Empowering journaling prompts and exercises to boost confidence and self esteem.

Introvert paradise
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5 tips to start a conversation when you don’t know what to say

I’m an introvert.

And despite years of practice and working on my skills, I’m still completely awkward in social situations.

I’ve always been this way.

May always be.

I can only handle being around around people in small bursts. Not because I’m a jerk. I just get overwhelmed easily.

That said, there are a few tricks that work for me when I do want to talk to people.

Keep in mind, for the most part, other people want someone to come talk to them. You can tell when a person sincerely doesn’t want to have a conversation with you. You know, headphones on, face buried in a book or notebook, etc.

Remember, you don’t have to have the perfect sentence formulated to talk to someone or a group of people.

Here are 5 other things to keep in mind when you’re ready, willing and able to start a conversation.

#1 Start with an observation.

This one is geared towards talking to an individual more so than a group. If and when you notice something you like about a person, make a comment about it. Only do this if it’s sincere.

Don’t do this:

Do give genuine compliments. Most people love receiving them! This opens up the conversation and often leads to learning more about what the other person is interested in.

#2 If you notice an open group you’d like to join, wait for a break in the conversation and ask, “Mind if I join you?”

Make sure the group is open first. You can tell a group is open when the people are standing somewhat apart, members occasionally glance around the room, there are gaps in the conversation and members are talking about a general topic.

Once you’ve determined the group is open, wait for the break and ask the friendliest-looking member if you can join in. This will ensure your intentions are clear and you won’t have to interrupt and risk seeming rude.

#3 Know what’s most important to you before you decide to start or join a conversation with an individual or group.

What is your goal or objective in this situation? Do you want to just connect without any result in mind? Do you want to make a new friend?

When you become clear on your intention, you may find knowing what to say comes a lot easier and more naturally.

#4 Make peace with the worst that could happen.

Cope ahead by reminding yourself that even if this person or group of people flat out rejects you, you will remain in tact. It does not define you or your worth.

Decide ahead of time you won’t go into a story about how “no one likes you.” Remember not to mind read either. You have no idea why someone would reject you. It might have nothing to do with you. So, keep your head up. There will be plenty of opportunities in the future.

#5 Expect the best or something even better.

You won’t know how the conversation (or anything) will go until you try.

If this is brand new to you, yes, it’s going to be scary. Acknowledge your fear and remind yourself why you’re doing this. Maybe you’ve been wanting new friends or maybe you just want to feel more like you’re part of the world. Whatever your reason, this is a a skill and it takes practice and patience.

Let me know how it goes.

You’ve got this!

brave body love michelle hess
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Brave Body Love – You’re invited!

It’s normal to be in and out of love with your body, considering the world that we live in. It makes sense to feel discomfort living in this culture that thrives on feeding your body dissatisfaction–otherwise how could the diet industry be a multi-BILLION dollar one?

Of course, it is easier to thrive in this society when you fit the stereotypical beauty standards of the day.  Instead, most of us are challenged to acknowledge and accept our bodies for the miracles that they are, knowing that “your body is a wonderland” in the truest sense.

Once that can happen…Love Follows.

Easier said than done, you say? True.

Body Image is a factor within your whole self-esteem, how you view yourself. This is about who you are BEING. It’s not really about the size or lumpiness quotient of your thighs! If you are struggling in your career and making money easily, this could very well be tied to how you see yourself; what it feels like for you to be you. Who you are being impacts EVERY area of your life.

Your self-image impacts how much you put yourself out there, how confident you are in your profession, the types of opportunities and challenges you say, “Yes” too; how much money you make, how much support you allow in your life–basically how you let yourself RECEIVE.

Your body image is part of your overall self-esteem. One is not without the other. Your body is the vehicle that projects your image of yourself out into the world.

Changing your body acceptance is about transforming consciousness in a radical way. It’s about discovering your sabotaging beliefs and aligning yourself with your deepest desires.

Here’s the secret:

Psst…It isn’t really about your body (even though it is all about your body!)

At the core of all that is your desire to be loved.

The power of love is the only thing that can truly pull you out of that pit of self-loathing that conveniently shows up every time you wish it wouldn’t. (Kinda like that ex that pulls you down by showing up when you are vulnerable and lonely…)

Brave Body Love is a chance for you to discover new ways to be. Our team of experts and teachers are here to expand your mind, shift your perspective, offer different possibilities and even some facts you might not have know about body acceptance, nutrition or fitness. But mainly it is about you finding you again. Finding the freedom you’ve been missing in your life due to preoccupation with your perceived faults.

Take some time to re-discover your awesomeness and dream again.

For more info go to BraveBodyLove.com

P.S.  This is a FREE online conference with 32 amazing speakers. All we are missing is you!

 

 

mindfulness poster
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great mindfulness article with cool art

mindfulness poster

I just read this article on Huffington post and had to share it because it’s awesome.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 🙂

Mindfulness for teenagers
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Be mindful

Mindfulness for teenagers

Ive been practicing more mindfulness lately. To me its a necessity.

Its easy to get overtaken by thoughts and emotions, but with practice it can be just as easy and automatic to be present with each task.

Just for today, notice your thoughts and how they make you feel. Thoughts can just be thoughts if we allow them to be. It’s when emotions kick in and we start telling ourselves the old familiar story that things start to get tricky.

If and when you find yourself in a panicked state, ask yourself, what am I believing about myself or this situation? Is it really true? Even if it is, will focusing on it resolve the problem?

Write down your findings or share them below. 🙂

carrie leigh sandoval manifesto
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Manifesto Magnifico

Manifesto

man·i·fes·to/ˌmanəˈfestō/
noun
a public declaration of policy and aims.

Magnifico

mag·nif·i·co/maɡˈnifəˌkō/
noun
an eminent, powerful, or illustrious person.

carrie leigh sandoval manifesto

I had so much fun creating this manifesto as part of Amethyst Mahoney’s connect challenge. 

Here’s a template (from Amethyst) to create your own: 

Life is like _______________________________________________.
It is perfectly reasonable to ______________________________.
When I wake up in the morning, I want to feel ______________________________.
My most important purpose is to ______________________________.
My fantasy is _______________________________________________.
______________________________ is a “Yes!”
No is ______________________________.
I value ______________________________.

Having your own manifesto around you will help remind you what makes you you and what you will and won’t stand for. It’s so easy to get lost in others’ opinions, beliefs and values, so…

Have this on hand in case you forget. 🙂

change of plans
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Truth #1 – Changing Plans

change of plans

As a perfectionist with OCD and a myriad of other diagnoses, I have trouble adjusting to change. I often feel that if I have to change the plan, I’ve failed. This thinking leaves no room for understanding and is the exact type of black and white thinking characteristic of borderline personality disorder.

As with all unhealthy thinking styles, it is a trap. But, there’s hope (always). With practice, you can begin to re-pattern your thoughts to benefit you rather than destroy you.

Here is a full list of unhealthy thinking types that screw with us.

Please note: I do not own the rights to this worksheet. I simply took a photograph of it to share with you. There is no author on the copy that was provided to me.

As I said above, the first step to changing anything is awareness. You have to be able to recognize what’s happening and be willing to question the validity of your thoughts. Because they will lie to you. They will blow things out of proportion. It’s going to happen. Make peace with that.

Step two is to accept the thought – not as the truth, but that it is present. It’s there. And it’s not going anywhere until you acknowledge it. So the inner dialogue might be something like: “Wow I’m feeling really bad I wonder what I’m thinking (feelings will always let you know you’re thinking a thought that argues with reality).” Instead of blaming yourself or someone else, just notice the thought, see it for what it is. And then…

Investigate. Is it true? For example, if you realize you’re thinking “everyone hates me.” Is it really true? Can you absolutely know that it’s true? Probably not. Remind yourself that even if it were true, you can choose to love and accept yourself anyway. Besides, what other people think of you is none of your business (I think Wayne Dyer said that).

Final step: forgive yourself. It happens. And you’re going to get better at recognizing and redirecting your thoughts as you practice doing so.

It takes courage, it takes love and a great deal of faith. But you can do it.

I believe in you. 🙂

Aside: I find it ironic that this post was going to be about change and completely changed into something else. Here’s to being flexible! I’d love to hear how this post impacted you. Please do leave me your comments below. Thanks!

I’ll leave you with a video I made the other day that fits nicely with this post. Be sure to watch it all the way to the end to see my son make his cameo.

I also just found a more thorough list of negative thinking habits and possible solutions here.

there is always hope
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[Video] Lori Petro teaches the single best strategy for gaining your child’s respect

Watch this quick video from Lori Petro on gaining your child’s respect:

For the whole post, visit this page.

Freedom quotes
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[Day 30] What I learned from (completing!) the 30 day challenge

Freedom quotes

Today is the 30th and final day of the blog challenge. I reached my goal of posting something every day for the entire 30 days.

My prompt for the day:

What impact did the 30 Day Magic Up Your Blog! Challenge have on you? What did you learn about yourself, blogging, and sharing? Would you recommend this challenge to others? What did you like? What would you like to see done differently?

Even if I had to wake up at 3 in the morning to make a post, I made the commitment to write something and share it every single day.

I learned (again):

  • When I focus on one task at a time, I can complete it fairly easily.
  • Resistance to change is natural for me (and pretty much everyone else), but it doesn’t mean I should stop doing it.
  • It also doesn’t mean I should push myself through something when I’m just not feeling it.

I realized I enjoy and want to start sharing more personal posts. This challenge reminded me of my deadjournal/diaryland/melodramatic days (all public online journaling sites) and how much I loved just writing my heart out (rather than “how-to” articles). Sometimes sharing my life, without bulleted points and perfect structure is exactly what someone needs to read. It’s kind of amazing when I think about it.

I would highly recommend this challenge to anyone who wants to:

  • Deepen their connection to themselves/their purpose.
  • Deepen their connection to other amazing peeps.
  • Help others through personal storytelling and sharing.
  • Get better at writing.
  • Learn how to write on a regular basis.
  • Drive traffic to their website.
  • Have fun!

The top ten things I am most grateful for:

  1. I feel like I honed my writing voice even more.
  2. I let some fears (of it not being perfect, of upsetting someone, of not “delivering enough value,” of sounding “full of myself” go).
  3. It helped me remember why I write – it always makes me feel better.
  4. It helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel.
  5. It helped me connect with incredible women.
  6. I feel blessed that these women took the time to stop by and read and comment on my posts and I enjoyed reading and commenting on theirs too.
  7. It helped me create some content I’m really proud of – I found myself saying “I’m a really good writer” and not just saying it but feeling it and owning it. In fact I realized, it’s the one thing I truly deeply love doing.
  8. The entire challenge was a huge act of self-love. I allowed myself to be open to what wished to be expressed through me and didn’t hold back. I asked for help. I knew it was what I needed to do and did it.
  9. I learned that posting the link to my post in a group brings people to my site much more effectively than simply posting to my facebook wall.
  10. My imperfections create potential for greater connections – in other words, I don’t have to wait until I’m feeling perfect and life is dandy to write something meaningful.

Also: I would love to participate in this challenge again 3 or 4 times a year. I loved it!

Special thank you to Amethyst Mahoney for creating and beautifully executing this challenge. And to all the women who participated. I’m looking forward to doing this again!

Comments? Share them below!