Today’s Thought: The First Law of Living!

The best quality of life comes from one simple but powerful ingredient: self-love. This one element has a knock-on effect on so many other things like happiness, contentment, positivity, and achievement, to begin with. When we love ourselves, we give permission for others to love us too, to appreciate our strengths and weaknesses, and to enhance that sense of worth and significance we all seek.

Self-love is crucial because it leads to a love of our bodies and talents. It also frees us to stop focusing upon what we lack, while we accept ourselves as the beautiful and wondrous beings we are. When we love ourselves we are likely to nurture our bodies, to be proud of who we are and to nurture others, too, for who they are.

How much do you value and appreciate yourself?

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Should You Quit Your Boring Job To Pursue Your Dream?

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No doubt, tons of people ask themselves this question when they are passionate about an activity and can see its potential, but they also fear losing what they have to pursue that nebulous dream, even if the job is boring and unfulfilling. It is not an easy question to answer, especially when one has to be practical on financial matters. After all, the current climate is not good for new creations. if we take the UK as an example. In the first quarter of this year, according to the Office for National Statistics, over 137,000 businesses closed – that’s a whopping 23% up on the same period in 2021. During that time, the same number of new businesses were created as the year before, showing clearly the effect of the pandemic on existing businesses.

However, despite the grim figures, quitting your job depends on one main factor: the self-belief in your own success. We so badly want to succeed in our dream and vision, but that little self-belief, and any obvious obstacles to making it work, set up the doubts. This makes us hang on to the mundane job because we need something to pay the bills, not fully committing to it, yet not fully believing in our dream either.

In the end, neither of them is likely to work because neither is getting the full attention each deserves. We only keep getting more frustrated with the job, while the road to our goal keeps faltering, and nothing much is achieved in the end. If we truly believe in our dream, we should give up our mundane job and pursue it fully, so that it gets a real chance of coming alive.

This post reminds me of when I was in teaching and wanted to leave it to write. But teaching paid my bills, and I did enjoy it, too. I just loved writing more. I started off as a freelance writer but that did not satisfy me after a while, neither did it give much money. One day I worked out how long the savings I had would last me before I needed another job (4 months!) and then gave up my teaching position, decided to open my own magazine in Britain, and made history doing it as the first Back woman to ow a national education publication. 

It was no easy task, by any means. But despite some hardships along the way, I have never regretted my decision because it led to many other unforeseen achievements and accolades – like pioneering a national awards in people management that influenced thousands of businesses in the UK. Above all, it made me extremely happy and contented! The important thing is that I believed in myself and what I wanted to do, and felt that it would be successful financially. In fact, 10 years after I closed it I was amazed to still get a sizeable cheque for royalties from the magazine that was still being photocopied by educational establishments in other parts f the world! 

The interesting fact is that becoming a writer has never made me a lot of money, but it developed my skills as a public speaker (which gave me the money!), motivator and empowerment expert which affected the lives of thousands; it led me to be a pioneer in my expertise in the UK, hence the national awards, and showed me my purpose in life. I haven’t looked back since.

If you BELIEVE In what you are doing, and can visualise its outcome, you will make it happen. You just need to take that first steps which will show you the next steps to follow, and trust you own judgement and ability. 

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Problem Point: How Can I Be Happy With Myself?

Photo by Kayla Koss

Basically, many of us are unhappy with ourselves because of a futile wish to be ‘perfect’. We mustn’t have a blemish, the wrong shape in anything, be thought of as different. But achieving such perfection is not only useless, but impossible, especally as each of us is perfect as we are. that’s what makes us unique: BOTH our strengths and perceived weaknesses.

So how can you be happier with you? mainly by not comparing yourself to others, not focusing on what you THINK you lack, or trying to be perfect.

You are not happy with yourself perhaps because of how you have been treated since childhood. If you have not had the affirmation, reinforcement and value you seek from those you care about, you start believing that something is wrong with you and you have to act in a certain way to win their approval, instead of accepting who you are. Furthermore, if the relationships you have had as an adult have not reinforced you either, or you have been disappointed in love, that would confirm the low self esteem you have, and make you feel inadequate. It is very hard to be happy with yourself at such times, especially when you see others who seem happier than you, and you feel so imperfect.

When we are unhappy with ourselves, that projects on to others, too. We become unhappy with them as well because we cannot give away what you haven’t got. You have no self-love, so you cannot genuinely love and appreciate anyone else, either, which makes you appear self-focused, selfish and uncaring, because you are seldom likely to appreciate anything or anyone in your life enough. You are always striving for something else to feel good. Yet you cannot be happy unless you start with self-appreciation.

Time to start valuing who you are: your faculties, your blessings, and the people who care for you. These three key tips should be useful:

  • Start allowing your weaknesses by focusing on your strengths and building those up.
  • Stop beating yourself up every time you have a disappointment or things don’t go as expected, and view setbacks as a natural part of your learning, growth and development.
  • Stop focusing on what you might not have and appreciate what you do, and others might be able to appreciate you, too.

The tragedy of not being happy with yourself is that your constant discontent will make others you associate with uneasy around you. No one will ever satisfy you either, because, quite simply, no one can love what you reject, or treat you better than you treat yourself!

Perhaps my book, The New Theory of Confidence, might be of some value?

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QUIZ: How Confident Are You? Test Your Level of Self-Assurance

As many people do not understand Confidence, they often mistakenly believe that they are confident, or that they can get confident in an instant if they are feeling fearful or anxious. But Confidence does not work like that. It is a permanent emotion that is the greatest asset we can have – the powerful feeling of being capable and courageous.

In essence, we cannot fake Confidence, or conjure it up from nowhere. That is why instant remedies about how we can boost Confidence seldom work because we have to understand the concept first, before we can appreciate how it affects us, and how it can be utilised to the fullest advantage.

For an explanation of what Confidence is, click here.

NOTE: To test your own Confidence Level, complete the Quiz below. You will be sent your score and a brief explanation of what the score means. If you are low in Confidence, you can request a personal in-depth assessment for a Donation above $12, and effective remedies for boosting it, by contacting consult.elainesihera@gmail.com for more information.

The Most Effective Unspoken Rule of Success

Photo by Alysha Rosly

Quite simply, it is Self-Belief.

No matter what you attempt in life, if you only partly-believe you can do it, you are operating on only 50% of your capacity and you won’t be able to really give it the action, determination and commitment it deserves. You will always be plagued with doubts about your capacity to achieve what you want.

Belief is the bedrock of success. The famous ,successful American car maker, Henry Ford, once said: “If you believe you cam, or if you believe you can’t, you’re right on both counts.” If you do not believe you can, you simply won’t. Why? Because everything you do, the way you perceive others, approach situations, and the way you act, will confirm your belief that you will fail.

For example, you wish to start a business but don’t believe it will be successful because you need a loan to launch it. You don’t believe the bank manager will give you the loan, or you won’t get enough money from an investor either. That belief will prevent you from appearing prepared, committed, capable and professional to impress the bank or investor. You might sound convincing to them to some degree, but you won’t sound passionate about your idea or capability because you truly don’t believe it yourself. And if you don’t believe your own aspiration, why should anyone else believe its potential, either?

No matter what you are doing – whether applying for a job, for a promotion, starting a business, taking part in a competitive event or simply achieving a cherished goal, belief is where you have to start – the strongest acceptance that you can do it. Belief is the foundation of success, and if it is not there, everything else is unlikely to materialise, too.

Self-belief controls your level of confidence and self-esteem. It also means that if you have a high belief in your abilities, you are going to deal with problems and setbacks in a much more positive way – focusing on answers than just problems – than someone with little self-belief and a great deal of fear. Nothing is ever exactly as we want it, but our confidence will do much to shape our circumstances to our own satisfaction, and this confidence comes from personal power: the power of self belief and faith in our dreams and potential to achieve them.

How Prepared Are You For Success?

This book should show you you your personal potential and what might be holding you back.

What Happens if I Don’t Feel Satisfied With Anything I Get?

Photo by Zohre Nemati

Then you have a miserable and unhappy life, instead, because there is no such thing as a perfect life where everything is exactly as you desire. It’s not about getting things as you visualise them, but making the most of what you have. It is your choice.

If you are never satisfied with anything you have, that’s a desire for perfection that doesn’t exist, showing an ingratitude for all you are blessed with. You would be a taker instead of a giver because you would have a sense of entitlement which does not sit well with Nature. We are the ones who make ourselves feel happy by either accepting, or constantly resisting, what life gives us. If you are always dissatisfied, that is YOUR choice, and every choice carries consequences, whether good or bad.

It really depends on how you CHOOSE to live your life, whether in joy or in sorrow. Some people cannot bear to be happy because victimhood gives them the attention of others and keeps them feeling significant. But anything that is carried on and on, relentlessly, soon loses its attraction. Hence if you choose to be miserable because you are never satisfied with anything, you will find that people avoid you, too, because no one likes a constant misery guts, or one who just keeps complaining all the time, and never seems happy with anything. You would not have anything positive to offer others, and they will gradually find it a hassle trying to make you happy, because each of us seeks some motivation and encouragement from the people around us. If you give nothing, you are likely to get nothing back.

Someone who is never satisfied with anything is a taker. One who EXPECTS without giving anything back. In fact, while you are busy being dissatisfied with whatever you are given, you are not thinking about anyone else. Being dissatisfied is easy. It tajes no grace, gratitude or talent. Accepting life as it is, and using it to our best advantage, is much harder, but far more motivating, satisfying and rewarding.

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Problem Point: I Was a Smart Independent Teen. Why Do I Feel Immature And Slow Now?

Photo by Dilan NaGi

This situation is normal for some people, especially those of low self-esteem and lack of confidence. It is likely to come about for the following two reasons:

  1. In your teens, you did not have all the EXPERIENCE of life and responsibilities you have now. You were carefree then, allowed to develop to suit your personality and dreams. However, what is likely to have happened is that you got a few disappointments since then, knock-backs, obstacles you thought you could overcome, but didn’t, which would have dented the confidence and the certainty you had about life. You have gradually discovered that you didn’t know all the answers, and your trust has been lost in some people, which have made you doubt yourself and a lot of what you believed. In the process, your sense of invincibility has been crushed and you started comparing yourself to others who have appeared more worthy, the more disappointed you feel.
  2. The effect of all that is most noticeable on your self-efficacy and feeling of competence. It has nosedived so that everyone now appears better than you are. You are also focused on your weaknesses instead of the strengths you nurtured and enjoyed when you were a teen, being blind to the goodness and talents within you. Your setbacks have been blown up to look like immovable mountains instead of just taking them in your stride, bouncing back, and carrying on with your life, more knowledgeable and resilient. You don’t trust your judgements or beliefs any more, so, IN YOUR EYES, you are just a plodder who is worse than anyone else. However, people cannot treat you better than you treat yourself, and you need to give yourself some slack, acknowledge and accept that no one is perfect, that BOTH good and bad are part of our lives, and MOVE ON, more competent and confident than before.

You need to allow your mistakes, allow your bad days, remember how optimistic and smart you were when you were younger, and recapture those times. Forget the disappointing experiences and remind yourself that everything is only ever TEMPORARY. Nothing lasts forever, so to use your past negative experiences to control your actions and thoughts will only deprive you of an enjoyable, productive and satisfying future.

Life is a journey of ups and downs. Don’t make it into a dead end to suit your fears and disappointments. Only you can change your current state through ditching the negative thoughts, the comparison with your old self, and the need to be perfect. Begin the process of LIVING instead of just existing in a void controlled by your past. No one else can do it for you.

Remind yourself, DAILY, of the awesome person you are. The only difference has been your experience, which should be used to enhance you, not make you feel worse. Moreover, you cannot compare yesterday with today because you would have changed in age and experience in the meantime. Ditch the need for perfection, accept yourself as you are. Keep out of the past and appreciate your life NOW, as well as your loved ones, and go for it!

(NOTE: Paid subscribers, or significant Donors, can have their questions answered publicly. A private service is available separately.)

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Global Extremes – The Big Hitters

It seems that in our world, no matter how equitable the desires, by sheer force of numbers some people and countries will always be more equal than others, mainly due to their economic, cultural and political power, acquired through population density and unlimited consumer capacity.

The top 5 countries for high population numbers are:

China 1.43 billion

India 1.42 billion

USA 0.34 billion

Pakistan 0.28 billion

Indonesia 0.24 billion

What to Do if You’re Scared of Losing Your Spouse/Partner

When we love someone and we feel they might not love us as much, that they are attracted to someone else, or they seem distant and detached, it can lead to many anxieties as to how to keep the love intact. It is natural to wonder why a guy or gal might be behaving that way, and whether you might lose them. But the first thing to do is to understand why you feel like that, and then take any remedial steps you believe might apply in your specific case, because every situation is likely to be different.

To begin with, the fear of losing someone, especially when it is very strong, comes out of a lack of self-love. This makes us terribly insecure and apprehensive. Many people do not really love themselves and expect partners to love them instead, to compensate for that lack of love. They tend to be watchful, anxious, and worried in case they are not loved anymore, because losing the person who loves them would be hard to bear. The object of their love thus becomes the centre of attention, the focus point of their life, which can make it hard for that partner to live up to expectations. That kind of imbalance is what often drives partners away because they tend to find the intense attention hard to deal with and take their attention outside. Understanding that kind of fear will help to put other things in perspective, like what you could do in the situation.

1. The first action you could take is to start valuing yourself. Get rid of the fear and start to live your life in a way that, if your guy/gal goes, it is not the end of the world. Ask yourself what is the worst that could happen if they left, then face this scenario in your head. What would you do, exactly? By facing the possibility and making contingencies for it, you will find the prospect easier to deal with, even if it doesn’t happen. This is important to do, because if a partner wants to leave, for whatever reason, nothing will stop them. There is really nothing you can do about it, especially if he/she has found someone else. By getting detached from that fear, you also loosen their power over you. Deciding on options that you would have available, should they leave, actually empowers you to deal with the prospect without too much pain.

2. Next, communicate as much as possible. Often relationships begin to fracture because people grow apart, they take each other for granted, or partners have changed in their ambitions and aspirations; they have been too busy to reinforce and affirm each other, or they have just not listened to one another. Talking and listening are essential if you sense something is wrong. If you find out what the problem could be, there might be a chance of saving the situation. However, ironically, this is the time when people dread talking together, because they also fear what they might hear, or they fear upsetting the other party, so they are likely to clam up instead.

3. Third, take the focus off your partner and place it on yourself. The more anxious and worried you are is the more unattractive you become. How do you physically look? Are you as attractive as you used to be, or have you let yourself go? This is the time for a makeover, perhaps; for doing things differently; for getting back to what you both used to be before things became too routine. Time to overcome your fear and anxieties by socialising more, widening your circle of friends and activities, especially taking up new hobbies/hroups, and becoming much more self-loving and independent.

People who have their own life, who are also a little detached in their relationships, and who give enough space to each other to develop and grow, tend to keep their love alive in a more effective way. The best way to keep your gal is to show that you desire that person, you love her being in your life but you don’t ‘need’ her; that you will still be functioning at full capacity if he weren’t there. That’s a very important point to note.

4. Finally, people leave relationships when they are not happy and mainly because they do not feel valued or affirmed. If that is the case, both parties need to begin to appreciate each other, to be expressive, caring, loving and affectionate; to show mutual value and respect. That is not always easy to do, especially if things have been allowed to slide into a rut.

When we truly love we love without conditions. We then acknowledge that we come first, and the love starts within us, not outside of us. If we don’t love, respect and value ourselves, it is difficult for others to love us, too, because they simply cannot love what we ourselves reject. Relationships are meant to aid our development along our journey, and not necessarily to last a lifetime. If the person goes, we will still be wonderful, still be desirable and still be valued. All we have to do is to learn the lesson and move on.

Most important, should he/she go, especially if you have done all you can to encourage them to stay, don’t forget that there is likely to be someone even better waiting for you, if you care to look ahead, instead of just looking back in regret.

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Today’s Thought: The Importance of Sensitivity

Sensitivity is at the core of how we treat others. Accepting the person as they are without wanting to change them to suit us; fully acknowledging their values, culture, identity and who they wish to be; valuing their contributions, opinions and inputs, genuinely listening to them and sharing their concerns. These are all essential elements of showing sensitivity to others. When we put ourselves and our needs first, and can only see our values, cultures and what matters to us, we are lacking great sensitivity to those we care for, and interact with, and are actually denying them respect, no matter what we might say to the contrary.

Most important, if we have no sensitivity towards the feelings of others, how can we genuinely expect our sensitivities to be respected and appreciated? Quite simply, if we wish respect for what we represent, value and cherish, unless we are prepared to give it, too, we cannot expect it in return. 

I’ve Had Five Breakups That Have Shaken My Confidence. I’m Only 25 Years Old. What Next?

Photo by Mark Pan4ratte

Without knowing details of the background situation, any reply can only be in generalised terms which should hopefully be of some value.

If you are 25 with five break ups behind you, when most people would have maybe two or none, you need to be asking yourself certain questions, because the PATTERN of behaviour in this case would be important.

For example,

  • Who is doing the breaking up, you or the dates?
  • What are you (or they) expecting that you’re not getting?
  • Why are your relationships so short-lived?
  • Are you rushing into relationships without really taking time out in between them to examine why each one fell by the wayside?

There is always a reason for a breakup, and unless you identify it, address it, and learn from it, you will be none the wiser for it. Moreover, you will be destined to repeat the same pattern of approach over and over and over. Once you start asking yourself certain straight and honest questions, and answer them truthfully, a pattern of behaviour will emerge for your relationships. If you are the one, for example, who is usually wanting the break, or your partners want the break, it is saying a lot about the non-fulfilment of expectations between you.

Or it could be that you love the thrill of dating, the initial rush of adrenaline in the attention you are getting, then begin to get bored later on when things settle down into a predictable routine, or the date hasn’t lived up to your expectations. Some people like the idea of falling in love, or a potential new romance developing, without the responsibility, or stickability, to allow it to progress for any length of time.

Again, people often go into relationships with a perceived perfect ideal partner, or friendship, expecting too much from the other person. They become disillusioned soon afterwards, and then break it off to continue seeking that elusive perfection, while repeating the same mistakes in the next relationship, and so on, because they are inclined to believe that the fault lies in the people they meet, and not themselves. They avoid examining themselves, and why things did not go plan, and then take he same futile expectations on the next step of their journey with someone else.

Sadly, this just leads to the same results in a never ending journey of hurt and, pain, and reduced trust and confidence.

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Having Lots in Common, or Shared Values: Which is More Important in a Relationship?

Photo by Everton Vila

Both are important in any successful relationship. However, while having a lot in common helps to keep the parties together in mutual activities, what really underpin any relationship, and control its direction, are the shared values between the couple.

No matter what is happening superficially – differences with looks, beauty, personality, activities etc. – people will stay connected only if their basic values are in tandem. Real opposites represent conflict from the beginning because there would be little alignment in needs and objectives. This would keep the parties going in different directions. For example, it is unlikely that someone with criminal tendencies will have a successful relationship with someone who believes in honesty and integrity, no matter how much both might like playing golf or attending the same events. There would be too much conflict in reconciling their values.

For example, you don’t get greater difference than an Indian guy in a turban from Kenya and a devout Catholic woman from the West Indies! Totally different upbringing, cultures and perspectives about life. I met a Sikh when I was 19, and married, to much opposition, across the racial and cultural divide. No one, least of all his parents who tried everything at the beginning to break us up, expected the marriage to last more than a couple years, at best. We went on for over 30 years and when we parted, we still had very strong feelings for each other. At the end, though the love was there to a large extent, our direction and values had clearly changed in what we sought in our lives.

At the beginning, my ex-husband and I complemented each other in many ways, because we believed in the same things when we met. We were both rebels in our communities; we both loved reggae and Bob Marley, and we both had the same outlook on maintaining a home and raising children. Without realising it then, I also sought a kind of protector, being young and naive in England, and, being very clever and more secure, he wanted someone to protect. Bingo for our expectations!

When I began to feel more independent and to value other things in life, like my own creativity and freedom to act in ways I enjoyed, the dynamics began to shift and our values gradually differed, especially as he grew more conservative and controlling in approach. In fact, we became opposites in our needs over such a long time and stopped connecting, appreciating and communicating with each other.

So, having lots in common do help for better enjoyment in a relationship, but the individual perspectives and beliefs that form our values have to mutually align to keep a couple together.

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