Happy 4th of July!!!

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The Confidence Post wishes everyone a happy and safe 4th of July this weekend! So many of us think of BBQs, fireworks, summer parties, and being with friends and family as what the 4th of July is. It is so important for us all to remember its origin and what it means to be an American. Yes, enjoy the hopefully long weekend, potential trip or day off of work, time with friends and family, and summer weather, but please also take a moment to reflect on reasons you feel grateful to live in the United States. I am grateful to have the opportunity to pursue my dreams and tirelessly go after my goals… I encourage you to start a dialogue about why you are grateful! #grateful #happy4thofjuly

Take Time to Appreciate Dads!

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Mark your calendars … Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 21st. Although it shouldn’t take a greeting card holiday to show appreciation for those who are our real dads, or our dads by choice, let’s make sure to take the opportunity to show our gratitude to them for all that they do. Yes, I know dads can sometimes be hesitant to graciously receiving compliments and attention. At least I know my dad sure has a hard time with it. But, I think it’s important to politely disregard that and really make them feel special. For you, it might be about a phone call, a letter, an email, a special lunch date, or picking up a little item that you know they love or makes you think of them. For others who no longer have their dad or dad figures, it might be doing something that pays homage to them or that they would have loved to do. Whatever that “special” might look like to you, make sure to take the energy to show your appreciation for all that they have done to help mold you into the person you are. Yes, we should show appreciation year-round, but why not make this week particularly thoughtful. In honor of dads, I found some relevant quotes below that rings true for me. I encourage you to start a dialogue about how your dad or dad figure has helped guide your life.

“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.” — Mark Twain

“My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” — Clarence Buddinton Kelland

“It’s only when you grow up and step back from him – or leave him for your own home-it’s only then that you can measure his great-ness and fully appreciate it.” — Margaret Truman

“A father is someone you look up to no matter how tall you grow.” — Author Unknown

I challenge you, what is dad to you??

-Alex W.

Wishing Safe, Healthy & Happy Holidays to All

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All of the volunteers that make the Confidence Post possible want to thank you for your support, and we wish you a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season! Please make sure to take the time to appreciate the blessings you have during this holiday season and show appreciation for those you care about. We will be back after the new year. Until then, be safe and have a great time with family and friends!

Warm regards,

The Confidence Post

Time to Turkey Trot

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I’ve always had a hate love relationship with exercise. I hate doing it, but love how it makes me feel. I’ve been chubby all my life and my slow metabolism has not improved any with age and 2 kids. The last time I would consider myself to have been in shape was 4 years ago, before I got pregnant with my oldest. So, instead of setting a weight goal, or size goal, I set a post 2nd baby fitness goal so I would focus on getting heart healthy, instead of thin.

I’ve never been a runner and dear g-d, now I know why. I really don’t like it, but started in March at whatever I could physically do and set my goal from there. So, I ponied up and clocked my 1st mile at 18 minutes. I injured my back in July, which created some significant setbacks, then realized by September that if I didn’t set a firm time frame in which to achieve my goal, it would just fizzle away. So, I started a Facebook group to keep myself accountable and told myself I’d hit my goal by Thanksgiving.

So my goal? The Turkey Trot. 5k, 39 minutes (appx 12 minute mile). Right now I’m running a mile in about 13 minutes, which would be great if the race wasn’t the day after tomorrow. I’m seriously scared and wondering why in the world I would announce my goal to Facebook land. What if I fail? I have amassed a group of women who are stronger runners to run “with me” to keep me motivated. I don’t want to let them down. I don’t want to have to report back to Facebook tomorrow that I set my goal to just miss the mark. I hope I make it, but am not confident I will.
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So?! I did it!!! I didn’t think I would, but I did. I started out of the gate strong and then had to walk portions of the race. I thought for sure I wasn’t going to make it. I even thought at one point I was going to hurl in the sand. “Focus on your breathing, your legs, your feet. Anything but your stomach”. Then I started noticing the people around me. Some wearing knee braces, some limping through, some in wheelchairs. WTF Mary?!?!?! If you have 2 working legs and feet and can put one in front of the other, then just do it!!!

I eventually found (or realized I was pacing with) someone who was running with her trainer. Towards the finish line, the trainer was talking about finishing strong. So I started sprinting towards the finish line. By the time I could see the clock it was at 38:40! Seeing the seconds fly by propelled me at an even greater speed and I hit the finish line at 38:50.

I cried. Cried. I couldn’t believe it. It was as if all the hard work and hours behind the treadmill and on the street were all of a sudden worth it. After the turn around I thought for sure I was doing too much walking to make it under 40 minutes. But I did. Technically I hit the starting line at 1:50 because of the crowd, so it’s truly a 37 minute 5k.

Am I still chubby? Do I still dislike running? Did I decide to suck it up, dig in and do it anyway? Yes yes and yes. It was SO rewarding and a fabulous reminder of all I have to be thankful for.

I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving!

-Mary S.

Happy Thanksgiving with Grateful Hearts!

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When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect toward others. – Dalai Lama

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones. May this holiday season remind you of what really matters in life, and enlightens you to adopt new ways of living that might improve your experience. Why not start each day with a grateful heart and make it a part of your day to express what you’re grateful for — whether internally or sharing thanks with others. Please see below for some simple and creative ways to incorporate this at home with your family! How about starting now… Please take a couple minutes to write a list of 5 things you are grateful for in your life. Keep that list nearby and ask your peers, friends, and family what they’re list is. People sometimes get so busy they forget the amazing gifts that they have surrounding them.

May you be safe, happy and healthy this Thanksgiving!

~The Confidence Post

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Keeping Good Company

 

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I have gratitude as I sit here writing this week’s blog. I spent the weekend with those I trust, I look up to, and I value. This weekend, I had meaningful conversations with friends, both old and new, and the topic of mentorship, and the importance of establishing and maintaining relationships with people that give meaning to our lives, was a highlight of each conversation (mind you, the topic was with different people and in different settings- same sentiment though!). What was discussed with both parties was that in essence, the value of our lives can increase, we lead more enjoyable lives, and achieve more satisfaction, connection and meaning, through surrounding yourself with those that build you up. This can be achieved through having someone you consider a personal and professional mentor (learning from those who have experienced life, and gain insight), being a mentor to someone else (sharing you experiences to help guide others), and by surrounding yourself with genuine friends and family members who have your best interests at heart, and are true to you. The idea of keeping company with those who have something you want (in the sense of positive attributes), surrounding yourself with positive influences, and reevaluating periodically to make sure that those you surround yourself with have the same values and contribute to your life, is a key component for my individual growth.

I asked two ladies I spent time with this weekend to share their take on how relationships play a role in our self-evolution and self-esteem, and I hope you are able to pull truth and inspiration from them both.

“As an individual it is so important to have role models, goals, inspiration…things that keep you going. Just as importantly it is healthy to surround yourself with company that encourages growth. The balance of friendships and relationships that give you freedom to aspire to fulfill goals build confidence and self-esteem. Friends that I’ve known through my teens, 20s and now 30s who have seen me fall, spiral, laugh and cry, yet they have allowed me to be the person I needed to be in that moment. While they may not have agreed with decisions they still knew that  I/we weren’t done growing. Growing for women especially is an on going process. I think throughout life we learn compassion and boundaries daily. We are constantly on a journey. I have a mother, sister and husband and the bond with them all is strong, but different. The bond I have with my “support group” is the one that lifts weight off my shoulders when there are times I just need to talk to a girlfriend. I’m always saddened when I hear about women who don’t confide in their friends. Mostly, I’m sure it’s out of fear of feeling “stupid” or passing judgement we have to stop worrying about not being perfect. No one is. No life is. Social media too creates such a (fictional) comparison complex. I really think it hinders self-esteem and confidence when you see the perfect portrayal of somebody’s life online.” -Jen Cates

“My advice on mentorship is to take the time to find a mentor organically. Look for someone you connect with and respect. A mentor should support and guide you through your successes and failures.” – Sanam Parvizi

This morning I woke up and had received another quote sent to me from my good girl friend, Jen. She felt it was very relevant to this topic, “You cannot hang out with negative people and expect to live a positive life.” I wish we would all repeat this over and over as our mantra… Trust me, it is a work in progress (I am a work in progress), but surrounding ourselves with positive, uplifting, encouraging people, and graciously declining to be part of the negativity and undermining behavior, really will make all the difference in your life and others who get the pleasure of being a part of (a side note, of course, is that you must also be giving out the same aura in order for it to work!).

My experience on this topic is this– I would not be who I am today without the valuable relationships I have gained from my mom’s good friends who watch out over me. I no longer have the good fortune to have the support and guidance of my mom, but I feel very supported, uplifted, and encouraged by relationships I took an active part in developing. These relationships help guide me, calm me, support me, and are also a built in cheering squad. I would not be where I am today, and I would not have the confidence in achieving my goals and dreams without this support system. We are repsonsible for this important component of our lives. This took work to create, we all are responsible for creating this type of support system, but when in place — no struggle is too hard, no sadness is ever experienced alone, and each success is celebrated with those that love and care for you.

I encourage you to spend some time taking inventory on your circle of confidentes and friends, mentors, and protogees. I hope they are able to provide the tools necessary to lift your spirits and your life, and help guide you through the continuous turns we experience, like they do for me. I hope they are a key component of your self-esteem and confidence. If they aren’t, make a worthwhile investment to find someone who will and ask them to lunch or coffee. Develop these relationships that will bring such meaning to your life.

-Alex W.

 

The Importance of a Thank You

The Importance of a Thank You

Since I was a young girl my parents always emphasized the importance of writing thank you notes. As a little girl it was something I did because I was told to, but as I got older I understood the positive effects of showing gratitude. It is very easy to make assumptions that someone knows you are grateful or appreciate their contribution, gift, kind gesture, or additional hard work. Everyone becomes so caught up in the busy world, in media, TV, stresses, gossip, work or projects, and just the ongoing struggle of limited time and resources, that they overlook this simple yet mighty gesture. In my opinion, “thank you” might be two small words but their impact is greater than we can measure. What can’t be forgotten is how much easier and enjoyable life is with good deeds and hard work, and the role that showing appreciation and gratitude plays in people continuing to work together as teams and the importance of continued acts of kindness for the livelihood of the human spirit.

Thank you’s are an important piece for continuing to build relationships and for connecting with others. I read a great quote this morning, “the happiest relationships are built not just on trust and love but on politeness, mutual courtesy, and gratitude.” LOVE IT! I wish we could hand this quote out on cards everywhere we go. Can you imagine how much more enjoyable life would be if everyone showed this type of courtesy and gratitude? I don’t know about you but I would be much more inclined to give of myself, even to people I don’t care for that much, if people shared their appreciation with me.

To elaborate more on the importance of a thank you I’ll share a short story. I helped host an all girl’s bullying prevention event (Finding Kind, I encourage you to check it out) the past two years and an interesting tool was taught to combat bullying among school aged kids-writing thank you notes. That’s an “ahah” moment isn’t it. Teaching the importance of thank you notes and showing appreciation as a way to connect with others, showing value and worth, and hopefully, creating relationships built on understanding to prevent violence. As someone who writes thank you’s regularly, I have to admit there is a small selfishness that comes with the act because of how good I feel communicating to someone what difference they have made in my life, and sharing positivity. I think that using this communication as a way to bring people together, and combat misunderstandings and potential bullying, is a paradigm shift for our society to consider. In case you need more reasons to start communicating thanks more, please see below for a list of 10 reasons a thank you note is important. I challenge you to write one thank you note a week to a classmate, coworker, peer, family friend, family member or significant other, and see what change it brings to your life.

Why “thank you’s” are important:
1. appreciation is a big motivator in relationships
2. can change someone’s day and becomes a ripple effect
3. people like to help others who value them (thanking someone communicates this)
4. it is contagious!
5. if we don’t thank someone for something above and beyond that they have done, they might not do something special again because they didn’t feel valued
6. you never know how someone is feeling, a “thank you” could be the one small act that makes their day better
7. a “thank you” is a connector and brings people together
8. it feels good to express thanks
9. it can clear up any misunderstandings
10. showing sincere appreciation has lasting effects

-Alex W.