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23 Nov 2022

Hurtful Words

“Stick and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

Hurtful words do hurt!

They can have a devastating impact on a child’s mental and emotional well-being. They can leave them feeling rejected, embarrassed, discouraged, anxious and can affect their self-esteem, self-worth and identity.

After one of my presentations a young lady shared that she was being called fat and she didn’t know what to do. It happens way too often to both girls and boys!

I shared an activity that has helped me, my son and others bounce back from hurtful words.

The goal is to take the hurtful word – in this case F.A.T. – and change it to a meaning that strengthens confidence and resilience, which is beneficial for both mental and emotional health. When you encourage kids to practice this, they will start to see themselves differently.

They will learn that what they say to themselves is in their control and what they choose to tell themselves matters.

Step One

F.A.T. could mean

  • Fabulously. Awesome. Teen.
  • Fun. And. Talented.
  • Fit. And. Toned.

Step Two

Apply One of the Options Below Using the New Meaning to the hurtful word.

Option 1 – ‘You are right! I am a Fabulously Awesome Teen!’ (or the meaning they have created) Since the person delivering the hurtful words is not getting the reaction they expected, there is a good chance they will eventually get bored and stop.

Option 2 – If saying, ‘You are right! I am a Fabulously Awesome Teen!’ feels uncomfortable, then just repeat, ‘I am a Fabulously Awesome Teen!’ to yourself as you walk away.

For every word that hurts, take each letter and have it stand for a positive, empowering meaning. Then use option 1 or 2 with the new meaning.

Here are a few more examples:

U.G.L.Y. – Upbeat. Generous. Lovable. Youth.

L.O.S.E.R. – Lover. Of. Sports. Especially. Running.

The more kids hear their own voice saying encouraging words, the more their self-worth will shine!

Until next time…

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…

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…

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