Sunday, December 4, 2016

I’m a STAR today because….

November is the time to become your own CHAMPION.  This is a month where you should start to express gratitude towards YOURSELF.  Let me tell you why I think this is important.

Have you ever been in a relationship (i.e., business or personal) where the other person is extremely critical of you? Are they constantly judging your actions, appearance, and work? This person verbalizes these thoughts to you in a negative tone? Yet, you listen to these critiques and let me influence your thoughts?

If this has ever happened to you, I would like to help you cope with this and not let their comments to wreck your days. The insults hurt and can be really harmful to one’s self-worth if you let them under your skin.  Since people close to you are saying these comments, they must be valid, right? Incorporating these negative comments into your daily thought patterns can impact your behaviour. I truly believe if you change your thoughts, you can change your life.  If you think you can’t do something, you probably won’t even try to do it. Positive thoughts lead to better outcomes.

What if YOU are your own inner critic? How do you handle your inner critic? I don’t tell myself positive comments all the time and I need to silence my inner critic! I was reminded of this recently after returning from a life-changing trip to Britain and Ireland where I learned many important life lessons. I recorded these realizations in a travel journal. I would like to sum up my final entries as a call to action to be kinder to ourselves.

While on the plane ride home, I heard the safety announcement: “Make sure that your own oxygen mask is on first, before helping others.” The same principle can be applied to life. I believe that you can’t help others in the most effective manner if you aren’t helping yourself first.

I saw the safety announcement as an affirmation to be kinder to myself. Prior to this trip, I’d made other people the focus of my relationships, without first taking the time to nurture and to love myself. While I would always go out of my way to help others and to let them know how great they were, I would rarely do this for myself. Instead, I would focus on my flaws; my inner critic was really good at belittling me!

I was aware of my inner critic this past summer, as I was just beginning with my coaching career. I was guilty of comparing myself to experts in the field and feeling insecure. (Have you ever felt like this?) When you are starting something, you can think that you don’t have enough experience or that you aren’t as naturally-talented as others in the field. I had listened to my inner critic and let it prevent me from reaching my full potential.  Luckily, I silenced my negative thoughts and now, more than ever, believe in the power of positive thinking!

In my Psychology studies, I learned that the average person has around 50,000 thoughts per day. Imagine if the majority of those thoughts were positive!  How amazing would that be?! How would life be different? I truly believe that changing your thoughts can really impact your life.  My experience overseas gave me a renewed sense of self.  I returned feeling more beautiful, empowered, and energetic.  I wanted these feelings to stay around, so I decided to take action! I call it Celebrating Me: “Someone’s going to do it, it might as well be me!

Studies show that it takes 21 days for a habit to “stick” and become part of your daily lifestyle.  I am creating a gratitude journal dedicated to ourselves. It is very important to not just say we were going to do something, but to ACT on it (i.e., in this case, write it down). Journaling is amazing because it allows you to record the progress. When you look back you can see all the things you have done and how much of a star you are!

I love writing my random thoughts down (hence why I created my blog); I try to do this daily, even though life is really busy.  I have to make time for writing as I have found it to be essential to my well-being.  I schedule a daily time to write, even if it’s only for fifteen minutes. For the next 21 days, I’m encouraging you to write 100 words of kindness (at least) to yourself each day. The format of what you say is up to you.  All I ask, is for you to finish the sentence: “I am a star today because…..”

For example:  I’m a star today because I went to the pool and worked out even when I really didn’t feel like it.  It was really early in the morning, still dark, and cold due to the fall, yet I got up anyway and went to the pool.  There are always so many reasons NOT to do something but I persevered.  The workout was one of the best of the past couple weeks and now I feel so much better.   Therefore, I rock because I got up early and worked out! I am reminded every time I go in the water why I love it so much! ( After the word because is exactly 100 words)

 

You may notice the journal prompt diagram has a starfish as the STAR. I’m using a starfish for two reasons:  1) Most people want to become a “star” and 2) The starfish represent perseverance, as when a starfish lose one of its legs, the leg regenerates and grows back.

I hope you will join me in Celebrating Me: “Someone’s going to do it, it might as well be me!” Start a journal by writing down your 100-word+ journal entries (daily random thoughts). I’m excited about incorporating more positivity into my life!

Let’s start a new chapter in our journey and become CHAMPIONS by showing ourselves some gratitude!

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