How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

In my last article, we explored the power of charisma to attract and inspire. When you connect with your charismatic nature, you shine with a light that is irresistible to the people around you. However, sometimes we inadvertently disconnect from that light by engaging in self-defeating behaviors that dim our sparkle and leave us feeling lousy.

One way to immediately lose touch with your charisma is by comparing yourself to others. Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy,” and boy, was he right! When you compare, you engage in a thought pattern that wreaks havoc with your self-image and takes away your inner light like nothing else.

The Dangers of Comparison

We live in a society that inundates us with images of other peoples’ “perfect” lives. Whether you’re flipping through a fashion magazine or scrolling through your Facebook feed, it doesn’t take much to start believing that you’re not measuring up or living as fully as you would love.

But you have to remember that you’re only ever seeing part of the picture. Fashion photography is always touched up, and your friends on social media mostly post about the good stuff. It’s impossible to know what’s really happening with other people, so when you compare yourself to their “outer world” as you see it, you’re comparing your reality against a perception that is rarely, if ever, based in fact!

Always Remember You Are Perfect

We’re all made uniquely and masterfully. When you compare yourself to others, what you’re doing is communicating the belief that you’re flawed, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with you! If you’re having a hard time believing that, try these tips:

  • Push pause on your thoughts of comparison. Don’t deny the thoughts and don’t judge them. Just accept that they’re coming up, take a breath and repeat to yourself, “I am enough, I am a beautiful being, I am unique.”
  • Focus on the truth. Ask yourself what you know to be true. Focus on your strengths and what’s good about your life. Then ask yourself how you can be your most sparkling self at this moment. How can you be your own best friend?
  • Smile at yourself. If you find yourself falling into the comparison trap, look in the mirror, wink, smile, and say, “Hi Beautiful. You’re perfect just the way you are!”

I have a client who was dating somebody on and off for quite a while. She knew she was in love with him, but they weren’t exclusive. One night, she discovered that he was out on a date with someone else. Instead of getting upset, she empowered herself by repeating this truth, “ Whoever she is, she’s not me. I am a unique, beautiful woman. I know that I am lovable and high-quality – if this is the right guy for me, he’ll see that too.”

She and that man have now been married for twenty years! Why? Because the next time they were together, she didn’t show up in an anxious, jealous headspace. She held her own, refused to fall into the comparison trap and stayed solid in who she was, which made her irresistible.

Put Your Attention on Your Intention

If you have the intention of living a fabulous life, being centered and feeling good about yourself, but you continue to let your attention go to comparison, you’re going to find it nearly impossible to close the gap between your intention and where you are now.

Direct your energy towards your intention and take steps to support yourself in achieving that goal. This will keep you moving forward and allow your beautiful, charismatic self to shine through!

Sparkling love,

Sherri

Free Yourself by Becoming More Accepting of Others

This month, we’ve been celebrating independence with a series of posts aimed at helping you free yourself from limiting thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors so that you can move forward with clarity while inviting more love, joy, and fun into your life. I know this might sound counterintuitive, but one of the best ways you can create and nurture a sense of freedom for yourself, is by learning how to accept others exactly as they are.

Loosen Your Grip

It’s very common to want our loved ones, kids, friends, siblings even strangers to say things or behave in ways that we find acceptable and pleasing. However, having those expectations often sets us up for disappointment. If you think about it, what we are saying with this expectancy is, “you have to act this way in order for me to feel ok”. No wonder many of us are upset and frustrated much of the time – with this belief we give our power away, reliant on others to create our state of being. What an emotional roller coaster!

Growing up in a family where my brother was the golden child I got into this habit, very early on, in regards to my mother’s behavior towards me. If she said something sharp or gave me the silent treatment, my entire mood would change and I’d either become quiet and hurt or angry and explosive. I desperately wanted her to treat me with the love and kindness she showed my brother. This created years of conflict.

One day, my mom was upset about something that she refused to discuss. After several frustrating attempts to get her to share what was wrong, I went outside to get some fresh air and cool down. All of a sudden I was inspired to pray with a specific question that came into my mind: What would love do?

It was like I’d gotten this immediate download from God. At that moment, I was able to see and feel what was happening for my mother emotionally; her hurts and disappointments in life. That shift allowed me to stop making it about me and my pain and move into a deep compassion for my mom that filled my heart and soul. When I walked back into the house, not only had this experience shifted me,it had changed her too. She opened up and told me what had been bothering her, and we were finally able to connect. This was the first time EVER and it was the beginning of a beautiful new relationship with my mom.

Tips for Becoming More Accepting of Others

As soon as I started accepting my mom for who she is, no matter what her behavior towards me, our relationship began to evolve. So, the next time you find yourself in that rigid place, working to change or fix another person, I encourage you to use the following tips:

  1. Take three big breaths. If someone says something that upsets you, take three big breaths before you respond. Breathing interrupts your reactive patterning and calms your central nervous system allowing you to become more neutral and peaceful. This is always a better place to come from when responding 🙂
  2. Give the other person the benefit of the doubt. Most of the time, when we find ourselves getting angry, it’s because we think something is happening to us, but it’s far more likely that whatever is going on, has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the other person. Try creating a scenario. Maybe that person just got fired, or they found out their child is sick. Imagine as many possible scenarios as you can that have nothing to do with you.
  3. Bless the other person silently. When you bless somebody, what you’re doing is sending them love, which has the power to dissipate anger energy and allow you to approach the other person with compassion. You don’t need to do this out loud, focus your mind on the blessing and send that loving energy in the other person’s direction.

Remember to ask yourself, “What would love do?” and know that by accepting your friends, partners, and family members exactly as they are, you’re not only freeing yourself from unnecessary stress, but you’re also offering them the opportunity to be authentic and vulnerable with you, which can only benefit your relationship over the long term.

xo,

Sherri

What to say to set Boundaries

march 10 article imageAre you a master at taking care of the feelings and problems of everyone else?

Are you clear about the things that are your responsibility and the things that aren’t?

Do you struggle with saying no?

If you’re reading this and saying to yourself, “yup that’s me!” you’ve probably got some challenges with setting boundaries beautiful. By the way – you are not alone! Many of the women I talk to and coach would rather twist themselves into a people pleasing pretzel than say “no” to a loved one, friend or boss.

People are so fearful of setting boundaries because they’re worried the other person involved won’t like it.

Can you relate to that?

In Dr. Henry Clouds book, When to Say Yes How to Say No, he says healthy boundaries will increase your love and save your life. Just as homeowners set physical property lines around their land, we must create mental, physical, emotional and spiritual boundaries for ourselves. Although physical boundaries are easier to see, the invisible property lines are just as real, and they define, protect and maintain your soul.

The truth is boundaries define everything! As scary as it seems, setting boundaries has the opposite effect of what we expect. Not only will you gain more respect from others, but you’ll start to respect yourself more as well!

Practice Setting Boundaries Everywhere
You can create a powerful invisible fence with your words baby. All you have to do is begin by saying “No!” Let it rip!! Feel the freedom as you honor your needs and feelings!

If you don’t like the way someone is treating you instead of taking it and becoming resentful, empower yourself by saying,

“I don’t like it when you yell at me!” or “No that behavior is not okay. I will not participate in that.” Your words let people know where you stand and gives them the “rules” of your yard.

One of my clients, Sasha, recently told me that she’d set a boundary with a parking attendant. He was speaking to her rudely and she quickly set him straight with a firm, “Don’t talk to me like that!” After that, he smiled at her and treated her totally differently.

Why? Because she’d instructed him as to how she wanted to be treated. She set a boundary and didn’t even think twice about it. Her words just naturally flowed out of her mouth and the guy responded very favorably.

Imagine what your life would be like if you set boundaries like that everywhere you went!

It’s OK if It’s Uncomfortable at First
Sasha happened to be a people pleaser. In the past, if she’d spoken up at all, she’d have felt guilty and very bad about herself. If you can relate, then setting boundaries might be uncomfortable at first. It might even continue to be uncomfortable after you’ve done it several times because building a new behavior takes time.

That was true for my client – after the incident she said, “See, I told you men love bitches.” But she wasn’t being a bitch. She was teaching him how to treat her.

Although Sasha had stepped beautifully into a new behavior (and continues to do so) the part of her that wasn’t yet fully comfortable in this new role of expression popped up to hijack her victory. We talked about it and she was able to quickly shift her perspective from feeling like what she said was bitchy to recognizing it was firmly anchored in self love and integrity.

I share this with you because the same thought might cross your mind as you begin to set appropriate boundaries at appropriate times with the appropriate people.

Don’t let the discomfort cause you to fall back into your old ways. As my fitness coach used to say, “get comfortable in the discomfort” because pushing the envelope will pay off big time.

Other people may not like it when we start to set boundaries but you know what? That’s OK. When you set boundaries, you’re honoring yourself and telling people that you value yourself. You’re telling them that you have integrity and self respect.

Setting boundaries is not about being a bitch. It’s about speaking from a place of truth and honoring as opposed to fear. Remember, you’re building a whole new persona. People will see you differently and that’s OK! You are stepping into your core diamond power bravely showing others another facet of your most magnificent Self.

3 Tips for Success in 2016!

Happy new Year

Happy New Year Dahhhhling!

We are entering into a new year – a fabulous time to dream, to blossom, to expand, to recommit to living as the Sparkling happy, fun-loving, successful (whatever that means to you) person you were born to be.

Typically this is a time to set resolutions – to make your goals. I’m going to go against the grain and invite you to forget about the ritualistic declaration of resolutions! Instead I challenge you to commit to living on the edge of your comfort zone.

You know why?

Because resolutions are ideals and without a plan it’s easy to get distracted, detoured, and drift. That can set into action some pretty brutal self-talk about not being able to get your act together to make it happen. And that leads to feeling bad about yourself. Not good!

But stepping outside your comfort zone…that involves taking ACTION! And no matter what the outcome, you can be proud of your bravery. That will build your confidence making you feel good about yourself.

And you know what?

Each step will move you closer to your dream. Voila! Pretty cool, right?

This idea of taking bold action is backed by some pretty amazing iconic females like Diane Feinstein who says the key to a happy and fulfilling life involves taking risks and stepping out of your safety zone.

She says that’s when life becomes magical and you are truly living into your genius and greatness.

As inspiring as that sounds you may be saying to yourself, “That seems kinda scary. My life may be a bit boring but routine suits me just fine – sure I may complain a bit but at least I know what to expect and I like being in control…” sound familiar?

In the spirit of this theme I am committed to speaking my truth – even if it’s a little risky -because I want to shake things up for you and nudge you in the direction of your bliss.

So here goes…living a routine life will suck your spirit dry! You’ll be parched, wilted, lifeless, dreamless with about as much energy as a sloth on a hot summer day. It’s time to follow your dreams and drink deeply from the well of the unknown. The excitement of the risk will make you feel vibrant and alive!

Now you might be thinking, “How does one do that?” Truth be told all it takes is an intention to make 2016 the year you live fully, a willingness to be open to new experiences, ready to receive all the good God wants you to have, and a commitment to bring forth consistent courage.

This means reflecting, identifying and overcoming those things that keep you in your rut. Then coming up with new behaviors and structures that are in alignment with who you want to become; the you that embraces life and all it’s opportunities; the you that is determined to look back at your life with no regrets.

Living your BEST year involves a commitment to a way of being. It’s realizing that life is full of choices and that we are each empowered to make choices that bring us the most joy, the most growth and the most fulfillment.

To get you started I want to share 3 powerful and energizing tips I learned about and took action on over the holidays.

Journaling Through the Pain

journaling picDear loveliness, when your relationship is on rocky ground it can bring about a boatload of anxiety, pain and panic. You may feel frozen or stuck, but believe it or not the upheaval is actually a wonderful invitation for growth – and when you journal, you can accelerate that growth.

If you are willing to see the situation as an opportunity to lean into your feelings and get curious instead of running from your emotions or denying they exist, you’ll gain a new perspective that will help you and your relationship shift.

Your feelings have something to say, so invite them in as though they are your best friends and have a tea party with them. Literally sit down with them, wrap them in love and listen – you will gain tremendous wisdom that will lead to your emotional freedom! And who doesn’t want that?!

I’ve experienced a lot of growth through journaling. I know it’s something that most people don’t do anymore, especially since we’re all so in love with our technology these days. But writing by hand causes different interactions in the brain.

Research highlights the hand’s unique relationship with the brain when it comes to composing thoughts and ideas. There’s also a greater sense of space when using a pen, allowing you to free flow and get it all out! Writing is, by nature, an opportunity for creativity and personal expression.

It’s the Best Therapy

Writing by hand is like free therapy – it brings emotional balance. All that it requires (other than a journal and something to write with) is that you create space and time for yourself.

Journaling can help you:

a. Define your emotions and what they mean for you
b. Release suppressed and conflicted feelings
c. Gain back clarity while being in the midst of overwhelming emotions.

Start by writing about something that’s really upsetting you. As you write about it, you’re able to openly explore and unravel the problem.

This helps you get to the heart of the matter. And it’s amazing how often the upset isn’t what you thought but instead a completely surprising “aha”! I can’t tell you how many times that happened for me – always eye-opening!

The process of journaling helps you manage your emotions and brings you into balance. How awesome is that, right? You receive new insights and perspectives as well as a lot of peace! Joyous Jingles!!

Buy a Journal That You’re Drawn To

Your journal is like your new best friend. Each page breathlessly awaits your every thought – loves, supports and adores you. No judgment. No criticism.

You’re going to be spending a lot of time with your lovely journal so you should like the way it looks. Choose something you love – that you’re drawn to; that feels good in your hands! Put it by the bedside and dedicate a certain time every day to sit down and write. Light a candle, put on music, make it like a ritual. After some time, it will become just like brushing your teeth!

The pain you feel now is temporary, dear heart, and I’d love to guide you through it. Click HERE to set up a time to chat.

12 Confidence boosters that are simple and work!

12 confidence boostersFor many years I let self-doubt, fear of being judged and criticized as well as worry about what others would think hold me back from pursuing my dreams of writing a book and living a bigger life. … and the lack of self-confidence that I needed to overcome my fear of not being good enough kept me stuck.

Sound familiar?

Most people face this faltering place at some point in their lives. The key question is: how do you overcome your fears?

What I’ve discovered is that fear is overcome with courage and action – consistent baby steps that build self-confidence and healthy self-esteem. With every step you start to believe in yourself a little more – you start to lean in and love yourself a little more – and with that you start emanating and projecting a certain magic mojo. Self-respect and confidence open up new possibilities and doors begin to open that move you in a whole new positive and exciting direction.

For me, developing my confidence is what helped me overcome my fear of not being good enough, and finally pursue my dreams.

I still have that old fear crop up sometimes. But now I know that I can beat it, that I can break through that wall of fear and come out on the other side victorious and more confident for having had the courage to try.

I’ve practiced boosting my confidence to overcome fear many times over the years, and that success fuels further success. It’s something that I now teach my coaching clients; how to build confidence and create happiness one step at a time.

It is possible, and actually exhilarating, to take control of your life by taking control of your self-confidence. When you take actions that improve your competence and your self-image, you can increase your confidence and go forward with gusto. Yeah baby!

Below, I outline 12 things that will help you instantly boost the confidence you need to move in the direction of your dreams. Self-confidence creates positive changes. Your dreams truly are attainable. By making one choice at a time, you can choose to experience all that you desire. The sky is the limit!
None of these tricks is something you don’t already know – in fact some of them are very simple. But sometimes we need a reminder because sometimes that part of us that doesn’t want to move forward likes to make things complicated so we stay stuck. Let’s change that pronto!!!

I promise you that as you take new actions, your results will change. By making new choices frequently you will develop new habits. And, fresh habits will change the fabric of your life so that it unfolds in new and exciting ways. These 12 tricks are some of my favorite things, stuff that’s worked for me.

Pick and choose those that appeal to you, maybe just a couple at first, and give them a try. Have fun with this!

12 Tricks to boost confidence – Go for it with gusto
1. Exercise
Physical fitness has a huge effect on self-confidence. If you’re out of shape, you’ll feel insecure, unattractive, and less energetic. By getting regular exercise, you improve your physical appearance, energize yourself, and accomplish something positive. Having the discipline to work out not only makes you feel better, it creates positive momentum that you can build on the rest of the day.

2. Focus on contribution
Too often we get caught up focusing on our imperfections. If you stop thinking about yourself and concentrate on the contribution you’re making to the rest of the world, you won’t worry as much about you own flaws. This will increase self-confidence and allow you to contribute with maximum efficiency. The more you contribute to the world the more you’ll be rewarded with personal success and recognition.

3. Good Posture
Research suggests that people with good posture have more confidence in their thoughts than slouchers. By practicing good posture, you’ll automatically enjoy more confidence. Stand up straight, keep your head up, and make eye contact. You’ll make a positive impression on others and instantly feel more alert and empowered.

4. Compliment other people
When we think negatively about ourselves, we often project that feeling on to others in the form of insults and gossip. To break this cycle of negativity, get in the habit of praising other people. Refuse to engage in backstabbing gossip and make an effort to compliment those around you. In the process, you’ll become well liked and build self-confidence. By looking for the best in others, you’ll bring out the best in yourself.

5. Gratitude
Set aside time each day to mentally list everything you have to be grateful for. Recall your past successes, unique skills, loving relationships, and positive momentum. You’ll be amazed how much you have going for you and motivated to take that next step towards success.

6. Personal Commercial
One of the best ways to build confidence is listening to a motivational speech. Unfortunately, Tony Robbins isn’t always in your area. You can fill this need by creating a personal commercial. Write a 30-60 second speech that highlights your strengths and goals. Then recite it in front of the mirror aloud (or inside your head if you prefer) whenever you need a confidence boost.

7. List your accomplishments
A fantastic way to remind yourself of what you are made of is to make a list as far back as you can of the things you’ve done that you are proud of. I keep a picture of myself at the top of a mountain I climbed as my phone wallpaper to remind myself that I can do anything I set my mind to – it helps and it will help you too! We often focus on what we HAVEN’T done making us feel bad about ourselves – a simple shift of focus to look at what you have done will start making you feel that inner swell of authentic strength and pride– boosting your confidence big time!

8. Speak up
During group discussions many people never speak up because they’re afraid that people will judge them for saying something stupid. This fear isn’t really justified. Generally, people are much more accepting than we imagine. In fact most people are dealing with the exact same fears. By making an effort to speak up at least once in every group discussion, you’ll become a better public speaker, more confident in your own thoughts, and recognized as a leader by your peers.

9. Practice Good Scents
One study found that women felt more confident in social, business and romantic situations when wearing perfume. Spritz on your favorite scent before walking out the door to ensure you feel fabulously self-assured.

10. Dress Sharp
While clothes don’t make you the woman you are – they certainly affect the way you feel about yourself. No one is more conscious of your physical appearance than you are. When you don’t look good, it changes the way you carry yourself and interact with other people. Use this to your advantage by taking care of your personal appearance.
Ditch your old worn out garments or donate them to a charity. Build a wardrobe of clothes that make you look and feel amazing. Looking good in fabulous frocks will spike your confidence and make you feel marvelous. Win-win!

11. Walk Faster
One of the easiest ways to tell how a person feels about herself is to examine her walk. Is it slow? tired? painful? Or is it energetic and purposeful? People with confidence walk quickly. They have places to go, people to see, and important work to do. Even if you aren’t in a hurry, you can increase your self-confidence by putting some pep in your step. Walking 25% faster will make you look and feel more important.

12. Flirt
Social psychologist Laura Kray, PhD, has demonstrated that smiling, laughing and engaging in slight physical contact when negotiating can help you win the day. Plus, it puts you in touch with your charismatic feminine energy, which is highly attractive to others. Flirtation can be like jet fuel for your confidence. Up, up and away!

So there you have it, a 12-step recipe to unshakable confidence.