential and our goals in life and in business.  So whether you are jumping into a new job, a new relationship, a new business or anything else that takes you out of your comfort zone, here are some tips to determine if you should take a risk or not:

  • Trust yourself. When you take a risk, you need to trust that you have the skills to reach your ultimate goal. If you lack self-confidence, the first step is identifying your weakness.  Then seek out others who can help you through the struggles.
  • Think creatively.  Being unique is wonderful.  Standing out or above the crowd allows us to shine.  Remember that when you step outside of the box, you don’t want to loose sight of your vision/goal.  You can be creative while still  using some of the tried and true ideas that have helped others be successful.
  • Know your field and product/service.  Love what you do and the rest is easy.  I have taken risks many times when it came to new jobs.  The secret to all of them was that I loved what I did.  I learned everything I could so that I could be an expert in that particular area.  If you are joining a direct sales company,  LOVE their products. Learn from those who have gone before you.  Take classes. Read books.  Network with others in your field and out of your field.

13895105_10157382473865220_8131940400073636607_n

  • Implement a support system and seek expert advice. When I stepped out of my comfort zone to join a direct sales company, I found an AMAZING support system in my upline and other Thirty One sisters. Find a network of professionals who you trust that can guide you in those areas where you are weak. Here are a few that have helped me:  Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Women, The Desiree Wolfe, Eryka Peskin, JulieAnn Jones, Britt Bolnick and the list goes on personally and professionally.

11214331_10206040571006185_4197820212972492358_n

  • Show courage. Sometimes it just comes down to – Do I have the courage to step out of my comfort zone and take a RISK. “By showing courage, you are also showing good leadership skills” – I never really thought about that.
    Never give up. Stepped out and it didn’t work out?  Maybe you didn’t get the response you were looking for?  Maybe you it didn’t turn out like you planned? Okay – build a bridge and get over it.  Learn from this and move on.
  • Don’t listen to negatives.  Ignore Negative Nellie.  Stop talking to her since those negative thoughts will undermine your self-confidence. If she has taken up residence in your head – close the door on her and find some positive affirmations to keep the door locked. This is sometimes our biggest hurdle.

7ffad5f50b12067b61738c109ad079d1

Risk means there is a potential for loss. It means that we are stepping out of our comfort zone and walking in FAITH. If the risk is God-centered, then he will lead us through it. Even if it is not a success or is a flat out FAIL, there is a lesson that can be learned. Step out of your comfort zone, take a risk and see where it leads.  What will you do today to step out of YOUR comfort zone?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!