First of all be happy with yourself…

March 15, 2017

“Your value does not decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.”  (Unknown), as seen so time ago on the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

We have become too much of a “See me” and “Like me” society, always seeking the couple-looking-at-phonesopinions and approval of others to validate ourselves. The self-promotion of many social media sites supports that need to be seen and to receive approval from others. We’ve even become comfortable with asking people to “Like me” on Facebook or elsewhere. We keep score by how many “Likes” we get. Yet none of that really makes a difference if you do not like yourself or your life.

Happiness with one’s life and with one’s self starts with accepting who and what you are and finding some level of peace with you circumstances. That might be very hard for someone who is starving or cold or lonely; however, somewhere, deep within them there is the recognition that at least they are still alive and able to hope and strive for a better tomorrow. Most of us never get to that state where just being alive is all that we can be man prayingthankful for; but, many of us don’t take the time to really think about all that we have and have been given and thank God for what we have, much less thank Him for who we are. God made each of us unique, each with talents and abilities that please Him in some way. He sees our value, so who else really matters? You don’t have to pray to God “See me; Like me”; He already does.

If you can accept that God sees your worth as a human being, the next step is not to seek the approval of others; but, rather, to help others accept that same message and to become happy with who they are, too. You’ll be able to do that because those who develop a good sense of self-worth also develop self-confidence.  Jack Welch said this about self-confidence –

“Giving people Self-Confidence is by far the most important thing that I can do, because then they will ACT.”

God will give you the self-confidence to act, to share your story and to help others find caringself-worth through their belief in God. Instead of wandering through life asking others to “See me; Like me”, you will be able to seek out others to say, “I see you and I like you; you have worth to God”. All of this will happen when you have come to peace with who you are and see the value in your life as your ability to serve God by helping others.

Being at peace with yourself starts by resisting the tendency to measure yourself and your circumstances in life against others and what they have. You are not them and you may never have all of the things that they have. Even if you did have those things, do you really think that would make you happy? Rather, focus upon being the best you that you can be. I jesus-as-lightwrote about that in my post of February 16 – Be the best you that you in existence… and again just two days ago in Be the person that you would like to be. If you can stop worrying about what other think and start acting upon the mission that God has given you to spread the Good News, you will be much happier with your sense of self-worth. After all, one “Like” from God is worth more than thousands of “Likes” on Facebook.

Have a great, worthy and self-confident day! Like yourself first.

Just be yourself…

November 9, 2014

As a rule I don’t listen to much music anymore. I have lots of it from my past interest in it and I have an iPhone and an iPad and iWhatever’s that I might need to download and listen; but I have other things that are more interesting to do and which take up my time. Listening is unavoidable at the gym that I visit every morning, since music is constantly on in the background. On Zumba days at the gym and on days when there is a group exercise class going on the music is an integral part of the sessions, providing the past-paced beat for the classes.

So, this morning I was going through my workout routine at the gym when a song came on in the background that caught my attention, mainly for its message. It is Joey McIntyre’s song “Stay the same.” The song resonated because that is topic that I have written about in the past, or at least I’ve written about being yourself and liking yourself ( see my three little words post on I like me or the post on “First believe in yourself”). In this song Joey sings about staying the same and not trying to change yourself; but, rather liking who you are.

look in mirorThe journey from childhood to adulthood sometimes takes a tortuous path through the badlands of self-doubt, self-denigration and sometimes self-destruction as developing youth struggle with finding their identity and being happy with what they find. We are surrounded by media images of perfection – the perfect face, the perfect hair and perfect bodies – so, it’s no wonder that many impressionable young minds come to the conclusion that they are not perfect and need to change something, maybe everything. They become enamored with the surface, with what they can see in the mirror, not what other “see” in them.

It is perhaps one of life’s greatest lessons to learn how to “see” beyond the superficial surface in people and find the true beauty of the person within. Equally important is learning how to be comfortable and confident with your own inner person and finding ways to let that part of you shine through. You can easily recognize people who have mastered that life lesson because of their smiles. Confident people often smile, not just because they are happy, but also because they are happy with themselves and they are unafraid of what others might think. It’s not that they don’t care what you think about them; it’s that what you think about them is not going to define them. They do not need your approval to be comfortable with who and what they are. They may seek your friendship; but, not because they need you to validate them.

Many struggle with establishing their own identity during those formative years. Some choose to run with a crowd full of people that they can emulate. The members of their crowd may dress alike, talk alike and act alike. Sometimes that is a at the gymbad thing, if the crowd becomes a bullying clique at school or elsewhere. Sometimes youth become fan-atics, following a particular performer or star in ways that can become obsessive. They may dress like their idol and change their appearance to look more like them, too. Fortunately most youth grow out of both of those options and eventually find their own identity. Somewhere in that transition is where they learn to like themselves, to accept what they look like, sound like and act like.

Both boys and girls (and many adults) may still go through a period of acting or disguising themselves to some extent while they are dating. They may take weight off, learn to make themselves up a bit more, dress a bit nicer, act a bit nicer, go to places that they would not normally frequent and perhaps do things that they would not normally do, all in search of the perfect mate. This is another phase in which just being yourself is actually the better strategy. Too many marriages later dissolve because the charade is dropped after marriage and one or both partners feel somehow cheated with what they are left with, especially if things progressed very fast and the opportunities weren’t taken to reveal the underlying people that were there all along. Marriage is a bond and commitment which should be made between two people who both “see” the other person for who they really are and love that person that they “see.”

accept me as I am So go listen to the song “Stay the same” and then get comfortable and confident with who and what you are. Learn to like yourself. Learn to love having time alone with just you. It will make it much easier to lile or love others.

Have a great week ahead!

Three little words that may change your life… I like me.

April 30, 2014

Sometimes the simplest little things can have big impact on our lives. In this series of posts I examine very short sentences (each just three words long) that can make a difference in your life. If you have a three word sentence that changed your life somehow, share it with me and I will share it with the world.

It’s interesting and more than a little sad sometimes that some people spend a lot of time and energy trying to get people to like them. You see it on Facebook all the time – “If you like me, I’ll like you back.” Sometimes I get those “Like me, Like me, Like me” messages from people that I don’t even know, much less know if I like. I think it is much more important that you are able to look at yourself, how you conduct yourself in public and with others and how you feel when you are alone and be able to say – I like me.

After all you will spend more time with yourself than with anyone else, even a spouse; and, if you can’t ugly mirrorstand being alone with yourself, I’ll bet that you have issues with being with other people, too. Learning to like yourself is learning to be honest with yourself, but not harsh on yourself; especially if you’ve just screwed something up and you feel bad about it already. There are enough people taking shots at you, don’t beat yourself up. Sit down with some soft music on and a glass of wine and say, “Whether anyone else in the world does right now; I like me.”

I have known people who absolutely could not stand to be alone. Sometimes I’d think it was because they bored themselves to death, but the reality was that they just didn’t like themselves. They had no thoughts or opinions or dreams that they could just focus upon when no one else was around. They found themselves to be uninteresting. That’s just sad and for them scary. What they needed to do, and we all need to do, is to take ownership of their lives. Most of these people were joiners, followers and hangers-on, which is OK; but, one cannot live one’s life completely through others and by following along with others.  Eventually you have to take some leadership responsibility, if with no one else at least with yourself. You have to be responsible for your own entertainment and contentment, even when you are by yourself; and, that starts when you can get to the point where you admit to yourself – I like me.

look in mirorThat’s not narcissism (I love me might be, but we won’t go there); rather it is just being comfortable in your own skin. Being comfortable with who you are, where you are in life and confident about where you are headed and how you plan to get there. You know people like that; maybe you’ve met some or you would like to. You see them walk into a room and it’s not that they “own the room”; it’s more that they own themselves; they exude a quiet self-confidence, and others in the room find that interesting and gravitate to them – they are probably some of the people whom you’ve been following around. When you become a person who’s like that (someone that you’d like to meet in life); it’s because you have become a person, like them, who can say – I like me.

Let’s face it; it all starts with you. If you are the timid and shy wall flower, you don’t like that and you probably don’t like yourself either. The funny thing is that you don’t have to do all sorts of weird and unnatural things to break out of your cocoon of shyness, just start by liking yourself first. If you think about it, there probably aren’t a lot of people standing around pointing at you and saying, “I don’t like you.” It’s mainly you, staring into the mirror and saying that; so start by stopping that and starting each day with a quick look in the mirror and saying to that person – I like me.

Don’t tear yourself down; build yourself up.  Don’t find reasons to be fearful; find reasons to be confident. Don’t worry that you might look different; revel in the fact that you look unique. People will remember meeting you; make those memories pleasant and fun. If you wantlooking at self a good laugh that might help you put things in perspective, click on this link to take a quick look at the childhood pictures (and current shots) of some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Don’t you think that they were once where you are now? They survived and got by that stage and now they like themselves. Once you can like yourself, you’ll find that you will spend less time avoiding the situations that used to make you nervous and withdrawn because liking yourself allows you to care a lot less about what the people around you will think of you and that self-confidence will shine through. You’ll also find that it is a lot easier for people to like you once you get to the place where you can say – I like me.

People conjure up amazing reasons to believe that others will not like them, if they have a problem liking themselves in the first place. All of a sudden a zit in the wrong place at the wrong time (is there every a good time) is imagined to be as bad a being labeled a leaper; a slight speech impediment or accent is conjured into an indictment of your intelligence; a lack of flashy athletic or academic happy reflectionachievements and awards is turned into an indication of failure in life. None of that is true and in most cases, none of it exists anywhere but in your imagination. Yet we let our imaginations and the fears that it conjures up rule our lives. Take your life back! Look in the mirror and tell yourself that none of that stuff matters. What really matters is that you know that God loves you and that you can look at that person in the mirror and say, I like me!

You’ve just satisfied the two most important people in your life, the others will come around.