Mom Happiness Makeover Day 5: Get Happier About Your Personality
It's easy to find fault in others, but how often do we analyze ourselves. Are there things we really want to change? (I know for me there are!) Well now's our chance!
Many of you mentioned you'd like to have more confidence. Well, as Elle Woods said "You have all the equipment...you just need to read the manual." It may be easier said than done to believe in yourself and work it, but with practice, you can do it. Here are some tips:
- Talk to yourself: Tell yourself -- often -- how great you are -- 'cause you are! And please...
- ...STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP: Keep a positive attitude about yourself. If you stumble, dust yourself off and keep going. Everyone makes mistakes, has bad days, and sometimes makes bad decisions -- but not everyone harps on themselves for it!
- Take good care of yourself: The better you feel, the more confident you'll be.
- Dress up: Make an effort to dress nicely and walk tall. Be proud of yourself!
- Make a list of your strengths: maybe you're a great listener, a good friend, an awesome seamstress -- whatever your strengths are, you are the only one with YOUR unique set of gifts. Put your list somewhere where you'll come across it often.
- Consider your accomplishments: For starters, you have beautiful children that you're doing the best you can to raise as good people. That is HUGE! Maybe you graduated college, started a business, took care of your mom while she was sick, wrote a story for your local paper -- there are probably lots of things you've done to be proud of, so remember them, write them down if you want to, and BE PROUD!
Others of you said you want to be more outgoing and assertive. Even if it's the scariest thing you've ever done, speak up. Join a conversation. Hold doors and smile at strangers. Talk to your hairdresser while she cuts your hair. The more you talk to people, the more outgoing you'll become. Pretty soon, you'll be joining bowling leagues and hosting dinners! And as you become more outgoing and vocal, you'll become more assertive. If you find you're having trouble speaking up for yourself, remind yourself that you're just as deserving of fair treatment as the next person. Just always remember that there's a difference between being assertive and having an attitude.
Some of you said you'd like to be less anxious and stressed. First, make a list of the things that are most stressful in your life. Second, for each item on your list, create a plan for making that thing less stressful. Them implement your plans. You don't have to set a timeline or kill yourself trying to get things under control, but knowing that you're making changes in order to reduce stress will make you feel better instantly. Keep track of your progress and check in each week or month to see how far you've come!
Being happier and more positive was another popular request. Well, here are some tips:
- Think positive: TRY to look at the glass as half full. Keep a rubber band on your wrist as a reminder to look at the bright side when you start to feel negative.
- Don't sweat the small stuff: It's sometimes easier said than done, but getting all worked up over little things is just not worth it. Your health will thank you if you keep it cool!
- Stop being a people pleaser: Seriously, stop. No one can be everything to everyone. It's just not humanly possible. And no one is going to hate you if you can't do them a favor -- and if they do, that's their problem! You can pick and choose what you want to do for others, but these things shouldn't be a burden. If you find you'd rather poke your eyeballs out than sit through your neighbor's cousin's recital, politely decline the invitation. Trust me, you'll survive.
- Do what YOU want to do: Now that you've stopped being a people pleaser, you've freed up some time for yourself. Ok, maybe not a lot of time, but you deserve to do the things you want to do. So if you have the time, use it: read a book, learn to sew, watch TV, teach your kids to play soccer -- do nothing at all! If you're able, join a team or sign up to volunteer for a cause you care about. It's a great way to meet new friends and enjoy some adult time -- or if your kids are young, try a mommy-and-me type class!
Finally, there were those of you who just want to be kinder people who are more understanding and don't take things so personally. Here are our best ideas for making these changes:
Smile: Did you know smiling even when you're unhappy can make you feel happier?! Really, it's true! So smile more!
Live by the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Listen: It’s easy to tune out our loved ones when life gets busy, but it's important to listen to what your partner has to say. Here are some tips for improving your listening skills:
- Stop what you’re doing (unless you’re driving, of course!) and put aside whatever else is on your mind to focus on the conversation.
- Look your SO in the eyes while he's speaking.
- Think and take a deep breath before you react or respond and try not to interrupt.
- Nod, smile, ask questions -- show you’re interested and happy to listen and to keep the conversation going!
Don't sweat the small stuff: This one's worth repeating. If someone says something nasty, remember that it's very likely they're actually upset with themselves and not you. Remind yourself that you want to be the bigger person and be positive. Then forget it and move on -- it's not worth your time or energy!
One more thing:
YOU'RE FABULOUS -- AND DON'T EVER FORGET IT!
Which of these tips will you take with you? What's the hardest thing for you to change about yourself when you try?
*This challenge is sponsored by CafeMom and is not associated with Dr. Aymee Coget of happinessmakeover.com.