clothes wearing a new shirt entire outfit. change our clothes,  wardrobe clothing wardrobe clothing fits and fits clothes clothes clothing a jacket or shawl a jacket or a shawl jacket in the car wardrobe purse wardrobe purse. everyday wear wardrobe malfunction wardrobe wardrobe wardrobe your face face throw water wash your face in the morning and then apply your makeup. Taking care of your face takes time, dedication, and effort. If you want to have flawless skin you will need to stick to a routine. You also need a few ingredients that can give you the most successful results. You're in luck because this article will list the main ingredients and give you tips to getting healthy, flawless skin. All that's left is you. see a difference in your skin. important for your body. Your body tends to build up toxins in your system over time by various things for various reasons. When you drink water, it removes and cleanses those toxins from your body. It's kind of like giving the inside of your body a bath. If the outside of your body gets bathe regularly, then the inside of your body deserves the same treatment. When you are regularly drinking a recommended amount of water daily, then you are removing the toxins from your body, which means you are reducing the amount of oil in your face that creates those nasty bumps. to clear those toxins from your body. While drinking the recommended amount of water daily, another important ingredient for healthy flawless skin is vitamins. Value of Vitamins Add vitamins to your daily routine. May people in the world are deficient in one vitamin or another. Vitamins do tons of wonders for us and our bodies. Vitamins help grow and repair our bodies in so many ways we do not see or recognize. Taking vitamins helps you try to maintain a healthy balance in your body, because you are getting the healthy supplements you need. You will see your skin begin to show a natural glow. A glow that no bronzer or make up can give you. If you continued on a daily vitamin regimen, you should begin to see your skin brighten in its own natural way. Day & Night Wash The next step to a "clean and clear" face is to wash your face daily morning and night. Washing your face helps to remove dirt and dead skin cells that is on your face. When you don't wash your face, the dirt and dead skin cells build upon your face clogging your pores, in which they cannot breathe, resulting into an unhappy pimpled face. Your pores need to breathe just as you do. Remember, you can not be lazy on this step. Most people begin the routine of washing their face daily, morning and night, but then they slowly discontinue the process and ask themselves a few days later, "Why isn't my skin clear?" It's not clear because you stopped your regimen! If you are saying to yourself right now, "Ugh, I don't have enough time." or "It is too much effort.", then you will not see the best results. The Best Cleanser wash your face morning and night with a face cleanser. best type of face cleanser that is for you. A face cleanser may work for your friend but not for you, because everyone's face is different. Do some thorough research for the skin type you have and the types of face cleansers you could use. Once you have found some face cleansers, it's time to begin to try them out to see if it will help you. It is understandable that you are in a hurry to achieve a flawless look but don't use the cleanser for two days and then toss it away because you assume it doesn't work for you. You should continuously use the cleanser for a minimum of 4 weeks, to determine if you see some improvement or not. Make sure that you are washing your face morning and night or washing your face as the directions on the cleanser tells you to. Be diligent and you will be happy with your results. Moisturize, Moisturize, & Moisturize Moisturizing your face is another important step to achieving flawless skin. Moisturizing your face helps to keep your skin from drying up and also keeps your skin nice and soft.  It is best to moisturize your face with something that is oil free and fragrant free. Again do thorough research on the type of moisturizer you should purchase for your skin type. You are what you think, you are what you do, and you are what you eat. To obtain flawless skin you have to watch what you eat. Eating a lot of oily and greasy foods can lead to an increase of breakouts on your face. Begin to eat healthier one day at a time to improve your diet. A healthy diet produces healthy skin, and healthy skin dramatically increases your chances of having flawless skin. We're all hoping for it to come soon.  The warm weather, shining sun and the cool breeze. It's such a great time of the year. With the seasons changing, our wardrobes change along with it. We begin to wear lighter clothing, flowy dresses and skirts. This year when making the transition, make it chic, savy, and playful. Tips for Dresses & Skirts Think of spring as a playful and happy type of season. Imagine how you can incorporate it into dresses and skirts. Your dresses and skirts should be feminine and playful. Be sure to wear your dresses and skirts in a manner that represents you best. You don't want to wear anything that gives the wrong impression of who you are. You are a divine being, let others treat you with respect by observing what you wear. Tips for Shirts Bright colors and pastels are in! Wear bright colored shirts that have a soft tone. The best colors to wear are pastel colors. These colors are bright but still have a soft tone to them. A good combination to use would be to wear bright colored shirts as the main base to your outfit, then add a little bit of darker colors to your outfit here and there. For example wearing a blue pastel shirt with some dark brown jewelry, or yellow pastel shirt with a dark green tank top underneath that shows a little bit of the color. Wearing blouses in the springtime is also a plus; it gives you that playful feel which works well in the spring. Make sure to mix the colors, picking shades that work well together, other wise it could lead to a big wardrobe disaster. Tips for Wearing Sandals Another great plus during the warmer weather is the ability to wear sandals. Bright colors on toenails do not quite fit in with the spring season. So save those bright color nail polish for the summer time. During the springtime wear neutral deep colors that will give a nice finish. For example nice plum color or forest green or deep blue will work. Colors like these will give a good balance to the rest of your spring outfit. Knowing Your Seasons When looking in the closet to select your wardrobe, ask yourself, "Does this work for the feel of spring?" Get into the habit of knowing what will work and what does not work for different seasons of the year. Every season you can look fantastic and chic! Start now to get in the rhythm of knowing what to wear each season. declare your summer independence from blow dryers, straighteners, and curling irons today. It's difficult to maintain heat-it-to-achieve-it styles in the summer. The sun is scorching hot and washing your hair becomes more frequent. Thermal styling tools can give you an instant look, but constant heat styling can thin and damage natural, color- and chemically-treated hair.  Let your hair cool off by trying alternative no- to- low heat methods for volume, texture, or sleekness. .Flip your hair upside down using a paddle brush, smoothing the back of your hair from the nape to the front (Optional: For extra hold, lightly spritz your hair with alcohol-free hairspray) When you use your heat styling tools less, your strands get a chance to breathe. Challenge yourself to give up heat for two weeks and evaluate your hair.  If it hasn't been severely damaged by heat, you may notice that your hair looks and feels healthier and stronger. Each low-to-no heat method requires less stress on your hair and an overall healthy approach to your styling routine. Spend the rest of summer working on your tan, and not your hair. Eliminate Puffy Eyes Before you wash your face in the mornings, use a cue tip to lightly dab a very small amount of aloe vera gel (revered for its healing, anti-inflammatory, and cooling properties) over your eyes. Leave the gel on your eyes for five to ten minutes and then wash your face with your regular cleanser. You will you feel instantly refreshed and your eyes will look brighter and more youthful. The late-night puffiness around your eyes will begin to disappear. Good morning, Sunshine! Banish Rough Skin To remedy dry and cracked skin, formulate your own brown sugar scrub body treatment. The natural glycolic acid found in sugar works to gently slough off dead skin cells to reveal brighter skin. massage your sugar scrub to dampened skin. To lock in moisture, towel-pat dry and apply your lotion while your skin is slightly damp. Save your skin from damaging sun rays with a generous amount of sunscreen. Nothing can wreak havoc on your skin like sun damage. a sunscreen with SPF 15 may allow you to stay in the sun for 150 minutes without getting burned. However, even if you use sunscreen, try to chill in the shade for most of the day and feel fabulous in a big floppy hat for maximum skin protection. Your hair may be fighting the common hair cold right now- dryness, breakage, and dullness- due to the harsh weather. balance of protein and moisture in your hair. When the moisture and protein levels in your hair are in sync, you will notice less breakage, length retention, and an overall increase in the health of your hair. If your hair is hard, rough, or brittle you may need a deep conditioning treatment. This will help you restore softness to your hair and smooth your cuticle, the outermost layer of your hair strand.  When applying a deep conditioning treatment, try to use a conditioner that is water-based and contains at least one humectant.  Any product that lists humectants- propylene glycol, honey, glycerin- and water at the top of their ingredient list will work best to help your hair stay soft and moisturized. No More Weather Hair Worries When rain arrives unexpectedly, you aren't running to find shelter or making a make-shift umbrella out of a newspaper or your purse. You can play in the rain without worrying about you kinky hair getting ruined. Even in humidity, you can tie your hair back and let the humidity amplify your curls and get unbelievable volume. Curly girls who don't enjoy frizz or undefined curls can still leave the house and venture into high-humidity weather. Just be sure to apply a silicone-free styling serum on dry hair to keep your curls in sync. Your Facial Features Pop Some women with more traditional African features -full lips, broad nose, and high cheekbones- can appear more youthful with curly hair than straight hair. Flat hair can make these facial features seem larger than they actually are, and hide its true beauty. Shorter, tightly curled hair seems to defy gravity when worn out in an Afro style. It "lifts" the face and draws more attention to the eyes and cheekbones. You Become Healthier many times have you heard, "I know I need to go to the gym, but I don't want to mess up my hair"? When you wear your hair curly, you don't have to make the choice of having either a great head of hair or a great body. Let's be honest, your hair needs more than the perfect shampoo and conditioner. To give you hair optimum health, you have to eat right and exercise. When you have naturally curly hair, you no longer worry about your hair "reverting" when you sweat from a work-out. To freshen your curls after the gym, you can water-rinse or cleanse you hair with a sulfate-free shampoo. You Can Experiment with Color When you let your natural tresses roam free and treat it with care, you can experiment with more color without worrying about double-processing your hair with chemicals or daily doses of heat. If you apply heat on a daily basis or wear a relaxer, adding another hair-altering chemical like color to the mix can be a recipe for dryness and breakage. Even with chemical-free hair, color can still be damaging.  Look for alternative and gentler coloring options like Henna or semi-permanent glosses. Maintain a healthier head of hair with color by putting the relaxer away, and treating your hair with nourishing products formulated for color-treated hair.Running to the salon every few weeks to tame those "unruly roots" is no longer your concern. Salon chemical and hair straightening services can cost upwards of fifty dollars per visit. Now that you've embraced the beauty of your bouncy ringlets, your wallet is packed with extra cash. Indulge your hair with at-home nourishing treatments using deep conditioners and essential oils. The next time you see a woman with an eye-catching hair style or lustrous curls, give her a compliment. Whether you have a spouse to give you roses or not, give yourself a love letter this month that highlights every feature you love to play up, make your hair one of your favorite features. Whether your hair is short or long, curly or straight, it is beautiful and deserves to feel loved. The New Year is your time to shine. Your hair should be no exception. If you need more products just to fake a healthy appearance from split ends, dullness, or limp hair, January may be the perfect time to start over.  A healthy hair goal can be achieved if you start with the right plan.  Trim Your Ends Get rid of split, frayed, and heat-damaged ends with a professional trim. Your hair cannot look its best when damaged ends are getting all of the attention.  A trim can be anywhere from one-fourth of an inch to two inches, depending on the amount of damage. If you are apprehensive about getting a trim, you can do minimal shaping each month. However, eventually all the damaged ends will need to be cut off. Once damaged ends are removed, your hair will instantly look fuller, smoother, and healthier. Categorize your products (shampoos, conditioners, styling crème, etc.) and select one from each that works the best for your hair. The products that you do not select can be given away to friends, thrown out, or saved for the summer time. With a simple selection of tried and true products, your hair can be pampered and nourished with the correct products that work best on your hair. Commit to a Hair Care Schedule Consistently bathe your hair in deep conditioning, hot oil, and protein treatments. Your hair type and needs will determine how often you should do each treatment. There should be a healthy balance of protein and moisture to promote softer and stronger strands. Have a trusted stylist evaluate your hair. He or she will be able to help you commit to a healthy hair care schedule and help decide what healthy hair practices would work best for you.Handle Hair with Care Now that you are fully invested into your customized healthy hair journey, be gentle to your strands. Avoid styles that pull at the scalp and edges of your hair. The corners of your eyes should not meet at your scalp line. Instead, style your hair into loose, chic ponytails and buns. Keep hair manipulation low, only using proper combs and brushes sparingly and gently to detangle and style hair. Always moisturize and protect the ends of your hair to minimize split ends.  Treat your hair with care, and it will flourish throughout the New Year. Curly hair has been called many names: beautiful, unique, unkempt, trendy, unprofessional, rebellious, romantic, lustrous, and the list goes on. Within the past five years, major hair companies have realized that curly hair is also very "marketable". When you listen to your hair and notice what it likes, your curly hair can become synonymous with another word - healthy.You are mingling at a party and in walks a bombshell in a fitted jacket, the best pair of skinny jeans you have seen, a head full of luscious curls, and a confident laugh that fills the room.  You immediately envy the stillettoed goddess.  improve your look and overall confidence.  With minor changes and implementing the following "secrets" you will have the tools to always feel confident and look and your best. Wear Your Favorite Outfit When you like what you are wearing your confidence level rises.  However, there are a few fashion tips you want to keep in mind.  Tailored waistlines on dresses or jackets create slimming effects and pencil skirts hide upper leg blemishes and highlight calves.  Black is always slimming but spice it up with red accents (scarf, shoes, jewelry).  Highlight your best feature to feel extra sexy. Hair Is Important Many women overlook the importance of a well coiffed do.  This year, to the benefit of all women, volume and curls are in.  Try using hot rollers because they are easy to use, quick, and will not damage your hair.  They create a loose curl that softens any look.  Leave your hair down.  If this drives you crazy, use a decorative clip to sweep up a side.  If you don't have rollers, use a curling iron to add volume and curls to your tresses. The Arsenal Of Beauty Secrets These are wonderful beauty weapons used by many Hollywood stars. Most women are so good at these "tricks" that the result appears to be natural. Non Make-up Wearers You are blessed to have a fresh clean look naturally.  For a special event, it is nice to wear a minimal amount of make-up for a more formal look.  If you don't wear make-up, mascara and lip-gloss will enhance your look.  Fake Eyelashes Fake eyelashes are a great way to widen the eye and create a come-hither look.  The packs with sections or individual lashes rather than the full strip are easier to apply and look more natural.  Apply them to the outer corner of your eye following the natural lash line.  It will add a little length and enhance the look of the eye. Curly hair is a commitment, a long-term relationship. It is more prone to splitting up, as in split ends. It is constantly changing its mood, one day it's a poof, then it's a tangled nightmare. Style & Class Let's face it baggy jeans, baggy t-shirts, and over-sized flannels are not stylish. Anything that may fall into that category needs to be removed from your closet now! Also remove anything that is too tight. Clothes that are too tight are never in style however, don't confuse fitted with too tight. Confidence is Fashion There is nothing more sexy to a man than a woman that walks into the room with confidence. Make sure that whatever it is your wearing you feel great in it. Whether you are running errands or going out you should always feel confident in what you are wearing. The 4 Must-Haves A fitted jacket is essential this fall. Whether you are wearing it with your dress slacks to work or with your trendy worn jeans, a fitted jacket is a must have! Fitted Jacket For the tall and slim- Military jacket For the athletic build- tattered Levi jacket For the curvy- lightweight trench Tall Boots Tall boots make heads turn. You will want to splurge on this buy and ensure that you are getting good quality. They are great for the office or for a night out on the town. For the office put on a pair of tights with a skirt and for the night out leave the tights at home. The Perfect Pair of Jeans Every woman should have a pair of jeans that shape her figure, gives her comfort and builds her confidence. For this fall go for a fitted boot cut with embellishment on the back pockets or for the tall and slim woman go with the skinny jean and tuck them in your tall boots. Large Leather Hobo Handbag With the chill in the air a large hobo is needed. It will carry all your normal hand bag items like your wallet, phone, water bottle, ect. You can put a scarf and gloves in there too. To keep it stylish go with something that has a rock star edge to it. Just remember to control the amount of rock star. Shop around for the perfect hobo for you. Remember that every woman has a unique body shape. Take the fashion forecast and make it your own. Put your own unique spin on everything that you wear and remember to just be you! Fall is a great season to try out new colors. Now that we know the models wearing the colors are not perfect, hopefully we will feel a bit more adventurous with fall trends! You are just as beautiful as these models, so embrace your uniqueness, and remember they make you who you are. You are beautiful and unique. Every laugh line that is etched on your face should be treasured, every wrinkle, and every scar should be worn with proud. All those things have made you who you are today, and with that, you should be proud. Eyeshadow, Blush, & Lipstick This season, we are seeing lots of purples and grays on lids.  These eye shadows have a ton of varying shades, so there is definitely one that is guaranteed to look fabulous on you.  Maybe even more than one!  These shades work with all eye colors, so do not be afraid to experiment.  With all the focus on eyes and lips, you can take it easy on the blush. Shoes shoes shoes fabulous shoes Shades of roses and mochas will match these shadows fabulously, and keep you looking fall fresh. For lips, try shades of berries and reds. mascara and lip-glosses.  Used mascara's can be very irritating to the delicate eye area, and lip-glosses can harbor unwanted bacteria.  Lipsticks can be cleaned with a quick swipe of alcohol.  Clean all eye shadows, swiping a tissue with alcohol over the shadow or the cream shadow.  Also be careful.
ORG          RADIO        E-MAGAZINE
Enlighten. Empower. Esteem.
The Power of Thoughts
By: Joan Breiner & Susyn Reeve
Adapted from "The Inspired Life: Unleashing Your Mind's Capacity for Joy" 2011 © Copyright

All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
The mind is everything.  What we think we become.
~ Siddhartha Gautama Buddha

As a child your thoughts about yourself and the world were formed from the messages you heard, interpreted, and believed from the important and influential people in your life.

For example, if you were continually made fun of by classmates and not invited to play with them when you were a child, you have probably developed low self-esteem and disempowered thought patterns regarding friends and social situations.  As a result, as an adult, obsessive thinking reflecting these patterns may automatically surface in social gatherings where you experience anxiety, fear, and nervousness based on thoughts like:

- People don't like me.
- I was only invited because they had to invite me.
- Nobody's going to talk to me.
- I don't know what to say.

An inspired mind knows these thoughts are simply thoughts, and, although they may be dominant, they can be changed!  Creating new neuro-pathway connections, patterns, and habits requires:

- an embodied vision and intention,
- desire reflected in your feelings and emotional energy,
- committing to a conscious choice,
- taking consistent action,
- acknowledging and celebrating the journey.

The challenge you face in creating new brain pathways is that as humans we are used to operating on automatic and are most often asleep to the thoughts we are thinking.  Just as the majority of us are asleep to the software programs that operate or electronic gadgets!

How do you wake up and become aware of the thoughts that form your beliefs, about how you feel about yourself given that you think thousands of thoughts each and every day?  And how do you create new brain pathways to nurture and nourish you vision of an inspired life?

The answer is:  You identify your current dominant thoughts and makeup, yes makeup, new thoughts that support the inspired life and vibrant self esteem that you desire!  This awareness and commitment to action and consistent focus allows you to upgrade and install new patterns of thinking.

Published Esteem Yourself  © Copyright

Do You Love You?
By: Joan Breiner & Susyn Reeve

One of the biggest challenges people face in their relationships begins with their relationship with themselves.  This self esteem activity directs you to wake-up to your relationship with yourself and you may be surprised at the impact this has on the other relationships in your life.

There comes a time when you have to stand up and shout:
This is me!
I look the way I look, think the way I think, feel the way I feel,
love the way I love!  I am a whole complex package.
Take me... or leave me.
Accept me - or walk away!
Do not try to make me feel like less of a person,
just because I don't fit your idea of who I should be
and don't try to change me to fit your mold.
If I need to change, I alone will make that decision.
When you are strong enough to love yourself 100%, good and bad -
you will be amazed at the opportunities that life presents you.
~ Stacey Charter

Do you love and accept you?

Our relationship with ourselves forms the blueprint for all the relationships in our life.  To the degree that you judge yourself you will judge others.  To the degree that you accept yourself you will accept others.

If you have been attempting to change the world around you in order to experience greater peace and joy, then you have been directing your attention to the wrong place.  To make changes in your life - you must begin with your relationship with yourself.  Start today, love and accept yourself.

Self Esteem Activity:
Accepting and Loving Yourself

* Complete the Inspired Life Exercise: How to Love Yourself

* Make time each day to cultivate a loving relationship with yourself - in your thoughts, words and actions - making a list of what you are grateful for; acknowledging your accomplishments; identifying the gift in the challenges you experience (Not sure how to do this, then make it up!); when you look at yourself in the mirror declare aloud (allowed), I Love You!

* When you hear yourself being judgmental about yourself - STOP - acknowledge yourself for noticing and have a new thought.

* What do you notice when you consciously focus your attention on accepting and loving yourself?

Monthy Power Statement:
As I cultivate a loving and accepting relationship with myself, my heart opens and I am more loving and accepting of others.

Published Esteem Yourself  © Copyright

Say Yes to Your Inspired Life
By: Joan Breiner & Susyn Reeve

Adapted from "The Inspired Life: Unleashing Your Mind's Capacity for Joy" 2011 © Copyright

There are many names for and descriptions of the times we are living in.  Some consider this to be a New Age, others the Age of Aquarius.  To some it is the End Times with doomsday quickly approaching.  Some believe the end of the Mayan Calendar is simply an astronomical occurrence while others define it as the end of civilization as we know it; still others say while it marks an end, it is a gateway to a new beginning of peace and cooperation among all peoples.

Whatever you may believe, isn't now the time to enrich your life by affirming and committing to your inspired life vision, grounded in vibrant self esteem?  At the very least, living your vision offers you the possibility of greater joy, fulfillment and happiness.  And, at best, as you put your stake in the ground for living a more peaceful and loving life, your consciousness generating your actions contributes to the collective consciousness, and love grows and peace expands for all.

Life is a sum of all your choices.
- Albert Camus

So as the New Year approaches are you ready to live an inspired life rooted in the sacred union of your body-mind-spirit, grounded in your inspired life vision, and reflected in your thoughts, words, and actions?  It all begins with making a choice, declaring, "Yes, I choose to live an inspired life."

This is an empowering choice.  So heed this cautionary note:  When you make this choice, it is possible, actually most likely, that in addition to experiencing greater joy, happiness, peace and self-worth, you will initially encounter distress, frustration, turmoil, emotional pain, sadness, and anxiety.  This is natural and normal.  It is the process of your personal blocks and obstacles to living an inspired life - your ego-mind resistance - coming to the surface of your conscious awareness, presenting you with the choice to evolve beyond these patterns of the past.

When your fears and beliefs - I'm not good enough, I'm unworthy, I'm not loved, I'm powerless, etc. - meet the light of your awareness you then have the opportunity to acknowledge them and use them as a springboard to upgrade the software of your mind, transforming your identity to I am worthy, I am loving, I am valuable, I am loved, etc...

Living an inspired life requires:
An understanding of the creative process - what it is, how it works, and your part in it.
A clear vision to serve as a beacon - you North Star.
The courageous choice to acknowledge and transform all the beliefs that are at odds with your vision.
Taking radical responsibility for the thoughts you think, the words you speak, and the actions your take.
A conscious connection with Source Energy, God, the Greater Field of Life as your co-creative partner.
Make the choice today, right now, to live an inspired life.
Published Esteem Yourself  © Copyright

Exercise Your Self Esteem Muscle - The Power of Choice
By: Joan Breiner & Susyn Reeve

Humans are decision making animals. From the moment you wake up until the moment you fall asleep you make choices: what to wear, what to eat, what to do. You are making choices, making decisions, consciously and unconsciously, all the time.  Unfortunately many people operate unconsciously regarding the role they play in creating their life. Many people suffering with low self-esteem often believe they have no choice in how they ultimately feel about themselves. This is just not so!

You have the power to change your thoughts which will transform how you feel and behave - how you experience life.  The sooner you realize that you are responsible for your own happiness - no other person, material possession or external condition can make you happy or unhappy - the sooner you can consciously choose thoughts that support your positive self-esteem and self-confidence.  Unfortunately many of us do just the opposite, we make choices that lead us to criticize the way we do things.

Choosing thoughts that support your well-being requires awareness of the thoughts you are thinking that detract from your feeling good about yourself.

The first step is to notice when you are being critical and judgmental of yourself. Then make the choice to strengthen your neuro-pathways that supports positive self-esteem by choosing new thoughts and focusing your attention on them.

Every time you shift your thinking and choose to be happy, you upgrade the software of your mind. You send a clear message to your brain that says:

"I am in control of my happiness."
"I am a success!"

Remember: Be patient with yourself. Changing your habit of negative thinking takes time. Experts contend that it takes between 21 - 40 days to develop a habit and when you shift your thinking you are building a new habit.  When practicing using new thoughts, allow yourself time for a new habit to be generated by using consistent regular practice.

This does not mean that there won't be times when you are confronted with your fears of failure or success, or that you won't on occasion, question your ability. What it does mean is that as soon as you notice you are feeling less than or not enough you will:

Be awake and acknowledge your feelings.

Identify the thoughts that result in your feelings of low self-esteem. (What are you telling yourself      
              about yourself and the situation?)

Shift your attention to thoughts supporting positive self-esteem.

Here are some quick tips for building self-esteem.

- When faced with a situation that feels fearful and confusing - Ask yourself - "What do I want to  
            have happen in this situation?" This will turn your focus on what you want - rather than on what         
             you do not want.

- When you are feeling stuck, depressed or unhappy - ask yourself - What can I do right now that 
            supports my greatness, happiness and joy?  Then, do it. Keep a list handy of the people, places,
            things and activities that bring you pleasure when you think about them or when you do them.

Remember: Improving self-esteem is like developing a muscle. The more you exercise it the stronger it becomes. The muscle in this case is your brain's neuro-pathways that support empowered thinking.

Published Esteem Yourself  © Copyright

Cultivating Healthy Self-Esteem
By: Joan Breiner & Susyn Reeve

What is self-esteem? Quite simply self-esteem is what you think, believe and feel about yourself.   It affects every aspect of your life. While everyone has self-esteem not everyone has healthy self-esteem. 

Healthy self-esteem means that you continually make choices in your thoughts and actions that are aligned with and support your values, peace of mind and your dreams. Cultivating healthy self-esteem is a process, not something you develop overnight. You can think of it like a muscle that requires regular exercise to be strengthened and maintained.  

To activate this process you must:
Understand how your brain works and the impact of your thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
Recognize that you are the author of your life and that your mindset directly influences your destiny.
Accept radical responsibility for your mindset making choices that are consciously generated from your values, dreams and goals. Develop the skills necessary to upgrade the software of your mind to shift your thinking to promote healthy self-esteem.
How does your human brain work? Your brain is composed of approximately one hundred billion nerve cells, called neurons. Neurons have the capacity to gather and transmit electrochemical signals creating neuro-pathways. When you initially learn something the pathway or connection is weak. The more frequently you think a specific thought and practice a particular behavior the stronger the brain pathway becomes, forming an automatic habit of thinking and action.
Think about when you first learned to ride a bicycle. You had to consciously pay attention to staying balanced, keeping your eyes on the road, holding onto the handlebars and steering in your desired direction. Then the more you practiced the stronger your bicycle riding pathways became.

Eventually you were able to get on your bike and ride without thinking. You were operating on automatic. A strong bicycle-riding brain neuro- pathway had been created as though new software had been uploaded and was seamlessly operating in your mind.

Your brain works the same way in forming how you think about yourself - your self-esteem. As a child your thoughts about yourself are formed from the messages you heard, believed and internalized from the important and influential people in your life.

For example, if you were continually made fun of by classmates and not invited to play with them when you were a child, you have probably developed a low self-esteem thought pattern regarding friends and social situations. As a result, as an adult, obsessive thinking reflecting these thought patterns, may automatically surface in social gatherings where you experience anxiety, fear and nervousness based on thoughts like:

People don't like me.
I was only invited to this party because they had to.
Nobody's going to talk to me.
I don't know what to say.

These beliefs form your dominant thought pattern.  They are a habit of thinking, operating on automatic that trigger, consciously or unconsciously your feelings and reactions to the circumstances of your life.

Research has shown that dominant thoughts can be changed.  You can change your thoughts, feelings and behaviors with consistent regular practice.  It is the same as learning a new skill. Learning takes time, practice and patience.  It is generally agreed that it takes 30 to 40 days of consistent regular practice to "install" a new habit and create a new brain pathway.  
The challenge you face in creating new brain pathways is that humans are used to operating on automatic and are generally asleep to the thoughts they are thinking.  So, how do you wake up and become aware of the thoughts that form what you think and how you feel about yourself given that you think thousands of thoughts each and every day? 

You start by noticing your feelings since your feelings are generated by your thoughts. You then ask yourself, "When I am feeling (name your feeling), what thoughts am I thinking (name your thoughts)?"  With this conscious awareness of your thoughts you then ask yourself:

Do these thoughts support healthy self-esteem?
Am I empowered or disempowered by these thoughts?

If you are disempowered by your thoughts you can now choose new thoughts, creating new brain pathways that are aligned with your values and dreams and support your healthy self-esteem.  Some healthy self-esteem generating thoughts are:

I choose the thoughts that I think.
I have access to the support and resources to live a satisfying and fulfilling life.
I am the author of my experience through the thoughts that I think.
I am confident.
I embody healthy self-esteem.

Remember:  The very act of noticing your thoughts and taking action to change them is empowering. This sends a strong message to the brain that says "I am a person who is in control of my thoughts. I consciously choose the thoughts I think and how I react to life's circumstances.

Follow these steps to cultivate healthy self-esteem brain pathways:

1.When you notice you are having an empowered thought, stop for a moment and congratulate yourself. This acknowledgment reinforces your healthy self-esteem brain pathway.
2.When you notice you are having a disempowered thought, stop and acknowledge yourself for noticing. Take a deep breath and say, "I am responsible for my life and right now, I choose to love and accept myself."  Then empower yourself with actions that generate good feelings (exercise, talking with a friend,  acknowledging your accomplishments, helping someone, singing, dancing, etc…).  This strengthens your healthy self-esteem neuro-pathways.

You're now on your way to cultivating healthy self-esteem.

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