Inspire

Adding Value to Your Life

Successfully Managing Your Expectations

What are you expecting? There are some who believe that they should live life without any expectations at all. In that way there is little room for disappointment. But that is a bit unrealistic, don’t you think? We all live life with expectations, whether or not we are consciously aware of it. For example, we expect our children to behave in alignment with the upbringing and values we have instilled in them. We expect our spouse to be faithful or to fulfil certain needs. When we leave our homes in the morning, we expect to get to our destination safely. We expect to receive our pay cheque at the end of the month. Maybe, we are expecting a promotion, or a job offer. We may even be expecting a negative outcome from a recent encounter or project or life in general. Having expectations is unavoidable.

However, some of our expectations may be realistic and some may be unrealistic. Some may be healthy, and some may be unhealthy. Some expectations may serve us, while others may not. Since they all shape and impact our lives in one way or another, it behooves us to work at successfully managing our expectations. So, I ask you the question again, what are you expecting?

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Dealing with Feelings of Inadequacy: You are Enough

I am enough. The yoga instructor announced the affirmation for the day’s class, which we were to repeat to ourselves. The words flung open the doors of my soul, greeted me, pulled up a chair and got comfortable. Three small but powerful words; they resonated deep, within me. I repeated them to myself as I continued with my efforts of breathing deeply, while carefully following the instructions for the next pose. That is, breathing from my diaphragm, not the shallow breathing I often do from my chest, while unconsciously restricting my breath. Which is as if I am waiting for the next shoe to drop or for the monster that is waiting in the closet to jump out at any minute. Notice I said efforts, it is not always easy. Even after my practice ended, I continued to repeat the words to myself.  I still repeat them to myself regularly. I even wrote them on a piece of paper and stuck it on the wall above my desk. I am enough!

In the rat race of life, the demands placed on us by ourselves and by others can leave us feeling like we are not enough. Everyone including ourselves want more from us. Under the pressure of these demands for more, and challenges in meeting them, feelings of inadequacy show up. Often sweeping in like raging flood waters, eroding our self-confidence, creating doubt in our minds and knocking the wind out of us. These feelings are fierce, never subtle, never kind.  But here’s the good news, these feelings of inadequacy, are LIES! You are enough! You are mortal, you are not superhuman and you have done all that is in your power to do. Remind yourself, say to yourself, so that you hear and feel the words rolling off your tongue, I am enough.

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Relationships: How to Successfully Navigate Them

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A few years ago my family and I took a cruise. As the captain navigated the ship across the vast ocean we experienced feelings of excitement and apprehension. Some days the sea was calm and we enjoyed the journey, other days not so much. There was one day in particular, when my daughter felt so sick because of the rough seas, she threw up several times and missed her meals. She even had to opt out of an excursion when we pulled into our next port. Our relationships can often produce a similar experience.

Learning to successfully navigate our relationships as we ride the waves of life, can be a bit challenging for anyone. Think of your relationships as a beautiful and luxurious ship sailing the open seas.  The ride can sometimes be smooth as well as it can sometimes be rough. The times when the ride is smooth there is happiness and enjoyment. When the ride gets bumpy, this usually tends to lead to sickness, which sucks the joy out of the experience.

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Personal Growth and Sacrifice: Dying to Self

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As I am writing this on Easter Sunday, I felt it would be a good time to talk about personal growth and sacrifice. Today, all of Christendom celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. What an awesome sacrifice Jesus made; it is the ultimate of all sacrifices. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends”, John 15:13. Not many of us would be willing to give up our life for a friend or relative or someone whom we love. But Jesus did. He chose to make such a sacrifice because He loves us.

A part of my blog’s main objective is to encourage personal growth. Personal growth has to be intentional; it does not happen by chance. I also believe that we do not experience personal growth without making some sacrifices. We do not experience personal growth, without first dying to some things within ourselves.

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Necessary Endings and How to Deal with Them

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How do you feel about endings? From both an intellectual and emotional standpoint? Does it make you sad, anxious, or even angry and regretful? Do you think of it as being practical, useful and necessary to allow for growth, improvement and, progress?  How do you feel about endings? When we have become invested and, attached to something, letting go can be difficult. Ending something can be difficult; especially if that ending is not of our own free will.

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Avoiding the Greatest Tragedy: Living a Life of Purpose

What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.

Nelson Mandela

Nothing can be quite as challenging as dealing with the death of a loved one. It has a way of simultaneously testing us and putting life into perspective – fleeting, fragile.  The sudden passing of a young man whom I deeply respect and admire reminded me of this fact and led to much reflection and introspection.

Nelson Mandela, lived amidst the turbulence of racial prejudice and injustice, yet he was able to forgive his oppressors and lead a life that inspired so many. The preceding quote always resonates with me and causes me to reflect on the way I lead my own life. What kind of life am I leading? Have I made a difference in anybody’s life? Do I inspire growth and change in others? Am I living a life as God would have me live? What can I do better? In what areas do I need to improve?

What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived!  How are you living your life? Are you merely living? Or are you living a life of purpose? Are you living in such a way that you are making a difference in the lives of others?

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How to Fail Well: Dealing with the Pain of Failure

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What is your attitude to failure? How do you react when you fail? Do you pout or cry? Do you blame others? Do you lose your temper? Do you recoil and never make another attempt? Are you so devastated that it takes you longer than it should, to get over it? Is your self-worth affected when you fail?

One of my favorite quotes says, “failure is an event, not a person.” This has been one of the most impactful lessons I have learned since I began being intentional about personal development.

We may have been taught that failing at something is a crisis to be endured. Maybe we were taught to look at failure as something negative; something to feel dirty and ashamed about. Sometimes the pressure to succeed is so great that failure can be extremely devastating for us, and we end up seeing ourselves as a failure. We ascribe feelings of guilt and shame to the experience and labels such as failure, not good enough or weak to ourselves. That failure then feeds into our self-doubts and insecurities. Because of this some of us hate to fail. I know I did. We would accept nothing but perfection.

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7 Sure Ways to Achieve Personal Development

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In this article:

I have had this topic on my content list for a while now. However, a recent encounter indicated to me that it was time to write about it. A colleague indicated, that she was thinking of passing up an opportunity offered to her to work in another department. This is a colleague who is very good at what she does in her current position and who is also extremely reliable. But she feared leaving her comfort zone and learning new things. I encouraged her to seize the opportunity, as she is being given a chance to learn something new and to grow.

Often times many of us find ourselves in a comfort zone. We are comfortable, content and may even think ourselves to be happy. Everything is familiar; we feel safe and secure. But life can become boring and mundane when lived from our comfort zone. Don’t you think?  Not only that, but when we remain stuck in our comfort zone, we become stunted. We don’t try or discover new things, explore, take any risk and most importantly we don’t challenge ourselves, learn or grow.

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5 Books to Read for Personal Development and to Help you Soar

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In my last post I told you that this week I would be sharing with you, the top 5 books I read in 2020.

When something is good or you have a good find you want to share it with others, don’t you? So, I want to recommend to you my readers, what I found to be the 5 most impactful books I read in 2020.  Here they are. They are not listed in any particular order, since I found them all to be equally great.

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A Successful Year Awaits You, Take the Leap!

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You may recall me saying in my last post that up until three years ago I was living in survival mode. From teenage pregnancy to single parenting. The misguided decision to marry, to physical abuse, then back to single parenting, this time with two children. Working minimum wage to being unemployed; though only briefly, because with two children I could not afford to be out of a job. Depression and anxiety, to attending school while working full time and raising two school aged children.

I did not have a strong support network and I was doing all I could to survive.  There was no time or even the thought of intentional personal development.

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