The truth is that we all have to earn our own self-worth. We can't just force ourselves to love ourselves just because our parents told us we are perfect. Instead, we have to go out into the world and behave in such a way that we live up to our own standards and earn our self-respect.
Self-esteem and confidence are not things that can be handed out at awards banquets. They are not shifts we can make to our mindset without something to back them up. Self-confidence and self-worth must be earned.
How do we earn them? We stop living by other people’s standards and instead define our own set of standards for what makes someone worthy and lovable. And then we start living up to those standards by acting accordingly. We spend time using our strengths, and we live in alignment with our values.
When we spend time using our strengths, we naturally feel good about ourselves, and we feel empowered. Using our strengths feels good and ignites our sense of self-confidence. And when we live...
The stories you tell about yourself become self-fulfilling prophecies. They drive your behavior, influence how others respond to you, and either empower you to achieve your dreams or place unnecessary limits on your potential.
Let's look at an example. Imagine that you are a high school student and you tell yourself this story: "I am not very good at school."
This belief would make you feel insecure and anxious in the classroom, which would likely make you reluctant to participate, as well. This would cause your teachers to judge you poorly and give you lower grades, which would corroborate your belief in your academic ineptitude.
All this would probably make you less likely to try very hard at your schoolwork, which would further perpetuate the cycle.
On the other hand, if you told even a slightly more empowering story, the cycle would perpetuate on a more positive track. Imagine if this were the story instead: "It sometimes takes me longer, but I always figure it out."
Truth be told, most of us have a few pet peeves around the house. And, chances are, your family members have a few pet peeves of their own. Some of them are big. Some are small. Regardless, your home should be a place for relaxing, for feeling loved, and for giving love.
Why not take some time to address these pet peeves in a way that is funny, engaging, and easy to resolve? Here is an activity sheet to help guide your conversations with your family members to resolve these irritations and make your home culture more joy-filled.
What is the extent to which your child can take feedback and use it to grow better, stronger, and happier?
A lot of people (grownups included) get offended and defensive when they get feedback. They shut down. They interpret the feedback as an attack on their character or as an indication that they are failing.
But resilient people use feedback as an opportunity to discover ways to live up to their potential. Though hearing criticisms is never easy, and everyone gets defensive every now and then, resilient people learn to evaluate feedback, asking such questions as:
Resilient people know that being imperfect and/or failing is a part of life—at least for those who are willing to get in the game. Instead of wallowing in their failures and imperfections, they learn from them and turn them into...
Forgive people. Even if they do not deserve your forgiveness, you deserve to be free of resentment, sadness, and anger.
These negative emotions feel bad—to you. They are appropriate, at times, but carrying them around forever will degrade your life. Your negative feelings might have no effect on the person with whom you are upset, but they will certainly enslave you to the harm that was done to you in the past.
Each time you think of your anger, sadness, or resentment, you inflict that painful emotion on yourself. Someone else might have inflicted that pain upon you initially, but you are one who continues to inflict it on yourself.
Why keep punishing yourself for what someone else did to you?
Choose a more powerful path. Feel your negative emotions. Acknowledge them. Accept them.
Then, when you are ready, allow them to be a voice of your needs by asking yourself: “What do I need to feel better, and what can I do to get that need met?”
Another good question is:...
As early as preschool, people start asking children what they want to be when they grow up. And while there is certainly nothing wrong (and a lot right) with encouraging children to think about their futures and consider careers that might interest them, this question fails to convey several important things.
First, the question is asking about what career your child wants to have, but a job is only part of the story.
A better question might be—"Who do you want to be when you grow up?"—because it evokes thought about the myriad of components that factor into who we are as humans.
"Who do you want to be?" prompts thought about not just career, but also family, values, hobbies, lifestyle, and legacy. It starts a conversation about how your kids want to show up in the world, how they want to be perceived by others, and how they will try to balance all of the things that will matter to them.
The second and most important thing the question fails to convey is the process of...
Psychologist Carol Dweck coined the terms “fixed mindset” and “growth mindset,” which describe the beliefs people have about learning and intelligence.
A simplified explanation of these terms is this: Those with a fixed mindset believe that intelligence is fixed. A person is smart or not smart. A person is good at math or bad at math.
Those with a growth mindset believe that they can get smarter or better at math.
The latter belief—the growth mindset belief—encourages people to put in extra time and effort.
Those with a growth mindset understand that they can learn and achieve more.
Adopting a growth mindset is important for children because it allows them to move past their current challenges and grow. It shows them that they are not stuck in a box, but rather can put in time and effort to achieve something that is important to them.
We can help children believe in their ability to learn and grow by asking them to share stories about things they have...