The Inspiration Within

The Inspiration Within

I was that girl and now, woman, on whose work space or Facebook wall you will find several inspirational quotes. Ever since I could remember, I have searched out inspiration in the lives great people have lived (e.g. Helen Keller, Mother Teresa, Gandhi…just to name a few) as a means to encourage greatness in my own life. I am the idealist that believes in the powerful potential of each individual. I used to look up at those thoughtful quotes on tattered pieces of paper to remind myself of the love, friendship, human potential, and life that exist in the world when I didn’t feel or see them in my own life.

Although I still love a great idea or inspirational quote, there has been a massive shift in my life in the last year that has forever changed my understanding of the source self-esteem and confidence. Hopefully wherever you are in life, be you. A young girl still in school, a young man in college, or someone facing life’s big choices (marriage, children, career, etcetera…). This life lesson that took me 43 years to learn will help you navigate the sometimes rocky seas of self-worth. The lesson is this, no amount of outside influence – parent’s love or acceptance, academic success, financial stability, over abundance of friends and community support will ever trump self-love. Duh?

What I hope to impart is the knowledge that believing in the magic that is you does not come from ANYWHERE but you! The good news for all of us is that nobody can take our self-worth away but us. Self-worth is the value YOU put on yourself. When our self-worth is soaring, we love the way we look, talk, act and love. We love ourselves. Unfortunately, nobody can feel this way all the time, and sometimes we must strive just to feel good about ourselves 50% of the time.

Self-worth and self-esteem are the journey not destinations. You will have great days where there is nothing you can do wrong because you feel so good about who you are and who you are striving to be. There will be days, more often than not, that it feels like there is nothing you can do right and why the heck did you get out of bed? All I ask you to know is that everything you are meant to be is already within you. As you learn your life lessons and make mistakes, if you are patient with yourself, you will discover what that lesson or mistake was meant to teach you about yourself.

What I ask you to do today is find one thing that you love about yourself. Do you have a great smile? Are you good at math? Are you good with animals? Just find one thing about yourself that you love (or several if you are having one of those amazing self-esteem days) and write it on a piece of paper. Now, take that piece of paper and tape it on your bathroom mirror or on your phone or bedroom wall, somewhere you are going to see it a lot. Remind yourself what you love about you and plant the first seed of self-esteem. This is where self-esteem begins and when the world is testing our view of our self-worth, and ourselves we come back to this place to remember what truly matters…the love we have for ourselves.

-Cheryl L.

Leadership is a Choice

Choices We Make

“Leadership is about decisions you make, and the actions you take each day. The world is waiting. Leadership is a choice – and it starts with you.” – Alyse Nelson

Happy Presidents’ Day! In honor of the holiday, the Confidence Post felt that this quote on leadership was a prefect tie in to celebrating our former leaders and taking time nurturing ourselves. Leaders are just like you and me- they need to be encouraged by those who surround them, have role models to look up to, and need to be nurtured. While perusing the internet for what to post to empower y’all on leadership, I found a great list of “5 Qualities of a Leader.” See below for the list of these top qualities. I hope they can be used as some great food for thought!

A “Leader” says “Yes, I Can!” It’s called the power of Positive Attitude.

A leader understands there will be many people throughout their life who will tell them why they CAN NOT do or be something. A leader stays focused on maintaining a positive attitude no matter what the people around them say or do. A leader stands up to peer pressure everyday to make choices for themselves.

A “Leader” says “It’s not a problem, it’s a Challenge!” It’s called Overcoming Adversity.

Everyday life is filled with challenges, however, many people call them “problems” and therefore they are overcome by their magnitude. One of the crutches in life that leaders do not use is the phrase “I Can’t.” Leaders learn very quickly in life that saying “I can’t” is just an excuse not to try. It makes it easy to give up. The first step to being a leader is to always say “Yes, I Can.” There is always another solution. You just need to ask a different or better question to find more solutions. Each challenge in life is an opportunity to learn a new lesson.

A “Leader” says “Never give up, never give up, never give up!” It’s called Perseverance.

The easiest answer or path whenever something gets hard in life is to stop or give up. A leader knows that the easiest path is not always the best path. A simple well-known quote expresses the power of perseverance very well: “Perseverance prevails when all else fails.”

A “Leader” says “I may fail or make mistakes BUT I always learn and move ahead!” It’s called Commitment.

Mistakes and failure are an integral part of life. We tend to learn the most in life from our mistakes or failures. Leaders learn to do their best and are not beaten down by their mistakes. Leaders learn to ask themselves a powerful question each time they make a mistake or fail: “What can I learn from this experience?”

A “Leader” says “I will always do my best!” It’s called Excellence.

“EXCELLENCE” or doing your very best, is a daily decision. It’s easy to be average. It takes a focused effort every day to do your best. It really is an attitude. Leaders choose to do their best in everything they do. It’s not about being better than other people; it’s just about challenging yourself to be your best.

Hopefully these qualities of leaders we have shared struck a chord for you and you can find situations where you might be able to look at things in a new light and be more of a leader. We are all responsible for the decisions we make and the actions we take. Being a leader is a choice we decide, a way of living, treating others, and perceiving situations. Keep in mind just how much power we have in those decisions and actions, and how we perceive the world around us. Once you get that important “ahah moment,” things start to become a lot clearer.

-Alex and The Confidence Post

Further reading-

“We Are The Special”

I have always rooted for the “under dog”. That one person, real or in movies, books or TV, that is not expected to come out on top. You might be sitting there thinking…”me too!” I used to believe it was because when that woman or man, girl or boy becomes the winner, the world learns the value of that person’s unique gifts and talents. What a win when we all realize that we are not supposed to fit in when we were born to stand out (not my words). While I still think this is an important lesson and one of the reasons to root for the “dark horse,” I learned a different reason from an unlikely source…The Lego Movie.

This is the part where I warn you of possible spoiler alerts (nothing that would completely ruin the movie for you, but spoilers nonetheless). The Lego Movie is about a man who worked so hard to fit in to the crowd only to find out that was not who he was supposed to be. He lived his days desperately trying to be just like everyone else, believing that be being just like everyone else they would see how special he is. Now you read this and think (hopefully), how silly to try so hard to fit in and expect to be considered special but isn’t this what most of us did or do as young people and well into our adult years! We have to have the clothes everyone is wearing, the video games everyone is playing, the house in the neighborhood that everyone wants and the car everyone drives. Yet, we wonder why not enough people see what is unique and amazing about us.

Back to The Lego Movie, this man (Emmet) fought the idea of being “the special” fiercely until someone told him it was his destiny. Emmet is not alone…most, if not all all, of us need someone we trust and respect to tell us “You are the special” before we see it in ourselves. Take a minute and think about that. Who do you surround yourself with, who are the people you trust and respect and does that person tell you it is your destiny to be the special? If the answer is no or if you are even unsure, your homework (yes, homework!) is to seek out that type of person.

So…now you are probably thinking (or telling the computer screen in lieu of me), “Cheryl, I am not dropping my friends because they don’t tell me I am the special!” I absolutely agree with you! That is where my last Lego Movie spoiler alert comes in. You see, it is not enough that you are told that you are the special and you believe it, you must also bring that message to those that hurt around you and need to hear they are the special. You see in the movie, Emmet told his nemesis that he was the the most creative person he knew and that his genus (even though it was misguided at times) inspired others to reach greatness. He too was the special.

At the end of the day, being special doesn’t make us better than others, it gives us the courage to be vulnerable and tell that “bully” or our nemesis (who in reality need this message just as much as anyone) that together we are the special.

Take care,

-Cheryl Lvovsky, MSW
Cheryl is a mother of one amazing Kindergartner and a wife to an extraordinary man. She is a social worker currently working in hospice and loves what she does. If you have any questions or comments about this post or for resources on confidence and self esteem, you can email her at spam2@sonous.com.

Being Unique

Being Unique

Definition of unique: being the only one of its kind, very special, being without a like or equal, distinctively characteristic.

Synonyms- rare, different, individual, one and only, uncommon
Antonyms- common, regular, ordinary, usual

Check out The Confidence post on Instagram @theconfidencepost to see what some young ladies shared about what makes them unique at Especially Me, an all-day self esteem program in Long Beach, Calif. this past weekend.