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How to build self confidence

How to build self confidence | Cultural Trendz |

You want to be confident and feel confident, but what if you're starting with little or no confidence? How do you get from Point A to Point B? True self-confidence isn't an overnight acquisition. It takes dedication to realize you are a good human being that is worthy of respect and love.

Building Self Confidence

1. Recognize your insecurities. What does that voice in the back of your mind say? What makes you uncomfortable or ashamed of yourself? This could be anything from acne, to regrets, friends at school or a past traumatic or negative experience. Whatever is making you feel unworthy, ashamed, or inferior, identify it, give it a name, and write it down. You can also tear these written pieces to start feeling positive on those points.

2. Talk about it with friends and loved ones. Wear it on your sleeve. Each day you should chip away at it; wear it down. There's no quick fix. Get to the root of the problem; focus on it and understand that you need to resolve each issue before you can move on. Check if it's an old past emotion and if it is really still relevant or applicable in your life today. And that doesn't mean you have to get rid of whatever makes you feel bad (many times, you simply can't). You need to learn to accept yourself, your past, your circumstances as they are, without necessarily thinking of them as "bad".

3. Bounce back from your mistakes. Remember that no one is perfect. Even the most confident people have insecurities. At some point in any of our lives, we may feel we lack something. That is reality. Learn that life is full of bumps down the road. And that often these insecure feelings come and go, depending on where we are, who we are with, the mood we're in, how we are feeling. In other words, they are not constant.

4. Identify your successes. Everyone is good at something, so discover the things at which you excel, then focus on your talents. Give yourself permission to take pride in them. Give yourself credit for your successes. Inferiority is a state of mind in which you've declared yourself a victim. Do not allow yourself to be victimized. Express yourself, whether it's through art, music, writing, etc. Find something you enjoy. Everyone is born with talents and strengths. You can develop and excel in yours. If it's difficult to name two or three things you have some ability in or just plain love to do, think about things others do that you would like to do too and take some lessons or join an enthusiasts club. When you're following your passion, not only will it have a therapeutic effect, but you'll feel unique and accomplished, all of which can help build your self confidence. Plus, adding a variety of interests to your life will not only make you more confident, but it will increase your chances of meeting compatible friends!

5. Be thankful for what you have. A lot of the times, at the root of insecurity and lack of confidence is a feeling of not having enough of something, whether it's emotional validation, good luck, money, etc. By acknowledging and appreciating what you do have, you can combat the feeling of being incomplete and unsatisfied. Finding that inner peace will do wonders for your confidence.

Vilma Bonilla's insight:

A great read that provides some very simple steps to build on. I like the pics too. ~ V.B.


***Click on the image or title above to see the original post that contains entire 12 steps. I only posted five of them here.

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13 things mentally strong people don’t do

13 things mentally strong people don’t do | Cultural Trendz |

Mentally strong people have healthy habits. They manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in ways that set them up for success in life. Check out these things that mentally strong people don’t do so that you too can become more mentally strong.

1. They Don’t Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves

Mentally strong people don’t sit around feeling sorry about their circumstances or how others have treated them. Instead, they take responsibility for their role in life and understand that life isn’t always easy or fair.

2. They Don’t Give Away Their Power

They don’t allow others to control them, and they don’t give someone else power over them. They don’t say things like, “My boss makes me feel bad,” because they understand that they are in control over their own emotions and they have a choice in how they respond.

3. They Don’t Shy Away from Change

Mentally strong people don’t try to avoid change. Instead, they welcome positive change and are willing to be flexible. They understand that change is inevitable and believe in their abilities to adapt.

4. They Don’t Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control

You won’t hear a mentally strong person complaining over lost luggage or traffic jams. Instead, they focus on what they can control in their lives. They recognize that sometimes, the only thing they can control is their attitude.

5. They Don’t Worry About Pleasing Everyone

Mentally strong people recognize that they don’t need to please everyone all the time. They’re not afraid to say no or speak up when necessary. They strive to be kind and fair, but can handle other people being upset if they didn’t make them happy.

6. They Don’t Fear Taking Calculated Risks

They don’t take reckless or foolish risks, but don’t mind taking calculated risks. Mentally strong people spend time weighing the risks and benefits before making a big decision, and they’re fully informed of the potential downsides before they take action.

7. They Don’t Dwell on the Past

Mentally strong people don’t waste time dwelling on the past and wishing things could be different. They acknowledge their past and can say what they’ve learned from it. However, they don’t constantly relive bad experiences or fantasize about the glory days. Instead, they live for the present and plan for the future.

8. They Don’t Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over

Mentally strong people accept responsibility for their behavior and learn from their past mistakes. As a result, they don’t keep repeating those mistakes over and over. Instead, they move on and make better decisions in the future.

9. They Don’t Resent Other People’s Success

Mentally strong people can appreciate and celebrate other people’s success in life. They don’t grow jealous or feel cheated when others surpass them. Instead, they recognize that success comes with hard work, and they are willing to work hard for their own chance at success.

10. They Don’t Give Up After the First Failure

Mentally strong people don’t view failure as a reason to give up. Instead, they use failure as an opportunity to grow and improve. They are willing to keep trying until they get it right.

11. They Don’t Fear Alone Time

Mentally strong people can tolerate being alone and they don’t fear silence. They aren’t afraid to be alone with their thoughts and they can use downtime to be productive. They enjoy their own company and aren’t dependent on others for companionship and entertainment all the time but instead can be happy alone.

12. They Don’t Feel the World Owes Them Anything

Mentally strong people don’t feel entitled to things in life. They weren’t born with a mentality that others would take care of them or that the world must give them something. Instead, they look for opportunities based on their own merits.

13. They Don’t Expect Immediate Results

Whether they are working on improving their health or getting a new business off the ground, mentally strong people don’t expect immediate results. Instead, they apply their skills and time to the best of their ability and understand that real change takes time.

Vilma Bonilla's insight:

Good list of bad habits to avoid.

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Financial planners say the darndest things

Financial planners say the darndest things | Cultural Trendz |

Sometimes money managers will go to any lengths to make people pay attention. Here's a few ways to get ahead of them.

“Do you believe in assisted suicide?”

This is the question a respected financial adviser chooses to ask? It is – and there’s method to this apparent madness.

This is a real-life tactic used by a veteran financial planner to get his clients to face the fact that they are spending too much and putting their financial health in jeopardy.

He was just fighting fire with fire. Bizarrely, his clients would frequently tell him that their overspending was okay because they expected to die young. Common sense didn’t work, the adviser found, so he took to asking the client's wife the question about assisted suicide, as a way to make them recognize the absurdity of their free-spirited approach. To another client, whose male relatives had all died before the age of 76, he quipped, “So, at 76, I have to kill you?”

A good financial planner, like a good parent, has our best interests at heart. And just like our parents, they know that tough love is sometimes needed to get us to understand when we’re tempted to behave in a deeply stupid manner.

As any parent knows, just telling us when we’re doing something wrong isn’t enough. We have to understand this for ourselves in order to act on it.
How to show your money some tough love

While it helps to have an advisor on hand who will provide a reality check and help us rein in our worst instincts, we don't need someone to yell at us. We can create these "eureka" moments for ourselves, too.

The key is to develop ways to challenge our own assumptions and preconceptions. Some of them sound pretty basic, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to be helpful.
Money is finite

First, take the time to do some basic math calculations, suggests Harold Evensky, who has been advising wealthy families for decades. If your portfolio goes down 15% this year, you’ll need a lot more than a 15% gain to get back to where you were (much less to where you should be). A guaranteed 5% return each year for 10 years might sound fabulous today, but after taxes, in a higher-rate environment and if inflation climbs, you could end up losing money in real terms.

Try a “what if” scenario, like the one above. What if interest rates rise, or a company’s growth rate falters? What will I do if the stock market suddenly nosedives? If you think through strategies ahead of time, your emotions are less likely to take over and cause you to make a foolish decision.
Wrinkles and bills

Imagine yourself in the future. Allianz Global Investors realized that younger clients saw saving for retirement almost as putting money aside for someone else – a future self that they couldn’t relate to – to spend. So Allianz created a time machine: a way to help someone imagine those future selves, and show how their spending and savings decisions might affect that future outcome.

Doing this at home might be as simple as letting yourself daydream about your ideal retirement – and then stepping back to ask, pragmatically, whether the day to day financial decisions you’re making are leading you in that direction or somewhere far less appealing.
Snap out of it

Find a way to get some perspective. Keith Newcomb’s clients, a wealthy couple in their 70s, were balking at the cost of purchasing long-term care insurance. Their rationale: they could pay the bills out of their own pocket. Newcomb conceded they were right, adding they could also afford to completely replace their home and its contents, including artwork. “So let’s cancel your homeowner’s insurance! You’re more likely to have a big long-term care bill than your house is to burn down.” After telling Newcomb that he was insane, the client paused, pondered and had her "eureka" moment.

To put some of these strategies to work – and develop a few of your own – the key is to draw up a list of questions today that you can turn to later on, when you have to make a specific financial decision.

If you know in your gut that you’re not saving enough, you might program your calendar to ask you once a month not whether you’ve put money into your IRA (then you're just nagging yourself), but how you feel about living in a double-wide trailer when you’re 80. Prone to impulse spending? Put a note in your wallet beside the credit cards: “I’m spending the money that I’ll need to pay a heating bill when I’m 75.” Or whatever it takes to make you think twice.

I’m pretty sure that we all know what we should be doing to improve our finances. But if playing a few mental tricks on yourself means that you'll actually go out and do it, well, you have no excuse not to.

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How to deal with criticism and the different types of critics

How to deal with criticism and the different types of critics | Cultural Trendz |

Blogs are mainly surrounded by a friendly community of like-minded individuals. They are a powerful way for building relationships and making friends. We all know this and I’ve probably said it dozens of times before. On the other hand everyone who is blogging for more than a month or two has most likely come across a phenomenon called criticism.

That is not at all something new in our lives. Most people probably met it as early as in their childhood. And it didn’t come with bad intentions at all. In fact it was meant to protect us from making mistakes or help us stop doing them. Although sometimes a similar story, being criticized is a bit different when it comes to blogging.

From my blogging experience of over five months I can divide blog critics into three main categories:

*     The Unsuccessful Hater – Undoubtedly the worst type of critics you can come across. In most cases those are the lazy ones – bloggers (if they can even be called so) who have tried all types of ways to minimize their efforts and make cash on ‘autopilot’. Instead of putting efforts and reaping the benefits in the end, they have wasted tons of cash on systems that never work. All in all their main motivator to criticize is envy.

*    The Guy who Actually Wants to Help You – Criticism is not always a bad thing. There are basically two types of it – constructive criticism and criticism just for the sake of it. Yes, we are talking about the first one in that case. There’s not much to say about those types of folks. Their words might not always seem positive but they are actually trying to help.

*    The Plain Pessimist - The concept here is a bit different from the two previous categories. Those are the guys who always do their best to find even the smallest flaws in the system. They just fail to see the good even when it outshines the bad by a lot. If asked they probably won’t be able to give you a good reason for their criticism. They are the true embodiment of criticism just for the sake of it.

Overall whatever you say about them, I doubt that many like those critics’. No matter what their intention, who wouldn’t prefer a positive comment instead! Now that you know the different types of critics, you would probably want to know what to do when you stumble upon them. That’s exactly the purpose of the next few paragraphs. Stick around!

Look Through Their Perspective First

Your initial reaction when you see a comment of that kind would be to delete it. Not so fast! Take a minute or two to rethink the whole situation. The first thing that comes to your mind is not always what you really need to do. The criticism might not seem justifiable from your point of view, but remember that outside visitors often have a better overlook. After all the blog is yours and you are not totally unbiased, while for a random critic it’s the opposite.

Always Reply Politely

When there is nothing to back up the words of criticism thrown at you, emotions might try to take over. Don’t let them! A rude reply is only going to make things worse. It shows that you just can’t handle the situation. And that can have a big negative impact on the way people look at you. Ignoring the comment is not a good solution as well. So take a deep breath, relax, go there and say why you don’t agree – politely. Nothing more!

Removing Negative Comments is a No-No

Keep in mind that the difference between a spam comment and a negative one is huge. The first doesn’t add any value to the discussion and its main purpose is in most cases a free backlink. Negative comments on the other hand can be a great way to keep the discussion going. As long as no profanity is involved, you should keep those comments intact. Everyone has an opinion and whether positive or not he must be free to express it.

Have you ever been criticized? If so, which type of critic have you come across? Share your ways of dealing with criticism – what to do and what not to do!

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