Gals, Get Empowered With My NEW Favorite Confidence-Boosting TOP 10 SONGS!

Helllooo, Empowered GALS !!! girl listneing to music

All righty… so, I totally get it!… We ALL need a little motivation / boost at times… especially in the morning I might add, or even around 4 pm.  Yep, 4 pm is the time of day when I usually need a little pick me up !  Here’s the deal:  Music can be a HUGE state changer!  And by that I mean: Music can change your emotional state in a matter of seconds !  It can take you right from boredom to buzzing … OR … stressed to excited!  Music can get you UP in no time at all !!be yourself yes

Beats and rhythms can be a game changer when it comes to endurance levels too.  Music breaks during long study hours or a room cleaning/re-decorating overhaul can be exactly what is needed to pull you through.

Costas Karageorghis, a sports psychologist at Brunel University in Britain, has been studying the link between music and movement for the past 20 years.  His studies show that picking the “right” music can yield some great benefits….. By right music, Karageorghis is referring to a music tempo that is synchronized with the beats per minute of the heart rate you’d like to have during your workout /creative burst /study session fora major test / cleaning marathon, etc etc… !   music study session

To break it down: music with a tempo that is faster will motivate you, because your heartbeat will synch up with the beat of the music …. Using music to sync yourself up can also decrease your oxygen output, decrease your level of “perceived effort” AND increase your endurance levels, according to Karageorghis.   Ah-Ha!!! That would DEFINITELY make a difference !!!

Add an inspiring message to boot, and you are unstoppable!  If you’ve checked out my blog ;) , you’ve probably noticed another awesome post about music.  (I LOVE MUSIC!!  ;)  ….If you haven’t , check it out HERE ->  Empower Yourself With My Favorite Top 10 Self Empowerment Songs… Get Inspired!  I’m sure there will be many more posts with empowering, confidence-inspiring, get-your-butt-moving music !!!, because I’m constantly finding new picks for my own personal playlist!  …. Like I said in my previous music post, if you were a spy… You might find me dancing around my room to beats in the morning! …. My day always gets started with some good jams!  And having the Empowerment For Girls website just a click away allows me to scroll down the list and play one empowering song after another ;)   !!!we are awesome 2

Here is a new fabulous FUN empowering confidence-inspiring playlist !!!  I’m a huge music lover (I’m from New Orleans… it’s in my genes)! So, join me in getting in the empowerment groove!  Put on a song when you need to get movin’ or “Up” your confidence levels, improve your endurance levels (Run longer with less effort!) or bring some jazz to an otherwise boring chore like doing the dishes or cleaning your room!  I’ll probably be dancing and listening along with you ;) !!!

All right Gals!  … Here are my TOP 10 CONFIDENCE BOOSTING SONGS FOR EMPOWERMENT :

Gotta love PINK !…. She always brings it, and her songs are edgy, inspiring and definitely empowering! I LOVE her new song “Try.”

“Where there is desire /There is gonna be a flame /Where there is a flame / Someone’s bound to get burned / But just because it burns / Doesn’t mean you’re gonna die / You’ve gotta get up and try try try …..”  !!!

 

I completely LOVE the message in Katy Perry’s newest song “Roar”…. Yes, it’s all over the radio, but the message is soooo empowering and inspiring.

….  “I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath /Scared to self lovin bossyrock the boat and make a mess /So I sat quietly, agreed politely”  ….

This is the anthem for a lot of girls (it sure was for me…. FOR A LONG TIME ) !!

“I guess that I forgot I had a choice / I let you push me past the breaking point /I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything …..  You held me down, but I got up /Already brushing off the dust / You hear my voice, your hear that sound” ….. ” I see it all, I see it now!!!”

These lines make me think: I WISH I could tell my younger self this same message!  I used to feel SO HELD DOWN by the world, by the people around me- always afraid of what others would think of me and afraid of rocking the boat… in my family, at school and in relationships.  I hit my breaking point too, and that’s part of what I do what I do ;) !!

“I Got eye of the tiger ,  a fighter,  / dancing through the fire / Cause I am a champion and / You’re gonna hear me ROAR! /Louder, louder than a lion / Cause I am a champion and /You’re gonna hear me ROAR ! “ eye of the tiger

This is BY FAR one of my FAVORITE empowerment songs on the radio right now !!!

… I HAD to do it!  ;) …. Katy inspired me to include the first eye of the tiger song! If you don’t know Sylvester Stallone’s story behind writing his own screen play, starring in the film and his own personal life struggle filled with tons and tons of rejection before finally reaching success, then read up on it… He is inspiring and the song is well, (you know it ! ) AWESOME !!! ;)

I’m so in love with empowerment songs.  I used to listen to music all the time in the car without even thinking about what the  lyrics were saying… until I learned about the power of words.  Before understanding the power of words (our words actually affect our subconscious minds and our beliefs about ourselves), I was saying these lyrics that weren’t empowering at all.  Alas, now I’m much more aware about the messages in songs.  When I come across a song like the next one, it makes me so happy that gals are listening to the radio and hearing such great empowering words!  Love this next song!!! ;)

 

 

Ahhhh, Inspiration to keep going when there are nay-sayers!!!  To live from purpose and live your BEST life, you have to strengthen yourself from within and learn to block out the nay-sayers (whether those are people or your own internal thoughts)! Listening to your inner light / flame takes COURAGE, but the pay off is oh so sweet!!! When needing a boost of courage, a little Destiny’s Child “Survivor” does the trick!

Ah-Ha!!! My favorite favorite! This girl’s got it ! I always love Sarah Bareilles ! She’s my empowerment crush! She has a great message in this song too and a good beat to boot! Love it, love her !! :)

So… Yes! I completely LOVE this song! It’s all over my blog!  I LOVE what this video says about being yourself and expressing yourself to the world! My favorite lines of be bravethe song are:

“Everybody’s been there, everybody’s been stared down by the enemy /Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing / Bow down to the mighty / Don’t run, stop holding your tongue / Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live / Maybe one of these days you can let the light in / Show me how big your brave is / Say what you wanna say / And let the words fall out / Honestly I wanna see you be brave”

Girls are doing all kinds of awesome things! I’m so inspired… and sometimes totally disgusted when I see movies or videos that objectify women… ACK!!!  I can’t complain for too long, because there are so many darn awesome gals out there making a difference… AND  I like to focus on the positive anyway! ;)   I love the message in the  Eurythmics song “Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves“….  Definitely one of my faves !!

Everyone’s gotta love the women who paved the way for we superstar ladies today !! :)  I LOVE LOVE LOVE Aretha Franklin and her song “Respect.”  It’s the BEST song to blast when you need a little empowerment boost.  It will remind you of all the important aspects of your duty to maintain your belief in your awesomeness and your worth.   If you treat yourself like a queen, others will too !!! (And that goes for dating too… but more of that later ;) !

Oh my gosh, I LOVE Willow Smith and this song.  It’s the anthem for accepting who you are and letting yourself just be YOU ! My favorite lines are:

“I’M ME  / And That’s All I Can Be”  …. I’M ME / Here’s my VULNERABILITY ….. “I’ve Been Looking /
EXPRESS Myself / Cause Its My LIBERTY /I’ve Been Looking  for Your VALIDATION , Is not Just That IMPORTANT To ME /I’M ME / I’M ME /And That’s ALL I Can Be.”

That’s all you ever can be… YOU!  ……. YOU ARE AWESOME !!!

What happens when you have a dream that no one else sees or believes in but you?  And maybe it’s because you have a VISION that is BIG and could really rock things in your world!  It can be hard to follow that dream and keep your vision strong, especially when you feel discouraged or rejected.  Music can be so powerful and so inspiring.  Sometimes, it’s not just the lyrics either, but good beats that lift and inspire you.  That can be the true amazing power of music!  Of course, I’m a sucker for great, inspiring lyrics too… especially these… and Oh, they’re so powerful and good that I’ve included the whole song ;)  It’s like an awesome empowerment poem ! YES YES !!

First, when there’s nothing but a slow glowing dream
That your fear seems to hide deep inside your mind
All alone I have cried, silent tears full of pride
In a world made of steel, made of stone

Well, I hear the music close my eyes, feel the rhythm
Wrap around, take a hold of my heart

What a feeling, being’s believin’
I can have it all, now I’m dancing for my life
Take your passion and make it happen
Pictures come alive, you can dance right through your life

Great Great SONG !!! Love Gloria Gaynor!  If you need a self esteem boost and need to get back to the attitude of “I GOT THIS”  no matter what, this song can be a game changer! So put it on, BLAST it, sing it by yourself, sing it with your gals! You Will Survive !!!!  ;)

YOU ARE A DANCING QUEEN !!!! EMBRACE IT, SISTA!!! Dancing to songs with good beats and empowering lyrics can be the best boost of all !!!!  So get into the dancing groove ;) …… everyday !!!

Of course, I had to include a Madonna song in the list!  Madonna definitely has paved some roads both in the world of music and in women’s empowerment through her vision and her commitment to expressing herself!  I LOVE this song, and it’s all about self expression.  YES !!!

music loveconfidence 2

Rock On, Gals!!!!

:)

~Mary Jane

 

Empower Yourself with My Favorite TOP 10 Self Empowerment Songs … Get Inspired !

MUSIC !A GREAT way to start your morning is with some Excellent Fun and Inspiring songs!!!   I love songs with positive, empowering messages.   I LOVE MUSIC!  I love to sing and dance.  I am one of those people who can hear a song one time and get hooked and then listen to it a million times over and over.  Do you remember what affirmations / incantations are???  I talked about them in the last post “Raise Your Self Esteem With These 10 Empowering Activites.”  If you haven’t read it, it’s no big deal… I will explain a little now…

Affirmations are phrases that we say over and over that express positive, affirming beliefs about ourselves.  An example is “I completely ROCK!” and “I am so smart!  I am going to kick butt on that test!” An incantation is when we put some Oomph! into those phrases… I accomplish lots of Oomph!  by putting on music, dancing and saying the affirmations with LOTS of emotion!  (If you’ve taken one of my workshops, you definitely know what I’m talking about!)  The point is MUSIC IS SUCH A GREAT TOOL TO USE to change your state- your body, feelings, thoughts and way of moving!bob marley

NOT ALL MUSIC IS CREATED EQUAL!  Think about a few songs that you LOVE right now… Pay attention to the words.  Maybe you’ve noticed that some of the songs are about break-ups or heart break and may contain messages in the lyrics that aren’t exactly empowering.  I know for me a lot of the music I liked contained words that were sad or depressing and not exactly uplifting.…  So, I now like to be very careful about which songs I blast in the morning to ensure my day is started in a positive way.  I have compiled some of my current favorite songs to accomplish just that – to get your day started in a SUPER POSITIVE WAY !!!.… ROCK ON, EMPOWERED GIRL !!!girl power dancing

All right, I’m starting with my favorite…. And this one is a favorite from when I was girl.  There have been TONS of covers, but nothing beats the original!  It is a classic !  I LOVE THE MOVIE TOO … If you haven’t seen it, plan a girl party and watch it!  You will LOVE it !!!!

This is a super popular song right now… I was introduced to this song by the girls in my workshop who said, “This is a Mary Jane song,” so I listened and fell in love with the message.  I’m sure you’ve heard it a ton, but I have to say I love the lines “Who says… who says you’re not PERFECT!  Who says you’re not worth it?… Who says you’re not Beautiful? Who says?”  It is, of course, “Who Says” by Selena Gomez:

When I want to let go of some stress and dance around my room or have some fun background music while I do some chores, I love to play this song! The message is simply “You’re gonna find your place someday somehow!” It’s a good reminder to REMEMBER TO BE YOURSELF and RELAX, DON’T BE AFRAID, EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OKAY!”  I love it !!!!

Mariah Carey has a soft spot in my heart… Yes, I will admit… she was one of my heroes when I was a girl! Music Box, her Christmas Album and Daydream were my favorite of her albums.  When I heard her new song at the gym, I literally stopped in my tracks and stared at the screen for the full three minutes!  I was so happy to see her shining her light again!  She has inspired so many girls to go after their dreams This song in particular reminds me to keep going and keep trying, because we’re almost there!”

I just realized that many of the artists I am including here in this list have had pretty remarkable lives.  They have struggled a lot but kept their dreams in mind and eventually succeeded.  That’s the truth!   If I can instill one idea in you it is that you can be and achieve anything you want!   Just believe in yourself!  And if you don’t right now, that’s okay but find someone who believes in you and let them help you to see it in yourself!  Maybe some of you girls haven’t heard this song, but play it, blast it, learn it, sing it!  You will love and you will love her!you're simply the best

This year the girls in my workshop and I got together to see the Katy Perry movie.  It was a blast!  I have to say I didn’t follow Katy Perry’s music until I saw her movie, but now I love her.  She believed in her weirdness, and she wasn’t afraid to follow her dreams even after receiving lots of rejection from people who didn’t understand her vision.  I absolutely love this song!  Be a FIREWORK, Empowered Girls!!

fireworks

Sometimes I get inspired from “going inside” and by that I mean getting quiet, thinking of all the things I am grateful for and getting in touch with the spiritual side of life.   This song has such a beautiful message.  I’m sure we all have someone in our lives who has been like an angel and lifted us up when we were feeling down or closed off from the world.  We all have potential to be that for othersLove is so powerful.  I’m sure you already love this song…

This is one of my all time faves!  It reminds me that I am the writer of my life.  There is never a time when I can’t change my mind and go in a different direction.  Like one of my mentors- Tony Robbins, says, “The past does not equal the future, unless you live there.”  You can always change.  You can always create another direction for yourself…. The rest is still unwritten!!!.become who you are

When I first heard this next song, I was a teenager heading to a gymnastics competition with my team.  I was stunned at how much wisdom there was in this song.  The singer has a beautiful voice, and the words are very meaningful.

Empowerment is about freedom.  It is about having the courage and determination to reach your goals and live your life in the most free way.  This song expresses that the BEST !!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this next song!!  I love the message, the video and the beat!  It is a GREAT one to belt out, because it is a great affirmation too!  This song reminds me that WE ROCK !!!!

Of course ….. GIRLS….. SHINE BRIGHT LIKE A DIAMOND !!!!we're beautiful diamonds

And the next is one of my all time faves !!!!  I listen to it on road trips, while I cook in the kitchen, and when I want to put a smile on my face…. Here are some of my favorite lyrics , “She’s a miss beautiful supreme / A girl that others wish that they could be / If there’s seven wonders of the world / Then I know she’s got to be number one”…. and… She’s the sunflower of nature’s seeds / A girl that some men only find in their dreams / When she smiles it seems the stars all know  / ‘Cause one by one they start to light up the sky “ …. My favorite, Stevie Wonder ….

Well, that’s more than 10 ….. I couldn’t STOP.  There are so many more.  Have a positively wonderful day !!!  Don’t forget to empower yourself with the GIFT OF MUSIC!music lovemusic is love

<3

~Mary Jane

We’re BACK and STONGER THAN EVER !!!

hack 3hackhack 2

I WAS HACKED !!  But…. Not sweating it !!!  EMPOWERMENT FOR GIRLS is SOOOOO BACK !!!!!

SOOOOO happy to be BACK !!!!!!!

normal is boringwe're back

 

love love

<3

~Mary Jane  :)  !!!

Empowered Gals, Feel Your Anger and Let It OUT !!!! TRUST ME, it’s Good For You!

Hellooo Empowered Gals!pressure 3

 

When things get tough in life and yes they do… LIFE HAPPENS!, here are some tips on how to deal when things get really bad and life as you know it starts to fall apart….

Most of the posts on this blog have been about keeping yourself focused on success and living your BEST LIFE, but living your best life also includes allowing yourself to be ALL THAT YOU ARE.  Part of life is definitely about feeling ALL of your feelings and dealing with life on life’s terms.pressure

In some families and peer groups it may not feel safe to “be yourself” and feel all your feelings.  You might feel like you’re only accepted as a positive person who doesn’t rock the boat. LISTEN, that is ridiculous!  YOU GET TO HAVE AND EXPRESS ALL OF YOUR FEELINGS!!!  (Maybe you can’t / don’t feel safe to express your TRUE SELF and your real feelings around certain people, maybe even including your family members.  But, here’s the deal:  You deserve to!  AND You need to!  Keep reading to learn WHY and learn strategies about where to go when you need a safe outlet for your real feelings….

FIRST:  Let me add that there may be messages in your life that you 1. Always have to be HAPPY or 2. You have to keep it together…..  But, here’s the deal sistas: Being empowered is about BEING YOU, and that means being ALL OF YOU !anger 2

Did you know that there are some MAJOR BENEFITS to experiencing anger, pain, sadness, grief, depression, fear??? These emotional states may feel bad / terrible / uncomfortable etc etc etc ….. BUT -  These emotional states can be our GREATEST TEACHERS.

They give us opportunities to learn and grow…  You can refer to these emotional states as “Hallway” emotions… they may not feel great, but they will GET YOU SOME WHERE, and you can learn great things from them.

There is real DANGER IN DENIAL and NOT allowing yourself to feel what you’re feeling and express it!  ***Here’s the deal:  If you’ve been hurt, GIRL, YOU GOT TO FEEL IT AND LET IT OUT !

There are safe ways and places to let out this anger, but if you don’t, you could end up really hurting yourself.  LISTEN UP: If you can express it and start to heal, you can become someone who HELPS SEVERAL OTHER PEOPLE FEEL THEIR FEELINGS AND MOVE BEYOND THEIR PAIN ! You could even help save lives… seriously !!!

What happens to you if you ride the denial train ??? , meaning you “stuff” the pain inside of you, instead of FEELING IT and GETTING IT OUT !   If you’ve been abused, hurt, neglected, rejected, made fun of, and you internalize it: what you actually do is push that feeling deep within (which means you “internalize it”) which results in that feeling that you stuffed- HARMING YOU over and over on autopilot…  And it won’t stop UNTIL YOU DEAL WITH IT!pressure 2

Some people “stuff” abuse / pain / neglect for years and don’t deal with it until much later in life.  During that whole time the pain was continuing to harm them over and over …..

Well, it seems easy to just say EXPRESS ITGET IT OUT then, right ??!!  Well, sometimes it’s not always easy!  It can be extremely hard to allow ourselves to feel pain and then allow that pain to be expressed.  Holding that pain in (or “stuffing” it) may even give you a feeling of control, like you got everything under wraps and in control.  BUT, the pain will have to find a way of coming to the surface some way! Pain is a message that is TRYING TO TEACH YOU SOMETHING !!!

Feeling that anger may even be one of the scariest things you do, but don’t let the fear hold you back.  Feeling anger and letting it out can be the most healing thing you do!pressure 4

In the Blooming Lotus article, “How To Feel Your Anger Toward Your Abusers” by faithallen, she quotes the book The Courage to Heal which calls anger “the backbone to healing.”  She goes on to write, “The first step to tapping into your anger is believing your memories. Even though they might not feel like “your” memories, they are.”

It is very common to question whether your memories are real so that you don’t have to feel your feelings.  This is especially true if you are invested in trying to protect the person who harmed you.  But here’s the real deal:  The anger you’re not allowing yourself to feel will end up hurting you on the inside if you don’t let yourself feel it and express it!anger

Have you ever heard this definition of depression… Depression is anger turned inward.  When you don’t feel the anger and express it and stuff it, it will turn into depression and HURT you !!!

I love the song “Demons” by Imagine Dragons, because the message is: You’re not alone in whatever you’re feeling or going through.  Whatever you’re going through, there IS help out there.  There are people who will understand and can help you.  YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

 

DEMONS, Imagine Dragons pressure 6

…”I want to hide the truth
I want to shelter you
But with the beast inside
There’s nowhere we can hide

…”When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide”

…”Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide“…

…”When the curtain’s call
Is the last of all
When the lights fade out
All the sinners crawl
So they dug your grave
And the masquerade
Will come calling out
At the mess you made”

…”Don’t want to let you down
But I am hell bound

Though this is all for you
Don’t want to hide the truth“…

…”When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide”…..

….”They say it’s what you make
I say it’s up to fate
It’s woven in my soul
I need to let you go
Your eyes, they shine so bright
I want to save their light
I can’t escape this now
Unless you show me how”….

 

10 WAYS TO FEEL AND EXPRESS THE ANGER YOU’RE HOLING ONTO INSIDE !!!

journaling

  1. Beat a pillow.  It might sound silly and unhelpful, but actually beating a pillow can be very healing.  Any way that you can externalize your anger will be helpful to you.
  2. EXPRESS EXPRESS EXPRESS:  Whatever is going on, EXPRESS YOURSELF.  Get a journal, and write about what you are feeling on the inside.  Let yourself say anything that you need to say.
  3. SAY IT LOUD !!!  Get out in an empty field, or in an empty car, or when you’re alone in your house and SCREAM.   Express your anger!  LET IT OUT !!!!scream (You can also accomplish this by SINGING REALLY LOUDLY!)
  4. Check Your Friends! Okay, this is important…. When you are struggling with deep, painful feelings, it is very important to tell SAFE people.  You will want to make sure that you will RECEIVE SUPPORT from the people you reach out to.  If you don’t have friends you can trust with certain issues, FIND A SUPPORT GROUP.  There are probably some in your community.  Speak to the school counselor, a coach, therapist or parent or mentor you can trust.
  5. HIT SOMETHING !  (kinda like beating a pillow ! )  Sometimes, breaking something , beating something with a bat, punching a punching bag means EVERYTHING when you NEED to get anger out !  Some people are afraid of getting “that” angry.  BUT, I promise- it’s okay and can be very healthy.  If you’re worried about what stuff to break, go to Goodwill and ask if they have any broken electronics that they can’t sell.  Then, go to an empty field, blast “Demons” by Imagine Dragons andbike race LET YOURSELF GO !!!  Once the anger is released, you will have so much room for creative energy!!!
  6. GET PHYSICAL !  Just moving your body will help get out some of the aggression and anger that could be poisoning you.  Get on your bike, listen to tunes like “Demons” by Imagine Dragons or any other music that makes you feel EMPOWERED (check out my list of empowerment songs:        Empower Yourself With My Favorite TOP 10 Self Empowerment Songs …. Get Inspired !)   Other AWESOME activities to get you moving when you need a state change: Jogging, Running, WALKING (fast-paced), yoga, HOT YOGA / BIKRAM, Biking, DANCING !!!, Spinning, Walking a Fast-Paced DOG :) , Swimming, JUMPING, Boxing!, Soccer, Basketball, Tennis …. ANYTHING THAT GETS YOU girl guruMOVING !
  7. Work Your Spiritual Muscles! Okay, I’m not talking about religion here, but FIND PEACE by tapping into your spiritual side.  Meditation, RELAXATION MUSIC, a meditative walk, reading an inspiration book, such as a book of daily meditations can REALLY HELP YOU GET CENTERED!
  8. RELAX!  Sleep can be incredibly restorative if you’re really struggling on the inside.  If you can’t get extra hours in at night, find time to take a nap!
  9. ART ART ART – if you can’t express yourself in words (and you may not be able to), find an outlet- artfind a form of expression…. you don’t have to be amazing! All you have to do is express yourself and tell your truth !
  10. Join a SUPPORT GROUP or start a support group. Talk to your school counselor for ideas.
  11. List your strengths!  Know that you ARE doing very well in some areas of your life and you have a lot going for you!  our Dealing with ANGER can sometimes be SO POWERFUL and overwhelming.  Stay grounded by listing all of your strengths and talents, so that you REMEMBER all of your great qualities and all that you have going on in your life that’s positive! This will help you keep a balanced perspective.
  12. LET YOUR SELF FEEL !  Let yourself CRY!  Crying can be incredibly healing.  And it can help release the pain that is within you.crying

 

 

 

 

 

LET YOURSELF FEEL YOUR ANGER, AND LET IT OUT !!!  REACH OUT FOR HELP IF YOU NEED IT!  WE ALL NEED HELP SOME TIMES !!!! pressure 5

 

I BELIEVE IN YOU !

 

<3

~Mary Jane

heart       meditating

EMPOWERED GALS, ARE YOU LIVING YOUR OWN LIFE, OR ARE YOU LIVING SOMEONE ELSE’S ???

Allrighty gals, today’s topic is about LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE !  That’s right! This post is all about YOU ! you

Often, in life it can be really easy to look at someone else’s life and compare ! Ohhh, a sticky word!  Comparisons aren’t fair,  and they don’t do anyone justice!  Plus, YOU ARE AWESOME ??? … okay, if you’re still questioning this fact, check out my earlier post …Raise Your Self Esteem With These 10 Empowering Activities… And, READ ON !!! (HINT: Everyone struggles with self esteem at some point, so the trick is to get conscious and learn some good tools… Et voilà, there you have it: one healthy self esteem coming right up!!!)

I used to get stuck on that comparison train too, and boy is it a CRAZY-MAKER!  The BIG problem: Sometimes we can get so caught up in comparing our insides to someone else’s outsides when really we have NO IDEA what is actually going on, even if that person looks super happy and together on the outside!  To live your OWN BEST LIFE means focusing on your self, which means NO COMPARISONS !!!  The only comparisonfocus 2 that is permitted (and I say this with sweet LOVE) is the comparison between who you were yesterday and who you are today! 

***EVERYDAY we get to work on becoming and growing into our best selves.  If we’re stuck COMPARING and FOCUSING ON SOMEONE ELSE, we lose sight of all the fabulous great and wonderful progress we make in our own lives.  So gals, BE YOUR OWN CHEERLEADER and stay focused on your own life.  You can have, be or do anything in life AS LONG as you ride your own train… in other words- as long as you LEAD YOUR LIFE and get out of the comparison game.

SOME TRICKS TO LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE:bag of tricks

 

1.  KNOW WHAT YOU LOVE !

Make a list of your TOP 10 LOVES. WHY ???  Knowing what you like and what you don’t is a GREAT start to focusing on yourself (in a fun-no-pressure-kinda-way).   This may sound super simple, but many gals forget to think about what they actually like and end up getting pulled in different directions by the media or other people’s opinions.  Making this list is going to strengthen your self awareness muscles.  Shakespeare penned one of the most famous lines in all of literature in his play Hamlet, “This above all to thine own self be true.”  To be true to yourself, you have to know who you are and what you like….

SO, get out your pen and journal (Yes, you better have a journal/notebook, sista!… If you don’t, get one !!!), and start writing your TOP 10!  As you probably already know, I’m a HUGE fan of the TOP 10 lists, because they are ohhh so FUN and ohhh so helpful !!  So, make your list… Just remember to be specific about YOU !!!  (NOTE: Your TOP 10 might change everyday, and THAT’S OK !!!)

    MJ’s TOP 10 FAVES :

  1. Dark chocolate with candied Ginger insidesmiling
  2. Garden grown New Orleans fresh bananas & Almond butter
  3. Yoga + strength training + walking
  4.  Grilled veggies – brussel sprouts and cauliflower and okra ;)
  5. LAUGHTER !!!
  6. Supportive friends!
  7. Sweet potatoes
  8. My mentors, teachers and coaches !
  9. My meditation practice and morning ritual
  10. BLOGGING about EMPOWERMENT & Feelin’ Empowered !

Allrighty, there you go!  True, these TOP 10 FAVES may change everyday, because we change everyday.  It’s important to keep up to speed with who you are and what you like, because it’s all part of knowing yourself and LIVING YOUR OWN BEST LIFE !

 

2. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE GOOD PEOPLE IN YOUR CORNER ! friends helping friends

Super important!  When life gets tough and you start to feel down and depressed, a little support and love from people in your corner can make all the difference in the world!  The BIG bonus about these people is they know the unique awesome one-of-a-kind qualities about you, and they will be there to support you when times get rough or if you start to doubt yourself!

Friends listen understand and offer us support.  No one can do it alone!  Human beings are social creatures and rely on others for comfort, support, love and also survival.  Being alone for too long (by this I mean isolating) can actually be very harmful.  People need people.  Remember: when you get down, REACH OUT FOR HELP!  If you don’t have supportive people in your corner, you can FIND them!  Join a team at school, volunteer with other empowered girls, ask your school counselor for suggestions, or get a coach to help with this. WE ALL NEED SUPPORT and SOMETIMES A LOT OF SUPPORT !!!  It’s a mistake to think you have to do it alone!

Another great PERK of having good people in your corner is they LOVE YOU FOR WHO YOU ARE, not who they want you to be. Having this kind of support will give you COURAGE TO BE WHO YOU ARE even if someone else doesn’t like it!

3.  PLAY UP YOUR QUIRKS!

Nourish those fun quirky characteristics that make you YOU!  Remember:  Your quirks make you interesting and FUN !  So, play up the qualities that make you a little different.  Bonus: Your quirks emphasize your individuality (your You-ness) to the world. So go ahead, examine yourself and do an archaeological dig for your 5 BEST QUIRKS.

JOURNAL TIME:  Get your journal and pen again (I LIKE BRIGHT COLORED FUN PENS ~just a quirk of mine :) and write down 5 quirky qualities/characteristics/skills/talents you possess:

Here are some examples ….love your quirks

  1. Guacamole Maker Extraordinaire- your flair with avocados is exceptional!
  2. Unique-themed AWESOME Planner- such as a Harry Potter party/ movie fest equipped with all necessities (i.e. costumes and butter beer~ vanilla cream soda, whipped cream and butterscotch)
  3. Nail-Painting Artist… (I know a gal with this talent!…  Her skills are nothing short of Glitterrific Artistry!)quirky girl
  4. GYMNAST / ACROBAT / CONORTIONIST
  5. Animal rights campaigner (You share your enthusiasm and people on board to SAVE THE WHALES!)
  6. Sticker collector
  7. Room decorator  (Give you two hours, and you can seriously re-vamp a room with feng shui + girl power touches)
  8. Aspiring world traveler- you collect National Geographics and post pics of all the cool places you HAVE to visit!
  9. Linguist- languages and accents make you HAPPY!
  10. Cards…. you’re a pro at Gin Rummy
  11. Mustache Mania- You have everything mustache!  Including pens to draw on your friends faces.  It’s your quirk and it makes people SMILE !!!  (= Awesome !)

A.     

4. REMEMBER YOUR DREAMS! show the world your magic

Yes, everyone has to take Algebra and Chemistry and Spanish, but what about your love of MAGIC and that childhood desire of being the greatest magician… or writing a novel.  Keep those dreams alive and NOURISH them in your spare time.  Your adult self will THANK YOU big time!  So, if you LOVE jazz piano playing or basketball, GO FOR IT !!!  Your DREAMS ignite your passion for living, and living your BEST LIFE means LIVING WITH PASSION!

Don’t LET OTHER PEOPLE’S OPINIONS affect whether or not you continue following your dreams.  When I was in college, a writing teacher called me out in class and said, “Mary Jane, you cannot write. I teach Olympic swimmers how to swim better, not beginners how to do the doggie-paddle.”  I was discouraged from writing for a long time… but I’m so glad I didn’t let his WRONG opinion squash my love of writing!  Today, writing is how I spend most of my days.  I LOVE WRITING and connecting with people through writing.  It’s one of my gifts!  REMEMBER: Don’t let other people’s opinions tell you who you are or what you should be doing or not doing.  They may not get the whole picture, and you may just be having an off day.  So, go to your people in your corner for encouragement and REMEMBER TO KEEP YOUR DREAMS ALIVE!!!

5.  HAVE FUN !!!! fun fun fun

Fun / Celebration is muy importante!!!  (I can’t stress this enough!) If you’re not feeling the FUN, get around FUN people.  Join a FUN group- a team at school … or come to an Empowerment For Girls workshop!! (We have LOTS of FUN !), and the people around you will get you in the FUN groove of life!  If you’re around negative people, Ack! you might be feeling their vibe….  (I’m not saying to ditch anyone!)  Just put yourself around fun loving, happy, positive people, and the joy you feel will bring out all YOUR BEST LIFE QUALITIES !!!

Have FUN!!  And LIVE IT UP !!  Leave your comments about how yougal fun LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE and STAY TRUE TO YOUR BEST SELF !!

YAY !!

~Mary Janeself lovin

WE’RE BACK !!!

Helllooooo Empowered Gals !!!      we're back

Please excuse the off-time!!! The website has been under construction for two weeks!  ACK !!!  I missed everyone !!   Alas, all is well and we’re back in biz and stronger than ever!  … Remember to keep a look out for new posts and new updates on workshops and events!                                                                                                                                                            binoculars

BEST BEST BEST,   girls celebrating

 Mary Jane

EMPOWERED GALS, Strengthen your SPIRITUAL MUSCLE to Raise Your Self Esteem!

Hellooooo Empowered GALS !!!girl breathing

Today’s topic is getting in touch with your own inner GURU to find answers to the BIG questions in life …. What do YOU do when you have a serious choice to make about a situation with a friend or a questions about your future or a question about your INNER PURPOSE … Who do you turn to for your answers ???

Well, that’s a tricky question, because of course, we all look to our mentors, parents, friends for suggestions and advice, but there are some questions that are more difficult to answer… and the truth is there might NOT BE a person out there with an answer for you….

This is because there are some questions in life that only you have the answer to, and the answer lies within you.  This is because you are a unique, exceptional, one-of-a-kind gal, and there’s no one else exactly like you!girl happ

And WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH SELF ESTEEM, ANYWAY ?  Well, gals being able to LOOK WITHIN and FIND ANSWERS will give you a feeling of calm inner confidence, which is really what having a healthy self esteem is all about!  So, there you go.  Strengthening your spiritual muscle will definitely raise your self esteem !!!  Plus, you will be looking within for your answers rather than outside of you...

I spent sooo many years looking to other people for answers to these deep inner questions, and I had no idea how to go about finding answers for myself.  What a learned is sometimes you can’t find these answers, even within your self, BUT you can use certain tools to open yourself up to RECEIVING THE ANSWER and eventually, the answers you need come to you!yes

The map I needed to find answers to these questions was actually some SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT.  I was IN THE DARK for so long about the importance of feeding my spiritual side. I was completely convinced that spirituality was like religion and doing something once a week or on a holiday with my family in honor of a religious tradition was just good enough… BUT WHOA WAS I MISSING THE BOAT !

SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT is needed everyday to maintain a healthy body and a calm mind.  For a long time, my SPIRITUAL side was STARVING, and there was no amount of medicine, shopping, chocolate or boys that could fill what my spiritual side was DESPERATELY SEEKING !!!…  But what I learned about nourishing my spiritual side not only made me a calmer more serene gal, but it also helped me nourish all of the wonderful unique gifts that make me who I am!  And today I have a rockin’ spiritual practice / ritual that I do everyday to make sure I get all my spiritual nutrition!

But…  what blocks people from nourishing their spiritual side???  “SPIRITUALITY” can be a BUZZ word, and it has been known to ruffle some feathers…. Some people automatically connect spirituality with religion, and we all know that religious differences have caused some serious rifts between people throughout history.

But think about this…. Religion is defined as an organized collection of beliefs…. Religion may feed your spiritual side, but this kind of spirituality doesn’t require you to have any beliefs…  I like to refer to this as EMPOWERED SPIRITUALITY, and it’s about getting IN TOUCH with your INNER ESSENCE and TRUTH- that SPARK WHICH MAKES YOU  YOU !girl power

There’s not just ONE WAY in my book.  There are several, and it’s important that you choose one or a few or lots and start to FEED YOUR SWEET AND AWESOME SPIRIT !!!

I’m going to show you how to get in touch with your inner guru?  But, WAIT !  What’s a guru???  A guru is a defined as a “master” or “teacher” or “imparter of knowledge.” There are all kinds of modern day guru.  I’m going to show you how to be your OWN guru with my simple metaphor.

Let’s let GURU stand for “GIRL, YOU ARE YOU,” as in Girl, yoU aRe yoU !!!

… Your GURU is your own inner knowing, the spark that is uniquely you !

Here are 10 WAYS TO GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR INNER GURU 

  1. Slow Your Roll !!  Yep!  A BIG ONE:   Slow down!  Take a breather and let yourself RELAX.  When you’re searching for girl listneing to musican answer to a question, take a break from your busy schedule and plan a little break for yourself.   SLOW DOWN FOR A SEC, or a MINUTE or an HOUR ! You won’t be able to hear the answer if your mind is busy busy busy…. You have to slow down enough to be able to hear the answer…
  2.  ASK !  I believe that when we ask for answer, we will receive it.  My favorite time to ask is just before I go to sleep.  I close my eyes and ask my spiritual side to give me the answer I need so I can make the best decision.  Often times, I wake up the next morning AND KNOW EXACTLY WHAT TO DO!!!
  3. LISTEN !!!  When I receive answers or insights to questions that I have, it’s often because I am listening for the answer.  Listening just means I get quiet and listen in the stillness of my mind for the answer.  Sometimes, the answer just pops into my mind…. And if was busy talking or thinking about a billion things, I would probably miss it.
  4. Meditate.  Yep! Take a break and do a little meditation.  Sit or lie down and just let your mind relax as much as girl mediting 3possible.  Focus on your breath!  Okay, to be perfectly honest, this method was super hard for me at first.  But, then I found a tool, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE MEDITATION now!!! I looked on YouTube and found some great breathing meditations.  15 minutes does the trick… or even 5 minutes. Afterwards, I feel totally refreshed.  The stress around the issue has magically disappeared.  And eventually the answer that I needs pops up.  It’s the best !!!  If you need a little help with meditating, search for a guided meditation and you’ll find tons !!!
  5. GO FOR A WALK!  …. or run, or bike ride or swim… just MOVE !!!   Moving your body can help release that extra energy that’s messing up your internal balance.  Plus, you will be forced to breathe more, and more oxygen to the body is always good when it comes to restoring balance.  Often when we exercise, our minds turn away from all the busy thoughts in our minds, which is an added bonus.
  6. GET IN NATURE !  Nature has an incredibly grounding effect.  Stop and smell the roses.  Hug a tree.  Watch a sunset. girl walking in nature Walking in nature will remind you of the beauty in the world around you.  Notice the little creatures crawling about.  Observe the beautiful flowers around you.  Smell the clean fresh air.  Observing the perfection of nature is a great way to feed your spirit.  When life gets chaotic, take a nature walk.
  7. GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR OWN SPIRITUAL TEMPLE, YOUR BODY ! Take some “ME” time for self care.  Relax.  Spend a weekend night devoted to wonderful self care.  Don’t worry, you have another night to hang with friends!  You deserve YOU time!  Watch your favorite movie, eat your favorite healthy treat, spend time doing your favorite hobby (scrap booking, writing poetry, cooking…), paint your nails, light a candle…  Whatever time with yourself and giving yourself the attention you need is a GREAT investment of your time.  Spend a few moments in quiet reflection.  Writing in your journal is such a GREAT way to do this!
  8. SEND A LITTLE LOVE …. I just started doing this, and I super love this tool.  I always feel so lit up after sending a little love.  I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and imagine my heart is beaming love to someone or something (oh, and girl sending lovedistance is no barrier… My love can travel across oceans!) Think of someone and start beaming a little love their way.  I believe LOVE IS THE MOST POWERFUL FORCE in the whole world, and so sending some love will connect you to others and bring more joy and harmony into your mind and body… TRY IT !!
  9. LET GO !  Sometimes, all ya gotta do is let go! When a problem or issue is getting you out of whack, you can practice letting it go.  I sometimes light a candle, take some deep breaths and just let go… If I can’t let go of the problem, I try to just relax my mind a bit and get my thoughts going in a new direction…
  10. GET A RITUAL!  Nourishing your spiritual side is a daily ritual.  It’s not just a once a week thing, or a few times a year when holidays come around thing… You’re worth more than that Nourish your spiritual side and nourish your essence.  Try doing some activity to look within every day.  Find one you love that feels good for you, and decide to practice it every day.

Think of this like working out and building muscle.  The more you practice these tools, the stronger you will get.  And girl, feeding your spirit a little bit every day will make you feel wonderful, fantastic, glorious, AWESOME !!girl sleeping in grass

All right, Gals!  You all ROCK !!!

Peace!

~Mary Jane

GIRLS, ARE YOU FEELING EMPOWERED ??? …. Here’s Why Empowerment Is So Important !

Hey everyone !!  I hope you’re having a great weekend so far!!!   You deserve it!

I know EMPOWERMENT is a buzz word, but what is empowerment anyway and why is it so important?empowerment yes

Gals, Empowerment is the strongest asset you have.  It’s your personal awesomeness force within you.  It is the force that takes you on your journey to reach your goals, it’s the force that creates LASTING CHANGE and it’s also the force that has GREATEST INFLUENCE over other people and the world around you.

In other words, EMPOWERMENT is like your inner POWERHOUSE !!!  What exactly is empowerment?  Let’s first look at what it isn’t….

Is EMPOWERMENT knowledge ???  In other words, does simply knowing what to do empower you?  THE ANSWER IS NO.  There are tons of people who know what they should do, but they don’t studyingtake any action.  Some people say KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, but that isn’t always true.  Knowledge without the ability or willingness to take action produces NO RESULTS!  Knowledge without action is like a cookbook that stays on the shelf and is never used for a recipe or a piano that sits in the living room and never gets played.

So…. Just knowing something is NOT enough.

WHY don’t people take action to make a change when they KNOW what all the steps are to make change?  Well, something often gets in the way, and that is often FEAR!  Fear of failure, fear of looking stupid, fear of being rejected or even fear of success (yes, fear of success DOES exist and it’s actually a pretty popular fear.)fear girls schoold

FEAR FEAR FEAR !!!! It can get it the way and prevent you from taking action towards your dreams…. But don’t fret!  You’re in the RIGHT PLACE!! Empowerment For Girls is here to show you why Empowerment is soooo important and what steps to take to get your Empowerment Engine revved up !  So, let’s keep going …..

knowledge + action

EMPOWERMENT, gals!  Yep, that’s right!!! Empowerment is what it’s all about! Empowerment is the ability to take action, even when you’re afraid and even when you’d rather do something else.   

A key ingredient to empowerment is bringing forth the powerful internal energy that exists within all of us.  Think about this: On a Saturday morning, you could be pouring yourself a big bowl of sugary cereal and feeling bored watching boring TV all morning until 2 pm bored tv…. OR …. You could wake up early, eat a bowl of yogurt, healthy granola and fresh fruit and grab a swim suit for a kayak trip with the outdoors club at school, or you could be heading to a fundraiser 5K for cancer research at the park.  kayak girlsThe latter two options will EMPOWER you !!!

The more empowered you are the bigger the difference you can make.  You might be asking yourself right now… “What is so important about making a difference?”  ….Hello??!!  Excuse me.  You’ve got some awesome YOU-ness that has GOT to be shared with the world!  You have excellent wonderful superb “you-nique” talents.  There’s only ONE you, and Girl, YOU ARE HERE FOR A PURPOSE!!”

So the BOTTOM LINE IS EMPOWER YOURSELF !!! THAT’S THE WAY TO GO !!!empowered girls

ALL RIGHT… IF YOU’RE STILL NOT COMPLETELY CONVINCED,  HERE ARE REASONS IT’S SOOOOO DARN IMPORTANT TO EMPOWER YOURSELF :

  • The world NEEDS your YOU factor.  You have a LIGHT WITHIN YOU.  Don’t hide it from the rest of the world!
  • Stepping up and BEING YOUR BEST SELF will inspire others to also step up.  The reason here is others need you.
  • You will feel OH SO GOOD living out loud and on purpose.  The truth is it’s your nature to be ALL THAT YOU ARE!
  • FUN FUN FUN !!! It’s the best fun ever living your FEARLESS life and being 100% your BEST self 24/7!
  • BECAUSE YOU’RE WORTH IT !!!!  YOU’RE WORTH LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE!!!! YOU DESERVE IT!!!

Allrighty, gals, I’ve made a quick list of ways to get your Empowerment on.  Be sure to check out my blog posts Raise Your Self Esteem With These 10 Empowering Activities and  5 Remarkable Habits For High Self Esteem.  They  will help you work from the inside out to create lasting change.  Here are some tools to rev your EMPOWERMENT ENGINE ….

GET EMPOWERED !!  HERE ARE WAYS TO56ttt GET YOUR EMPOWERMENT ENGINE GOING:

ENVISION THE END RESULT:  Keep your mind focused on the prize … You’re empowering yourself and starting up your celebrate gradesengine for a reason right??!! So, focus on the end result and let your awesome vision start your empowerment engine.  For example, if you’re starting your empowerment engine to get ready for a big study session, then don’t focus on the 30 pages Chemistry work you have to review… Focus instead on the feeling of walking out of the test room in relief, knowing that you just aced that test and can now begin your weekend right – best gal friends and your fave pizza !

BRING ON THE POSITIVE WORDSAffirmations …. Incantations …. YOU KNOW IT !!!  Tell yourself the good stuff.  You’ve probably read about this in my previous posts, because I’m a HUGE believer in the POWER OF WORDS!  Tell yourself positive, strong empowering statements, and you will feel the empowerment fire starting !!!affirmations

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS: Okay, here’s where the healthy habits come in.  Chances are you’re going to need to get your EMPOWERMENT ON often, right?!  So, why not SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESSThere are 3 necessities that I believe are the most important :

  1. Eat a healthy nutritious and balanced meal.   You have to eat.  That’s right.  You can’t be empowered and be starving, so NO SKIPPING BREAKFAST!  Be sure to have a good snack too.  You want to make sure your food is healthy and rich in vitamins, protein and fiber.  This will keep you full and feeling good.
  2. Hydration !!!  Hydration is key to keeping your empowerment engine running.  WATER is important for so many functions of the body from carrying nutrients and oxygen to cells to protecting your organs to regulating body temperature.  It is estimated that 75 – 80% of Americans are actually dehydrated on a day to day basis and are in SERIOUS need of more water in order or be at optimum functioning level.  Chances are you might need to drink some more water.  Carry a water bottle with you at all times and refill it throughout your day.  I guarantee with more water you will feel MUCH better.love healthy eatingwater drinkhappy wake up
  3. Sleep!  Alrighty, gals… Sleep is a HUGE need to set yourself up for optimum success.  Giving yourself the right amount of shut eye can make a massive difference in how empowered you are…. Your body needs sleep time to re-charge itself. Give yourself a break!  Be sure to plan for at least 7 hours a night.  If you have to skimp on your sleep hours, plan for an afternoon power napYOU NEED YOUR REST!!!

POSITION YOURSELF- BE AROUND THE WINNERS: Yep!  Put yourself around people who think positive thoughts and are living positive inspiring lives.  BONUS:  Be around people who buzz with confidence, LOVE who they are and living their BEST LIFE…. Chances are their confidence will rub off on you and get you going !

BREATHE IN / BREATHE OUT:  Breathing is HUGE when it comes to creating inner motivation.  When youbreathe breathe deeply, you are completely oxygenating your body, which will give you so much energy, and you’ll feel ready to roar in no time!

SHAKE IT SHAKE IT: Get moving, Sista!  Start to move that body and you will FEEL the surge of energy!  I’m a big believer in music and dance.  Music has an internal beat (just like we have a heart beat)… So, I pick music that has a good upbeat rhythm and a positive message.  Dance and you will surely feel the energy flow!!!

WHAT ARE YOU THINKING ???   GET PEP TALKED and BRING ON THE LOVE: That’s right… get one-on-one with YOU and givemirror i love you yourself a boost.  “You can do it!  You Rock! You’re awesome!”  Let the mirror talk to you and tell you the truth !!!  Oh and think LOVE LOVE LOVE !!!:  As I always say, when you work with the outside, be sure to nurture the inside too… Remind yourself as often  as you can that YOU ARE WORTHY! YOU ARE LOVED! YOU DESERVE THE BEST !! ….YOU DESERVE TO BE YOUR BEST SELF!!

That’s it !!! Now remember to have some EMPOWERED FUN !!! Empowerment brings with it a BIG AFTER PARTY !!!  With all that confidence, laughter, fun, excitement and JOY, you will bring a BIG YOU PARTY !!  Be sure to do some celebrating and ENJOY yourself !  Always REMEMBER- you are NOT a human doing, you are a HUMAN BEING!! So, give yourself a celebration and enjoy yourself,  because YOU ROCK !!!empowerment yes 2

BRING ON THE EMPOWERMENT !!!!

Much love to everyone !!

Keep on Rockin !!

~Mary Janecelebrate yourself

Confidence !!?? GOT IT ??? Empowered Gals, Here Are Ways to UP Your CONFIDENCE

What is confidence ? Okay, so there are several definitions.  Here are a few:confidence 3

  • Confidence is a feeling of empowerment (Yessss!  I like this definition!).
  • Confidence is feeling “good enough,” “worthy,” “perfectly you” at any given time.
  • Confidence is TRUST in yourself and the world around you.
  • Confidence is the ease with which you ARE YOURSELF !!!
  • Confidence is inner security!

WHAT IS THE COMMON THREAD ???  Confidence is BEING YOURSELF AND FEELING GOOD ABOUT WHO THAT PERSON IS!!!  …Before we move on, do you remember what my definition for Self Esteem was ??? In an earlier post Raise Your Self-Esteem With These 10 Empowering Activities, Self Esteem is SIMPLY defined as our attitude towards ourselves, or basically how we FEEL about ourselves on a moment to moment basis every day.  In my post Got 5 Minutes??? Tips to Raise Your Self Esteem IMMEDIATELY, I give an equation:   Change your attitude about yourself = Change your self esteem. 

Self esteem and confidence go hand-in-hand.  Self esteem is what’s going on back stage, behind the scenes of your life… and confidence is BOTH what is felt on the inside AND what is presented to the world.  Yes, there are ways to fake confidence… but here’s the deal:  You can’t fake self esteem; however, if you work day by day, practicing the rituals and tools suggested here, YOU WILL SHINE WITH SELF ESTEEM, AND CONFIDENCE will come naturally !!!

So, as I always suggest…  Work from the inside out !!! Let your self esteem practice be a daily ritual, and HONEY, you will have NO PROBLEM getting your CONFIDENCE ON !!!

Let’s work first on the inside and then we’ll move to the outside ….

HERE ARE 3 STRATEGIES FOR FEELING CONFIDENT:

WHAT MESSAGES ARE YOU TELLING YOURSELFpositive talk 3 ?

Listen to that little voice and what she’s saying.  We all have what is a called internal dialogue, and basically this is how we speak to ourselves.  Everyone’s dialogue is a little bit different.  Does your inner voice scream at you, complain to you, tell you you’re never good enough, or any other rubbish?  Sometimes it can be hard to hear, but listen during the day, and see if you get some mean, belittling, put down thoughts that continue to make you feel bad…

Here’s a Trick:  You can change that voice.  You can start to actively say positive and empowering messages to yourself, and eventually that other voice will get the memo and start to boost you up rather that put you down.  In other words, you will start to actively become your own cheerleader rather than your own naysayer.  Sound good? Try this:  Next time that little voice pops up with a not-so-positive-message, say to yourself in an oh-so-empowering way, “Uh uh girl, I’m awesome and I Rock !!!”  Yep!  Get your emotions in there, add some humor and TAKE A STANCE!  Tell yourself what’s up!  You do ROCK!  And you can achieve anything, so go ahead and start telling yourself the TRUTH.

SAY THE GOOD STUFF ANYWAY…self talk

Okay, so let’s say there isn’t a big presentation this morning or try-outs for the play, and let’s say that you don’t exactly detect any negative internal chatter going on in your head… Well, I say practice those positive messages anyway !!! I’m all about creating everyday rituals for success, confidence, empowerment, self esteem.  My reason for this is SIMPLE!  If you practice these tools little by little every day, they will become HABITS and second nature in your life.  So… you’ll never feel stranded.

I practice affirmations / incantations every day.  Remember these???  In my post Raise Your Self Esteem with These 10 Empowering Activities I define an affirmation as a phrase that you come up with that reminds you how truly talented, blessed, beautiful  wonderful and precious you are and also reminds you that you can achieve ANY goal you desire.  Incantations are these affirmations said with LOTS of energy and emotion:

I Rock !  I am AWESOME !  I can ACHIEVE anything !  self talk 2

Practice practice practice telling yourself the good stuff, and over time, it will become second nature to just be confident without having to think about it.

MAKE A LIST OF YOUR SUCCESSES AND ACHIEVEMENTS!!

I CAN DO THAT !  Four important words!  Know your strengths.  By making a list of positive qualities and achievements you will remind yourself of how awesome you really are.  Keep an ongoing list in your journal of AWESOME ACCOMPLISHMENTS.  … The night before a big event that will require tons of confidence BOOST YOURSELF UP by listing your TOP 10 BEST EVERS ! …Some examples :

  1. Getting in front of the class and giving an AWESOME Shakespeare monologue.
  2. Putting together a BEAUTIFUL black and white self portrait for your photography class.
  3. Hosting a FUN and exciting back to school party for your friends.

YEP!  I look at all aspects of my life when I make my success list. This list should include school successes, achievements at home like helping Mom with a great / delicious / nutritious dinner or helping your little brother get ready for his first day at school in 2nd grade …  Confidence can pop up in any and every area of your life, so BE ON THE LOOKOUT and take note of times you SHINE !!!  Review your list right before you have to show your confident side to the world and you will FEEL AN INSTANT BOOST !!!

NOW HERE ARE SOME STRATEGIES FOR ACTING CONFIDENT:

Beware! You can’t fake it for very long… So, use these ACT CONFIDENT strategies, but be sure to use the FEEL CONFIDENT strategies as well so that you are working from the inside out !!!  We all, including me, must act confident sometimes, but the REAL WORK is doing the inside work !!!!

STAND TALL AND WALK WITH POWERgood posture

This is an all time fave tool of mineCheck your posture.  Imagine there’s a string connecting the sky with the center of your chest.   Tug on it and lift up.  This isn’t a HUGE change, just a slight one but your shoulders and chin will go slightly back and you will open up your chest to breathe correctly from your diaphragm.

Breathe deeply from your stomach. This means that when you inhale, your chest should remain steady and your stomach should stick out.  Put your hand on your stomach, breathe deeply, and you should feel your stomach go out.  Added bonus: breathing deeply will increase blood flow in your body, increasing oxygen as well, and will RAISE YOUR ENERGY LEVELS.

Move and walk with direction.  As you walk, breathe deeply and stand tall.  Posture and movement are HUGE when it comes to BODY LANGUAGE.  In a Bloomnerg Businessweek article,”Body Language: A Key to Success in the Workplace” by Carmine Gallo, communication was said to be only 7 % verbal (based on actual words) and 55 % body language and eye contact.  This means that what you’re doing with your body is 8 times more important when communicating than what you’re actually saying.   Amazing, right???  Next time, you study for that oral exam or prepare for that mock interview, BE SURE to FOCUS just as much on having direct and confident body language.   This leads right in to the next strategy…

EYE CONTACTeye contact

Making eye contact is so very important when establishing a connection with another person.  Eye contact reveals important characteristics about who you and your intentions.  Through eye contact, others will establish if you’re honest, enthusiastic, genuine, certain and a list of other characteristics.  An inability to make eye contact conveys some not-so-good qualities : uncertainty, fear, social anxiety, doubt, lacking of trust worthiness.  If you have trouble making eye contact, DON’T FRET !!! Many people do.  HERE are some tools to help you get over this fear:

  • Practice with family members and friends.  Look them in the eye when you speak and silently count in your head from one to five.  Before you look away, change your expression (as in smile, or stop smiling or laugh).  By doing this, you not only keep eye contact, but you keep eye contact when you have an expression change (and little as this seems, this is a BIG deal.)
  • Practice in the mirror.  Don’t worry about how you look.  Actors, politicians, teachers, singers, perhaps all performers use this tool of watching themselves as they communicate.  Look in the mirror, keep eye contact and tell a story.  When the story gets dramatic or you tell a joke, work on communicating with your eyes ~ smiling , squinting, laughing… and come back to making eye contact with yourself.
  • HERE’S ONE BIG BIG TRICK… If you can’t look into someone’s eyes, look at the space directly between their eyes.  Some people say look at the nose, but I think this can be tricky…  What if that person is self-conscious about their nose, and suddenly thinks, “Whoa, this person is staring at my nose!” And sure enough, they are put off and self conscious.  I believe in the middle of the eyes technique. Chances are if you’re looking at the space between someone else’s EYES, they will NEVER know!!

SPEAK UPspeak loud

Speak up and Be HeardConfident people speak to get their message out there and are heard.  They often adjust their volume to fit what their audience needs in order to receive the message.  If it’s a rowdy bunch, the person will raise her / his voice to speak over the noise and distraction.  The same dynamic exists for people who lack in confidence…. only it goes in the opposite direction…

Fearful, timid people speak to NOT BE HEARD.  “WHAT!!!???,” you say.  Yep, people who are nervous or fearful on the inside will adjust the volume of their voice to not be heard.  This doesn’t exactly happen on a conscious level… but the intimidation of speaking to others causes tons of negative messages to flutter through their mind and suddenly the voice is totally weak and drowned out….

This does NOT have to be the case !!!!  … Remember the INSIDE WORK !!!  This is where it comes in and makes a BIG DIFFERENCE !!!  … Work on changing that internal dialogue to your very BEST CHEERLEADER who’s rooting you onward, say some positive uplifting affirmations and make a quick internal list of some AWESOME accomplishments, then …. Increase the volume control on your voice and speak loudly and firmly.

SMILE !!!smile 2

AND LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST !!!…..  My favorite technique for communicating confidence:  SMILING !!!  It is easy to do and speaks volumes.  It can often be forgotten when the intimidation factor gets turned up.  But, no worries… It’s all about practice !!!  With practice, these tools will be ingrained and soon enough will become second nature.

Lead with a smile.   Often, your smile will be the first thing people will notice about you, and studies indicate it can create a rockin’ first impression.  Smiling communicates that you’re capable, strong, confident, enthusiastic and a team player.

There’s another perk … Smiling actually has physiological benefits. Smiling actually changes your attitude.  Try it:  When you feel down, start smiling and you will see how suddenly you feel a boost.  Smiling actually raises your confidence!!!  It’s a Win-Win, so Keep Smiling, sista !

A CONFIDENCE RECAP:

FEEL CONFIDENT ON THE INSIDE :

  • Tell yourself the good stuff ~ work on the internal dialogue and replace negative talk with uplifting positive messages.
  • Say the good stuff anyway ~practice affirmations and incantations everyday !!!
  • Make a List of your Successes ~ having a running list in your journal of your successesyay girl

ACT CONFIDENT ON THE OUTSIDE:

  • Stand tall and Walk with power. 
  • Make Eye Contact.
  • Speak UP. 
  • Smile.

There you are, my strategies for confidence! Do both… Work from the inside and the outside, and that is A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS !!!high five

Have a rockin’ day, Empowered Girl !!!!

<3

~Mary Jane

5 REMARKABLE HABITS FOR HIGH SELF ESTEEM !!

Hellloooo Empowered Gals !

Have you ever seen someone and thought, “Wow! They really love themselves. They’ve got that “IT” factor… There’s just something awesome about them???confident girls

Well, it’s a mistake to think that you either got “IT” or you don’t. That “IT” factor is a product of practicing certain HIGH SELF ESTEEM HABITS over time.

Some people learn these habits later in life and some people are influenced by others who already have these high self esteem habits.

The truth is it doesn’t matter if your family members have these high self esteem habits or not, because at any time, you can learn them. All it takes is willingness and practice. Over time (and maybe even sooner than you think), these practices will become habits in your life. And sure enough, there will be others who will think, “Wow! She really LOVES herself! She’s got that “IT” factor! I don’t know what it is, but there’s just something so AWESOME about her.” Then, you can share your 5 HABITS OF HIGH SELF ESTEEM with them !!!

Already you are OFF TO A GOOD START !!! Reading this article means that you are open to new ideas. Maybe you will be wiling to make some changes. Just keep reading, and I’ll show you how to implement these new habits in your life with an easy assignment at the end.

HERE WE GO !! ….

PUT GOOD STUFF INTO YOUR BODY

This habit is equally about WHAT you eat and HOW you eat. It’s about cultivating the habit of treating your body like a beautiful treasure and choosing everything you put into it. I’m NOT talking about just eating fruits and veggies here… I’m talking about LOVING you and getting jazzed about the whole ritual of nourishing yourself !!!healthy eating 2
Pick a great new Indian recipe that you and your girlfriends can cook on Friday night, research the BEST ever, most DECICIOUS chocolate chip cookie, find your favorite grocery store that makes you feel enthused about the art of eating and look around… Get excited about treating your body like the treasure that it is.
Find a restaurant that you absolutely HAVE to try, and get your girlfriends on board for a FANTASTIC night. Become conscious of GOOD FOR YOU foods…. Food is fuel, and so it’s definitely important to enjoy the delicious food you put in your body, AND you want to make choices that make your body FEEL great.
Shop at your local farmer’s market. Research what fruits and veggies are in season. And find some great recipes to use those delicious foods… It’s summer now, and we have delicious squash, beautiful sweet potatoes, of course watermelon (my favorite food in the whole world !!!) and beautiful regal Creole tomatoes. Get creative, get excited !!! You DESERVE to give your body the VERY BEST !!!

Practice eating well, but more importantly practice BELEIVING that you deserve to eat and enjoy the very best ! Your body will get so jazzed and excited about the new habit, and your self esteem will go through the roof !!

MOVE YOUR BODY

Another “IT” factor and HABIT OF HIGH SELF ESTEEM is MOVEMENT !!! This is just as much about exercising as it is about releasing energy from your body. Let me explain …

We are all creative, energetic, artistic, passionate, FUN, forward thinking people with tons and I mean TONS of potential. That energy is moving around within is and wanting so badly to get out and express itself. What happens when that energy has no release and gets stuck in the body? Well, it remains unused, and your potential remains a mystery.
Movement allows that energy to RELEASE !!! When you start to move your body more regularly, your creative juices will start flowing AND you will find you have TONS more energy.yoga 2

Exercise is VERY important, and it is ONE sure way you can implement movement into your life. If you have trouble thinking of creating an exercise ritual, maybe it’s time to tweak your thinking. WHAT is your WHY ? ….as in WHY are you exercising ???
If you’re exercising to look good on the outside, you may find it difficult at times to stay motivated. BUT, if you exercise in order to FEEL YOUR BEST, then, exercise will become just ONE of the many ways you use movement to have GREAT SELF ESTEEM !!

There are several ways to bring on the movement :

  • Plan activities that guarantee YOUR BODY WILL MOVE ! Go dancing. Blast your fave tunes and have a dance fest in your room. Better yet, invite your girls over for healthy veggie topped pizza and a fantastic dance PARTY ! Dance in the car, in the shower, first thing in the morning, between classes, any time any where. (I’m only slightly exaggerating, but the point is to keep moving!! )
  • Play a sport… (AND… expand your definition of “sport”) If you’re naturally athletic, you probably are on a team at school, but if NOT, no prob. YOGA is a phenomenal way to practice empowered movement, pilates, ballet, gymnastics, walking, frisbee, shopping, martial arts, diving, biking, speed cooking, speed cleaning … GET CREATIVE !!! Movement can be incorporated in any activity. Plan for movement, and you plan for HONORING AND LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE.

SELF NURTURING

Gals with high self esteem PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE self nurturing. And here’s the truth, they have “go-to” rituals to nurture / love / honor / soothe themselves.face mask 3

Without these “go-to” rituals, you could become literally starved of nurturing. When this happens, the WARNING sirens begin, and that’s when the not-so-soothing choices are made… These could range from a handful of Oreos (that aren’t even your fave cookie, they just somehow get eaten in moments of feeling down) or staying inside all day on a Saturday watching T.V. …. Argghhh!!!!

GIRL, you DESERVE to BE NURTURED everyday! Gals with high self esteem have rituals for nurturing themselves, so it doesn’t ever get THAT bad !!! ….  Some of you learned positive rituals from your parents, but no problem if you didn’t exactly learn positive rituals from them… YOU CAN LEARN THEM AND PRACTICE RIGHT NOW !!! (Keep reading I will show you how…)

Here are some ideas for rituals that practice self nurturing:movie night

  • Get your favorite nail polish color, and do your nails one night a week!
  • Go to your nearby drugstore and get a tingly mint mask, and apply once a week!
  • Take a relaxing bath with lavender salts or get a peppermint body scrub for your shower!
  • Spend a weekend night with your family watching your fave classic film.  Make delicious popcorn and plan to LAUGH all of your stresses away!
  • Go for a run, plan a camp out with friends, start a book club !!!
  • Get with your girlfriends and plan self-nurturing bonanza: nails, face masks and a showing of GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN !
  • Depending on your personality and what activities you like, there are SEVERAL ways to nurture yourself… Just RESEARCH what you love to do, and DO MORE OF THAT !!!

All it takes is practice, and you’ll have it down. Soon enough, people will come to you with questions about how you do “IT.”

SELF REFLECTION or “ME TIME”

Gals with high self esteem know how to TAKE A BREAK from the noise of life and GET CENTERED. This can be accomplished in several different ways, but when practiced on a regular basis, the habit of staying centered will become second nature and can be a true STRESS BUSTER when life gets chaotic.journaling

Developing a ritual for this is ultra handy. Do you journal?  Writing in a journal is an excellent way of making a self reflection and time with yourself a ritual, because generally it is a daily or almost daily ritual. You don’t have to write much… just a few lines. Reflect a little bit about what’s going on in your life. In a few months, or even a year, looking back will be so much FUN, because you will see all the growth and progress and changes that have occurred. I LOVE THIS RITUAL !
Get centered with a little meditation. Many people are way off when it comes to what meditation is. Actually, meditation is really simple. Meditation means a practice of consciousness. It is said to induce relaxation, increase focus and energy and help develop characteristics such as love, patience, compassion and forgiveness.  Meditation can be practiced in ANY setting. A meditation can be a walk in a park with a waterfall and oak trees. It can be sitting on your floor taking 10 slow breaths. It can be doing a reading from your favorite inspirational book and spending 5 minutes journaling. Meditation can also be activities such as dance or painting or sketching or cooking even. Meditation is simply the quieting of the mind and focusing on the breath.
By having your own meditative practice (whichever one feels best to you), you will increase your ability to stay centered and collected when life gets tough.

FUN !!! CELEBRATE YOUR SELF

High self esteem gals are NOT timid about loving themselves. Here’s the deal: You are a beautiful, wonderful creation with so much love and light to share with the world. YOU ARE SO WORTHY OF CELEBRATION !!! And you are LOVED completely and truly by the people around you, by the world around you and all the people in your future who will love you… And the more you LOVE yourself, the more you will let others love you! CELEBRATE YOU !!! LIVE IT BIG !!! together girls

Gals with high self esteem FIND opportunities to celebrate themselves, others, life, reaching goals, etc etc. You are worthy of being celebrated. Find ways to incorporate celebration into your life. Do you practice celebrating???

When was the last time you felt SUPER GOOD about maybe nothing at all, just the mere the fact that you DESERVE to feel good and celebrated !!!  This is NOT arrogance; however, keep in mind that gals with high self esteem who celebrate themselves also love celebrating their friends, family members and others’ successes and achievements.

WHAT ARE SOME WAYS THAT YOU CAN CELEBRATE YOU ??? One way that I LOVE is to practice ENJOYING life !!! Plan to enjoy experiences.

Here’s an example:    It’s your bday and your best friend just gave you a present. It’s a shirt and you know this because it’s not wrapped and it’s sitting on the counter next to her purse and next to your bday cake. There’s maybe little excitement, no surprise, the tag is still on the shirt, and suddenly your bday present seems like an afterthought….

Compare this with a different scenario:  It’s your bday, and your friend planned dinner for you at her house. When you arrive, the house is completely dark but soon you experience the BEST SURPRISE OF YOUR LIFE when you are surprised by friends and family all excitedly standing around the living room… And there’s a BIG funfetti cake and balloons and a BIG red box with a shiny ribbon on it. It’s that same present. After blowing out your candles, your best friend hands you the gift, and says

“This is super perfect for you! LOVE YOU, GIRL!”present 2

When you open it, the box is filled with your favorite candy and then you see it- your FAVE new T that you CAN’T WAIT TO WEAR!!! … Is there a difference here ??? Uhh, YES !!! One experience contains no celebration and the other one was potentially the BEST celebration of your LIFE !!! The only difference is one required some thought, care and the LOVE OF CELEBRATING !!!  And, the person who threw you that surprise bday got the same if not more enjoyment and excitement celebrating YOU!
I like to use a system called The Scale of 1 to 10. I ask myself to rate experiences on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the absolutely most exciting FUN thrilling and 1 being flat, boring and unmemorable. Wherever my experience falls I think of how I can make it a little higher on the scale. Sometimes, all it takes is adding fantastic background music, or putting on a good movie that makes me laugh while doing chores. Whatever it is, you DESERVE to get some 10’s in your life. I LOVE TO CELEBRATE MYSELF, and I INVITE YOU TO JOIN WITH ME !!!

All right, Empowered Girls!! LIVE IT UP!! biking fun

~Mary Jane