Archive for the ‘Self Worth’ Category

Every single person on this Earth has expectations and assumptions.  We kind of have to in order to manage to get through life without losing our minds. 

Think about it..we assume that the guy in the other car will stop for the red light on his side so we just buzz on through the green.  But we also have assumptions about our expectations.

Mind spinning yet?

We know what we feel and desire in our heart of hearts.  But we often assume that who we are in our truest form won’t be accepted by others.  Many of us wear many masks and hide our dreams because of what we think is expected of us. 

And we won’t break out of these roles because we fear losing our friends and even family.

So we remain, unhappy, hidden and our greatest gifts – our light – is dimmed and shuttered.

If you step back over here with me to look at this a bit differently I’d like to point out of couple of problems with this line of thinking.

First, you were not put here on this Earth to be small, dim or hidden.  You have a light within you that is a gift, and you do it such a disservice by closing the shutters up tight because someone out there may not like it.  You were meant to shine!

Which brings me to my next thought.  Not everyone is going to like you – that is a given in life.  That’s okay.  Simply bless those people and move on.  However, consider this.  If no one knows who you truly are and they only see this facade – then in all truth – no one really likes or  loves you because they don’t know you.  They might like the person you are projecting, but that isn’t YOU.

You can’t lose what you don’t actually have I’m afraid.  Truly if you think everyone likes you then that is a huge hint you aren’t being your truest self.  You are playing roles to make others happy.  I mean c’mon…even the best of us have people who dislike them!

When you allow yourself to shine, to be you in all your quirky ways, then others who will love you for those very things can find you.  Until then you are just an actor on stage and people are simply loving your role…not you.

Imagine what and who you are missing.  Imagine the peace and joy of releasing all that misery and self-condemnation and allowing yourself to grow into the beautiful being you were alway meant to be. 

It’s okay to love you.  In fact, I’m betting most people you already know will love you too if you are brave enough to give them that chance.  You’ll be surprised at what happens.  Take off the masks – live free.



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Can I share with you something that has caused a huge shift in my world lately?  And it’s been a long time coming.

I finally let my heart break.  It’s been showing signs of cracking and on the verge for a long, long time.  I just refused to let it happen.   I’d just patch it up with some story I’d tell myself, or excuse or simply ignore things.  For a while…ignoring it did feel like bliss – kind of.  But band aids are not meant to last forever.broken

Let me explain.

To start with, I don’t exactly have the most supportive family.  Do I worry about saying that on my blog…not really.  They don’t read it.

Do they love me?  Oh I’m certain of it.  Overall they are good people.  But supportive – not so much.  It’s not that they come around telling me my dreams are fools gold or outright mock me or anything.  They simply gloss over and carry on with the status quo.  No interest, no questions and no cheering.

beautiful mistakesMy own amazing coach has suggested looking at it from a different perspective – theirs.  Ouch – she got me there.  So I explored that.

I think perhaps my reaching for big dreams and lofty goals is uncomfortable for them.  They shun what they don’t understand.  Change is scary and even painful at times. I’ve learned the hard way to embrace that because I know at the other end is growth and joy.  Until you know that, it’s hard to look at changing what is comfortable without a reason to.  I have rarely followed the way that others do things.  I suppose that certainly could lead to a disconnect.

Still, I think you can support and lift up someone without understanding what they have on their vision board…or the fact they have a vision board.

Okay..big breath…big share.  I used to wonder – and often – what was wrong with me?  Something had to be wrong with ME for the people in my life to not want to know me or cheer me on.  Many time I thought that to have someone yell at me, call me foolish or mock me would almost have been preferable to this feeling of being invisible and unimportant.  Self blame seemed the logical choice.  I struggled with that for a very long time.  With my family of origin I still see it rear its ugly head at times.  Old habits die hard right?  I am working on it and get better every day.

So, here’s the thing.  An ‘event’ happened very recently that shook me hard.  I had to face it.  It wasn’t me, not alone anyway.  I participated in a dynamic that was dysfunctional.  Because it was from my family of origin, admitting that set me back and was really, really hard.   It was difficult and painful just to admit that this.  I really resisted saying it to myself and definitely to anyone else.  I felt disloyal and selfish; I also felt used and hurt.   Quite a mix of emotions to have to deal with.

It took some time (and some very good counsel) to realize that facts are what they are.  What has happened, happened.  It wasn’t about fault or blame or anger to realize that the relationship was unhealthy.

But boy, it still hurts like crazy.   I was up late one evening, sipping some tea and just listening to the fire and the rain on the window when I realized I had to let go.   I had to allow my heart to break from this in order to start figuring out how to put it back together. I also realized I had to give myself permission.

It’s hard to do that because I know that there is a huge lake of painful tears to go through first.  Standing on the edge of that keeps me from feeling the full brunt of it.   I also had a lot of anger about those hurts that I’d been ignoring as it simmered. Keeping a lid on it won’t heal it though.  Courage is what I needed to give myself permission to let it happen.angerofthepast

I’d love to say I’m all better and I’ve dealt with it and that I’m good.  Nope, this is a long history of pinpricks that have created a deeper wound then I even knew.  It won’t heal over night.

However, I can say I survived the initial cracking open and looking at the hurt.  I felt it, I allowed it and now I’ve put it away again until I am strong enough to do some more work with it.

Life is a process of learning lessons and some are wonderful and beautiful.  Some are painful and harsh, but will ultimately lead us to wonderful and beautiful if we can allow it.

It may be hard to believe but I am grateful that I had the courage to allow my heart to break.  I have learned not only am I stronger than I realized, but I am in charge of my own happiness.  I can keep the thunderclouds at bay but until I learn to dance in the rain the sun will not be able to shine.

For now, I’m just going to keep on dancing.

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There is a well – known saying that ‘success attracts success and failure attracts more failure’.  Or at least its something close to that.  Either way it’s pretty much the truth.

And the idea of it used to scare the crap out of me.

You see I didn’t really understand it.  I didn’t have a clear definition of success or failure.  More importantly I would struggle with the last part.  I mean, if I screw up doesn’t that mean I’m now destined to continue that cycle?  I really struggled wrapping my head around this idea.

No, no, no!  That is not what I wanted at all; so I would kill myself making sure I didn’t fail or mess up. At least not too badly! I became what I used to call a perfectionist.  Now I realize it’s a terribly deep, ingrained fear of being stuck in the failure trap.

Here’s the truth.  There is no trap.  It doesn’t exist unless you make it so.

Let me give you some examples.  I would work on school projects til the wee hours of the morning.  I’d change this or that, edit until the words swam in front of my eyes and re-write til my hand felt numb.   I once had a job at a fast food place (no, I won’t say which one) and I hated it.  I really, really did but I still worked my tail off and would even stay til after my shift to ensure that ‘my’ stuff was done and done right. 

Then I started University.  I had to wait a year to go to earn some money but I decided to take a night class to get my feet wet so to speak.  What I didn’t know is this particular class was about to teach me a lesson not related to psychology. 

Big secret reveal – I totally bombed my first paper.  Failed it; I mean REALLY failed it…I was horrified, devastated, mortified and embarrassed.  I wanted to run and hide but thankfully the Universe is kind, even in its harshest lessons.  The professor with over 500 students didn’t have time to see me anytime soon.  I was desperate to find out what I did wrong.  After all the next paper was coming up! My goodness that feeling of failure and feeling lost was hard to swallow.  Then the blessing arrived in the form of an upper class TA.  She offered to quickly look over my paper.  The content was good but the format was all wrong. 

Turns out this is a pretty common problem for first year students.  In fact, the University runs a workshop during FROSH week to get everyone on board because so many are not taught proper format for different papers in high school. Of course, because I wasn’t a regular student (one class only) I had no idea.  She also told me that she bombed her first paper too and not to worry because University is all about learning.

What a blessing this woman was to me.  She suggested the reference book that could help me, which I not only bought but ended up almost wearing out by the time I finished school.  Even with that failure, I managed a B+ in that class at the end of it all.  Not too shabby a jump!   I often thank her again silently when I think about it.  She gave me about 15 mins of her time and shared some of her knowledge and it changed my life.   I wonder if she knows…

The lesson this class gave me was two-fold.  Failure isn’t a cycle you can’t break.  What seems like a minor kindness to you, can be everything to someone else. 

But I want to talk more about this failure business.  I realized something that day, the day of my first big, public crash and burn.  I was okay.  I didn’t die, or get ridiculed.  No one branded me with a giant ‘F’ on my forehead to tell the world I was now just a big ol’ failure. 

In fact, no one but me really gave it much thought.  I had good enough sense to try to figure it out and that made all the difference.  failure

My failure morphed into a lesson that created success. 

I changed my path; broke the cycle or whatever you want to call it because of my mental mindset and my attitude.

I could have done things differently.  I could have cried into my pillow and then just given up assuming that I wasn’t cut out for higher learning.  Trust me, there were a few people in my life who would  have supported that decision.  I easily could have taken that path and there would have been easy ways to justify it.

But I didn’t.

This is why I say to you there is no failure trap other than one of your own making.   It’s all in how you handle your mess ups. 

Have some faith that you can and understand that failure just means that you still have something to learn


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I’ve been pretty busy this past week or so and sadly haven’t been able to catch much of the Olympics in London. I end up seeing results or what’s happening on Twitter or the news.

I love seeing the write ups and video commentary on the athletes. It’s all very inspiring and uplifting to see how hard they have worked.

Then there are the jerks. (Yes, I said jerks…my favourite word these days for a person who can’t contain their negativity).

So many headlines that read something like “athlete comes up short to only get a silver medal” What?? ONLY?? Geesh this person is SECOND IN THE WORLD and most likely by a split hair of a millisecond. And the kicker is the person writing this most likely is not even a silver medalist themselves.

So what happened to the joyous celebration before the competition? What happened to being proud of our sons and daughters for all that they accomplish, overcome and the work they do? Suddenly it’s not good enough?


This is a lot of what’s wrong with our own attitudes towards ourselves.

Guess what? Play that game again, swim one more lap or dive once more round and it all could change. Just like life…it can all change very easily. Even if you attain perfection (and good luck with that) it is very fleeting.

The goal is not and should not be the end all, be all of your world. Your essence is not a moment in time. You are the accumulation of millions of moments; some good and some bad.

You are so much more than missing a target now and again so why define yourself by it?

I hope instead of “only second’ we can change that to “holy crap they are freakin second!-They ROCKED it!” (read with a very excited voice please). And I hope you can change that way of thinking for yourself too. In fact I hope we can change it to “holy crap, look how hard they’ve worked, how far they’ve come and what great people they are”. But one step at a time.

Cuz baby…you are rocking this life! Love yourself for it; celebrate all that you have and all that you are. There is always another day, another play and another player.

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Yikes!  I got an email about a post I did not that long ago from someone who really was upset.  It’s okay. The person who wrote it was very polite, but boy they were fuming.

In a recent post “An Important Truth About Mindset”  I said that your mindset touches everything.  I also gave some examples including the one that upset my reader which was your mindset matters big time in losing weight.  It seems it touched a nerve with this particular reader.  I wonder if it was the same for others? 

The last sentence of the email was “Care to explain yourself?”  and my answer is YES! Of course I’d love to go further into what this means.  In fact, the same idea applies to many different topics and I’m thrilled that the questions were asked.  Seriously!

First, let’s understand that your thoughts shape your world.  What and how you think causes how you ‘see’ events in the world and react to them.  This is the old glass half-full or half-empty story.  How does this apply to losing weight?  It’s simple, how you view the activities associated with losing weight can make a difference in how successful and committed you are.  How you view yourself when you succeed or slip can massively affect your self worth.

Let me explain a bit more.  Consider this question; what are your reasons for losing weight? 

 Can I be honest?  When I have worked with clients around mindset and weight the first things we discover is the negativity surrounding it.  The struggle is the focus, the numbers on the scale decree the success and when the goal weight is reached we will celebrate and be done.

What??  Ugh..there is so much wrong with that sort of mindset I hardly know where to start. Firstly, let’s face it. Losing weight is hard.  You better have a good “why” for doing it. This is the reason so many of us end up yo-yo-ing back and forth until something drastic happens to scare us into finally putting a serious effort into it.  And your ‘why’ needs to be put in a positive way.

My shocking question of the day? Do you want to lose weight for your scale or your Health? 

Losing the weight that is making you unhappy and sick is a good thing; but then why not work towards the goal of increasing your health, rather than a number on a scale?  

Let’s face it you can starve yourself on a silly diet and have reduced those numbers but are you living healthier? Nope, so it’s easy to fall off from that goal, get frustrated and angry with yourself and struggle even harder.   When you shift your mindset to one where you want to be an overall healthier person and take care of yourself, you will begin to do things FOR yourself like eat better, go for a walk out of love rather than feeling like you are punishing yourself because you have not lost enough arbitrary numbers. 

Looking at weight loss from the point of view of something you need to fight with; with a sense of losing out on all the good stuff in your life or with a negative mindset will become a form of self sabotage. 

Good news!  You can choose how you view the idea of weight loss (and pretty much everything else in your life as well).  

Many of us do much of our living out of fear.  We fear

  • judgment
  • losing someone because we aren’t good enough
  • loss of status
  • getting old
  • lack of beauty
  • sickness
  • embarrassment
  • loss of love

And the list can go on and on. 

Now here’s the thing. With a little effort, practice and support you can change this outlook.  You really can!  When you decide to look at yourself with compassion and love, rather than judgement you find that it is easier to do things for yourself like choose healthier eating options.  To go exercise your body and your mind.  To say ‘no’ to attitudes and activities that aren’t good for you.

We find it easier to forgive ourselves when we slip and that helps us get back on track with minimal fuss rather than a full on binge to punish ourselves.

The truth is we can either let life happen to us and meekly accept it as the way it has to be…or we can change it by changing how we think about what is happening.

I’m here to help you with mindset mentoring.  In fact, I have helped a number of women with exactly this in live one-to-one workshops which I LOVE doing. SO much great energy is released in these workshops. Contact me if you are interested in having me come create this shift for you as well.

  The best news I have to share with you today is that I have found a way to move all that ‘stuff’ I do in the workshop online!  So even if you are not able to be at a live event you can still learn all about your mindset and how to change it.   Right now we are in a beta version…meaning I’m testing the program. You can get in on this!  But only for a very limited time.  After that however you’ll have the complete and fabulous version with all the bells and whistles put in place.

Meanwhile, you have to begin to listen to what your mind is telling you.  Too much of our thinking is negative and there is no need for it to be that way. 

When you heal your thoughts, you heal so very much more.

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Everyday you have some things you habitually do right?  Probably without thinking too much about it. 

Things like brushing your teeth, combing your hair, showering, eating…

These things are part of your routine and are really important to your health and well-being; even though they may seem to be small tasks in your day-to-day.  They still are things you do every day and you don’t worry about finding time to ‘fit’ them in right?  I mean whenever have you said, well I could brush my teeth or meet you for coffee…okay I’ll skip cleaning my teeth to fit in coffee instead?  Hopefully never!

Okay..hold that thought for a moment.

I need to ask you something…ever feel burned out? (Don’t worry, I’m going somewhere with this) You know; those times you suddenly feel like you have no idea what you’re doing and the thought of running away to live in the woods with Tarzan sounds pretty good?  Or at least throwing up your hands and eating an entire plate of brownies and then staying in bed with a good book all day? 

We all have our “I’ve had it” routines but you get my drift.  This burn out usually comes from a lack of ME time….or in this case YOU time.

We already understand that we have time in our day that is not negotiable right? The tooth brushing, the showering, the eating!  At least it should be and if not we have a totally different problem..but that’s for another day!

Me time also needs to be put into your day as time that isn’t negotiable.  (See I told you I would connect the dots) You should have time in your day for self care; for recharging. Not doing this will slide you really fast into burnout.  REALLY fast. 

So what do I mean by self-care time?  In all actually, it will be different for every one.  These are the things that are just for you; where you are disconnected from work and other stresses in your life.  Let me share with you what I do in my time and perhaps that will inspire or help you clarify what you need. 

Bonnie’s ME time: 

  1. A long walk with Charlie (you know my pup!).  This is where I started to really understand the concept of putting the time into my day.  Before I had a dog to force the issue, I would work, work and work some more.  I began to really look forward to the time alone with my dog…no phone, no homework, no clients, no computer! 
  2. Meditation.  There are many types and styles of meditation.  The point is to find a way to begin to hear your own inner voice and connect with your body and soul and I must say meditation is wonderful for this.  If you do try to begin keep in mind that if one method doesn’t work for you, no worries. Try another.  The first time I tried meditation the person instructing the practice wanted us to stare into a candle flame to help center and quiet our thoughts.  What a yucky experience for me, all I got was a headache!  However, when I learned a different technique focussed on breathing, I found my way inward.
  3. A Gratitude Journal.  Every night before bed I set aside some time to journal what I’m so very blessed with.   Going to bed with positive energy is the way to go!

The key to all of this of course to understand that you are worth the time invested in you.  These activities are ones that I don’t negotiate.  They are a habit just like brushing my teeth.  These are things that keep me from burning out, they recharge my batteries.  It took a while to create these habits but hey, I’m worth it!

Now it’s your turn..what are some things you have in place that are daily self-care routines to help prevent your burnout? If you don’t have them already in place what are you going to do to start?


EDIT:  I must apologise to those who are having trouble leaving a comment.  WordPress has made some changes that are presenting bloggers with some challenges.  Feel free to send me an email if you like or visit my facebook fan page and leave me a comment there! (I will respond).   Thanks so much for all your continued support and patience while all this gets sorted out.  Bright blessing!

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Who we are, how we act, when no one is looking is the true measure of our real character.  I think most people have heard this idea or something similar to it. 

While I totally agree with that, there is the flip side that is much more difficult handle these days it seems.

Character is also who we are and how we act when everyone is looking.

I must admit that while not following the crowd has, on occasion, made my life a little more difficult than it might have been if I just followed along, I can’t imagine how else to be. 

I can remember, one day while I was still in high school, standing at a corner waiting for a light to change.  Across the street, was a young man who clearly had some challenges mentally.  Along came three other boys who immediately started teasing and pushing him around.  I still remember how angry this made me.  With out thinking, I crossed the street and gave them crap…it wasn’t language my mother would have approved of I’m sure.  Told those boy exactly what kinds of *ahem* jerks I thought they were and something along the lines of  why don’t they crawl back under the rock they came from.  

You know, I never thought at all about what I was doing.  Okay I can admit some of this was temper lol. Later, still very ticked off, I relayed this what happened to some friends who were horrified; but not for the reason I expected.  They pointed out that those three guys could have easily turned on me.  Valid point…but would I have changed anything about what I did?  No, I just could not have stood by and done nothing. 

Then there is my Dad.  Growing up I would see my father come home early in the morning, from a 12 hour night shift and begin shovelling the snow outside our house.  He must have been exhausted, but he did it.  I can’t even count how many (probably every time it snowed) times he also cleared the walk, steps and driveway of the elderly lady across the street as well.   I don’t know if this lady knew it was my dad who did it, he never told her as far as I know.  I would see him as I got ready for school or what have you.  He would just shovel and come inside.  Never said a word about it.  He did this because he has values and character.      

This is showing who you are when no one is really looking.  Doing what’s right no matter what.

The flip side is a little different.  Human nature provides us with a ‘follow the crowd mentality’.  Truly, it’s a real thing.  This is the what we do when we all stand around in a crowd waiting for ‘someone to do something’.  

Character and values come into play here as well.  It’s really easy to see in kids who have been brought up with a strong sense of self and raised with values and character.  These traits are what prevents them from joining in bullying, from doing drugs or hurting others.  They are okay walking away from situations even when their friends call them weak or other unpleasant things.  They have faith in themselves. 

I don’t see that very often, and that is just sad, and kind of scary.

Not many people speak out because they don’t want to be the different one.  They don’t want to be seen as radical or upsetting the apple cart.  They don’t want to be wrong or left out. What ends up happening is the bully gets away with it, the BS is figured to be true (or someone would say something right?) and nothing changes.

You know what?  This has to stop.  Look around. We are too worried about fitting in, to the point we are allowing things to go on that we should not.  We seek the approval and validation of our ‘self’ from others so much, that we have forgotten whether WE approve of who we are.

This starts at home where we teach our family that when no one is looking and when everyone is looking; our character matters.  Our traits, beliefs and values matter.  Isn’t it about time we acted like it? 

When we see persons of worth, we should think of equaling them; when we see persons of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.

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