Category Archives: Self-esteem

Naturally Confident: 31 Blog Posts in 31 Days MISSION COMPLETED!

I took a training class about six months after I fell. We were asked to draw a picture of what we wanted our lives to look like within a certain time frame. I was completely flummoxed. I really didn’t know what to draw. I did the best I could. When the time was up, I looked around the room at other people’s drawings. They were crowded with people, new houses, where they wanted to travel to and major life events.

When I looked back at my own, I saw myself sitting alone on a yoga mat with my eyes closed in meditation. The only other thing on my drawing was a smile with dollar signs around it.  Dental reconstruction has been foremost in my mind.  If I had more time I probably would have drawn my dog Chauncy sitting next to me. Clearly, after falling down the stairs and the hurricane, I had gotten out of the practice of setting goals.

Going through major life events can give you valuable insights. I mentioned before that while I was driving in the hurricane that I had a feeling of peace, knowing that as long as Chauncy and I could safely get to our destination; I was okay with losing what was back at my apartment. There is a flip side to that though, there is an almost constant awareness that anything and everything can be taken from you at any second. That chilling realization will spur some people into immediate, hard-core, relentless action and make other people VERY cautious. I fall into the second camp. (I always hold the handrail now!)

“Self-confidence grows every time you keep a promise to yourself.”

– Asha Dornfest

I think this challenge of writing and putting up a new blog post every day for the month of August has been really good for me. I set a goal for myself and followed through on it. While I didn’t cure cancer or do anything similarly monumental, I did do something that wasn’t exactly easy either. Posting every day with my job and commuting schedule, challenged me. Sometimes, other things like my yoga practice were sacrificed in order to keep this promise to myself.

I learned that I could rise to the challenge and meet it. I also learned that I do need to write every day. I learned that I do not want to post what I write EVERY day. I want more time for editing, proofreading and polishing my work. I also want to do other types of writing. I learned that it doesn’t matter what response I get, it’s about committing to the work, trusting that what comes out is enough and then following through.

My new plan (Ooo, look who has a plan!) is to post weekly. I may post more often than that but I feel comfortable that I can keep to that schedule and maintain a satisfactory degree of quality in my writing.

I want to thank all of you who have been reading my posts during this August Adventure Post-a-day Blogging Challenge. I have received some really wonderful support throughout this process and I am very grateful!

Many blessings,

Cynthia

 

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justdragonfly

 

Naturally Cranky: Almost there… Why Don’t I Feel Like It?

I am coming into the home stretch of my August Adventure Blogging Challenge.  Challenged is how I feel at the moment…part of me would like to stop now.  I’m at the point where if Burgess Meredith were my coach, he would be giving me a pep talk about having heart.

The odd part is that I don’t have writer’s block exactly.  I still have a bunch of ideas jotted down.  I just find myself staring at them and not knowing exactly how I want to frame them in a post.  Every time an idea starts to take shape, a big cranky baby inside me slaps it down with a big, “NO!”  Then I start to think about other things I want to do like make jewelry, practice yoga or go walk on the beach.  Then I start to question,”Why did I publicly committ myself to this challenge again?”

“Why is this happening when I am so close,” I ask myself.  I think it is the other side of resistance, the dark side.  I mentioned last week in Naturally Balanced: Half-way Check-in and Knowing When to Take Five that feeling resistant can be fatigue or a sign that something is wrong but I don’t think that is what is going on here.  I wrote in Naturally Determined: So Long Procrastination! that while I work hard at not letting other people down, I have often fallen short on meeting personal goals and keeping promises to myself.  What I have going on here is one bad habit!

Gay Hendricks wrote in The Big Leap (Highly recommend it, by the way)  about how we all have an upper limit that we have unconsciously set for ourselves. We are like a dog who is used to being chained.  Even when we’re no longer tethered, we will not go beyond the area that the chain once imposed on us.  When we butt up again this self-imposed limitation, many of us will fall back instead of jumping up to the next level.  It’s a mentality that keeps us stuck in our comfort zone.  Oddly, many of us do not even find our comfort zones all that comfortable but the comfort is in the known versus the unknown.  The devil you know…

I don’t know what’s going to happen after I complete this challenge.  Maybe nothing.  Maybe something great.  Maybe something in-between.  However, I do know, if nothing else, I will complete it!

Many blessings to all,

Cynthia

 

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justdragonfly

 

Naturally Challenging: One Week Down! Stomping Past Self-sabotage!

Phew, I made it through the first week! I posted a new blog post every day for seven days in a row. That is a new record for me. In fact, I’ve always been pretty pleased with myself if I posted weekly. However, this is not the time to rest on my new laurels (…perhaps a bit of an over-statement but you get the gist.) I still have 23 more posts to go after today.

Procrastination and I may have parted ways last week but that little devil, Self-sabotage, is still lurking around, waiting for a chance to strike. It’s funny because you need almost super human awareness to realize that it is even happening. It can look like procrastination but the difference is that procrastination usually stops you from starting something in the first place. Self-sabotage creeps in when you are going strong on a project. It happens like this:

7am

“I need to sit down and write…. but first let me take a shower,” (even though I took one a mere 10 hours ago.)

8am

“I feel clean! Now I can write… I am just going to check my email first… real quick.”

(Who even knows what happened between 9am and 11am…)

11am

“I know I need to write but let me just reorganize this cabinet right now because it is bothering me.”

All of the sudden the day is over, the post didn’t get written. Then the feelings of humiliation and failure come in and Self-sabotage reigns victorious. If I let that happen, I would have only myself to blame. Where does this self-sabotaging tendency even come from? Why would anyone do it to herself?

I am not a therapist but I suspect it is a way of dealing with insecurity. Putting things off after proving yourself capable of accomplishing them; seems to me, to be a form of self-denial. It is way of not dealing with the new potentially painful thoughts that might come up like:

“Yeah, I am making headway on my goal but does it really matter?”

“Will people care about what I write?”

“I am not making money from this. Should I be doing something else with my time?”

“What if I don’t make my goal? What if I do then what next?”

Usually once I start asking myself questions like these, my accommodating brain will bring up evidence or rather memories that will support these doubts and fears. I use the word “memories” because they are not actual proof of anything. Just because I failed to complete some writing projects in the past, does not mean I will fail this time. Also, remembering doubts and fears other people have projected onto me are not facts, regarding what I am truly capable of accomplishing. They are just opinions. (… And you know that old phrase about opinions!)

I feel pretty confident I am going to make it all the way through this challenge despite the shadow of self-sabotage, attempting to keep step with me today. I made myself a promise that I would do it for myself, no one else. It doesn’t mean that I am not watching the click reports like a hawk at times. In fact, I beam with happiness and gratitude whenever someone takes the time to leave me a comment. (…no pressure!) I just have finally figured out that it is my opinion that matters the most! I don’t need permission or approval from anyone else to do something. Knowing that now makes all the difference!

Does Self-sabotage ever stop you when you are making progress? Please leave me a reply in the comments section. I love hearing from you!

Many blessings to all,

 

Cynthia

Blessings to all,

Cynthia

justdragonfly

Naturally Beautiful: What does it mean?

This one is not so easy for me…

A week or so ago a video of Dustin Hoffmann went viral in which he described his experience of being perceived as a woman while prepping for his role in Tootsie.  It was very moving because he broke down when he realized that he couldn’t look as beautiful as he wanted to.  He realized that, as a woman, he would be passed over based on his appearance, despite being an interesting and worthwhile person in so many ways.  He realized that he, himself, had done that to many women who did not meet his physical requirements of beauty.

I found this particularly moving because I‘ve been struggling somewhat with my appearance since my top eight front teeth were damaged in March.  A friend of mine inquired about my “love life” recently, I sort of snorted and replied, “Hahahhaha, it would take a very special or very un-special man to look past my banged up grill.”

The funny part about all this is I am not a fussy gal.  Before this happened, you were just as likely to see me in sweats and no make-up, as you were to see me done up.  I’ve never been a perfect specimen but I was pretty and had learned over the years that I cleaned up well when I wanted to.  I just didn’t worry about it.  Now I do.  I am much more careful about putting myself together because I don’t feel like myself without my smile.  I wear a decent appliance that covers my missing front tooth but when I start to smile, I can feel my top lip getting close to the top edge of the device and I quickly yank it back down.  It really sucks being this self-conscious all the time.  And before I had the appliance, I did notice a difference in the way people reacted toward me.

I do know one special guy who never makes me feel self-conscious about the way I look, my dad.  A few weeks ago, he had to have a tooth pulled.  My dad is a handsome guy but he had a completely different attitude about it.  He made pirate noises and seemed to get a kick out of flashing his space at my mother.  He started referring to himself as Big Gap and me as Little Gap.  “You call that a gap, Cindy.  That’s not a gap.  This is a real gap!” He even convinced me to take this photo.  No small feat.  It is the first one since I fell.

Big Gap and Little Gap

I am not sure I can be as laid-back about my damaged teeth as Dad is, but this dental reconstruction is going to be a long haul and the final result is not guaranteed.  Soon I will have to wear braces for the first time in my life.  So, I realize it would be a good idea to figure how to handle the situation with grace and humor.  Maybe that is the most natural beauty you can acquire.  I haven’t got it all figured out yet but I am so grateful that I have Dad to light the way for me.

Love and blessings to all,

Cynthia

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justdragonfly