Today’s Thought: Dealing With Difference

How do you feel about difference? Comfortable? Welcoming? Accepting? Fearful? Anxious?

Often when we fear difference we forget that we too are different to others who are not like us! It seems that our level of confidence determines how we treat others, so that the worse we feel about ourselves, and he lower our self-esteem, the more we are likely to feel vulnerable and afraid, fearing anything unfamiliar or unlike us.


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Podcast of The Day: What Are Some Obvious Signs If I Think My Spouse is Cheating On Me?


Cheating can be pretty devastating for some couples because it tends to shatter the trust, credibility and appreciation within the relationship which seldom recover from external affairs which are discovered because trust is essentially destroyed. This leads to insecurity, resentment and continuous feelings of being unappealing and rejected by the offended party, along with a lot of guilt and negative feelings by the offender.

The couple will limp along with the open secret between them, especially where one party is passive and accepts the situation, with or without conditions. But the offender will seldom change, unless he/she stands to lose a lot. This guarantees a repetition along with a gradual decline in the quality of the interaction and the feelings between them.

But how do you spot the early signs of someone who is being unfaithful? Are they easy to see? Or should you trust your instincts at such time? 

Elaine Sihera talks through the key signs to watch for and how it affects the sexes.

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 for more information.

The Power of Self-Appreciation: Don’t Wage a War Against Yourself!

Are you the type that is constantly finding fault with yourself? Criticising your actions and what you say? Putting yourself down? Never happy with your efforts? That really is the surest way to feel inadequate and inferior. When I wrote my first book I asked a friend to give me her opinion of the manuscript. Without commenting she asked me fearfully, “What if the readers don’t like what you write?”

Quick as a flash i retorted, “Then they can write their own books about the topic!” This was my book, no one else’s, and no one was forced to like it or reject it. Hence I was not going to silence my voice for fear of disapproval.

We worry about what others think and say, and try to fit their expectations, because we of this yearning for perfection, with mainly negative results. The only way to avoid sterile perfectionism that gets us nowhere is to improve our confidence. But this is no easy task when we are governed by our thought patterns, and old habits cling fast.

There are a number of things we can do to boost our confidence, and remove the desire for perfection, but it depends on the level of esteem we already enjoy. If confidence is flagging, one can take remedial steps, but if it is non-existent, or has come under repeated attacks, it will need a greater resolve, and perhaps even counselling, to change it positively. When your confidence needs boosting, two main things are very important:

FirstThink Positively. Low self-esteem feeds on negative messages and thoughts, so avoid indulging in constant self-criticism. That’s like waging incessant war on yourself. Acknowledge your weaknesses, yes, but do not dwell on them. It’s your weaknesses, too, that make you unique. Focus on your strengths and build them up. For example, when self-esteem is low, treat yourself to something you definitely enjoy, just as you would do for a friend you value. If you feel lonely and have no regular date, for example, why not ask a friend to accompany you out? One who would make you feel a million dollars, yet respect your wishes. That should gradually build your confidence to find your own date.

Available in Kindle or Paperback. Order here.

Often we don’t feel we deserve to be happy in life, because of constant guilt feelings about being worthy; or to actually admit that we are proud to be alive. Instead we deny ourselves the pleasures we crave, always waiting for tomorrow or worrying about the consequences. But tomorrow might never come, as we might be gone tonight. We also tend to attribute our accomplishments only to ‘luck’. But there is no such thing. When people complimented one woman on how lucky her son was to be a celebrated singer, her reply was always a gracious, “Thanks for saying that. But the most fascinating thing is that the harder he works, the luckier he seems to get!”

Give yourself credit for your own personal achievement. Your successes have been due to preparation, hard work, experience of what is necessary, and, finally, the time and circumstances being appropriate for your efforts to come to fruition. Luck has little to do with it.

SecondBe Proud of YOU. You are unique, the only one like you in all history! So appreciate your identity, your gender, your colour, your name, your customs, your dress, your values, and traditions. If you hide these elements to please others, you will always be undermining what makes you a unique person, while putting others and their values above yourself. This will only keep you feeling insecure, inadequate, and second-best. Yes, you should compromise where you can, but on mutual terms. Otherwise you give a very powerful message of your own low level of self-esteem, fawning desire to please, and little pride in being you. Most important, people cannot respect what you are ashamed of.

Self-appreciation is the start of everything that’s good in our life, the lynchpin to getting what we desire, because it influences how we are perceived. It does not matter what other people do, but if we treat ourselves with love and respect, with daily appreciation for our own value, others are likely to treat us exactly that way, too.

Today’s Thought: Finding The Greatest Love!

It is easy to believe that once someone else loves us, we will be very happy ever after. But the greatest love is actually within us, often stifled and repressed by pain, hurt, self-loathing, dissatisfaction with our bodies, and relentless anxiety. Start the process of self discovery today, to find your greatest love – the one that guarantees real happiness.

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Premium: How Do I Love Myself When I Feel So Bad?

Photo by Kelly Sikkema

Many people see my constant, happy smile and make instant assumptions about me and my past. However, my childhood was a pretty grim one. In the bad old days, as I call them, I would pass a mirror, momentarily liked what I saw but then suddenly, and inexplicably, would start telling myself that I was ‘crap’, that I ‘hated’ myself and I was ‘pathetic’. 

I had buried my traumas deep inside me, refusing to face them and, slowly, they took their toll in continuous self-loathing and low self-esteem. Gradually, and painfully, I learned that I had to sort out my past, face it and move on, and then begin the slow process of self-love. The wonderful result is clear to see now. Subscribe to get access

Read more of this content when you subscribe today.

Today’s Thought: Finding a New Relationship

So often we seek a new relationship beieving that once we find that ideal person, everything will be perfect and we’ll be very happy. However, any relationship starts with how we connect with ourselves, not with any other person. If we are uncomfortabe with our person, not happy with our mirror-image, and dislike ourselves, we will find it problematic connecting with others too.

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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LISTEN FREE! How Can I Stop Feeling That No One Will Ever Love or Want Me?

Many people who might be single for a long while, or have had hurtful experiences in relationships, tend to believe they will never find the person they seek because nobody seems to want them or find them lovable. But the root of that assumption lies much closer to home than with other people.

This podcast explores the main reason for such fearful beliefs.

RELATED BOOK: 7 Steps to Finding, and Keeping, ‘The One’

IF YOU FOUND THIS EPISODE USEFUL….SUBSCRIBE to Lessons in Life podcast on Anchor for more topics that could be of value to your situation or dilemma. 

Follow Elaine on Twitter @ESiheraESC for new podcast alerts.

Problem Point: I Constantly Want to be Above Less-Than-Perfect People. Why?

Photo by Jackson David

If that is the case, you clearly have a problem with your self-esteem. You feel inferior to others, and the only way you can make yourself feel better, and feel you matter, is by putting yourself above them. Sadly, the more you strive to do that is the more you expose yourself as inadequate, insecure, and not worth knowing as a person.

The main problem with your logic of perfection is that there is no such person as a perfect person! Everyone of us has both strengths and flaws to give us BALANCE and uniqueness. Perhaps you have not got the reinforcement and affirmation you seek from the people who matter to you, and you waste valuable life trying to be ‘perfect’ to gain their approval. But perfection is a stagnant state. There is no growth, no further development or creativity in perfection.

Why does being perfect matter to you so much? You obviously don’t think much of yourself, so you project that inferiority complex on to others. If they are not perfect in your eyes, they are not worthy, because you don’t feel worthy either! This kind of world view cannot make you feel good about yourself, because winning friends and influencing others do not come from negativity, unkindness or cruelty. It comes from self-love, self-appreciation, gratitude for what you have, and appreciation of others, too.

It takes all sorts to make our world. Putting yourself above others is also the root of inane prejudice and sexism/racism. It is easy to assign certain people to your imperfect list, according to spurious criteria, and treat them in discriminatory ways. However, when you put yourself above others, there is likely to be no one there to value you when you need some empathy and support!

You can treat others however you wish, but you will gradually discover that the greatest happiness is associated with how you treat yourself first, how you value yourself, and how you can radiate that self-love outwards to others, in the form of empathy and kindness, for them to value and respect you in turn.

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Should Making Money Be the Measure of Self-Worth? 

Photo by John McArthur

It shouldn’t, really, but there are key factors why it often is.

Money is only ONE way of measuring self-worth. The whole notion of self-worth is not a social barometer. No one outside of you can tell you how much you are worth. You are the only one who can do that through the level of your SELF-ESTEEM and what MATTERS to you.

For example, monks and nuns who devote their lives to God and have forsaken money would value the number of people they can impact and save, rather than the money they might have. In fact, they would see money as useless to them except to maintain their survival. Their self-worth would come from their ability to serve their God in ways that make them feel good.

The same with me. I write to share my knowledge, to link up with positive people who share my inspirational approach, and, above all, to make a difference to others. It means that, no matter how much money I might earn in the process, my self-worth will only be validated TO ME when I see the effect my writing has, the way it is received, and the number of people who might benefit from it.

However, if someone is from a culture where money and wealth are prized highly above everything else, they will grow up believing that their personal worth is based on how much money they make, and that will be their key goal in life. That would matter to them great deal, especially if people like them are also reinforcing similar actions by valuing their money, too. However, in a culture where money is only one way of measuring success, no matter how much money one might have in the end, it won’t matter to those who couldn’t care less about it, which in turn, would do little to enhance their own self-worth.


Do We Need Other People Around Us to be Happy?

Photo by tabitha turner

True happiness comes from within us. It is not supplied by others, or caused by them. They can only ENHANCE our happiness by adding to it, but they cannot MAKE us happy. If you feel ’happy’ only when you are around people, it points to a lack of self-love; a loathing to spend time in your own company, and a desire for people to like you to compensate for the way you really don’t like you.

Someone once said: “I am not sure that the 100% of our happiness comes from within. I think we need others to complete our happiness.”

However, what that person is actually saying, with a 50% portion, is that, if no one ever meets another who can complete their half, they will be only half happy, or unhappy, for the rest of their lives! But that has never been right. Tons of people have been serenely happy without anyone else making them happy, or contributing to that happiness.

Happiness is not a destination we strive towards. It’s an inner state of being, not to be added to by anyone, but actually to be ENHANCED by themTo be a truly happy persons starts off with 100% happiness within the self, which is about loving the self, appreciating the self and valuing the self. A partner, friend or anyone else, should also be bringing 100% happiness for it to work in a glorious orgy of shared happiness! That’s why it is difficult for a very happy person to co-exist with a half-happy or gloomy person, because he/she will always be taking from the very happy one, not giving much back.

As in all relationships and interactions, only bringing 100% of ourselves to them will work. If the other person is bringing 100% too, not taking but giving wholly and unconditionally, that’s two very happy people indeed!

If we go with the 50% option, what if you NEVER find that happiness externally? What happens then? A very important question for the quality of our lives.

The basis of internal happiness is self-acceptance and feeling valued. In fact, every human being, without fail, seek the following four elements in life:

* To be significant (that they matter),

* To be appreciated (for their efforts

* To be valued (for who they are by those they value)

* To be included (a feeling of belonging).

When any of those four facets are missing, or out of sync, that’s when unhappiness sets in and no amount of happiness from another person will make us feel any better.

Equally, if we are low in confidence, lacking self esteem and not loving/valuing who we are, no amount of happiness from others will compensate, because not accepting ourselves as we are, we would not know how to accept another person, either, for what they bring. We are likely to be full of doubt about ourselves, questioning whether they truly care or not.

So, coming back to that question again. If you believe that only being around others makes you happy, and you fail to find that external happiness you seek, what would happen then?

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