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11 Dec 2021

Your Mindset: Friend or Foe?

Your mindset can be your best friend or your worst enemy.

This what I know: Your mindset matters! It determines what you are willing to experience, ideas you are open to and who you see when you look in the mirror. Changing your mindset doesn’t happen by chance. It happens by choice.

Here are 4 simple effective ways to train your mindset to be your friend:

1) Add the word YET at the end of a thought to give Hope and Growth. Ex: ‘I’m not good at that … yet.’ The simple word YET reminds you that your efforts will pay off and that there is room to learn and grow.

2) Mind over Matter. Instead of choosing to focus on the obstacles that are in your way – focus on what you want to achieve. Acknowledge the obstacles and then choose to focus on your desired end result to keep you motivated.

3) Affirmations. What you tell yourself and repeat, over time will be what you believe. Choose your thoughts wisely. ‘I’m not enough’ will create a very different feeling than repeating ‘I am enough’. Only you have the power to choose what you tell yourself.

4) Gratitude. Choosing to focus on something you are grateful for is a powerful mindset shift that boosts happiness and helps you bounce back from challenging times and move though tough emotions. Since your brain can only focus on one thought at a time – choosing to look at what you are grateful for (especially during difficult times and mistakes made) is a powerful practice that strengthens resilience.

Until next time…

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10 Nov 2021

What If They Don’t Like Me?

If you were to ask me what one of my biggest worries was as a teen, it would be ‘what if people don’t like me?’ I can remember having sleepless nights worrying about things I said and did – wondering if I offended anyone or looked silly.

While the desire to be liked is normal, believing that it’s necessary for everyone to like you is unreasonable. Having that belief started to impact my self-esteem and confidence. I started to base my self-worth on what others thought instead of what I thought. I was becoming more concerned with others liking me instead of me liking myself.

One day I realized the only person I needed to impress was the person I saw when I looked in the mirror – ME!

An activity that really helped me let go and allow my unique qualities to grow and shine was creating mindful thoughts. (an activity that works for all ages)

Take a piece of paper and write: ‘I CHOOSE ______’ and fill in the blank with what it is that you want to say to yourself. Create as many as you need.

Examples:
I choose to believe I am enough.
I choose to believe I am courageous & talented.
I choose to believe I am perfect just the way I am.

Place the paper(s) where you can see them as a reminder of what you are choosing to say to yourself. The more you repeat it, the more you will believe it.

Place the paper(s) where you can see them as a reminder of what you are choosing to say to yourself. The more you repeat it, the more you will believe it.

This is what I know: When you choose to let go of worrying and choose to start accepting that not everyone will like you, not only will you be able to focus on the people who are in your cheering section, you will also find yourself much happier.

Until next time…

26 Oct 2021

Are you feeling discouraged and want to give up?

When times are tough and emotions run high, it can be easy to feel discouraged and want to give up.

In those times try this:

1. Be aware of the emotions you are feeling (name them). Honour them by reminding yourself it’s OK to feel them.

2. Take some deep breaths and reflect back on how far you have actually come. The challenges you have overcome to get you to where you are today, use this as strength to keep moving forward.

3. Remind yourself that the journey isn’t supposed to be perfect and that you have the tools to dig deep and keep going.

This is What I Know: Challenges are chapters of your life not your whole story! You Are Enough! You Matter! You’ve got this!

P.S. These strategies also work for your children/students.

Until next time…

14 Oct 2021

Kids want to know ‘They Are Enough!’

I want kids to know it’s possible to face adversity and still choose to believe in yourself! That is why, in my presentations to youth, I share stories about two dreams I had growing up and the challenges I encountered along the way.

My first dream was singing the national anthem at a Blue Jays game. Despite being told NO multiple times, and feeling frustrated and embarrassed each time, I chose to keep asking. My persistence and belief in myself turned that dream into a reality.

The second was auditioning on Canadian Idol. I made it past two rounds of judges only to hear from the celebrity judges, ‘You can’t sing, give up and do something else!’ When I left the competition that day, I felt sad, frustrated, angry and disappointed. I wanted to give up! But then I realized, if I chose to give up, I wouldn’t be respecting myself nor my dreams. So, I chose to keep singing and recorded multiple songs.

Even though I encountered many challenges, I’m so glad I decided to learn the important lessons those challenges were teaching me – lessons of determination, putting in the effort, and most importantly – bouncing back from disappointment so that I could move forward with even more motivation to pursue my dreams.

This is What I Know: We can’t save our children/students from challenges and tough emotions, but we can support them, share with them, and teach them ways to keep going. Reminding them that it’s not as much about the challenges and emotions they face, as it is about who they choose to become and how they choose to bounce back. Challenges are chapters of life, not the whole story and when life gets tough, I want them to know…They Are Enough!

Until next time…


10 Oct 2020

I Am Enough.

Have you ever found yourself thinking, ‘I’m not good enough’ or questioning ‘do I matter?’

We all have moments of self-doubts. The problem is those self-doubts keep you from reaching your greatest potential.

Years ago I realized I had a choice – to believe my self-doubts or replace them with three powerful words… ‘I AM ENOUGH.’

By repeating these 3 words you will strengthen your confidence allowing you to carry on with the important work you are doing!  It will also rewire your mind for positivity, gratitude and love.

It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes practice, consistency and will-power.

The key is to repeat it often so it becomes a habit.

Helpful Tip: Grab a piece of paper and write in BIG letters ‘I AM ENOUGH’ and place it where you will see it daily. Every time a thought or feeling comes up that questions whether you are enough, take 3 deep breaths and mindfully repeat ‘I AM ENOUGH.’

You are Enough! The world needs YOU and your unique gifts.

Until next time…

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12 Dec 2019

I Just Want to Be Me

I received an email from a student who felt they were two different people – one side of them is their school self, the other side is their home self.

I could relate to this student as I remember my ‘school self’ being self conscious – worried about what others thought about me – wanting to be liked and accepted by everyone. I did have confident moments and many good times in school, but there was a voice in my head sometimes saying, ‘What will they think? Do they really like me?

Looking back, I can see that there were times when those self-defeating thoughts stopped me from being totally free to Just Be Me.

My ‘home self’ felt and still feels free – a place where I allow myself to relax and be me. When I am home I don’t worry about my clothes matching or what my hair looks like. I can choose to change into my pyjamas as soon as I step inside the door and to feel my true emotions without worry of judgments. 

When you are not being who you really are, you are most likely worried about what other people are thinking about you.  I still have moments when I worry what others think of me. But now I recognize those moments.

That recognition now gives me two choices: Allow those thoughts to hold me back from being me or notice the thought and take a stand for who I am regardless of the opinions of others.

The true essence of who you are should not change from place to place. If you feel you have to pretend to be someone that you are not in order to ‘fit in’, not only is it exhausting, but also frustrating. 

Being true to you will be way more fulfilling than trying to be someone that you aren’t. Your real friends will accept you for who you are.

At the end of the day I believe it is imperative that you can say ‘I am proud of who I was today.’

Until next time…

sara westbrook signature
10 Oct 2019

You have the Final Say About You

It can be easy to allow negative opinions and judgments become what we believe to be true about ourselves. Important reminder: You have the final say in what you choose to believe about yourself, your body, your ability, your world.

Think of 3 things you are grateful for – I’ll wait…

Now that you have 3, write them down. Don’t have pen and paper…type them in the notes section of your phone or email them to yourself. As of this minute you are armed with a way to combat those self defeating thoughts.

Gratitude is transformational! When you are choosing to focus on what you are grateful for it transforms how you see yourself and your life! You are giving yourself the gift of inner peace and happiness. You are giving yourself YOU.

Will it take practice & effort to choose your thoughts and focus on gratitude – yes.

We may not be able to change others’ opinions and judgments (wouldn’t that be nice?) but, we can change what we choose to focus on and believe…which changes EVERYTHING.

Until next time,

sara westbrook signature
19 Sep 2019

Let Your Unique Self Shine

Believe it’s possible. 

Beyond the doubt. ⁣

Beyond the “what if’s”. ⁣

Beyond your ‘imposter’ feeling.⁣

Beyond trying to ‘figure it ALL out in advance.’ ⁣

Beyond trying to be perfect. 

Beyond that voice in your head that sometimes says ‘you’re not enough.’⁣

You are Enough! 
⁣⁣
Make your UPower voice Prouder, LOUDER than that self defeating voice. ⁣

The world needs YOU! ⁣

Until next time,

sara westbrook signature